Sunday, February 20, 2011

Getting My Head Around it

Detail of Gayle's collage, Sacred, in progress
 Something is going on. The ground is shifting. I see it on the faces of the people on the news stories about the Middle East; I see it in my friends faces; I see it in my face when I look in the mirror. For awhile, I just couldn't get my head around it.

As an artist, I have trained myself for decades to try to stay in the moment and to respond to what is in front of me without knowing where the resolution lies. It is part of trusting the process, a deeply personal way of trusting oneself. The way I tap into that part of myself is to just keep working, because much of the creative process involves problem solving, asking the "what if" question, remaining open to the answer. When I am fortunate enough to be fully engrossed in this process, I continue to work on the problem at hand even when I am sleeping. My journal is full of dreamed notations waiting for action.

This is where I find myself right now: working, thinking, dreaming, working. This process has never failed me, and serves as an anchor for me when the ground beneath my feet is shifting.

Detail of Gayle's collage, Lady Blue
Detail of Gayle's collage, Blue Landscape
I have spent months feeling blue, discombobulated. Fortunately, my trusty journals remind me that this is also a cyclical part of my process. It doesn't keep me from working, usually, and this is fortunate as well. I am designing like crazy, as I focus with renewed energy on my line of Magic Baby designs.  I hope to start a separate website and blog for that work as soon as I have some time to sit at the computer all day.

I am also itchy to do free painting, so hope to get to that soon. In the meantime, I am finishing up the three collages shown here. I will be offering all of them for sale in my etsy shop as soon as I finish stitching and mounting them. Stitching away by hand, which is what I do most nights, is my preferred form of meditation. My thoughts are freed up while I work to think and dream, to get my head around it.


  1. Gayle, with the way things are in the world right now, and the remnants of winter dragging on, I think most of us are blue to some extent.
    I could not produce art today, but stumbled across an old journal I had glued the written pages together and was priming in black and white. One page black, one page white.
    Somehow, today was the day to finish that. And the inside covers are grey, because very little in the world is as easy as a yes-or-no, black-or-white definition.
    So I guess I did something therapeutic and *soon-to-be* creative.


  2. You could be right, Anne. I feel like I'm walking around with a blue face, like the one I had posted on FB!
    Funny you mention the black and white primer. I was just reading another blog today, and she was talking about an exercise in opposites. I have been dreaming about work in black and white, myself. Glad you had the therapy today!

  3. I've been depressed, more depressed than I can remember. I'm looking at this snowstorm and trying to get back to the good energy I felt, when we had the thaw, and before that, when Egypt's protesters "won" their freedoms. Then all the Middle East blew up, and fear for their safety, as well as the fears we've already been fighting in our economy, our politics, etc, really have piled up. We have to be insistent on creating, I think. It pushes against the blues and hopefully will bust through them. I love you, Gayle.

  4. PS. I love your new collages! And I'm so glad you continue with your wonderful Magic Baby clothes for little girls! Great stuff!!!!!!

  5. Love you, too, Po, and thanks for your kind comments. It does seem to be a very uncertain and scary time all around, and sorry to hear it has taken a toll on you, as well. I agree with you about persisting in creating. That at least brings good energy back in, and allows us a place to put the scary. Let's hope for spring, both real and metaphorical, very, very soon.

  6. Continue your journey and document the road you are traveling... Love is a wonderful way of making our days works relevant. Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

  7. Relevance seems like such an important word right now, at least to me. Thanks for the kind words of support, MH.