This Friday night May 5th is the Inspired 2 show at Chattanooga Workspace. Eighteen resident artists are taking part in a collaboration with the Hunter Museum. Each artist chose one piece in the permanent collection and doing their own work inspired by that piece. I chose Rosy Morning by George Inness.
Now I will tell you landscapes are not my favorite art. The place has to remind me of a place I've been for it to resonate with me. I was immediately drawn to this painting. In 2010 I kept a Project 365 photo diary, and on the morning of Feb 26th I took a photo of the sunrise coming through the trees as I left for work. Shortly after midnight on February 27 of 2007 my mother passed away after a short battle with pancreatic cancer. Back to 2010, though my heart felt the tinge of sadness, the sunlight was beautiful coming through the trees, and I though about what would it feel like if TODAY was the last dawn? For all we know every morning could be the last. I noted to myself to have a great day, and I hopped in the car.
If you look at the painting and then this photo, there's a striking resemblance in color and subject matter. Right down to the fence. A small cedar tree takes the place of the figure in the painting, or perhaps she is me taking the photo.
We moved around a lot as a child, and discovering the landscaping was always exciting. Don't judge...until I was 12, I was an only child so I spent a lot of time alone exploring. And who doesn't love trees? This tree is my favorite in my current yard, and Mike will tell you that I will get defensive of it. During the summer it shades the yard perfectly. Then in 2011, during an outbreak of storms and tornadoes, one of it's huge limbs fell taking out the power in half the neighborhood. Do you remember that the stars are still up there, and hey, you can see them when all the lights are gone. In November 2016, six children lost their lives in a horrific bus accident on Talley Road, and it was right on the other side of that tree. Do you remember daily that it all can change in a moment?
My grandmother, my mother, and my aunts all crocheted. I tried it but didn't have the patience. My mother did plastic canvas, and she was always giving me these horrible creations. And I told her they were horrible. That didn't save me from a set of cow canisters in plastic canvas. Today, I cherish them. I hide them away, but I cherish them.
I love yarn and fabric, I just didn't have a way to use them that I liked. Then I went to Panipat, India to tour a rug factory.
I learned just enough to be dangerous, and I love it. Friday night May 5th, you can come see my first real woven art at Chattanooga Workspace's Open Studio Night. I don't know all the rules and techniques yet, and honestly for this piece, there was truly bliss in ignorance. I used what I'd seen the weavers in India do and what I could learn on Pinterest. The mixing of colors I learned through 17 years of designing rugs. I chose to weave my photo using the colors in the Inness painting. What do you think? It's painting with yarn. Always remember that life is a tapestry my friend.