The day before sheep camp three packages arrived in the mail - new art pencils and a handful of books to inspire me to keep moving forward, striving for the artistic person I know I am but still feel afraid to meet. I got knocked off track through the month of September but life is realigning again and I’m back in the art studio briefly before I give it up as a spare room for guests once more.
Fitting art and writing into any lifestyle that is largely dictated by physical standards of work, indeed by the physical work itself, is a continual mind game for me. The culture of this agriculturally entrenched area dictates that if you work hard you’re automatically a good person; that working hard IS who and how you should be. Art or craft is not viewed as work though, so it is intimidating to strike out on a artistic path that can hardly be measured by physical work. On the flip side though, I think I keep using this as an excuse. I keep doing art, a bit here a bit there, but don't let it take hold and seldom speak of it to the people around me.
Then this stuff happens. We went to town the other day and I was wearing a wool vest that I had needled felted a design onto. Three strangers stopped me on the street to touch and oogle over the vest. 'Do you sell these???'
Yesterday a few newcomers came out wishing to give their dogs a try at herding. We worked dogs for a couple hours with some nice successes (a long haired shepherd, a sheltie and a border collie), then headed to the house to visit the Kelpie’s, the pup in particular, and sit down for tea. The company noticed the needle felting work hanging on the walls and a shared love of fibre and felting led to an exciting conversation and sharing of more artwork from the studio. 'Do you do any art shows???'
I am still taken aback at the response to the felting work. For me, the drawing and felting I do represents a common life lived, and is simply scenes of what I know. For them - it is stunning and simply amazing.
It is these unplanned moments the universe throws at me that get me back on course - where to I’m just not sure yet, but so long as I keep picking up the pencils and the felting needles I feel like I’m on track to somewhere pretty good.