Absence makes the heart grow fonder

Here is my self portrait. Some yarns are hand spun and dyed. The rest are commercial crewel wool. It also contains hand spun buffalo down in the hair. (I collected it from tree trunks while camping in Montana, Wyoming, and Utah.) The bottom half is covered in English paper pieced hexagons of repurposed ABU pixelated camo. They were scraps from my husband’s USAF uniforms. (The insides of pockets are sometimes cut out and sewn flat to give a neater, more professional appearance.) This measures 11″ by 14″.

The juror in a local fiber show gave me a stinging comment about my bad design. I know the formula for a perfect composition. I’m pretty sure that most high school freshman art students know it, too.   Edit:  My point is that I choose not to follow rules and formulas.  I make what I want to make. 

I hope that you can see a sharp disconnect between the head and the “body.” That disconnect represents the friction of being a military spouse. The heart and the head aren’t together. The head must soldier on in real life while the heart must stay flat. I hope this is making sense.

Soldier on, friends.

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6 thoughts on “Absence makes the heart grow fonder

  1. I got it even if the bonehead juror didn’t. Years ago, I would enter my work in the Montana Winter Fair. The judges, supposedly Home Ec graduates, made some of the dumbest comments. One wondered why I put snaps all the way up the front of a western shirt, but put a button at the neck. I wanted to find the child, and take her to a Western wear store and show her. Just try to snap something at your neck!

  2. there is something so touching and beautiful about this piece. i think it’s your expression, your eyes.

    i have to ask – was the stinging comment about this piece? or what? local fiber judges, eesh. you are an artist.

    i am also really enthralled by the handspun buffalo down.

  3. I really like this piece alot and I especially love the composition. Something about the uplifted head and sideways glance, but with eyes that see without turning away, suggests both strength and vulnerability. I like what you said about the disconnect between the head and body of a military spouse.

    as to the juror, pfffttttt…. there are enough boring Bob Ross and Thomas Kincaid-inspired, perfectly composed works to fill a landfill more than once. Your work is edgy and the composition is a crucial part of that.

  4. It absolutely DOES make sense that teh head and heart aren’t connected — that one must soldier on. Wow, I live this every day, yet you have said it so much better than I ever could. BTW, I like your portrait despite teh juror’s opinion.

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