In sorting photos for a project for school, I ran across a letter my Great Aunt Elvera wrote to me (via typewriter) some 30 years ago. I had asked for her memories of life growing up for she and my Grandma Lorraine. She had carefully typed out three pages and I had tucked them in an envelope and tucked them away.
I read it and was overcome with a feeling of gratefulness for what I have in this life. Grateful for what my grandmother, her sisters and brother, my great-grandma all endured so that I have this life. I thought about how frequently my face might be without smile. After reading the letter a second time, I looked at the old photographs and looked at the smiles and wondered how they managed to find such happiness when things were so often bleak.
I am going to make sure that my smile comes more frequently. More easily. As those things that might leave me hardened seem so miniscule compared to what those that came before me endured.
I have so much to be thankful for.
A friend of mine recently asked me about my own personal artwork vs. what I design for cross stitch.
I have discovered, in thinking about it, that I've got two different artistic sides. I am an illustrator, and that comes through in what I design. I have always loved animation and cartoons, and have always been doodling. I also have a very abstract side. When I painted regularly and even now with my art quilting and textile work, I tend to fall more on the abstract side, and my subject matter is very personal to me. I touch my spiritual side.
Sometimes I wonder if my designing is too commercial, but I think my whimisical side is an important piece of me too, and I do enjoy stitching what I create for others, so I think I am being true to myself as an artist.
I've drawn the conclusion that every artist is made of layers, and each layer is brought to surface when the one creating needs it to be. I know that there are times when I just need to play with color and times when I need to feel fabric in my hands, or maybe get my fingers dirty with paint and chalk and tubs of dye. Other times there is nothing more fulfilling then a notebook and a charcoal pencil knocking out odd little faces that smile back at me with that 'I've got a secret' twinkle in their scrunched up eyes.