“Wow…what timing… At yoga today our Yogi (Courtney) told us that when we breathe in to believe that “I am authentic”… Then as we exhale believe that “I am Enough”. How cool is that… Will be checking your Etsy shop… I’ve got to get her one of these potholders… Rebecca”
I believe myI Am Enough Potholders speak for themselves. And I know they’re speaking directly to people because I’ve gotten a couple of messages similar to Rebecca’s.
I just finished sewing them and they’re now for sale in my Etsy Shop. They’re $25 each + $5 shipping for one or more. You can see them all and buy them here.
While I was writing a piece on my blog the other day, I realized that the first and last time I made I Am EnoughPotholders was years ago. So I decided to make more. I wanted these potholders to be as bold and direct as the words themselves.
I stitched the words then colored them in with permanent marker. I’ll have these all done and for sale in my Etsy Shop early next week.
(click here to see and hear a student at Bishop Maginn playing a keyboard, just donated by The Army of Good, in the new music room)
The message is an important one and it seems to speak to people of all ages and places.
Jill, from New Mexico, wrote to let me know she was buying my I Am Enough postcards to give to her friends who were making fun of her.
Jill’s take a nine day stay-cation to do some major projects around her house like… “repairing a fence, spreading about 2000 pounds of compost…, moving the last 4 tons of gravel that need to go on the garden paths, etc.”
Her friends say she can’t do it all alone and should get some help. Jill knows she can and plans on sending each of her friends an I Am Enough postcard when she gets done.
I love hearing the I Am Enough stories, so many of us have them. If you have one and like to share it, just leave comment on my blog or you can email me here at [email protected].
You can buy my I Am Enough posters and postcards in my Etsy Shop, just click here. Or you can send me a check to: Full Moon Fiber Art PO Box 205 Cambridge NY I2816.
The posters are 11×17 and are $20 including shipping and the 4×6 postcards are 6 for $12 including shipping.
” I was on my way to tractor supply to purchase some new bird waterers and when I pulled up I saw one of the women who worked there loading a pick up full of 50 pound bags of feed while the gentleman who purchased them watched her load it.
At that point I was so happy that I had your cards and I took one out And gave it to that woman.
It made her day and mine too. I hope this email makes you feel as good as it did when I gave that girl your I am enough postcard, I saw her run to her friend to show her and her friend gave her a high five
I think I want to get more and keep them in my car just for such occasions.”
I hadn’t thought of my postcards being used in this way, but I love the idea of passing them out to strangers at just the right moment, like Vicki did.
My I Am Enough posters are now for sale in my Etsy Shop. They’re 11×17 inches and they’re $20 each with free shipping. Just click here to buy them.
Or you can send a check to: Full Moon Fiber Art, PO Box 502, Cambridge NY 12816.
Sara Kelly, the painter and graphic designer, helped me design the posters. The image comes from my fabric painting of the same name. You can read all about the fabric painting and my process of making it here.
I had about 30 posters that were printed on thinner paper by mistake, so yesterday Jon gave some out to the aides at The Mansion. I never would have thought to do that. They are mostly young women and I wasn’t sure if they would get the message, but they did.
I was happy with how the posters and the fabric painting turned out, but to know that these women, who are much younger than me and have no knowledge of my work, understood the posters made me think they have a further reach than I would have imagined.
I also have I Am Enough, 4×6 postcards for sale in my Etsy Shop. They’re 6 for $12 with free shipping.
You can get buy them in my Etsy Shop too or by sending a $12 check to Full Moon Fiber Art, PO Box 502, Cambridge NY 12816.
I don’t remember who suggested making my fabric painting, I Am Enough into a poster, but it was a good idea. (Thank you!)
I asked Sara Kelly to help with the design and she did a great job as usual. I’m only changing one thing on this version. I like the lettering, but want it to be solid not mottled. I feel like there’s enough texture in the fabric painting.
I still have to get the final version from Sara then have the poster printed up. They’ll be the same size as my Show Your Soul posters, 11×17. I’m also going to make them into postcards.
I think this is a message that needs to go out into the world. When we feel good about and accept ourselves for who we are, I believe we will then be able to do good in the world in our own unique ways.
It was when Jon and I were talking on our Podcast that I came to see what the fabric painting I was working on was about.
Horror vacui is the art term meaning, ” fear of open space”. So often in my art I have a need to fill the surface I’m working on so that no one part of the piece stands alone. That there is something lacking in me, that I’m never doing enough is a constant refrain for me. Often when I’m doing one thing, I feel I really should be doing something else.
I think sometimes I’ve tried to hide in my imagery. To divert attention away from one image with another. As if I’m covering my eyes with my hands, hoping no one can really see me.
When a friend suggested that during an Open House I have a one person exhibit of my work in my gallery, I cringed at the idea. Besides that I want to support other artists, surrounding myself with them and their art feels much safer.
I was seeing this goddess in my mind before I began creating her and she was always standing alone.
I didn’t realize that this was the first time I made a fabric painting so large and so singular before, until I was talking to Jon about her. Then it came clear that she, like me, was comfortable standing on her own.
