Thursday, December 13, 2007

An Artist Learns About Patience From A Pug... And the prophet, Kahlil Gibran...

Sampson, who thinks rushing is ridiculous...

It's true, when it comes to my work, I am a perfectionist. I have no compunctions about ripping something out and starting over, including taking the yarns apart that I am designing, and beginning again. I used to feel a little anxious about this because since I began making wearable art I've had people wanting to buy the pieces before they were finished (This is happening again with Cecelia, leading me to think I might close my etsy shop which is currently empty because I can't seem to get things in there before they sell...). If this happens, I will move the Dragonfly Cottage Design Studio to my main Dragonfly Cottage website where it will still retain it's own url and simply have it's own page there.

In any case, yesterday I did Cecelia's face. I knew it wasn't finished but the basics are there. Then I worked all day long on a very elaborate freeform design on the tail. (This is on top of the piece you've seen.) Wellsir, I got finished, took one look at it, and began ripping it out and one of the spindles of the yellowish yarn with a dozen fibers in it started coming apart as I did. Henry, the grey parrot, looked horrified, but Sampson looked up, shrugged his shoulders, and went back to sleep, as you see above. Coco, the Garment Inspector, whom you saw in the last entry, arched one eye at me and said, "It's not finished until it's finished. There's no rushing art." So I shrugged and worked for hours carefully undoing the intricate design I'd worked all day doing. I'll still have to take most of the day finishing the undoing and redoing the doing! But I will feell much better about it.

No, you can't rush art. Art lives. It needs to find form. It comes from the center of our beings and is made manifest almost in spite of us. These are holy pieces that I am honored to be allowed to create, and truly, that's the way I see it. It reminds me of the Kahlil Gibran chapter from The Prophet that always makes me cry, that I read aloud to my children, that guided me as a mother, and that I gave to my own daughter when she was pregnant with my grandson. It is from a chapter called, On Children... It spoke to me as a mother, it speaks to me as an artist.

On Children...

And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, "Speak to us of Children." And he said:

Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you,

And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts.

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;

For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

May Sarton once said that she didn't write novels to tell people something, but to answer a question for herself. Perhaps I am seeking answers as I birth these works of art, and I am blessed in the knowledge that I am being taught more than I ever expected.

So today I will continue to work on Cecelia, and she will be ready when she is ready...



Mee mOe said...

Your pugs are adorable !!! you are very creative !!!

Maitri Libellule said...

Thank you very much Mee. That means a lot to me on both scores. I have a sleeping snoring pug under my chair just now! We all just came in from a walk, the four dogs and I!

Have a lovely day, and thank you for writing.



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