Something of a Challenge

Several weeks ago, on the QuiltArt discussion list, ideas for a group challenge were floated and commented on.  One that caught my attention was a challenge based on words that had multiple and very different meanings.  One offering was the word “resist”.  In the present time, that word has come to represent a political movement.  But it also refers to a substance used to block the flow of paint/ink/dye on paper or fabric.  I have no idea if the proposal ever gained any traction, as most of the discussion takes place on Facebook, in which I do not participate.

But the idea of “resist” as a starting point stuck with me.  If one resists something, it could be said that one opposes it.  Which led me to thinking about opposites.

For many years, I have been interested in the historical and contemporary meanings ascribed to colors.  I have put together quite the list, and it has been put to use as a point of inspiration or refinement of an idea in the creation of my artwork.  It has not been my practice to produce blatantly political work, but I liked the idea of using color as representative placeholders.  To the viewer not well versed in color symbolism, it would just be another modestly attractive piece to hang on the wall.

The list is broken into positive and negative attributes, and I remembered that the color yellow has some negative characteristics that might serve as a starting place:  deceit, instability, betrayal, covetousness, treachery.  Grabbing my trusty color wheel, I found purple directly across the way, and checked the positive attributes list:  dignity, leadership, truth, intelligence, self-control.  Now, granted, these are just a few entries on each list, but it set up a nice juxtaposition.

I have a plan forming, and hope to get to the studio soon to put it into action.  Whether the challenge ever happens in the QuiltArt group, it led me in an interesting direction.  Pictures to follow, as soon as I have something to show.

However you choose to celebrate, my little chickadees, I wish you peace, good health, and all the blessings of the season.


Once Upon A Time . . .

there was a mixed media textile artist who was married to her most dearly beloved husband, Van, who was also her photographer, webmaster, publicist, and wizard in the kitchen.  She spent her time making things and traveling around teaching people how to do what she did.  He spent his time helping others with their various and assorted computer and publishing issues, and generally keeping all the balls in the air.

Never a truly healthy person, he fell victim to cancer, and the next four years were spent consulting with a long list of medical personnel, enduring various treatments, and generally living on hope for a cure.  She left her world of art and teaching to take care of her most dearly beloved.  In the midst of this stressful time, they lost their home due to their inability to work much, and became homeless.

A month before his demise, Van’s computer empire crashed.  He was far too ill to do anything about it, and she lost her email, website, blog, photography, database – everything.  As it turned out, he also neglected to leave behind a list of his passwords, so no one else could get in and do anything about it.  But a kindly hacker tried, and some things were retrieved (mostly older work), until one day the whole mess caught fire and what was left was well and truly gone.

Van died on June 28, 2017, so I can’t say that we all lived happily ever after, but a year+ has passed and I can say that a few steps in the direction of the studio have taken place.  I have a couple of lectures and a week of teaching on the books, and I miss him every day.

While we were homeless, I did manage to create a small series with the theme of “Peace”, which I desperately needed at the time.  They all have words of peace, and those words are the titles.

Grace and Peace by Larkin Jean Van Horn
Grace and Peace by Larkin Jean Van Horn

That’s all for now, my little chickadees.  Be happy, create wildly, love extravagantly!