I am not an artist.
This statement, of course, begs the question, “Who is an artist?”
This answer varies from person to person, from medium to medium and from age to age (I’m pretty sure all children are artists). But most artists I know… they know they are artists. These are the people who can’t function without creating: The ones who try to smuggle knitting needles on airplanes; those who can never leave the beach without leaving behind a sculpture; individuals who sink into a deep depression after only a few days not behind their wheel, their loom or their canvas.
I read a post by Rebecca Mezoff the other day (side note: If you want to learn tapestry, you need to check out her online class). The post was titled, “The Desperate Joy of Making Art” and in it she said:
By Mirrix President Claudia A. Chase
What is your favorite color? I don’t have one. When I was a child the answer would have been a combination of pink and red. I was told early on though that pink and red do NOT go together. Since pink is born of red, I always found that notion rather silly. I still do. What I should have been told was: fire engine red does not go well with pale pink but there are other reds that do! So I painted my room green and blue. Green trim, blue walls. The green was soft like leaves before they fall in autumn. The blue was like a deep sky just after a rain. I could live with it.
I live with favorite color combinations which have a tendency to grow and mutate over time. But the themes do not change. They are my personal themes. I believe everyone who works in color has within them certain color themes. It takes a lot of looking back into our heads to find out just what they are. I do have favorite bead colors (which is a combination of finishes and colors, since beads do not any longer exist in the realm of just opaque color) that I rely on as the base of most of my work. You can tell which bead colors I love the most by the fact that they live in 100 gram packs. The accent beads live in bead tubes. By buying large quantities of the beads I love most I allow myself to freely use them. Since I have a tendency to not want to use up what I love most, this trick is imperative for me to freely create.
The worse decision to make when trying to pick what color bead to use in a piece is the one based on: gee I’ve got a lot of these beads I really should use. I don’t think I’ve ever successfully produced a piece on that decision and I can tell you about a whole lot of pieces I’ve cut up and returned to the bead box after having done so.
Ever have one of those evenings when you get home and know you should take the dog for a long walk and make dinner and you have 15 emails you need to reply to, but really you want to crawl into bed even though it’s only 7 pm? Last night, I did just that.
I turned on Netflix and brought my 12″ Little Guy into bed with me. Then, I wove. One thing I love about tapestry on a small loom is that you can really weave anywhere. All I needed was my loom, yarn and a pair of scissors (I also was using the weighted beater we sell on our site… once you go with a weighted on, you can never go back) to weave in bed.
I got into one of those meditative states where I had no idea what time it was and, for the first time that day, I wasn’t worried about work or weekend plans or anything else going on in my life.
That’s what weaving is all about. And that’s why we make these looms.