Friday, August 30, 2013

Final Post on Blogger: Moving to a new Blog site

This will be my final blog post here on Blogger.  I have built a new website and have within it an integrated blog and from now on I will be posting exclusively on the blog located at www.doanart.com

I will keep the majority of my past posts archived here for the time being, but going forward, I hope you will follow me over to my new site and new blog.  I have and will always appreciate your support and interest in my work!

Antony
DoAn Art

Interested in seeing and learning about my exploration into tapestry weaving?
A monthly donation in an amount of your choosing will grant you access to my behind the scenes studio blog DoAnArt Studio where you will see tapestry and other works in progress and gain insights into my process and my inspirations. Your donation will help in the creation of art!

Just click on the link below:

Donate now!
DoAn Art is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the purposes of DoAn Art must be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.  
Subscribe in a reader
All artwork, photos and text © Copyright 2005-2013 DoAn Art (Antony Galbraith) unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Antony Galbraith.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

American Goldfinch


I will be focusing a lot of my sculpture work for the fall season, in anticipation for a show and the holidays.  It may seem strange to begin preparing work for something so far away, but needle felting sculptures (as some may know) take quite a bit of time, especially if adding the amount of detail I like.   It is important to get started, so I will have a good assortment of wild creatures on display!

Here is my sculpture of an American Goldfinch. Now that the male bird's winter plumage have molted to its summer gold and black finery...I felt a compulsion to create a sculpture using those bold colors! I particularly enjoyed working on the details of the wings and tail.  While it is not the most complicated pattern a bird can have, it certainly gave me enough to focus on.  Each line and white spot is carefully felted in separately. It can be a tedious process, but it is well worth it for the end result.

I am looking forward to some future, more complex colors and patterns. More to come!

Antony

Weaving Update: 
I am well into my fifth sampler using my handmade copper pipe loom. My skills are improving and the results, I believe are evident.


Interested in seeing and learning about my exploration into tapestry weaving?
A monthly donation in an amount of your choosing will grant you access to my behind the scenes studio blog DoAnArt Studio where you will see tapestry and other works in progress and gain insights into my process and my inspirations. Your donation will help in the creation of art!

Just click on the link below:

Donate now!
DoAn Art is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the purposes of DoAn Art must be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.  
Subscribe in a reader
All artwork, photos and text © Copyright 2005-2013 DoAn Art (Antony Galbraith) unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Antony Galbraith.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Local Media Coverage


Last Monday, I had the wonderful opportunity to be interviewed and show some of my felting work on Mohawk Vally Living, a show that explores the arts, entertainment, culture and heritage of the greater Mohawk Valley region of New York State.  I have attached the video here, but you can also view it on the Mohawk Valley Living website.  My interview is about eight minutes in, but I encourage you to listen to the other interviews, it is all very interesting!  Just after my spot is an interview with Shannon Crandall, an artist that lives just around the corner from me who will be co-teaching the Felted Bead Workshop in June.  

Course I: Felted Flower 
Additionally I have new classes beginning in May teaching how to make needle-felted flowers, butterflies and bluebirds.  If you missed the courses the first time or would like to strengthen your skills and take them again, now is your chance to sign up.   Click here for more information or to register. 
Course III: Felted Bluebird
Course II: Felted Butterfly

Weaving Update: I recently built my own copper pipe loom and I am now working on my fifth weaving sampler.

Interested in seeing and learning about my exploration into tapestry weaving?
A monthly donation in an amount of your choosing will grant you access to my behind the scenes studio blog DoAnArt Studio where you will see tapestry and other works in progress and gain insights into my process and my inspirations. Your donation will help in the creation of art!


Just click on the link below:

Donate now!
DoAn Art is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the purposes of DoAn Art must be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.  
Subscribe in a reader
All artwork, photos and text © Copyright 2005-2013 DoAn Art (Antony Galbraith) unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Antony Galbraith.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Why Teaching Matters (To Me)

Last week I started offering classes and workshops on needle-felting techniques.  Just a week in and I am thoroughly enjoying sharing my skills with others.  It got me thinking, why is teaching art and crafts so important to me?

