In Studio: “Today the Tao is Dancing” in progress

My most recent piece, “Lightening Storm” sold quickly.  What a gift!  So, while in the midst of a move, my creative juices are given good reason to take a time out from boxing books and crating cartons to work on a new piece.

All my pieces create themselves in the sense that I start with an idea that beckons me, like chasing the end of a rainbow.  Once I begin, the piece “talks” to me, takes its own turns, sometimes sets off in directions (quite stubbornly I might add) that I had not intended, nor am I prepared for.  It is not altogether uncommon for me to have an idea, start to work, only to set it down…because, while I can feel that the piece knows where it wants to go, I am not able to “download” how to get there. 

“Today the Tao is Dancing” is one such piece.  I am excited to be working on it again.  I pulled it out in the midst of moving, held it up for the umpteenth time…and suddenly knew how to take it where it wants to go.  I love that feeling!!!

So I now return to my studio, perchance to finish it today.  This time I will get a high quality photo to share with you very soon.  Then hang it at the gallery:  Ashland Art Works Gallery, Ashland, OR, 291 Oak Street.

May we all feel the love of creative life flowing through us, relaxing our worries and filling us with soul nourishment…whatever form your creativity takes, may you relish it!

Blessings, Stephanie

And a nature photo to share until my next piece is here.

"Snowstorm" Big fat, fluffy, dry flakes. A cool counterpoint to our Dog Days of August!

And now for something completely different…

"Louisville: A Healing Quilt"

Hi Folks, 

I finished “Lightening Storm” but forgot to photograph it before hanging it in the gallery.  For those who are local, it is in “Rustic Gallery” at Ashland Art Works, 291 Oak Street, Ashland.  Take a lunch and go sit by the creek after seeing the art offerings, mine included.  If you haven’t yet discovered the sitting area by the creek, it is one of the sweetest spots in Ashland.   

I promise to get a photo of “Lightening Storm” and post it this week!

In the meantime, I thought you might like to see a piece I started years ago.  I still have a few bits and pieces to add as finishing touches.  It is a healing piece relating to a dark and difficult period in my life, the years between 14 and 17, when I was utterly a fish out of water…almost literally–but that’s another story.  This piece began with a poem and emerged visually over time.  For me, it perfectly expresses my felt state during these years.  Here is the poem, which also makes it’s way across the face of the piece. 

This quilt lacks a center…a central form to draw the eye…this is deliberate…this quilt is metaphorical…it depicts a very unhappy time in my life…

 a time of grays and blacks and browns…little color…no life…

 when I felt like a stick figure…wandering, searching…alone…

down streets that led nowhere…turning corners to other nowhere streets…searching for bridges to something good…finding they only reached another side of pain…only another dead end empty space…

 all that seemed constant was the ticking of clocks…relentlessly…far too slowly…marking the time until I could leave…run away…escape…hoping endlessly this might mean new life…

New life…is like lightening…bright, stark, brilliant, blinding…deafening, terrifying…coming with storm…rending the new from the old…

 lightening breaks apart the clouds…bringing new birth…color…light…after the storm…

 Kali’s destruction…necessary…though terrifying…for new birth…

 Music was my one light…it softened the pain and gave me strength…gave structure to my desolation…as I poured my emotions over the keys…

 Music was the new life I hoped for…the only place where color still lived…along with hope…and the possibility of love.

Stephanie K. Nead

Poem for "Louisville: A Healing Quilt""Lonely feet walking..."