I have long had a passion for trees. As a public relations professional and educator, I have spearheaded campaigns for trees, conducted event planning for a songwriting contest for trees and have contributed to New York’s One Million Trees program.
I continuously return to trees in some form or fashion. I delve even deeper now with my artwork focused on tree imagery. And now it pleases me to launch When Trees Talk, Let the Yarn Speak. This is an international tree advocacy program with a twist of art. It is the mission of the program to use visual imagery to prompt authentic talk, awareness and support of trees currently in crisis around the world.
When Trees Talk(c) serves as a forum where people can gather for an exciting flow of facilitated dialogue which allows for authentic, down-to-earth conversation.
I am so pleased to be launching the program during a session with the Ethical Humanist Society of Long Island on Sunday, August 25, 2019. We will go on a journey exploring the world of trees, hear of their secret life and what trees do at night. We will hear insights of the challenging state of trees today and all participate in an interesting exercise which takes place in the year 2093 involving a critical decision to be made regarding trees.
It had been weeks since the newspaper interviewed me and sent out their Pulitzer Prize photographer to my studio to do a story on inspiring artisans. I was one of five selected and boy, oh, boy how honored I felt.
Finally, after two months, I get the call: the story comes out on Sunday.
Well, the night before, I just toss and turn. What’s the story going to say? What about the photos? Which ones would they choose? How will this impact my business?
The writer was so supportive, too. Filled with an art passion and a skilled writer, I was thrilled to have her support.
I wanted to get the paper as soon as it was delivered to my house.
Around three in the morning, I glanced at the clock…again. I’d been waking all night, excited, wondering, giddy.
I turn over and try to go back to sleep. I doze and pop awake at four. Dammit!, go to sleep I tell myself. I slowly drift and bam 4:49, I awake again. Dag, might as well get up and just wait for the delivery woman to toss the paper on the lawn. Too, perhaps I can beg for some extra copies for my files, too.
Quietly, I slip from bed, grab my robe and slowly open the front door wanting to avoid its loud creeking sound which could awaken all in the house.
So there I am, on top of the steps, hair disshelved, looking back and forth up the street for the newspaper delivery lady. Nothing. I listen to the awakening birds. Still nothing. I consider going back in to get my glasses for I am truly blind without them but, no, I am too excited. Another ten minutes, it’s still dark although the sky is brightening…still nothing. I sit like a lil kid waiting and waiting for Santa Claus. Where is he with my gift of coverage?
The sky’s getting brighter now. More birds are chirpping. I consider walking across my lawn to the street to look up the block. I stand atop my steps seeing all kinds of blurred images because I left my glasses in the house. Nah, won’t leave the steps; can’t see too well. And the neighbors might see me in my robe.
I decide to sit back down. I get a glimpse at some rubbish that I suspect the wind blew against the bottom steps. Ahh, too anxious to get it now; will get and discard later.
Forty-five minutes go by and still no Santa Claus. What the heck is going on? The sun’s now up. More birds are out.
I stand tall, wide awake, determinedly more pro-active and don’t give a darn about what I look like as I proceed down my front steps a little miffed. As I reach the bottom step, I remember that clump of rubbish…but…wait…upon closer inspection…WHAT THE???…My blind self!! The paper was right there the entire time. I thought it was trash.
I snap up the paper like a mad hungry woman. So many parts to soar through. Damn, these ads; I chuck them aside as I turn and turn and turn pages. And, there, right on the front cover of one of the sections…there’s my picture used as a promo for the inside story. Wow! I anxiously follow the promo advise: story on page 33 and…sigh…relieved…there it is. A fabulous story highlighting me with four other artists.
The story highlights:
*My childhood years crocheting
*Features my artwork
*Highlights the forthcoming launch of an Artist Business Alliance
*Next steps in partnering to use my art for therapeutic work in healthcare facilities…hospitals, nursing homes, rehabs
Yes, Santa Claus did come with a wonderful early, early, early holiday gift.
As an emerging fiber artist in New York, I delve very seriously into the nature of the business of art. And while I’d like to spend life 24/7 creating works, I must also incorporate the marketing of the works. I will confess, I am living and learning taking my decades of PR and marketing skills and those I teach by day as a professor and applying it to my own works.
An area I have been truly refining is incorporating, that of sharing, my process with my audience. I had the pleasure a few weeks ago to see professional fiber artist Ruth Miller discussing her process. She specializing in making art portraiture using needle and thread.
The detailed hand embroidered works of fiber artist Ruth Miller
I listened closely as Ms. Miller highlighted her process which included:
Ms. Miller’s works typically take one year to complete
Originally from New York, Ms. Miller transported herself to gulf coast of the US, Mississippi, where she had the arduous task of transforming dilapidated property into first, a living space. Thereafter, she created her studio. She shared “before” and “after” photos allowing you to garner an intimacy of the diligent transition and dedication to be able to create her work.
She talked of special threads used and how one company she liked went out of business forcing her to seek another outlet.
She notes how she first sketches out her work and then begins to create using multiple needles.
She shared how her process includes stitching and removing threads to get the right shape so that images are as exact to the actual person as possbile.
I was most moved by her words, how she proceeds through her day and what it takes to truly live and make a living as a professional artist.
One of the areas I have been contemplating is the framing of my work. Should I or shouldn’t I? I just could not see covering up my fiber works with glass yet felt kind of guilty that my art should be in glass, you know, like traditional art. I have opted for no frame and felt excited when Ms. Miller advised that fiber needs to breathe. It is “alive”. When it is covered up, it tends to fog up.
Well, a couple of days later, while doing some outside photography of my smaller pieces, the Chit Chat pins mentioned in a recent blogs…while shooting pieces, I had some in a plastic bag outside in the sun. I could not believe when I turned back to them ten minutes later, the bag was filled with fog. Holy Cow!, the fiber does breathe…they are “alive”. To further confirm, when I had them displayed at a festival, comments included how much the pins looked like tiny little people, living little folks.
Yes, the wool, the fiber is alive with the energy and love I use to create them.
Fiber needs to be in the open; it needs to breathe…no framing!
Described as “tiny, little living folks”, my Chit Chat pins go unframed so they can breathe.