Teaching these classes and workshops support my overall goal of embracing the principles of Slow Living. I believe, with the speed of society and the over emphasis on technology and gadgets urging us to move faster and faster, the need to slow down and appreciate hand crafts and fine arts is greater than ever.

I believe, by offering arts and crafts courses, I can offer people a place to go, to step away from the hustle and bustle of today's stressful living. I teach out of my home in small groups, creating an environment that is comfortable, quiet and relaxing.  I even set up a mini cafe with coffee, tea and home baked goods (gluten free!) to further encourage the casual atmosphere as well as offer sustenance during long periods of creative work.  Students who take my classes and workshops get to experience a period of time that is focused on creating with a craft that requires patience and attention to detail, while also having the opportunity to explore and express their creative sides.  It is my hope that they can take these new skills home with them and make more room for quiet and creativity in their lives. However, If the only time they take advantage of this is during the classes, I believe it is still enriching.  

As a professional artist, teaching these classes also helps other people, who are not artists by vocation, to appreciate and better understand the process and work that goes into the artwork I create.  This is especially important in today's society where so little education in the arts is offered anymore. What better way to really understand art and craft than to have hands on experience? Some people will develop a greater appreciation, while others may find a new hobby or rekindle a long lost relationship to creativity. As an artist making a living through creativity, any of those outcomes pleases me.


In addition to the joy of teaching, I also feel strongly about creating community. I believe our society is seriously lacking in community. Our speed of living has lead us to believe that we have no time for connecting with others in a deeper and more meaningful way.  As we move from one task to another, many of us have our faces pointed to our smart phones, ipads, readers, or we are tuned out with headphones, or distracted in thoughts about all the tasks we must accomplish in the day.  At the same time, we follow the myth that we must do everything on our own and that relying on another is a weakness rather than a virtue.  

Holding the classes and workshops, to me, is also a form of community building. Self-esteem is boosted by the support of other students encouraging each other as they develop new creative skills. Friendships are made or strengthened when people come together to learn in an open and friendly atmosphere.  Connections and future networks are formed as well.   I have already started a connection with an artist nearby because of the classes we are both offering, which has lead to our collaborating on a workshop together later this spring.  Community is so important to a healthy future in any society.  When we have the opportunity to come together for a shared purpose, the world becomes less filled with strangers.  A world with less strangers becomes less threatening and less overwhelming and more filled with friends.

We can all benefit for periods of living Slow, tapping into our creative selves and finding different modes of expression.  We certainly don't all need to become career artists, but I believe we all have room and a need for creative expression.  Getting lost in a creative activity for a period of time can be soul opening and regenerating. In our fractured society of insta-information and social isolation, coming together in a community of learning and creative expression can be just what the soul needs. 

I hope I get to see you soon, I have some tea, fresh baked scones and a creative project waiting for you!

Antony

PS: information on classes and workshops I am teaching can be found HERE.


Weaving update: I now have my own handmade Navajo-style looms!  With much help from a woodcrafter friend, I have a large and a smaller loom to suit various weaving projects in the future.  To learn more about how the looms came to be, you can offer a monthly donation in an amount of your choosing and gain access to my behind the scenes studio blog DoAnArt Studio. There you will see tapestry and other works in progress and gain insights into my process and my inspirations. Your donation will help in the creation of art! 

Just click on the link below:

Donate now!
DoAn Art is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the purposes of DoAn Art must be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.  
Subscribe in a reader
All artwork, photos and text © Copyright 2005-2013 DoAn Art (Antony Galbraith) unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Antony Galbraith.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

About to Begin: Spring 2013 Classes

Spring 2013 Class Set Up
The spring courses for Needle-Felting Techniques are about to begin!  The first level afternoon class is full, but there is still room in the Saturday and Evening classes, as well as the 2nd and 3rd afternoon courses.  I invite you to come and learn a new skill in a cozy, home-setting.  

