Minds Eye.

Pink and red squares of fabric inlaid with contrasting colored crosses by Maggie Winnall at Sewin StudioI set myself the task of finishing many works in progress to bring it to completion. Too many pieces left undone , too many unwarranted stops in the process, too many abandoned intentions.

In my minds eye, I (thought) I knew what the finished piece would look like and lazy mind was satisfied. Both minds satisfied. Except no. Not really.

Minds eye had no idea how beautiful the finished work would be and lazy mind was yearning for confidence. And that is what has transpired.

But it began before this. In an ancient ship

When the inner critic, cloaked in darkness crept right on in and lay dormant, waiting, until I wanted to create some beauty.

Shadow mind moves silently, stealthily, floats fear down like an invisible veil over any creative intentions or is just an out and out mean and spiteful nasty voice, or eyeing how you become numb to things or even how you become vague and not

quite present.

Curious mind began to ask around. Why was it undone, why was it abandoned ? Why, when I thrived on stitching, cutting, manipulating fabric, enthralled with Colour, delighted with words did the brakes jam on suddenly?

A boat named επφάνεια

I’m setting sail on a boat named επφάνεια – Epiphany, in search of turquoise sea, or in Monday to Friday, everyday language , I’m taking part in a writing experiment. The challenge is to publish my words every week day for three weeks, starting today.
Why the Greek name ? Because I’m ten days into learning Greek on Duo Lingo and quite obsessed with it. ! I’ve been introduced to the words ψυχή – soul , χρομα – colour, φιλοσοφία – philosophy, already (ήδη !) words that appeal to the heart of my work and words feed my creativity.
I loved the strange script of the road signs when I visited Corfu but didn’t like that I couldn’t read them. I was daunted as to whether I could navigate learning Greek but I’m finding that I love everything about it, because it’s all new ! New letter shapes , new words, new sounds and a whole new alphabet. I’m stepping back into the happy childhood time when learning was a pleasure. When learning to read and write was new then and with a fresh open mind. If I take my time, stick at it, I know at some point it will sink in.
Tales of beauty and the friendly people of the island of Zakynthos from my daughter and the going crazy (Covid time) fantasy to escape to see turquoise sea is my motivation to learn Greek. I’m preparing . I’m getting ready. For when….
The best discovery of learning on Duo Lingo is that it temporarily takes me away from worries, shadowy thoughts and all the other nonsense going on in my mind. It’s like a brain cleanse.
There are several words in Greek for discovery :
ανακάλυψη – discover, find, detection
ανεύρεση – finding, discovery
εξεύρεση – discovery
I hope you discover something positive today .

Rectangles

This rectangle study , pieced improvisationally, has been hand quilted now. Before I bind the edges, I adjusted the bottom left hand corner to add some light and balance.

I am trying to stick to the plan and quilt everything in sight ! (i.e. The small unfinished pieces ) without getting distracted with adjustments and amendments. which is so tempting. After comparing the before and after , I’m still not sure and I need to get this finished.

Are you easily distracted or are you blessed with a single mind ?

Welcome Home

Contemporary Hand quilted and stitched textile embellished with hand cut letters by Maggie WinnallContemporary hand quilted and stitched textile art with embellished words ' Welcome HomeContemporary Hand quilted and stitched textile embellished with hand cut letters by Maggie WinnallContemporary Hand quilted and stitched textile embellished with hand cut letters by Maggie Winnall

Welcome Home !

Of late, I’ve come to realise that quilting is a spiritual practice for me as much as yoga and meditation and like yoga and meditation is essential to my wellbeing. So it’s timely that I was inspired to create the ‘Welcome Home’ piece above – first photo. I started and finished it within a week.

The font , colour of the words and contrasting thread colour against the background collage are satisfying. The square shape not so much. So I’ve auditioned roof shapes to add interest. Like the traditional topping off ritual when building a house, I see this as a symbolic topping off of my work as a devotion to spirit.

I’m calling it ‘Message from the Universe 2’.

Journal Writing, Truth and Meaning

My Truth

Do you journal ? I do, I use my journal to process my thoughts, to work out what and how I think. To gain insight and understanding and to learn.

My journal writing arrives on the page in a stream of consciousness. The writing is swift.

My textile word work on the other hand, is slow and deliberate. Because it takes time, attention and technique to draw, cut out and fasten the letters to the quilted cloth, to bring them into the material plane, these words need to have meaning and truth.

Clutter Confession #3 things aren’t as bad as they seem

I’m happy to share my ‘Finishing Project’ progress today. 11 finished hand quilted wall pieces with a couple of ideas floating along. And here’s the thing, I’ve been working very slowly through these, with deep chasms of delay along the way. I’ve found that although I get caught up in ‘that dark head space’ I Have made progress and things aren’t as bad as they seem.

If you are stuck in a difficult place, take a step back and look at what you’ve achieved so far, however small. Be kind to yourself, Be encouraged .

Yes I Can

I’ve set myself the task of finishing 8 Quilts by 31 December 2019. Admittedly they are small pieces, because of this I am hand quilting them. This makes them portable and easy to take to the ‘in real life’ quilt group I’ve joined. ‘Stitchers’ in Herne Hill are very welcoming ! I’ve also joined an online accountability group which is proving to be equally supportive.

The quilt shown here is quilt number five and is from a small series from way back, that addresses the voice of the inner critic, that negative and silent in your head voice that says ‘no’. The quilt is called ‘Yes I Can’.

Clutter Confession #2 Obstacles

Art Studio Declutter with textile art and quiltsI have a strong tolerance for discomfort.  I can avoid, ignore, evade or go Vague in regards to the ‘stuff’ that needs to be organised. It still boils down to the fact I cannot and will not move forward easily until I vanquish the obstacles in my way.

Clutter Confession #1

For the longest time I’ve procrastinated being an artist and living my artist life. It is actually denying what is true for me, denying my own self and my own being. When I do make my art I feel so happy and satisfied. When I make my art it seems such a simple and an easy thing to do. It feels right.

Procrastination

But the story of denial is played out through procrastination, unmade decisions, the build up of ‘stuff’ in my life, physical obstacles that stop me before I start. For example, my studio workspace is in a constant state of flux, always needing to be cleared, is cleared, then back to being a tip again. I do make some progress sorting it out and where I have taken control, things have stayed sorted.

Results

I can put a working system into place, organise all the tools together so I know where to find them (and put them away) I can eliminate items that I no longer need.

I can remove old projects that distract from making the art I want to make.
There are so many unfinished compositions of pieced ‘patchwork’ cloth waiting to be quilted, so many cloths created along one theme or another, then so many ideas come cascading down when I start yet another new idea. This has been my ongoing story. It is currently my place in the scheme of things.

Decision

So I’ve decided to approach this challenge by taking this Chakra Quest with Anodea Judith  alongside my yoga practice, with the intention of unblocking the stuck energy, so as to access the cause of the fear that underpins this procrastination habit. To work with chakra energy to integrate the body, mind and soul. To be able to move forward confidently, competently to finish and create the art that I am to make.

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