Return to Joy

There are some artists that can tell you exactly where the idea for a project came from, what the story is behind a piece of art and why they felt compelled to create it. I’m not sure if I can tell you that about this piece I call Return to Joy. But what I can tell you is that this piece of art, this encrusted three-dimensional piece of embroidery, started off as nothing more than a doodle cloth, a way to experiment and work out some frustrations when everything else was going wrong.

It came as a response to me trying to do something to fit in and that’s no way to create art. I was trying to do what I thought I “should” instead of doing what I wanted to do. After a few times of trying to do what everyone else was doing I gave up and I just started stitching for texture, because texture, that’s my happy place. I experimented with stitches. Wwhat happens if I pile up the bullion stitches? What happens if I do a bunch of French knots on top of more French knots on top of even more French knots? What happens if I go taller and wider?

What happens if I just let myself play? I can tell you what happened. Instead of resenting the time that I had to sit down and work I couldn’t wait to pick up the needle and thread and explore. By not thinking about colors I could think about how I could create interest with knots and fibers and beads.

I don’t think being an artist means conforming to somebody else’s idea of the definition. I think being an artist means following your own heart making the art that you feel compelled to make just because it makes you happy to take that artistic journey. I think being an artist means being willing to let yourself go down paths that you’ve not seen anybody else walk down before because that that is where your artist’s heart lives.

See a video of this piece of art here:

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