Are you a knitter or felted?  Needle felting is a great skill to learn for embellishing your hand made fiber goods.  Needle felting is a versatile craft that is limited only by your imagination (and patience!) in what you can make!  We'll start simple and gradually build on skills in the subsequent classes.  Every student will complete a course with a completed project to be proud of! Come fill one of the empty seats and have fun!

For more information about the courses offered and class times, please visit my website.

I hope to be teaching you soon!

Antony

Tapestry Update:

I have begun my fourth tapestry sampler.  Things are going smoothly so far, but I am about to start my first circular shape...a true tapestry weaving challenge!  



Interested in seeing and learning more about my exploration into tapestry weaving?
A monthly donation in an amount of your choosing will grant you access to my behind the scenes studio blog DoAnArt Studio where you will see tapestry and other works in progress and gain insights into my process and my inspirations. Your donation will help in the creation of art! 

Just click on the link below:

Donate now!
DoAn Art is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the purposes of DoAn Art must be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.  
Subscribe in a reader
All artwork, photos and text © Copyright 2005-2013 DoAn Art (Antony Galbraith) unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Antony Galbraith.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Starting Slow


My Slow living room
Following my surgery, I was put on restricted activity for the six weeks in order to prevent developing a hernia in the insicion area.  This restriction gave me time to reflect on how I would incorporate the principles of Slow living into my life. Moving slow and contemplating how this would become a framework for my life was rather easy while recovering from surgery. However, now that I can resume my normal activities, the real challenge of Slow living comes in. 

I am not by nature a slow person.  I think fast, I learn fast, I read fast, my movements tend to be quick.   Over time, this became normal and as the speed of society increased, so did I. However, some time ago I began to recognize that living mindlessly at increasing speeds has not helped me very much.  Rushing to just get things done leaves a feeling of dissatisfaction at the end of the day and a lot of projects left in various stages of completion. Now that I have comprehended the need to slow down how do I do it?
"There is more to life than increasing its speed." -- Gandhi
I recognized that in order to begin shaping a Slow lifestyle I would need to begin with the following:

  • Restructuring my life and develop a schedule that supports Slow living while allowing me to meet my personal needs and responsibilities.
  • Introduce mindfulness, the sacred and sacred ritual into my life.
  • Include regular activities that reinforce the practice and principles of Slowness.

I will address each of the above points in separate blog posts, starting with the first item in this post.

Restructuring my life and develop a schedule that supports Slow living while allowing me to meet my personal needs and responsibilities.

I recalled my time of training at the Buddhist temple in New York City and how following the monastic schedule offered a sense of peace and focus that permeated my entire day. I found through mindfulness practice and staying focused on whatever task was before me, my life was simplified and stress was reduced.  The schedule also allowed for more time in silence and stillness, which was healing and also helped reduce stress.  After leaving the temple, the structure that had shaped my life gradually fell aside, like the way a fragrence slowly disappates. The busy, hectic life focused on production and multi-tasking re-asserted itself. There were moments when I recognized the pace I was moving was too fast and I would pull back, or an illness or injury forced me to slow down. The rhythm of my life became like a pendulum swinging from one extreme to the other. Fast, slow, fast, slow, etc.  I needed an equilibrium. 

When I was in South Korea, I remember a particular Buddhist monk I spoke with. He had been excommunicated from the temple because of his insistence on leaving the temple to teach Buddhist practice to young adults. The elder monks believed this monk should stay at the temple and teach those who came. The monk believed he needed to go out and meet the people, especially the young adults who were rapidly being converted to Christianity. This monk told me over dinner that while he had been officially disrobed, he still saw himself as a monk. He lived his life like he was still at the temple, following the daily structure as it was practiced in the temple, living solely by the support and generosity of the people.  He told me that I could be a monk who lives in the world doing the work that is needed in the world rather than hiding away in a temple in the mountains.

