Sunday, April 26, 2009

April is the Cruelest Month - T.S. Eliot

I'm looking out my window at a gray and rainy landscape. Two days ago is was sunny and actually hot. I relished the sun and worked in the garden for the first time. Felt so good to have my hands in the dirt, dividing and transplanting. Then it all changed and we're back to cold and gray. I am glad for rain instead of snow, however. The grass is green and the trees are budding. Daffodils and tulips are in bloom. T.S. Eliot called April the cruelest month, and it can be pretty fickle. Snow, rain, sun; warmth and back to cold. But April also marks the beginning of the new cycle of life and hope. Gray and rain will change to sun and warmth. Birds are gathering nesting materials and the trees will leaf out quickly. Winter birds have gone and summer birds will soon be here, if they're not already. I've been listening for the orioles, but I haven't heard them yet. Only another few weeks before the first ruby throat humming bird will arrive. In the meantime, I'll enjoy the unfolding of Spring.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

After the Rush

After delivering the vestments on April 10th, I spent a week focusing intensely on the final preparations for my daughter's wedding, which was Saturday, April 18. It was a beautiful wedding, made more beautiful by the sheer joy reflected in both faces of this young couple. They've waited seven years to make it "official". I am thrilled for them.

It is a strange feeling as I write this, however. With my large project mostly finished and delivered, and my daughter's wedding over, I have time to reflect. Both of my children are young women. Both are married and I am the grandmother of a four-year-old granddaughter. I am content in my life, my relationships, and am pursuing the artist' life I've always dreamed of having. So where has the time gone?! I swear I've been aware of every part of my life as I've lived it, yet looking back, it seems as if it's gone so quickly. Weren't they just little girls yesterday? Wasn't it only a week ago that I was taking pictures of their first steps, first day of school, first date? There's art in the making here. Time . . . an intangible that there's never enough of.

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Satisfaction of Completion

I have finished the major portion of the commission I have been working on. The chasuble is the piece I had the mishap with the lining!! Thank goodness for reputable fabric stores who keep good fabrics in stock and will send things quickly.

There are two pieces remaining to be completed, and I will finish them in the next week. These pieces and three others were delivered yesterday. They will be used this weekend for the Easter services, beginning Saturday night.

Each time I accept a commission, I wonder if I've lost my sanity while I'm working on it. The deadlines do help me buckle down and get things finished, but when I mess up, it creates more anxiety than I like. And yet, when the piece is completed, and I see that the "client" likes it, I am ecstatic! It's all worth it, and I will continue to accept commissions. I find them challenging and great learning experiences.

I wonder about other artists and commission work. Even though it can be anxiety producing to accept them, the reward is so great when I see their face as the work is unveiled. I'd be interested to hear what other artists think or feel about accepting commissions.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Breathing Deeply

I know that in the world of creative endeavors, there is a great possibility that what I've created or attempted to create from the vision in my head, won't work, and I'll need to start over. Many projects have ended up in the waste basket, but I have learned from the mistakes. That's why I try to give myself extra time to work on things when there is a deadline involved. Even so, I've lived the past few years with the horrible fantasy of mis-cutting something right before a deadline, and having to order fabric to finish the commission. I just kept telling myself that if I were very careful, it wouldn't happen.

Well, it's happened! I miscalculated, my pattern slipped, and I don't have enough fabric to re-cut the pieces. I have one week to deliver this work. I have ordered more fabric and am hoping upon hope it arrives within 2 days. It was either that or pay as much as the fabric is worth to have it sent over night. I'm just thankful it isn't the night before, and also thankful that it's the lining rather than the top, which is where all the fancy stuff has been completed. I'm trying to look at the bright side. I'm also trying not to panick. That wouldn't be helpful.

So, I'll focus my energy on the companion pieces until the new fabric arrives, and breathe deeply, in and out.