Words That Shout

Jon and I were talking about words and writing and yesterday I realized that I’ve been feeling more confident about using words in my work.  The words have been stronger and more legible.  They used to blend into the images, almost as decoration, now they are as visible and as important as the images themselves.

I wanted to make a piece showing this and the phrase I found my voice in freedom and words came to me.  Because this is what it’s really about, me finding my voice and believing it’s important enough or worthy of being heard.

So this morning in meditation I had a vision of a vast landscape with miles of fabric flapping in the wind and the letters of the alphabet (all in different colors like the plastic magnet letters I had as a kid) came falling out of the sky into my mouth.

I couldn’t wait to get to my studio. I stitched the goddess standing on her  tree stump opening her mouth to be filled with letters to be made into words. ( or are the letters coming from her mouth)  And when I got done with the letters and the words  I  didn’t know what to do.   It seemed like it should have been a collage because I had all this empty space.  So I filled in the space with, well… stuff.  And the stuff has nothing to do with the piece. (really, what’s with the boats?)

When I showed it to Jon he said ” Where are the words?”

Somehow I had done it again.  The falling letters are there and the phrase (which is just right) is there, but they get lost in the “stuff”.  The “stuff” shouldn’t be stuff, it should be words.  And the words should be what I want to say.  “Listen to me, my words are important, I have something to say, I am here! I exist! I finally found my voice and I will be heard! You can’t ignore me anymore! Etc!

So tomorrow I’ll try again to make those letters into words.  Strong words that shout, not cower and hide.


16 thoughts on “Words That Shout

  1. Far be it for me to disagree with the master author about words and/or art, but I think it’s cute! Just a humble opinion lol

  2. Maria, you have just shown the everyday goddess on a Monday. We often feel out of sorts after a weekend.

  3. Here’s a bucketful of consonants, vowels, and commas
    Overflow with words and more goddess dramas.
    Your voice has captured a new place in arts
    And legions of fans, warm smiles, and hearts.

    Everything you touch turns to gold, Midas Maria!! SHOUT OUT LOUD.

  4. Growth is quite a process, isn’t it?! 😉 And hopefully it never stops! I think that when you do get this piece right and full of your own strong words, Maria, you should hang it on YOUR wall to remind you of your importance and growth.

  5. I don’t think this is “wrong”. The words consist of letters and they fall into place when they land in your mind. Does that make sense?. Words formed in our minds begin with letters pieced together.I think this woud also be a piece that could show how it feels for a person who have had a stroke. The words want to come out but it is mixed up and fall in scattered places. Not maybe what you had in mind but it got me thinking of some of the patients I have met. The words become a “prison” when you can’t express them.
    oh … well … just my rambling thoughts ..
    take care

    1. Oh Ida, You said it, “the words become a prison when you cant express them” Whether from a stoke as you mention or just life.

  6. Hi Maria – I love this piece…love how the letters fall to her and she receives them to form words and speak them for herself!

    I have followed your blog since its inception but never posted a comment. I have often thought to do it but then been drawn into doing something else….I wanted to be sure that when I did write, my words conveyed at least a little of what I want to express.

    Your honest reflections on being an artist are so thoughtful. Thank you for sharing them.

    I am not an artist but I am a teacher and words are my heart and soul. So, too, are my two mutt dogs and my little, quiet life on a serene lake here in Michigan. It is a sanctuary for us and last week, I took my two boy dogs out on one of our sacred paths and we walked and ran, sniffed and savored in homage to you and to your spirit dog, Izzy.

    A student introduced me to Jon’s books years ago and, as a result, I “met” you. Thanks for sharing your artistic process and a little piece of your heart. I cried at the perfectly poignant way you reflected on Izzy. Thanks for that, too.

    ~ Kari

  7. Maria,

    I am thinking perhaps the boats represent the journey of finding your voice. And the letters possibly represent all the possibilities.


  8. Old habits die slowly. Those of us who have spent a large part of our lives “tamping down” things we want or need to say, have to learn how to speak all over again. The good part is that the more we practice our new way of speaking, the easier it gets!

  9. Yes, Maria, we are out here reading—and loving—your blog without saying much in response. I often wish you had a “Like” or “Agree” button to push because I find others express my sentiments perhaps even better than I could.
    P.S. Like Kari, I too am from Michigan! Back in 1965, I had a student, Kari, in my kindergarten class!

  10. I actually like the piece more than the other one! They are both beautiful. I love the fabric choices, colors and composition of the collage piece, but this one really works too. It flows, and doesn’t need more words, even though Jon’s comment did inspire the vibrant collage piece. Will it be available for sale?

  11. My husband said that he likes the blue one better too! He said that the great thing about art is that there are so many different ways to interpret art and there is no wrong answer. Kind of like music, but then music is art too.

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