Saturday, November 17, 2012

A Questionable Act

I know people who know people who do things that might, under certain circumstances, be considered illegal.  I am talking about, of course, yarn bombing.

Yarn bombing inSweden

Yarn bombing usually takes the form of wrapping all sorts of public property in yarn:  trees, statues, buses.  It is done in the dead of night to protect the perpetrators.  I know people who recently yarn bombed the center of my little village.  They are the subversive group known as Knitters for Peace.  They struck last month and left a trail of 80 knitted pumpkins in their wake.

It would have been funny if they had done this at 8:30 at night instead of midnight (because everyone wanted to be in bed by 10).  It would have been funny if one of the participants had brought along her husband, kids, and dog in order to not draw attention to herself.  And it would have been really funny if one of the members, dressed entirely in camouflage for the purpose of stealth, had ended up standing on a brightly lit street corner, arms akimbo, waiting for his wife to finish a conversation with some friends whom she ran into unexpectedly.

I'm not saying I was there.  I'm not saying I witnessed these events.  But I would love to be a subversive Knitter someday.  First step - I have to learn to knit.

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Class

I had 3 students in my Inspiration class.  First we spent some time talking about where we, as artists, find inspiration: nature, museums, fabric stores, books, music, yoga and even little children.
my Inspiration Journal plus supplies
used to create it
Everyone seemed excited to make the journal.  They really liked the idea of using book pages to decorate the covers.
this book was made for a little girl

One student was a retired school librarian and found it difficult to tear pages out of the books.  She was finally able to do it and the results were excellent.
all the books made during the class
This is a project that everyone seems to like.  I look forward to teaching the class again.

Saturday, November 3, 2012


Tomorrow I am teaching a class on creative inspiration.  That doesn't mean I am an expert on the topic but I will be leading the students in a discussion of inspiration.  Where do we find artistic inspiration?  Sometimes it comes from an internal source (imagination, dreams) and sometimes external (nature, books, other artists).  Once inspired, how do we trust ourselves to carry out the artistic act?  This is often difficult for me.  There are many excuses that I can use for not following through with a creative idea: lack of time, materials, or knowledge.  I need to push through all the excuses and just start the work.  As Pablo Picasso said, "Inspiration exists, but it has to find us working."

Here are some excerpts from The Artist's Way that address the idea of inspiration.

“Art is an act of tuning in and dropping down the well.  It is as though all the stories, painting, music, performances in the world live just under the surface of our normal consciousness.  Like an underground river, they flow through us as a stream of ideas that we can tap down into.”

“Once you accept that it is natural to create, you can begin to accept a second idea – that the creator will hand you whatever you need for the project.  The minute you are willing to accept the help of this collaborator, you will see useful bits of help everywhere in your life.  Be alert: there is a second voice, a higher harmonic, adding to and augmenting your inner creative voice. This voice frequently shows itself in synchronicity.”
tombeardshaw @

I love to look for synchronicity in my life.  I often feel that The Universe is trying to tell me something, mostly positive and supportive.  At least, that's how I choose to interpret it.

The inspiration class also includes making an Inspiration Journal.  Everyone, including me, loves leaving class with a finished project.  I will let you know how it goes.