And she’s even more that comfortable. She is confident and determined. There isn’t room for anyone or anything else in the space she occupies. She herself is even too large for it, her legs too long, her elbows jutting off the surface, a halo of stars circling her head.
She is definitely enough.
So often when I’m making a piece of art it tells me what to do. When I looked at my goddess filling up the space around her, I heard the words “I Am Enough.”
I Am Enough is sold. for sale. She’s 21″x53 1/2″. She is $400 + $20 shipping and you can buy her in my Etsy Shop, just click here. Or you can email me here at [email protected] if you want to send a check.
I’ve been documenting my process of making I Am Enough from the beginning but now that she’s done, I wanted to show you the original quilt that was the first step in that process again……
I cut this piece from a larger quilt that someone sent me. As you can see it’s worn and torn, and in my finished piece, there are still some places where the old cotton batting peeks through the fabric.
I pulled out thousands of hand quilted stitches to create this piece, always thinking of the woman or women who sewed them. I then used the same fabric I removed and hand sewed those pieces of fabric back onto this piece of quilt in different places.
I hand stitched every part of I Am Enough except for the eyes, nose and mouth which I drew with my sewing machine.
You can see how the original design of the quilt influenced the shape of my goddess.
I’m familiar with the art of these women, but have read little about their work and it’s influence on painting. I was looking at the photos (I always go to the pictures first) and in one Helen Frankenthaler is standing in front of one of her paintings. She’s really small compared to the canvas which is hanging from what looks like the ceiling of a warehouse. The painting has two shapes on it, one taking up much of the canvas the other small and bleeding off the canvas.
I was awed by the photo. That’s thinking I big, I thought.
It reminded me of one time when I was in art school and I had cut out a bunch of shapes I was working with in my painting class. The shapes were about half my size, and I was using the wall in the painting classroom as my canvas to hang them on. I was up on a ladder when my painting teacher walked in.
I just expected him to tell me that I couldn’t use the wall or to be careful on the ladder or not to get paint on the wall. But instead, with a smile on his face, he said,” It feel good to work big doesn’t it?”
I never forgot his encouragement or how good it actually felt to have all that space to myself even if just for a little while.
So when I walked into my studio this morning, and saw my goddess, hands on hips, staring straight at me, I said to myself “Think big Maria”.
Big isn’t just about size, and “thinking big” is a state of mind.
Always lingering in the back of my mind when I make a fabric painting is the thought that no one will buy it. That I’ll have done all the work and put all the time into it and then, when my health insurance comes due, I won’t have the money to pay it.
That’s the essence of small thinking.
I’m calling my goddess I Am Enough. A phrase I’ve used in my work in the past, but is once again relevant to me. She is standing by herself, hands on hips, determined and sure of herself.
I’m almost done with making her. Today I worked on her skirt, cutting some of the stars in half from a part of the same quilt she is stitched on, to define and decorate it. I still have to sew down the pansy chain on her pubic triangle, festive and fecund as it is.
The wall in my studio isn’t close to the size of the wall that was in my painting class. But my I Am Enough goddess is big in attitude and meaning, if not in size.
My footsteps echoed down the long brightly lit hallway, toward the double green doors, a back way into the Mall. I dreaded the that walk and for the first year of so of working in the frame shop that the doors led to, thought of it as The Green Mile, like in the Stephen King book about death row.
Dramatic yes, but it also made me feel better, made me laugh at myself.
I had moved upstate from Long Island where I had been working in a Museum. It was my dream job. I did everything from picking up art from artist’s studios in Soho (it was the early 90’s and artists still lived in Soho) to installing it in the museum and creating catalogues for the exhibits.
Working in a frame shop in a Mall, selling prints of Race Horses, was tough on my sense of self, but it was the only job I could find that suited me.
And as much as I dreaded the thought of it, I did learn useful skills beyond framing pictures.
Tricks like keeping your elbow locked when cutting or drawing a straight line. I learned to measure accurately down to the 16th of an inch. And about colors and how they change depending on what color they were next to. (something I didn’t learn in art school). I also learned how to suggest good designs to people and guide them away from their bad designs without pissing them off.
After a while I began to enjoy the work. I was good at it. Even, surprisingly to me, the sales part. And the shop was busy enough that there was always something to do and something new to learn.
So when Jon came home with eight paintings that Sue Silverstein, from Bishop Maginn Catholic School, was donating to hang in The Mansion, Assisted Living Facility, I knew I could frame them and do it inexpensively.
I measured Sue’s paintings then ordered frames and mats from a company online, foam core from Amazon and glass from the local hardware store.
Today I put them all together, the old skills coming back to me as I began working. My hands just knew what to do.
It’s lots of good hard work on Jon’s part that makes things like this come together, and it feels like a little magic, too.
Something about Jon working with the young and the old and how they’re overlapping. That Sue had a feeling her paintings would be just right for The Mansion and wanted to donate them. How I got to be a part of it all by knowing how to frame them. And how once again, the Army of Good was there to pay for the materials.
Jon and I are bringing Sue’s framed paintings to The Mansion tomorrow. We’ll work with the staff to see where they go best. It’ll be fun, like curating a show. Then we’ll just have to get Sue there to see them all.