Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A Roof Over My Head

The theme of "Shelter" could relate to only one thing for me—home. My husband and I have spent the past year remodeling and moving into a new-to-us home. It has been a difficult year and discouraging in many ways as the housing market deteriorated and more recently the decline of the entire economy has thrown us all into a state of anxiety. Much of my anxiety revolves around the house we have not been able to sell as well as the new house that we are now unable to complete to our satisfaction. Still, home is and must be, a shelter from the outside world and a refuge from anxiety and fear.
I planned to use the words "my home is my shelter from the storms of life" in this piece. I started a piece using these words. In it I depicted a woman looking out a window. My intention was that she would look safe, at peace and secure inside her home. As I worked on it I realized she was, instead, reflecting my own feelings of anxiety and a degree of sadness. I moved on to another idea—the welcoming front entry to our new home. I finished this piece and stood back to look at it and realized I hated it. It felt overworked, jumbled, chaotic. Again, I'm sure, a reflection of my own mental state. "Breathe," I told myself. "Relax." I closed my eyes and what I saw was simple. The basics of shelter. A roof, walls, support and space. Clean, uncluttered and solid.
So, this has been a process and I think it has been instructive. I have recognized my anxiety and worked through the details and distractions to come to a realization that shelter can be both a structure and a feeling and a state of mind. And I really kind of love this piece. It feels optimistic to me and I hope that is where it has taken me.
You can see my first two attempts on my personal blog, http://www.andsewitgoes.blogspot.com/

11 comments:

Lisa Flowers Ross said...

I love the strong, simple graphic elements of this piece.

It is so interesting to see all the pieces and different interpretations of the theme.

I have also posted my "play along" piece on my blog http://lisasartmusings.blogspot.com/

Deborah said...

I think this is just fascinating. I love your piece, and your thoughtful words and the experience behind it are so interesting. We are looking at a much bigger picture here. Thank you so much for sharing all the details.

Kristin L said...

This is so much brighter and a bit more abstract than your usual work. It's a refreshing departure. I'm glad you worked through some of your anxieties and I agree it looks very optimistic.

Françoise said...

This is very nice, so simple, bright and happy.
Thanks for sharing the whole story about your piece.

Gerrie said...

I love the color combination and the variety of motifs in the fabrics that you used. Of course, having gone through a lot of your angst and having seen the other pieces, I was totally surprised when I saw this in the reveal! I still like the front of your house piece.

kirsty said...

Terry, I laughed at the idea that you are prepared for a "Melancholy" theme, although I saw more serenity than melancholy.
This is a lovely quilt - restrained and balanced. You make it look so easy...

Nikki said...

I find it interesting that we chose very similar colors for our pieces (and I'm NOT an orange girl normally) and we are both going through the stress of trying to sell our houses.

I can relate to feelings of anxiety. Thankfully we have found another buyer (for less than we hoped) but they can barely afford the house and I'm constantly stressed that the deal with fall apart. If I can make it through the next month without going crazy I'll be in good shape.

I really enjoy all of your shelter peices.

Diane said...

Terry,

I don't recall seeing anything abstract by you before, but I knew instantly that this was your. The clean shapes, strong black lines, and vivid color just have your name all over them! I'm glad you shared your process...sounds like working on this theme allowed you to explore your whole life experience in a different way.

StegArt said...

I agree with Diane, that I think this may be the first abstract piece I've seen you do. I did enjoy and like your first two attempts, and I really like this piece as well.

Helen Conway said...

Do you kmow I think I would find this piece too simple and disinteresting were it not for the way your inset the bottom right corner of the roof into the square. That fascinates and draws me in. A vaulable lesson in design. Thank you. I hope the process of making it helped you declutter your brain of some of the stress of the real homes!

Karen said...

Terry, your shapes are so simple and so commanding and the stitching is wonderful