I started a new daily embroidery piece on New Year's Day. Inspired by Rilke's poem "Abend," it's starting out with deep blue cross stitches surrounding the silhouettes of trees:
I'm astonished that today is already Day 7! Slow down, time! I usually stitch first thing in the morning, but I haven't yet today. A little thing called work got in the way. Soon, though.
I'm still stitching a wrinkle embroidery piece that I began last summer. The daily work on that faltered during December, what with traveling to my mom's, the holidays, and getting sick. I'm glad to be back at it.
If you'd like to see one of my embroidery pieces in person, please come to the Open Call: NNE (North-Northeast) exhibition at the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center in Brattleboro, Vermont. It opens this Saturday, January 10, with a reception at 11 am, and continues through February 7. I am honored to be one of 38 New England artists chosen from among 475 applicants for this show.
The juror, Richard Klein of the Aldrich Contemporary Art Center, chose my piece titled 55 Days (Begin Again), which features the words "begin again" stitched in seven different yellow hues worked in succession, one color each day for 55 days.
My daily embroidery pieces are first and foremost a way to make my creative work a priority in my daily life. By committing to doing at least some stitching each day, I make time for my artwork no matter what other tasks and responsibilities the day holds.
To me Begin Again also has a bit of a Zen meaning, something like the saying, "Before enlightenment, carry water, chop wood; after enlightenment, carry water, chop wood." Humble, mundane daily tasks can be meditative if we let them, a way to stay present and be fully aware in each moment.
I chose yellow because it is the color of the sun (not to mention Van Gogh's glorious sunflowers), which each day brings new opportunities to begin again. No matter how wobbly or uneven our stitches of the previous day, it is a good spiritual practice to accept these imperfections and each morning begin again with renewed hope and optimism.
If you're in the area and can attend the opening, I'd love to see you! I'm not sure what time it ends, but I expect I'll be there until at least 1 pm or so.
P.S. For the curious, here are a couple of posts showing sources for the fonts used in the piece: September 7, 2012 and September 30, 2012.