I love it when the time comes for the creative idea which has been seeded and slowly unfurling deep inside blossoms. Suddenly it can no longer be a mere idea and must be made manifest, made visible. By now it has formed in my mind’s eye and I, the artist, use my craftsmanship, my skill and my experience to make a tangible something.
I’ve come to this point with a fibre art piece that I was commissioned to make in May. My patron Mark got in touch then. He said that he would like to give a piece of my artwork to a Dutch friend who helped him out a few years ago. We got together a couple of times. I learned about the recipient, their story including their shared journey on a spiritual path and of a teacher who has been dear to them both. I was given a poem. Mark also wants the piece to include the Spirit of England – the viridity of the land, the Green Man/Woman, the visionary landscapes of the painter Samuel Palmer.
I quite soon decided on the shape and size of the piece. I also decided that it will be a mask and a shield combined. A mask which is a persona donned and a shield which announces and reflects to the world the warrior who is coming to the battle. The time is twilight, autumn colours of deep, soft browns and rich purples, the sun is nearly set and a night river flows from the place where the sun disappears beyond the horizon.
Next I auditioned fabric which I pinned to my design wall in roughly the shape of the piece. I was in Birmingham at the Festival of Quilts over the weekend. I had a look around at fabric, but didn’t find anything to add to what I have in my stash.
Since we got back on Sunday, I’ve been in my studio when not otherwise occupied with Steve, home or work. I’ve shaped and pieced and mostly stitched down the hedgerow leaves around the Green Woman’s face, after painting it a shade darker and working on her eyes. I obscured most of her face to add some mystery to the piece.
I’ve also made a pattern for the landscape and framing trees.
It feels good, to be on a journey with this wise Green Woman. I truly feel honoured to have been asked to make such a special gift. Today, when I worked on the velvet birch leaves, taking my time to serrate the edges and to stitch the veins just as they should be, I felt such Love flowing through this piece. The Love which flows like a river from the Source, the Essence.