Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Giving from my Healing HeArt...

Hello everyone and thank you so much for your comments on my last posting and my photography! They were wonderful to read and they remind me that one doesn't need a lot of formal training to do something. Sometimes the desire to "just do it" will get you through... =-)


It was a wicked hot weekend but it finally cooled down enough for me to finish an art piece that I donated for a special art auction I was invited to participate in. It will be taking place later this September and you can read about this fabulous event HERE...

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an art piece begins...

setting the muslin in place with basting stitches at the cool home of my dear boyfriend...


On being invited...

To begin, when I was invited to participate in the special art auction to celebrate the 25 years of City Hearts I was really thrilled! I know one of the women of this organization and last year I helped her put together the set for the "Mad Hatters Tea Party" they host for the children which will be in effect at this year's fundraiser again - you can read more about that HERE. Jane is aware of my creative endeavors but I never expected to be invited to create art work to donate for City Hearts and I feel really honored to have been chosen.

On creating the art work...

The theme for the art auction is a heart theme, of course being City Hearts, and they asked 25 artists who have had some experience with the organization and/or the programs they offer. Since City Hearts works with the non-profit I work for, I have some knowledge of the work they do and how it helps disadvantaged children. I thought about how I would approach my piece and immediately knew I would incorporate an old piece I had created for a performance workshop a few years back and was just hanging around in my workspace...you can see it in this picture...

my "heart shield" hanging on my closet door to the left - below  it is a quote that I used for more inspiration

I had originally made the large heart as a 'costume' and it expressed how my heart may have scars but it "takes a licking and keeps on ticking" and it is a large heart that cares a lot...I was also inspired by a quote from Clarissa Pinkola Estes and used a portion of it in my statement which I'll share later in this story.

I thought about the scars created by poverty and how art can heal those scars and this is what I created...

my original plan was to use stamps on fabric but it felt too large and they blocked the 'scars' from view...
...luckily my dear BF was able to help out with iron-on transfer- now you can see the 'scars'...

I added a 'binding' around the the border with the title of the piece included and used a zig-zag stitch for it...

some hand stitching of 'radiating lines' coming from the "healing heArt" before the final stitching...

My dear boyfriend helped me with making an iron-on transfer print out of the words I wanted to use and he helped me with staining the wooden dowel and the finial ends to keep it in place, not to mention buying iron transfer paper, the wood parts needed and the cotton rope to use for hanging the piece. He's not just a sweet guy - he's a patron of the arts!! ;)

Since he has graphic design skills, he offered to make the words follow along the curves of the 'scars', which looked much better than the rubber stamped words I started with. After that, it was up to me to do the stitch work needed to put it all together, complete the donation form and write up my artists statement for the final submission...

Here is my Artist Statement for "HeArt Healing", my submission for the art auction:


"I am truly honored to have been invited to participate in City Hearts 25 Year Anniversary and Annual Fundraiser. I have witnessed what amazing work they do with disadvantaged youth, since I have worked for an organization that has benefited from the City Hearts arts programs.

Many times, I have witnessed the powerful healing component of art in the lives of people who felt they have no voice and I know the work of City Hearts is healing the scars of children who face the traumas of poverty everyday: isolation, hunger, fear, neglect and abuse. Through the arts programs provided by City Hearts, the children are learning self-worth and they are healing the scars of poverty. As Clarissa Pinkola Estes once said:

"Early life has left scars, so it's never going to look as though you never suffered...take pride in your scars. Scars tell you where you've been - they display your strength, what you have endured. They are like a treasure map to the deep Self".

Inspired by the work of City Hearts and the quote by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, I have created this "treasure map" of the scars of poverty and how they are healed through the arts programming provided by City Hearts: theater, dance, singing, and music.




"HeArt Healing" - 19.5" x 21.5" wall hanging in cotton, muslin, cotton thread and transfer ink


I delivered it to the City Hearts offices and Jane absolutely loved it! I know she teaches sewing classes and recently did a group quilt project to raise funds for Haiti and I knew she'd appreciate the sewing/quilting aspect of this piece. She has been blown away with many of the submissions so far and I can't wait for the event so I can see this art auction put together in one place and see how it all looks - I'll be sure to share it here!

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On giving...

One thing that began to nag at me was what I might have to claim as the worth of this art piece. I haven't had to worry about that so far, but it was hard to think about. It was a wonderful experience to be invited to participate in this special event and it's great to use something I already had to give it new life in a larger artwork that will generate funds for a worthwhile organization - how does one put a price to all of that??

In my profile I talk about the joy people have upon receiving the hand-crafted work I make for them and the power of creating with your hands. I did have Jane in mind when I created this art piece because I wanted to create something she would be proud to use in the auction and  I wanted to create something I knew she could relate to as a fellow seamstress. And she was very happy with the final result.

I know this "pricing of work" is something I have to work through if I have any hopes of becoming a self-employed, self-sustaining artist and there is no easy way to work through that process. It's frustrating. So far, giving my work away has been much easier and more fulfilling...Yet, I believe that one should be paid for their creations - it is time-consuming and takes a level of skill that not everyone has the patience to learn be it painting, sewing, or woodworking. And it's usually something that comes from the heart which you don't always find in today's mega-market consumerism.

Maybe donating this artwork will help me to work through my own "poverty" issues or maybe I need to learn how to accept "abundance" in my life, much of which is surrounding me in my creative play-space: fabrics, yarns, color pencils, ribbon, trims...Though it's much easier for me to help others than it is for me to help myself!

So let me offer to help you with a creative difficulty happening in your life - feel free to send me an e-mail with a question you may have or some doubts you may be having and I'll be happy to provide some cheer-leading to get you through!


Because I know many of you are amazing artists and I know you deserve to thrive as one =-)

4 comments:

Gwynnie B said...

What a beautifully written post. Your words have such meaning, and with your art work it creates an even more powerful medium. Your piece resonates love and empowerment, and for such a good cause. Art does save us, more than we know at times.

I love how you showed the piece in progress. There's always a story behind every creation and by showing this we were able to join you on this journey.

Can you tell how much I loved this post!! You rock, Soul Sistah =-)

humel said...

I'm always so pleased when a new post from you pops up on my blogroll, and I always set aside a bit of time to read it thoroughly and enjoy it properly. What a lovely post, and what a seriously WOW piece of work - it's beautiful xx

Kathryn Hansen said...

your heart quilt is fabulous Monica!! And for such a great cause too!

Kerri said...

i heart everything about your heart!