Whenever I step into my art studio, it feels as if I am off on an adventure. I never know what might turn up around the bend. Most of my work is intuitive and I simply trust the flow when choosing a variety of elements to illustrate the picture. I never set out with any rules and use whatever tools are necessary to help me represent the visions brought to me in meditation.
“Three Bankers” is an excellent example of handwork and machine using a blend of natural fibers. If you look closely you will see a variety of techniques used to tell the story of the wild horses of the Outer Banks, NC.
How do I begin?
Meditation. I sit in silence and set my intention “for the highest good of any animal or insect wishing to share a message for humanity.” I open with a simple invocation asking the Universe to blend with my higher self, and stay in silent meditation for fifteen minutes. I am there to NOT THINK, and to quiet my chattering mind. Please visit my page to learn how to meditate.
Often I am brought scenery that seems as if I am in a wild action drama. I feel and hear what is shown to me. The following statement accompanies “Three Bankers,” as it travels in exhibition.
The urgency within the messages the wild horses of the Outer Banks convey is unmatched. They are a proud species overcoming centuries of harsh weather and their numbers are dwindling. They cannot gallop fast enough to escape the rising tides of Global warming and they speak of humanity’s need to share the land they roam. They prick their ears when I try to I assure them I am doing my best and I understand their struggles, but I am but one artist. This does not stop their thundering approach as they pound the shores and toss their heads to say, “we are a part of your community and if the water overtakes us it will overtake you.” Many volunteers work hard to try and protect these guardians of the sea, however they cannot do it all. The Bankers want us to join together as stewards of our planet to assure ALL offspring be it animal or human has a future. Proceeds benefit the non-profit organization Corolla Wild Horse Fund as they continue to aid these magnificent steeds. Prints are available here.
After the fifteen minutes, I jot down any messages, and then sketch the images shown and search for reference photos to aid me. “Three Bakers,” is my original art, however I purchased a photo from a wild life photographer, Brad Styron, to help me recreate what I saw in my meditation.
(FYI: I never take any photos from the Internet or publications without checking copyrights.) I could not quite get the angle I needed in Brad’s photos, and so I used my handy sketchbook filled with my equine drawings to guide me.
The art measures approximately 4’ x 3’ and took me roughly 40 hours to complete. It was a tricky task as I was traveling in Italy, at the time, teaching textile-workshops and could not bring my sewing machine. I layered some lavender tulle over water-soluble stabilizer and hand embroidered the sea grass. Upon returning to America, I soaked away the stabilizer and stitched it on to the wet-felted background. I continued the machine work on my Bernina 770 QE. The finished art is part of my solo exhibit in Houston Texas, Nov. 7-11, 2018.
My favorite tools!
As an Aurifil Artisan and Educator I love experimenting with all of their amazing Egyptian cotton thread weights to add texture and sheen. 12, 40 and 50 wts were used throughout. I used a combination of all wts in the splash.
Techniques: Wet-felting, felting, free-form sewing, custom embellishing, thread-painting and hand embroidery.
Materials: Merino wool, tussah silk, banana fibers, mulberry silk, dyed silk ribbons, dyed silk floss, cotton, silk noil, and 50, 12 and 40 wt Egyptian cotton threads by Aurifil.
More Wild Horses!
I am happy to report that wild horses from around the world, such as Australian Brumbies, Sable Island- Nova Scotia horses, Camargue-France horses and ponies from Wales have visited me in meditation. I will be creating a wild horse series to raise awareness to their needs. “Three Bankers,” signed, numbered and limited edition prints are now available.
Please visit my shop if you wish to help endangered animals of ALL species.