Wednesday, June 5, 2013

He Went to Work Every Day

I remember when my grandfathers retired. Then I saw my father and his friends retire. After that, my husband and his friends began to retire. After years of observation, I can only conclude that retirement is difficult for men.

Having restrained, constrained, and contained myself for the last few months, a pressing idea burst forth--despite my lengthy To-Do-List.
I cut strips from men's shirts for the background which serves as a metaphor for life. However this looked a bit too blah. Life does have fiery moments, after all. 











I don't throw out much, but rather reincorporate bits and pieces from previous projects. Leftover constructed fabrics from Color Theme & Variations II (1998) added some pizzazz.
And a gray strip from the background of Pink-Red Minimal (work in progress) found its way into the strips.

A definite curve developed which will stay. I couldn't have done better if I had planned it. Life does not proceed in a straight line after all. A happy accident.
The temptation to simply stitch into the background strips tickled my fancy.
Yet, ultimately, the background exists for the five men's shirts, one for each business day. Only pinned for the moment, these shirts will disintegrate when I cut into them and do needle turn appliqué (and no, I have no idea how I'm going to do that). The collars and some of the cuffs will remain, a few buttons and labels here and there. The title He Went to Work Every Day...and then Retired whispers of the frustrations and yet the possibility of the liberation from constraints, a desire to fly away.


The owner of the shirts:

Here is my question: what would be the title for the women's version? She Worked Every Day of the Week (Including Weekends)...And Never Retired?


Linked to Nina Marie's "Off the Wall Friday."

32 comments:

Magpie's Mumblings said...

I love the premise of this - what a great tribute you are doing. As for the women's title - I'm too busy laughing to come up with one that's any better than yours!

Janet M. Atwill said...

But, worked into your quilt, he's flying! Is he being re-purposed?!

Merilyn said...

An amazing tribute to a life of work, duty, compliance, dedication, frustration and achievement!!! Indeed men retire!!! women on the other hand only ever wish they could!!!!

Celia Ambrose said...

uhmm...Woman's Work IS Never Done.

The Idaho Beauty said...

Fabulous - every bit of it. And yes on the women's title.

Connie Rose said...

What Sheila said! Love it!

Carole said...

Your post was the perfect read for me today.

My husband is getting near to the retiring age and I am worried about his lack of interests or hobbies. He's worked hard all these years and I appreciate that he has dedicated his life to supporting our family while I stayed home to care for everyone. He has a routine he follows each morning before he heads off. He drives pretty much the same root to work each day. Sits at the same desk.

What will he do to fill his time once he doesn't have a schedule to follow? We talk about it. I try to suggest hobbies or classes. He says he'll figure it out.

I hope he does and that he's open to change because things are going to change once he's home!

Beautiful work, colour, and patterns Nadia. Thank you for your stories. Have a great week. xo Carole

Muddling Through said...

I do love to watch you paint with fabrics! Always exciting and interesting.

Nat Palaskas said...

Thanks Nadia, you said it all for us women. Men have their place too and I hope they will find their new feet after retirement. I love how you created something from his work shirts. I will keep all my DH business shirts to do something with too. Now your job is to start training him chaos around the house. Mine is doing well as getting me coffee every morning!!! Hugs Nat

Minka said...

I've been working full time for 30 years....and I'm about to retire. So far it appears to be an easy transition....I'm a tad anxious in these final weeks but I really think its going to be wonderful! I will finally have time and energy to do the things I love! I'm so grateful to have found Jude's circle ...including you...as role models for my new daily life.

Susan Christensen said...

Nadia I am very excited about this piece and hope to see it when complete. No suggestions for the womans' version, but I am thinking, for sure!
-sus

Becky said...

Great piece! I love the colors in it! That last photo is fantastic! Love the last line too... As I tell my husband and boys, a little gratitude goes a long way... I think with any work, paid, or unpaid, it's so important to feel appreciated.

Becky said...

Ha! Maybe that's why some men have such a hard time with retiring... they cease to do any work that makes them feel appreciated... (including housework)

Juanita said...

Great idea and title! As for the woman's piece - I think it would need to be a series:) because so many of us have many hats - we`ve worked outside the home, started our second shift at home after 5 pm, been mother,chauffeur,teacher,planner, cleaner, cook, costume maker, caregiver to parents, cheerleader,fixer,friend and still find time to create......have I forgotten anything? :)))

beth from still life pond said...

Wow! The size of this! She worked everyday and is working even harder now that he is not. Or maybe... "what's for lunch?" :)

Linda A. Miller said...

What a thought provoking project...love the colors, too.

Susan said...

I like the way you plan to use the shirts - look forward to seeing them stitched.

Smiling at all the women's part. and beth's comment above, "what's for lunch?"

I imagine my husband's retirement to be a long line of days like the ones when he now "works from home." Tricky days to say the least.

Mo Crow said...

well Old Man Crow and I will work until we die (we're old grasshoppers no home no savings) but we really like gardening to keep the rented roof over our heads and food in the bellies and we have slowed down a lot whilst the art and music sustains the hearts & souls

Anneliese said...

Nadia, lovely post again. There are husbands who suddenly mingle about in the kitchen - horror number one. But we get used to this as well. And after years and years of our learning we finally see the advantage. Ha, I am laughing.

Ayn said...

Intrigued to see how you incorporate those shirts, I'm sure it will turn out great. Lovely tribute, your colors and work always have such a crisp fresh light. Women's work is never done, but as artists, do we really mind?

Martha said...

I'm thinking that for women, it should read *she worked everyday and then she flew away.*

Martha said...

I do so enjoy reading about your process as well as seeing your beautiful work. Thanks.

Julia said...

I found your blog through Nina Maria's Off the Wall Friday. I found your work and writing very pleasurable indeed. Thank you for sharing.

Regina B Dunn said...

So wonderful! My husband retired yesterday. He's already worried about what I'm going to do with his work clothes. He's afraid I might quilt his underwear, too. LOL.

fiberchick said...

Everything about this project is wonderful!

Caroline Heinrichs said...

Nadia, how lovely an expression of retirement. My hubby retired this year and is busier than he was when he went to work, he tells me.
I can hardly wait to see this finished. LOL. Carli

Ángela said...

Beautiful work. Lovely post.
Hugs.

rtquilter said...

This is really brilliant, nadia!mi am soo impressed. It is a marvellous idea. Cannot wait to see the finished product.!

Chris Daly said...

What a fantastic idea Nadis! I feels like freedom. I hope your husband loves the finished quilt and enjoys his retirement. We quilters are lucky. We know what we will do when we retire.

Rachaeldaisy said...

What a wonderful project. I love what you are making, and saying with shirts.

sonja said...

If I were to make the woman's representable piece of it is perhaps
a clothes line with out beginning or end as it goes off the piece horizontally, as it is never done. Great shirt post and like the flying hubster!

Threadpainter said...

I am forever amazed at the creativity that some artists have ! Wonderful piece !