Something Beautiful is a self-imposed initiative to find a visual feast for each day of a year.
Flow e felce. Flow and fern. In the West African Adinkra dictionary you will find that the “fern” symbolizes endurance and resourcefulness. They grew in a beautiful, graceful stand next to the big Victorian of my childhood. Lacy in look but tough, sturdy stems. Their unfurling always a mystery and magic.
I’m hidden away at Dog-in-the-Hole Studio to renew, recharge, and reconvene on all things sisterly with dear friend Bonnie. As she noted in her blog today, it is good to travel the path with someone—especially a dear friend, kindred spirit, and fellow artist.
In a day, she has been a champion, advisor, teacher, and nurturer. Her studio is a wonderland of every kind of material, supply, or tool to make something beautiful. And she shares it all, not just with me but weekly with a group of artists that she challenges with new techniques. Of course, if I were living in Madison, I would be here each Friday for the latest exploration—sadly, I usually have to jealously read what they have been doing. But not this week.
Yesterday, Bonnie threw me a linoleum block, fabric dying DVD, and instructions for today’s experiment and told be to “go.” I looked to the glorious woods around the studio for inspiration and was immediately drawn to the fern—a flash back to my childhood garden and a favorite symbol of renewal, the unfurling and unfolding fiddlehead fern. The day progressed in focused flow. A timeless, serene state of complete absorption in the the task. I drew. Refined designs. Reintroduced myself to cutting block prints and cutting foam prints. I printed and experimented with new coloring techniques. Sat and watched the English ladies teach dying techniques and shared it all with someone who understands that incredible drive to create.
In the evening, we ate Italian and talked about the future possibilities of this blog. We looked at the clean blocks and Bonnie mused about how the simple little foam block transformed as she rotated it—from unfurling fern to field with curling clouds, to trees on the shore of a rolling sea. Inspired and moved by watching two hours of “Craft in America,” we hugged and headed to our respective rooms to enjoy the visions due to roam our psyches after such stimulation. It is good to have a fellow traveler on the path. It is something beautiful.