” 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.
I have no doubt the animals know it’s the Vernal Equinox, even if not by that name and in the way we do.
To welcome in the Spring our resident Canada Geese are back at Bedlam Farm. With the spring melt, the water is high in the marsh behind the farm and the birds are taking advantage of it. The mallards couple comes and goes, but this goose couple has made its nest here for the past three years at least.
Last year I wrote about the lone goose I saw, thinking that maybe it had lost its mate. Then the female and chicks appeared.
And now they’re back to do it again.
They didn’t seem bothered enough by me to fly away. And they seem to know that Fate isn’t interested in them. I like to think we’re getting to know and trust each other.
I don’t know exactly where they make their nest, but I’ll keep an eye out for them this year, now that I know they’re our seasonal residents.
I haven’t seen any sign of the bobcat since I last wrote about her, but today, when I crossed over the Gulley bridge into the woods, I came across this trail of duck feet.
I can just picture the two ducks (mallards I’d imagine) hopping out of the water and walking over the ice and the wooden plank ,that is the Gulley bridge, to get to the other side.
The woods behind our house are big enough for me to wander in, and aways see something new, but small enough for me not to get lost. Which is a good thing, because I have a terrible sense of direction.
And as much evidence of animals I see there, there is evidence of humans too.
An old cement foundation to a long gone barn, plastic fluorescent markers tied around trees, tree stands for hunting in the fall. And there’s even a couple of hunters encampments, two permanent campers and a makeshift shelter.
But in the five years I’ve been walking in the woods, I’ve only seen people twice. And sometimes I make good use of the marks they’ve made.
There’s one wooden tree stand in a big pine that I love to sit in. Our Lab, Lenore used to wait for me while I climbed the wooden ladder, sat on the wooden plank and rested my back against the pine. Now Fate does the same.
When we first moved here, I had no idea how far the woods stretched.
I got to know them in the winters when I could follow my own footprints back home. There have been times where I thought I was lost in our woods, but now I know that I’ll always come upon a road or a path or a tree I know if I just keep walking.
Sometimes when Fate and I are retuning from our walks in the woods, Fanny or Lulu will know we’re close and we can hear them braying to us. But even if the animals are quiet, I know by the time we get back into he pasture, where ever they are, the come too greet us.
Between yesterday afternoon and this morning I designed a bunch of potholders to restock my Etsy Shop. I plan on having them finished early next week.
I made some of these using vintage hand embroidered linens. The two peacocks came from my friend Athena and Susie sent me the Rooster fabric.
I only had the morning to work in my studio because I was working at the Cambridge Co-op this afternoon. Once a month, for half a day, I work the register or stock the shelves there. One of my first jobs when I was a teenager was a cashier at a variety store. So I’m pretty good on the register. Back then you actually had to count the change out. My register was always off, but I guess not enough to get me fired.
The register at the Co-op calculates the change to give back (thankfully), as I imagine all registers do now. I love working alone in my studio, but it’s good for me to get out in the community once in a while. I mostly enjoy talking to the people who come in to shop. I’m pretty bad with names, but I’m familiar with a lot of the faces I see from working there month to month.
I didn’t make it to Bingo at The Mansion Assisted Living Facility, where Jon and I usually go on Friday night, because we’re having a friend over for dinner and well… it seems the day is just too short to get everything done.
So I’m here at home blogging and doing my email, while Jon and our friend Susan are at The Mansion calling Bingo. I asked Susan to sit with Jean, who loves to have someone to laugh with. I know they’ll have fun together, they both have a good sense of humor.
OK, I’m off to check my email. Jon will be home soon to make dinner (another thing to be thankful for) and I’m hoping to take the rest of the night off.
It seems I’m now officially the “Roving Correspondent” for Jon’s Wednesday radio show, Talking To Animals.
How did this happen?
Well, first I called in to the show a few weeks ago when Jon and I were debating if my Mystery Snail Socrates was dead of alive. Jon and Thomas both thought the conversation was interesting and useful enough for me to do it again the next week and then the week after that.
That’s when Jon asked if I would be the official “Roving Correspondent” of Talking To Animals. I agreed when he told me it meant I would just keep calling into the show and we’d talk about animal stuff.
It’s been fun and it gets me thinking, and it might be good for my business too, so I figured, why now?
Wednesday is the day I have lunch with my friends Mandy and Athena, so I miss the first half of the show. But I get home in plenty of time to call in the second half.
When I call in to the show tomorrow sometime after 2pm, Jon and I will be talking about Fate. How she’s a bit of a wild thing and how she doesn’t comes when I call her into the house after feeding the animals. And how I believe I’ve inadvertently trained her to do this.
So if you think you may have trained your dog to do the opposite of what you meant to train her/him to do, you might want to listen or call in yourself.
Once the weather gets warmer, I’m thinking of calling in from the pasture, to try to live up to the “roving” part of my new title. But for now I’ll just keep calling in from my studio.
Talking to Animals is on from 1-3pm on Wbtn 1370AM. You can call in and ask Jon questions about your own animals at 866 406-9286 or 802 442 1010. And you can listen to the show by live streaming it here or you can use the free Simple Radio app.