It seems to be taking me a long time to return after my stay in Kenya. My friend and fellow traveller, Ruth, tells me that it takes one day for every hour you lose on the flights. Even counting the 8 hours from Kenya, and I did have a four day stay in Amsterdam where I should have made up two of those hours, I should be back in good order. But this time it is a slow return as I process all I saw and learned.
I haven’t been anywhere near the studio, so the shop is not open yet. I feel far away from making things. Instead, I’ve been doing things like cleaning cupboards (!), sending bags of extraneous things to the Salvation Army and sketching. Sketching every day, everywhere. I got a new small metal palette in Amsterdam at Van Beek’s (more on that in another post) and I tote it everywhere. And…I have been sketching these tulips every day. And drawing my way out of the molasses.
And yes, I am taking off again next week for a four day rug hooking course in Puget Sound with Donna Hrkman and a couple of extra days in Seattle. I have been wondering what to hook in the class because I can’t take my normal equipment or supplies on the plane. And then this week I discovered Sandra Brownlee who has just been awarded a Governor General’s award in visual arts. She is a weaver, but uses stitching in much the same way as I use sketching–to work towards understanding what it is she is thinking. Her tactile notebooks are an inspiration.
So for next week’s class, I’ve decided to pack a big bag of woollen strips, all colours and widths and textures, and a piece of linen and to hook whatever words come to me. I’ve always found hooking to be meditative, that wonderful repeated action of pulling the wool and making the loops, and I’m hoping for four days of slow time to reconnect with the narrative.
Below is a link to a wonderful video where Sandra talks about her process.
So Donna Hrkman, Sandra Brownlee–I am in good company for a return. Stay tuned.