Thursday, November 03, 2011

Document Happiness

My niece has done it again - sent me an interesting link to intrigue and perhaps inspire me. It's the website which runs monthly challenges. This month it is Document Your Life, and each day you are given a task to capture in a photo, documenting your day. I already feel I photo document more of my life than the average person, but it was difficult to pass up this challenge. It reminds me of the "Sketch a day" or "Quilt a day" challenges which I know can be a very good incentive yielding positive results. So today's task is to document happiness. I was scheduled to attend this program at my public library today, and decided that public libraries really make me happy - books, videos and cds to borrow, magazines and newspapers to peruse, computers for those who have none, internet wi-fi access for my new laptop until I manage to arrange for something at home, rotating displays in the lobby and educational programs - my tax dollars at work and no additional charge for the services. How can that NOT be happiness!

Some of you may be familiar with Rosalie Dace, today's speaker. I met her last year through a local fiberartist who provides a place for Rosalie to stay in between her various teaching gigs in the United States. I missed her presentation to the local guild, though, so didn't get a chance to see much of her work. I very much enjoyed her slide presentation, showing not only her quilts and what influenced them, but also a bit of her homeland in the Republic of South Africa. She also had a few of her quilts with her, to better see her use of color, fabric, stitching and embellishment. She shared many things I've heard before but needed to hear again, especially the thing about not including every detail in your work but leaving something for the viewer to fill in from their own experience. And the bit about serious artists putting in serious time because it is our job. She spoke of the meditative healing nature of hand stitching (but that she was not a purist about it, mixing in machine stitching when appropriate), designing from a small sketch indicating values but then working organically to let the piece evolve (so happy she did not use the tired terms "intuitively" & "serendipitously"), and using a mix of fabric types (velvets, cottons, silks, barkcloth, synthetics) because she thinks it creates interesting contrasts and effects, and why not since "these are not going into the washer."

I remember this necklace from last year - perhaps because I marveled that she would travel with such a chunky piece of jewelry. Someone asked if she had made it and she confirmed that she had. She also shared she has not seen her husband since July (or her two little dogs) and so includes photos of them in her slideshow - hello there, I'll be home soon! As you can imagine, it is not cost effective for her to fly back and forth even if there is a sizable gap in her teaching schedule. I can only think, that's dedication.

Back to the "Document Your Life" Challenge, November 1 task was documenting street style. Mmm, I didn't really make it out onto the street as I was busy finishing my leaf bagging. But because I stack the bags for pick-up at the end of the sidewalk that only leads farther up the driveway, it was a perfect documentation of my day. If you check out the website, you can view slideshows of selected photos for each day as submitted by participants. Just as artists interpret themes in radically different ways, you may find these photographers interpreting tasks in unexpected ways as well.

1 comment:

Sherrie Spangler said...

I love that necklace. It may inspire me to do something with all those individual beads I've bought over the years.