With the Labor Day weekend behind us, we realize that summer is coming to a close. Things are already changing. The mornings are darker and the night air is cooler. Before long summer will be a memory and it will be a new season. Autumn is upon us.
I know that I say this every year, but it went by much too quickly. Perhaps it is because our winter here was so long and brutal. I remember driving to Halifax in mid-April and still seeing piles of snow on the ground that hadn't melted. It seemed so odd to me then.
Not having my car for the months of May and June also added to the feeling that summer was short. I don't really mind not using it in the winter, but as soon as the weather turns nice I like to have my freedom back. It seems too soon for me to be already thinking about putting it away again, although this year I need to bring it back to the shop that did the renovation, as there were some things they missed and other things that need re-doing. It has been pretty disappointing for me as a whole and even though they promised to make things right and re-do things over the winter, I am pretty unhappy about it. I am giving them one chance to fix things and then I need to look at my options. It has been pretty depressing nonetheless and I am sure it contributes to my 'mood' that I have seemed to be in these past few months.
Add to that, the decision that I had to make that I will not be going to the States this fall after all. I had initially planned on going to the NET (New England Traditions) painting convention and then perhaps sneaking to the midwest to see my kids and grand daughter, but between the car and some other personal circumstances that have come up, I don't think that it was meant to be and I will not be able to see my children and little Willow this autumn. It just isn't a good time.
I guess I am explaining these things because I have felt a little 'flat' lately. Besides not being able to visit with my family, I so looked forward to meeting some of my online artist friends. Some of them I have admired for years. Some of them are customers who have grown into friends. It made me sad to make the decision to not go, but the practical side of me knows this isn't a good time. Perhaps next year. (Maybe I am growing up after all!)
After writing here nearly every day for over five years, I feel odd missing days of posting. Checking in here each morning has become part of my daily routine as much as my morning coffee, but lately my heart hasn't been in it. There has been a lot on my mind and there have been several forks in my creative road and I am quite unsure as to which path to follow. That makes it hard to move at full speed.
I hope you all don't take this as a negative. I really don't think it is. I believe that this is part of the normal process of change that occurs to all of us throughout our lives. We need change. Without it, we would quickly become bored and stagnant and our creativity would dry up completely. We need to not fight the changes that naturally take place and allow them to take us to new and exciting places. Places that can be better than where we are now.
But change is not always comfortable and is sometimes scary. The unknown aspects of what may lie ahead can loom before us with imposing uncertainty. As we stand at these crossroads, undecided and unable to see past the fog that shrouds each direction, it is sometimes hard to choose the way to move. So we don't move at all. At least not until we have a clearer idea of what may lie ahead. But that is OK.
For someone who is used to moving quickly being patient is not always comfortable, but I realize that it is necessary. After many years of running into things without thinking, I find that I am becoming perhaps a bit more cautious these days. More sensible. Time and experience can do that to you.
By realizing that I need to be patient, I am allowing things to happen as they should. I am not forcing things and I am allowing them to play out the way they are supposed to. Something inside is telling me to slow down and perhaps be a bit more contemplative before reacting. I am listening to those feelings and I think it is the right thing to do. I feel that there will be great things ahead for me. I only need to give them time.
In the mean time, I got back to designing some patterns for the scroll saw. With having so many venues of creativity, it seems that I am always neglecting one or the other. Of course, that isn't true, but it just seems so to me sometimes. There are so many ideas in my head that I probably need several lifetimes to make them all reality. In that sense, I am very fortunate.
With the Christmas and holiday season upon us, I wanted to create some new holiday designs for the scroll saw. Although, I must admit, I am getting somewhat tired of doing the 'same old thing.' As we try to do our best to grow scroll sawing, it dawned on me that perhaps we need to look at the designs with fresh eyes. I find that I sometimes have a hard time thinking of things in wood because for the most part it is monochromatic and two dimensional. I see my own designs moving toward more layering and of course adding a bit of simple coloring to my designs. I just think that offering something that may be more modern and flowing may be a phase of designing that I am ready to embark upon.
Over the weekend, I drew up a new set of angel ornaments. I initially was going to make them decorated with some kind of Damask design, as I love Damask motifs. But as I drew them, I wanted them to be graceful and flowing and the motifs didn't seem to fit. I took a different approach and came up with these:
These ladies are created using ash. Their wings are of maple. I liked the idea of the flowing lines and layering them. It made them come alive. I also used more veining than actual cutting to show off their details. "Veining" is somewhat like drawing with the scroll saw blade. I haven't done a lot of that in my designs of late, but I think I will be doing it more. I am really happy with how these turned out.
Of course, I cut another set of plywood that I will be adding color to. I think that you will all be pleased with the effect that I will show, and how easily it can be achieved. I will work on that today and have more photos to show you tomorrow.
I am looking forward to creating some new designs of this type. As I said – change is usually for the better. Change means that we are growing and hopefully improving and expanding our skills and knowledge. I want to share those changes with you all. I think together we can make some wonderful projects in many different types of media.
Happy Tuesday to you all. I wish you all a wonderful week!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"