Studio Update: Quarantine, quilts, embroidery, upcoming craft show and more!

Understatement: 2020 will go down as a very weird year. I have been extra cautious with my activities during COVID-19 (due to my asthma) so I’ve had many hours at home to fill with creative projects. Sometimes that meant feeling pulled in too many directions (while I tried to distract myself from the news). But I think I came through to the other side with a lot of new work, as well as new avenues to explore in the future.

Upcoming Craft Fair

For now, I’m gearing up for the holiday season. I will have a table at the Sandy Spring Museum Craft Fair, which opens on Black Friday, Nov. 27 here in Maryland. It should be a safe shopping experience. The vendors will not be manning their tables in order to cut down on contact and museum staff will handle sales.

The main stars of my table will be my embroideries, but I will also have some flat artwork, cards and postcards available!

Ongoing projects

If you have been following me on Instagram, you know I seized the Spring quarantine to dive into quilting, which has been a goal of mine for a long time. As an abstract artist, quilts strike a chord with me for the same reasons I love modern abstract painting (think Frank Stella, Bridget Riley and others).

Also, I love the meditative quality of constructing a quilt. Moving through the stages of piecing, basting, quilting, and binding is gratifying, tactile, even exciting in its way.

Also doing quite a bit of embroidery lately:

And learning to teach embroidery on line!

…Looking back on 2020

They say times of trial offer the most opportunity for growth. I would be lying if I were to say the past year has been a mental health picnic. My anxiety and depression certainly raised their ugly heads, especially over the summer, and I suspect this winter will be a special challenge as well.

But staying creative has been one of my life savers (in addition to changing up my meds and seeing a therapist again). I find I only have so much bandwidth every day vis-á-vis energy level, compassion, attention, and anxiety. I’ve gotten better at identifying what puts me in the negative column (reading news, scrolling social media, drinking alcohol, not getting enough sleep, and not exercising) versus what “fills my cup” (yoga, meditation, walks outside, watching something funny, listening to music, etc).

Despite the constant feeling of crisis — or maybe BECAUSE of it — I have produced a lot of work this year, from painting, to embroidery, to collages, and quilts. Kind of rotating through all those different mediums is what keeps me interested. And I’ve recognise a style and common palette emerging across the mediums, which is exciting!

For now, I anticipate continuing to focus more on quilting, with a little embroidery and painting on the side. I would love to fill a sketchbook of geometric experiments that could lead to more quilt designs, or just stand on their own.

Well, that’s all for now! Looks like COVID cases are shooting up across the country, and even here in Maryland, which is terrible and it’s all I can do to pray for healing and unity as we fight this pandemic, as well as urging people to please wear masks and socially distance.

But don’t worry about me… I anticipate many more hours at home, happily stitching the winter away. ❄️🔥☕️

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