Beginning: the point in time or space at which something starts. To Begin. Such as a New Year, rife with opportunity for growth and change. For personal improvements:
- err on the side of kindness
- open yourself to connection
- let go of judgment
- practice tolerance
- give in to adventure
- nourish your curiosity
- honor your gifts
- be true to your nature/direction
- art and dance and yoga too.
Some call these resolutions though too often they are toasted to at the midnight hour, at the tipping of the champagne into the glass and too soon forgotten. But the celebration and awareness of said intention is always good. Right? Every beginning begins with a kernel of thought or action. One step forward. A sentence. A phone call. An email. Or simply opening the door and walking outside into a new day, or a new life or loading your trusty Subaru and driving 4 days across the country to a new place.
If only temporarily. You are forever changed. The moon jellies on the beach unlike anything ever seen before are amazing. Thick and translucent and other worldly. A great blue heron takes flight startled by your passing. The cypress is a muse. The sand is flat and pure like the skin of babies, goes on for miles uninterrupted except for the clearing of thoughts. Three dolphin dip and roll shimmering through the reflection of late afternoon. And so my beginning (January 2015) brings me to a place of retreat. A journey and a place. A little cottage near a cypress swamp and a 15 minute walk to the beach. It is perfect. I am perfect. The sewing is primitive. I am the perfect primitive seamstress.
The threads hang haphazard (I kind of like that) and I hope they hold. The thread falls out of the needle repeatedly until I pull out the instructions for threading the machine and realize I skipped step number 4 –oh! Good to know. Occasionally the bobbin jams. I waste a lot of thread in trial by error. But it is freeing too. To begin. I sew standing up at the small kitchen counter. It seems to work well for my start, stop, grab, cut –design, knot, pause. This is not a scientific approach. Here are a few samples:
I come with intention. To create 100 6”x8” (or so) linen pockets to hold secrets or photos or ideas or forgiveness –sew and knot or wrap with barbed wire or ribbon. A little gesso. A line. Graphite. A cork. It is a loose plan. In my experience art projects begin with imagination. A vision that morphs into something long and far and seldom exact. The logic to the abstract. Or the abstract to the logic. It goes both ways. Eventually.
When I wake on Saturday in this delicious space –into time and a trip to the Farmer’s Market I wonder at the purpose of “pocket”. What was the point again? Is pocket important? My dreaming opens me to other options. To stitch a narrative before I sew it closed. To leave access to experiment instead of backtrack or undo or after-the-fact. Thank goodness for the subconscious. It really directs my life. And so I have both. Pockets filled or not and flat stitched pieces that I call panels though they are not attached to a hard surface. Or any surface. Yet. The exercise on this Artist Retreat is to simply begin. To create without judgment. And so I do.
Brenda Roper is a Personal Assistant & Contemporary Artist in Santa Fe, NM. She is taking the month of January for an Artist Retreat in Santa Rosa Beach. To explore new work in fiber, continue her Thursday poem and other writings, walk the beach and draw inspiration from her newest muse the cypress swamp. Your support and donations are appreciated. A little help for the time not working (the day job). For the just in case. For the gas (despite the drop in prices). For the inspiration and leap of faith. For the belief that art matters. Think of it as an exchange. A gift that goes both ways.
- For any donation of $25 or more you will receive a hand-made artist card
- For any donation of $100 or more you will receive an original print in 11″x14″ mat ready for framing
- For any donation of $200 or more (if you have deep pockets of generosity) you will receive one of my 12″x12″ painterly photographs
Paypal is preferred. Please include your correct mailing address. Click here to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you prefer to mail a check please send it to Brenda Roper 991 1/2 Don Manuel Street #B, Santa Fe, NM 87505. Gifts will be sent as received. Donations by check will be fulfilled upon my return to Santa Fe in February. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me. Thank you forever and in advance. Especially to those who have already donated and you know who you are.
Happy New Year!!