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My son, (Ben Davis, Beats-On-Tap) says I am not a good blogger because I don’t post enough. He’s right. After all, he blogs regularly about music and it is worth checking out! I wait and wait until something really inspires me. Well it hit me tonight as I walked into my studio. My husband and I had just returned from the airport after dropping off our daughter Stephanie to fly to Barcelona, Spain for 3 months. No… not as part of a college program, or any program… After Freshman year at Connecticut College, Steph felt she needed to break out and away from the constraints of art classroom assignments and see what kind of artist she could really become. Somehow she landed upon a website for Estudio-Nomada. She applied and was accepted to the independent art program in Barcelona. She found a family to live with and after private lessons of Krav Maga, self defense class by the best in the State at breakthru fitness.… off she went.
For a moment I felt empty walking back into the art studio without her paint brush in action as it had been all summer. She had just completed a large canvas and her palette papers were still there like their own work of art.
Her glass lamp-working table left with glass all about and an empty gas tank.
…but then I found myself sifting through her work table. I had not touched her side of the studio for weeks as she prepared her journals and inspirations for her 3 month art adventure. I admit I was tempted to throw out some scraps and gain some real estate on the 6 foot table but I never did and tonight I could not break away from the table of art books, cuttings of colorful hand-painted paper, mini cards, poems, fabric journals and paintings. With a list of things to accomplish myself, I just sat and let the colors and textures soak into my senses and let the time slip away.
The last thing we had done together at home was sit across from each other on our yoga mats and say a final Namaste. Finding her work left behind was like another ujjayia breath left from her in the room.
I am tempted to photograph every page of her journals and publish them. Don’t worry Steph…. I kept them closed. But seriously. Her writing is Bob Dylanesque and her paintings a mix of Dali, Kandinsky and Matisse wrapped up in one hippy, vibe, mystical, mother-earth-loving imagination. Is that a genre??
It is hard not to get lost in her passion for her work. Her cat is obviously protecting her territory so I guess I will not be cleaning up tonight!
I recently took a trip to the textile museum in Washington, DC. The museum is small with only a few rooms which I felt couldn’t do justice to all the history and global influences on textile design. I was mostly enthralled with the gift shop with a wonderful selection of books and magazines I found myself sitting on the floor sifting through pages of scrumptious photos.
I love textiles. I just want to look deeply into the stitches and find out how each and every weave is accomplished. I never appreciated work more than my visit to the weaving market in Chinchero, Peru located 13,000 feet above sea level. The air is thin but that does not stop these women from producing. We watched as they dyed alpaca wool and worked looms for hours creating the tightest stiches imaginable.
Shopping in the local market was a feast for the eyes with brilliant colors and patterns stacked like candy.
The difficult part of shopping was choosing just one thing to bring home when every piece was its own work of art.
After a long day in the high altitude, we happily returned to our peaceful chakra garden, mystical surroundings and yoga room at Wilka tiki in the sacred valley of Urabumba.
Driving down 3000 feet in altitude also helped the headaches and breathing, giving us energy for some much needed yoga. In the studio I was keenly aware of the antique carpets and woven mats used making each little bench a unique retreat. Everything at Wilka Tika awakened the senses of the soul.
Have you ever had the “after vacation blues” when you know work is awaiting you and the memories and restful feeling of the trip begins to slip away? Those blues set in for me on the airplane ride home. To channel the energy from the trip I took out my computer and began drawing the hundreds of small geometric shapes that would create “Batik” by Wallovers, reminding me of the fabrics in the peaceful valley.
“Batik” is a stencil design that once applied to any surface will create the look of hand paintied and dyed fabric.
Remembering the wonderful spaces at Wilka Tika Retreat I realized the space between the walls at home was a perfect spot to fabricate a bench in our own small yoga room. I began by painting a wonderful red and fushia base, hand-brushed to create a an impression of a woven background. I used modern masters metallic Gold Rush paint and some mica powders for the strong contrast of a yellow gold. The base was then made from Terracotta chimney flues that I painted in a periwinkle blue.
The final touch was the Bench pillows made from the fabrics collected at the markets in Peru and the Chakra Gardens book from Wilka Tika. What a cure for the blues!!!
Proceeds from the book benefit the non-profit Wilka Tika Children’s Fund to support the isolated mountain schools and Andean children in their communities founded by the writer and Wilka Tika owner Carol Cumes.