My personal response to this unusual time in history has been varied, moving from a fear-based emotional roller-coaster ride to an increasingly calm, pragmatic, and emotionally sustainable progression, punctuated by moments of true equanimity. It is the uncertainty that gnaws the most, but more reason to come to accept and befriend it. In addition to staying as connected as I can, my solution is to continue my work with as clear an intention as possible, staying the course. So, although shows and other events have canceled, the work continues. Here are some of the highlights so far this year:
The Sampler Quilt
I continue to print, paint and otherwise employ natural dyes in a variety of ways and use the by-products of that work to various ends. When I work with any dye class, I tend to have a lot of bits available for piecing. I am now deliberately creating pieces of cloth specifically for a sampler quilt, which I hope to have completed in the Fall of 2020. This may be ambitious but I am weekly working toward the goal. So far, I have 2 sets of modules either completed or being stitched (and appliquéd), one in Cochineal & Logwood; one in Cochineal, Logwood and Madder. Next up: Weld, Myrobalan and Pomegranate (alone and with Indigo). I am posting these results regularly on IG (@kathycoltartisan) and FB, and will certainly show the quilt as it grows.
My artisan apparel project progresses (www. petalunacollection.com s/a main navigation on this website). I am determined to keep all lines of inquiry open in the studio and wearable work continues to offer opportunities for exploration and cross-fertilization. I’m also currently working on my web shop and exploring other means of sharing this work in the absence of my regular seasonal studio sales. If you’re interested in learning more about this work, I invite you to follow @petalunacollection on either FB or IG for updates, or join my mailing list.
I developed a curious aversion to “nuno” felting during my cancer experience. Perhaps the end of that line of work was looming anyway. In any case, now that I am in thrive mode (getting busy livin’), I am finally liberated from that particular prison of the mind, and have begun to reengage – not with felting per se – but with the ideas I was exploring through felting. This hiatus (and who knows how long it will last) has allowed me to incorporate new materials, forms, ideas and motivations, as well as explore the intersection between my chosen media and other non-fiber media. There is much more to come here. My eyes are wide open.
Before the “stuff” hit the fan, I was able to facilitate a workshop and also record further reflections on Indigo. Late last year, I had scheduled a workshop on direct application (painting/printing) with natural dyes. That was supposed to take place in late-June. It was, of course, canceled. Unfortunately, I have not yet found a way to convey this work on a digital platform without taking an inordinate amount of time from my studio activities, so that will have to steep some more. Perhaps all will be revealed in the coming months. Meanwhile, there is much to do elsewhere and I will still look forward to the time when we are able to gather again in a live workshop setting. (I trust this day will come again one day.)
Finally, It is an odd set of circumstances that leads us all to where we are at this moment. Life is short. There is much to do but still time to rest and receive. I am therefore grateful to my yoga teacher Uma Devi and her Guru, Swami Jaya Devi, at Kashi Atlanta, as well as Dunya McPherson and her work, DanceMeditation. Thanks to live-stream and the ubiquitous Zoom meeting, I have been able to reincorporate these vital movement pathways into my life. This has been a great gift in these times. Keep working on cultivating/activating those blissful moments in the studio, in your work, on the mat… and carry them into your lives as fully and as often as you can!