Monday, November 19, 2012

Confusion


Warm weather in November has caused confusion in the garden because we live in the Northern Hemisphere and winter should be approaching.  The pear and apple trees blossomed in all their glory.
Other trees and plants are making a comeback after the huge hailstorm in mid-October. However, they seem confused about the season because of the balmy weather. New leaves and flowers grace the cumquat tree, whose large leaves (about 10" long) are mostly shredded. 
The problem : our climate is off-kilter and after the Sandy mega-storm most people appear to understand that—finally.
         A number of years ago an advice column caught my eye. A young marine biologist complained of unhappiness and depression stemming mostly from her job. She felt that the biologist’s job had been reduced to "documenting the decline." The advice dished out cavalierly ?  Change jobs.
Excuse me ?! It seems to me that we are beyond that option. Climate change and the decline of the planet must be faced by everyone or else. Given the greed of the multinationals and the industrial/military complex, the or else may be inevitable. True, humanity has been on the edge of extinction for most of its existence, and every generation faces horrendous events. My father fought in WWII, my grandfather in WWI, and an ancestor fought in the American Revolution. I never heard my father or grandfather speak of these nightmares. They preferred to hide their memories and try to live "normal" lives, I suppose.
Not only does terrible violence face us (the evening news is just a small sampling), but nature’s backlash reminds us that we’ve really made a mess of things. And yet, in an attempt to survive, we may find kindness, compassion, and beauty around us.
It seemed appropriate, then, that the apple blossoms appear in my sketchbook/ journal as an unusual event. Lovely in their light pinks surrounded by the spring green of new leaves, they would normally represent hope and renewal. However, these blossoms are doomed and so I chose a dark background fabric suggested by one of the photos I took. (It was about to rain, so plein air sketching was out of the question. I had to sketch from the photo, which I would usually consider cheating).
The background presented technical problems. I sketched in white pencil, which tended to erase. So I stitched the design first.
I snipped pieces of fabric to fit within the lines, allowing the dark background to show. It gives sort of a cloisonné or mosaic effect.
Then, the free motion stitching.
And so, I will gently "document the decline" while giving thanks for all the blessings. And wishing all those who celebrate Thanksgiving this week a wonderful holiday.
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By the way. After much reflection, I decided to start a new blog of tiny bits, MulticoloredSnippets, that serves as a sort of daily journal in which I keep track of my work/play. Possibly of no interest to anybody but myself, more photos than text, unpolished. http://multicoloredsnippets.blogspot.com/

26 comments:

fiberchick said...

I love your use of the plaid as background. It is hard not to worry that climate change is irreversible. We used to have hot summers and long cold winters. Now we have an enormous amount of thunderstorms and rain which cause chronic flooding... Scary...

Jodi said...

Thought-provoking post - thanks for that. And your piece is lovely! Perfect color combos, and wonderful background fabric! Happy Thanksgiving to you, also!

Jodi said...

I just looked thru your snippets blog - and wow! I think I might just have to try some art quilting some day soon. Yours is sooo very pretty! And not boring at all!!

Nifty Quilts said...

I like the look of this piece, the plaid as contrast, the stitching, the informality, the sentiment. I'm watching a documentary on the Dust Bowl by Ken Burns on PBS. It's a little heartening to see that things have been worse.

Becky said...

Wow! That is shocking! Climate change concerns me greatly as both me and my husband work / have worked in natural resource fields. The warning signs were there decades ago, and yet we still seem to be ignoring them. Maybe when food starts to run out because the fruit trees bloom in Novemeber we'll wake up?

Nancy said...

Change jobs? Change Jobs?? CHANGE JOBS??? Oh brother!
Your piece is really beautiful, the dark background works especially well.

Nancy said...

PS Love the new blog! Exploring your thoughts on your work and seeing it up close...very good:)

Els said...

Love your sketchbook work !
(must look at your snippets now ..... )

Rachaeldaisy said...

This is another wonderful sketchbook page, I love all the movement in the leaves with different greens and stitches.

Anneliese said...

I love your apple blossom piece. Its a piece of art - unique!

O'Quilts said...

Love the new blog....I want to comment and join though...puh..leeze...

U r inspiring:)

Quilteuse Forever said...

Nous avons aussi dans le sud de la France ce bizarre temps printanier... Depuis le temps --30 ans ?-- que j'entends parler du massacre de l'équilibre si complexe de notre Terre, on en voit maintenant les effets concrets. Ma modeste action est de sensibiliser les enfants dès que je peux. Et profiter des belles choses, des belles personnes, partager de bons moments pour ne pas trop déprimer. Je ressens très fort de ce que tu exprimes si bien avec tes fleurs de pommier en novembre... by the way, soo beautiful.

Martha Wolfe said...

I just love your composition and am envious of your productivity. You create so many beautiful things! And now I am thinking a mini-blog is a perfect idea! Thank you for your visits and comments to my blog.
M

Mo Crow said...

finding beauty in the darkest days is the job of the artist, you give me hope that we can mend our ways Nadia

rtquilter said...

Beautiful, nadia! Can't wait to see the new blog !

JennyPennyPoppy said...

It never ceases to amaze me that some people still deny that global weather patterns are changing!! Thanks for showing how you made your apple blossom piece. I always appreciate the pictures and explanation of ones creative process. Really like your snippet blog and will definitely be visiting :)

Suzanna said...

Nadia, it's a beautiful, thoughtful piece and good to document all the strange changes. Also, I've been enjoying your new blog...

gloria said...

Hola Nadia, te felicito por tu trabajos, son unas flores muy bonitas. Tienes razón, es responsabilidad de todas las personas que habitamos en este planeta cuidar de el. Besos!!!.

Linda A. Miller said...

Hi Nadia- I love your "gentle" documentation..beauty with sadness. Kindness is the best path. Happy Thanksgiving!

Merilyn said...

Another delightful piece Nadia! Love the photos too!! Our summers have changed a lot over the years too, we used to get frequent short bursts of tropical rain, now the days are long and hot! I think this Christmas will be another very warm one (Australia). I'll pop over to your other blog!

Annette said...

Hiya, I've paid a return visit, love your work with the apple blossoms and the pomegranate pieces too. Thankyou for you kind comments..
hugs

Roxanne said...

Nadia, I find your work refreshing whether it's your mosaic pieces or you art quilts. I've signed on to follow your other blog too.

Emma said...

Your blossom stitch sketching is beautiful but as you say we need to rearrange out thoughts to be seeing it out of season, out of kilter. No blossom in my Isle of Skye garden!)

I've been catching up here, I love your lemons & wild boar ;) When did you start your stitch sketchbook? I want to go back to it's beginning.

MulticoloredPieces said...

To answer Emma's comment: I just started the Textile Sketchbook at the beginning of November. As I finish entries, I'll put them into the "Textile Sketchbook" page with the tab at the top (underneath "MulticoloredPieces"). Did anybody notice that I'm getting organized?!

Minka said...

Wonderful sketch and colors!

Kathy said...

How in the world do you do this?? It's beautiful. I love the ideal of it and the way you go about doing it. Way to neat!!