July arrived yesterday. Earlier this week we were sweating out (literally) the hottest temperatures we’ve ever experienced here, but July arrived yesterday bearing a cool breeze and an invitation to walk through the garden in comfort. This morning is lovely again and I sat with my coffee to catch up with the world by way of my iPad and clicked on a Facebook “memory” from a year ago. It was a music video I watched over and over last summer, and I realized I had tears in my eyes. It took me right back to 12 months ago and the surreality of the horror that was rapidly overtaking us. In the spring we knew we were in a pandemic and we’d have to hunker down for a few weeks—at worst, a couple months—and get past it. By July we knew it was bigger than anyone imagined and people were sickening and dying by the thousands. We were beginning to understand how truly horrifying it really was and I desperately craved moments of grace and beauty. So, for me, I followed the guidelines and then I distracted myself. I made art, I watched Netflix, I read, I listened to music and I watched that lovely video over and over, and through it all I kept reassuring myself that it would all be OK eventually. So summer rolls around again and here we are, getting much closer to being OK. We can exhale and find more joy today.
Last summer I spent long days in my studio and one of my joys was cutting stencils and making sun printed fabric to use in my artwork. For a couple weeks I printed stripes in rich colors. They were like capturing sunshine in cloth.
When the sun finally came back this spring I started thinking about getting out my paints and stencils for more sun prints. The past month has been pretty great. Here’s what I’ve done so far.
I’m finishing up a piece for our next High Fiber Diet exhibit “Can You Hear It?” It is about the story of the Tower of Babel, and how the people of the world came to speak many languages. Here’s a sneak peek.
My big project for this summer is designing and preparing a book for our Oregon region of SAQA. It will be a book following 21 selected artists in our region as they each plan, design and produce an art quilt, showing their work in photographs and writing about their process. It’s a very exciting project! I am also one of the 21 artists, so I am also working on my piece at the same time. I’ve barely started.
Never has summer felt more welcome than this one, despite its red hot start. Life is returning and though there are still challenges I feel like joy is more accessible. And that video? Still beautiful…