Recalling this conversation I realized that one way to invite living Slow in my life is to create a structure that gives me the space to be slow, while still meeting the needs and responsibilities in my life. As a self-employed artist who's income is dependent on my ability to create the pressure to over work can be intense. Again I recalled my time in Buddhist training and how, despite the structure and many hours of meditation and prostrations I practiced, I still managed to be productive and meet my responsibilities and needs.  
"Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop." -- Ovid
So I sat down and began to devise a schedule of practice, work and living that will help support living Slow. This is a work in progress and over the next few weeks I will adjust and make changes as necessary. Here is the schedule I came up with:

6:00am -- wake/morning prayer-cleansing
6:15 - 7:45 am -- yoga/stretching/walk time
7:45 - 8:30 am -- breakfast & prep work for lunch
8:30 - 9:00 am -- meditation/reading/journal time
9:00 - Noon -- work time (include a few minutes of light stretching)
Noon - 1:30 pm -- lunch (largest meal of the day)
1:30 - 6:00 pm -- work time (include a few minutes of light stretching)
6:00 - 6:15 pm -- walk/light stretching/meditation time
6:15 - 7:00 pm -- dinner (light meal)
7:00 - 8:00 pm -- meditation/reading/walk/quiet time
8:00-11:00 pm -- free time 
11:00 pm -- bedtime/lights out

Lian teaches Slow living
I will put this in practice and see how it works for me and make changes as necessary. This schedule is meant to be a guide, not a straight-jacket to confine me. There will be times when adjustments will be needed based on the particular situation at hand.  In fact, right now, my energies are still quite low and I am rarely capable of much after 8 or 9pm. I expect, when my health improves, this will change. However, I believe having a guiding structure that can be superimposed over the day will be beneficial in practicing my Slow goals, much in the way the temple structure aided me. 

It is important to keep in mind that living a Slow lifestyle doesn't mean sitting around doing nothing. It is just that one becomes more discerning about what activities to include and to what extent they take up space.  This schedule is custom designed to meet my personal needs and responsibilities, it is not meant to fit all people's needs. We each need to examine our own lives and make the adjustments necessary to encourage Slowness. The first step will be identifying what you need to embrace and what to eliminate. Of course, this is only one element in incorporating the principles of Slow living into my life. Next I will work on practicing mindfulness and introducting sacredness and sacred ritual.

Yours creatively,
Antony

Tapestry News
I have completed my third tapestry sampler and shared in my Patron blog what I have learned about weaving so far. 


Interested in seeing and learning about my exploration into tapestry weaving?
A monthly donation in an amount of your choosing will grant you access to my behind the scenes studio blog DoAnArt Studio where you will see tapestry and other works in progress and gain insights into my process and my inspirations. Your donation will help in the creation of art! 

Just click on the link below:

Donate now!
DoAn Art is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the purposes of DoAn Art must be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.  
All artwork, photos and text © Copyright 2005-2013 DoAn Art (Antony Galbraith) unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Antony Galbraith.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

A Trip of Rabbits

I had to take a break from working on the mother cottontail rabbit and kittens in order to make some butterflies, flowers and birds for an upcoming series of courses and workshops I will be teaching starting in March. If you are interested in learning how to needle felt or in strengthening your skills there is still some spaces available in my Spring 2013 courses and workshops. To find out more about the courses or to sign up please visit my website.

Now that I am finished preparing for the Spring courses, I am back to working on  the rabbits.

This particular sculpture is really putting my mind to spring.  It seems, to me, an appropriate sculpture to be working on at this time of year with Rabbit's archetypal energy being connected to creativity, renewal, fertility and lunar energy.  There is nothing like baby bunny energy to get you geared up for spring!

By the way, the title of this post "A Trip of Rabbits" is one of the ways of referring to a group of rabbits.  I have always been fascinated by the naming of groups of animals.  Other ways of referring to a group of rabbits are a Warren, a Colony, a Trace, and a Bury.  Interesting isn't it?

