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Thursday, January 11, 2018

Let the Stitches Show....

I love van Gogh ....gazing intently at his self portrait...one can see each individual brush stroke.
It is a thing of  earnest detail, intensity and beauty.

So, why do some artists insist on doing their art in such a way as to pretend that all their minute
and very detailed work is invisible? Why do some consider it so brutally important to hide the raw materials of their work?

My song is : Let the brush strokes show, let the stitches show....let the yarn ends show in all their ugly glory....because you're being honest about all the different threads that make up your work of art.

Seamstresses do their best to hide the ends of threads so that no one can see when/where they started or finished their work.

Knitters  or folks who crochet seem to have each their own little tricks and customs to be able to
deftly hide the tail ends of each piece of yarn/wool they weave into their masterpieces.

Perhaps I hit my head too many times water skiing as a kid....but I seem to fall on the
 OPPOSITE side of the fence on this one.

I believe in letting it all show. Let your stitches show. Let the tail ends show in an awkward knotted lump in the middle of a knit hat. Why should I pretend as if such an earnest work of my own hands was magically woven together with only one magical piece of thread whose beginnings and ends are never to be seen again? Why should I pretend that the works of my hands are perfect?....when a certain amount of rustic playful rawness has a certain attractive quality all it's own.

To give a financial example of this idea...permit me to mention the film that is based on a true story entitled "The pursuit of Happyness" that starred Will Smith. It showed the gritty underbelly of what it took for a single dad down-on-his-luck to start from nothing and make it into the upper reaches of success on Wall Street. The film was not "soaring violyn solos playing gently on Prozac breeze..." but it had a certain charm none the less. Honesty can be a beautiful thing in certain doses.

It's like walking on the beach in bare feet after the waves have cooled the sand.....simply incomparable....and doesn't have a dollar figure either...if you don't mind me saying so.

Perhaps it is because i am not always the most dainty gal....I prefer to work with "less than dainty" chunky yarns and some of the fattest chrome metal circular knitting needles that I can find. I prefer to use tapestry needles too ...which are metal needles with eyes so wide, that they barely qualify for the term "needle". My muscley fingers work well with them.

 I get irritated with my cell phone keyboard because the keys are simply too "dainty" for my non-dainty piano hands.

I have a store bought knit poncho that shows the stitches in all their glory up and down the seam. I proudly wear it..... and call it my "Harvest Sweater". It probably would look more suitable for a long walk on a dirt country road, than on a slick city street...but I wear it proudly none the less.



Perhaps it's because i see a symbolic gesture in these customary artistic preferences.
How honest can we be with the work that we do? Can we show, visibly and publicly, like van Gogh
how much work it takes to make the art we make?

Do we pretend that the works of our hands flow effortlessly from our beings like ghosts in a fog?
Or can we "let it all hang out" so to speak..... and be forthright about what it really takes to make what we make?

They have said for the past 10 years in the business community that the "new" trend is toward
TRANSPARENCY..... So....my friends, what does that mean to all us artists and crafters?

Can we be a little more frank about the time, materials and sheer gritty hard work that it takes to make the things we brag about and try to sell for thousands of bucks?

You may be surprised how folks will react to your bold display of frankness. Instead of showing contempt for a visible reminder of your own raw materials... you may find that folks find it endearing and personally empowering. Baring your own humanity and scruffiness may encourage other humans
to stop hiding their own vulnerability ....and feel good about it.

van Gogh is applauded as a a MASTER, a genius and one to be emulated. He laid it all out there in all it's raw and "ugly" obvious splendor. But we do not call his works of art "ugly".

We call them ..........spectacular.

Peacefully productive,
C.