Gone is Gone

It has been a long time since I posted on this blog, so here is a brief update. I am no longer designing and creating vestments or wearable art, and I have not recently displayed or sold my work. This has been largely because I have stepped back from many parts of my life as I explore how living has changed for me after my transplant and the complications which followed it.

Since my surgeries, we also moved house, and I am still getting my studio organized because the kitchen, living areas, and home repairs took priority after the move. Unpacking and sorting my supplies, I have come across unfinished projects which I cannot resist working on. I also find supplies I had collected for specific purposes, and that leads to more distraction from the organizational task at hand, as I find myself beginning new projects.

We are living through unsettling times. I am grateful to be well during the pandemic, especially since I am in a high risk group. The drugs which necessarily suppress my immune system make it hard for me to fight off infection. Long before citizens were asked to isolate themselves, I was used to avoiding crowds. Being at home also suits the introspective part of my nature.

Sequestering myself during this pandemic is providing me a sabbatical of sorts:  space to think, rest, and create. Of course there are worries and anxiety, but I have to let them go ~ through reading, writing, going for walks outdoors, being in touch with family and friends via emails, texts and video chats. Soon I will be able to work in my gardens. Another important way I remain sane, stay in touch with myself, and feel productive is to work in my studio. There are stories which must be told.

The past couple of days I have been working on an altered book which I began before the move. The photo below is from a section of the book entitled “Shadows of the Past,” and this particular spread is called “Gone is Gone.” The book has many tucked-away places for writing, and envelopes for enclosing small objects.

Book of Shadows, "Gone is Gone"

There are empty pages in the book waiting for images and interactive fun, and I am bursting with ideas. Now I have the time to work on it.

Here’s hoping we all remain healthy, and create ways to find some peace and balance in our lives.

 

Winter in the Studio

This morning’s view out the studio windows:

A studio companion, handmade from felted woolen sweaters:

If you are in the vicinity of Columbia County, NY, and wish to visit my studio, email kjh@sanctuarywithoutwalls.com to set up an appointment.

Autumn in the studio

Dry, brown oak leaves, clinging to a branch. A crow resting among them. These things have found their way into my studio this season.

And outside the window, there is a splash of red.

Current work: an order for a red stole.

And preparations for ArtsWalk, Oct. 8 – 10. I hope to see you at Opening Night at the Columbia County Fairgrounds.