Friday, March 14, 2008

Learning Continues...

A friend spent time showing me a little about the Internet this morning. She has a website, and a bloggers site and is further along than I am in understanding how all the parts fit together. So here I am trying out what she taught me. Adding images, and journaling and playing. It is a puzzle to me how all of this will evolve but I am excited about following this path to see where it leads.

March 29-30th we will host a Three Rivers Artists Studio Tour. It is the 8th in the last sixteen, held every other year. Last time I was invited as a writer. When we held the artist's pre-tour, and visited one another's studios, the artists filled my studio, and were less interested in my writing, and more in the Ink Quilts lining my walls. To my surprise they considered them art. I hadn't really thought about. I made collages that were inspired by a dream.

I had written a story about my ex-husband's grandmother. When I went to meet her, the first things she said to me was, "I remember the day slavery ended. I was five years old." The shock to my 18 year old white gut stayed with me. The idea that this little wizened old woman was someone's property repelled me. When I wrote the story 50 years later I had a dream. On a museum wall was what looked like a quilt. But when I approached and touched it, it was white wooden frames that enclosed "patches," each a collage of the chapters of the memoir I had been writing about my inter-cultural, inter-religious, inter-racial family. The next morning I began to make the Ink Quilts that the artists now were admiring.

Now I consider myself an artist. I play with clay (masks a passion), write (freelance for a local magazine company, Direct Media Inc. out of Visalia, CA, and still hope to publish my creative writings), and continue making Ink Quilts. I've gone from illustrating my memoir, to doing pieces that share how nature impinges on our lives in Sequoia country. And have added photography to the mix, trying to capture the beauty all around us that seems to be disappearing as fast as I take pictures. The human need to use every inch available seems insatiable. So I record it so we will have memory of something other than buildings.

I look forward to this tour. Last time I met some wonderful people from as far north as Oregon, and far south as San Diego. So who knows what this tour will bring. I sent postcard invites to locals, too, this time. We didn't think it was necessary last time since there are posters every where and the local paper advertises the event. But to my surprise, few locals came through. And since receiving the cards I have had locals call and thank me for including them and thus they are coming. I guess people feel like I do, they want to be included!!!! :)