Antony

Tapestry News:
I am about halfway through my third tapestry sampler.  In my Patron blog I share what I discovered about the complexity of tapestry weaving, despite its simple plain weave technique.  

Interested in learning about my exploration into tapestry weaving?
A monthly donation in an amount of your choosing will grant you access to my behind the scenes studio blog DoAnArt Studio where you will see tapestry and other works in progress and gain insights into my process and my inspirations. Your donation will help in the creation of art!


Click on the link below:

Donate now!
DoAn Art is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the purposes of DoAn Art must be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.  
Subscribe in a reader
All artwork, photos and text © Copyright 2005-2013 DoAn Art (Antony Galbraith) unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Antony Galbraith.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Flowers, Butterflies and Birds: Spring Classes and Workshops

Some of the needle-felting projects from the Spring 2013 courses

I will be teaching a series of courses  and workshops on needle-felting techniques to begin in March.

Students will learn how to make needle-felted flowers, leaves, butterflies, caterpillars a bird and nest.  The flowers and butterflies can be used to embellish knitted and felted goods, or be made into a decorative pin.  The range of skills achieved through the three courses will be basic appliqué, creating fine detail, and basic three dimensional sculpting.

A discount will be applied to those who sign up to attend all three courses.  

I will be teaching the courses out of my home in Oneida, NY.  Class size is limited, but I will be offering more than one date and time for each course to accommodate different schedules.  

If you are interested in learning a new craft or strengthening your already existing needle-felting skills, please visit my website for class information, dates, fees and to reserve your space in the class.  

Tapestry News:
I am well into my third tapestry sampler, using my new Schacht Tapestry loom I received as a holiday gift. Obstacles and challenges regarding warping and weaving have risen, but I am not undeterred!

Interested in seeing and learning about my exploration into tapestry weaving? 
A monthly donation in an amount of your choosing will grant you access to my behind the scenes studio blog DoAnArt Studio where you will see tapestry and other works in progress and gain insights into my process and my inspirations. Your donation will help in the creation of art! 

Click on the link below:

Donate now!
DoAn Art is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the purposes of DoAn Art must be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.  

Subscribe in a reader
All artwork, photos and text © Copyright 2005-2013 DoAn Art (Antony Galbraith) unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Antony Galbraith.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Là Fhèill Brìghde

Brigid: Igniting the Fire
This time of year marks the transition period between the powers of the Cailleach, the Winter Queen, and Brìghde, the Summer Goddess.  

Today, where I sit, the Cailleach, Beira, The Great Queen of Winter, is curled away in her bed, asleep.  The snow is shoveling down in heaps from the grey-white sky and blanketing the land.  The Cailleach was busy the last few days, raising the winds, spitting rain and icy snow, and wore herself out in the process. According to Celtic tradition, if Là Fhèill Brìghde (February 1st) is the day the Cailleach wanders out to gather firewood for the remainder of winter.  If she intends to make winter last, she will make certain the weather on the 1st is clear and sunny, so that she can easily gather the wood.  However, if the weather is foul, as it is here today, it means the Cailleach is sleeping.  If she is sleeping, she will run out of firewood and winter will end earlier.  If I go by the view out my window, Spring will be arriving a bit earlier than usual in my part of the land.  

While some of us might look upon this mythic tradition as a quaint rationalization of the unpredictable qualities of nature. How might this story resonate with me, a human living on the earth today?  We are not as dependent on the conditions of the weather as people were centuries ago, so why would such a myth hold any meaning for me? I like to look deeper:

Nature moves in cycles, repeating patterns, and we humans are not exempt from this.  We may choose to ignore the cycles, but we are subject to them nonetheless.  At this time of year, we experience a transition from darkness into light, as the days begin to noticeably lengthen.  Nature responds by an  increase in activity.  Rabbit tracks can be seen in the snow, evidence of their foraging for tender green shoots just beginning to emerge from the frozen ground.  Ewes begin lactating and Cows give birth at this time. Ravens start building nests and buds begin to appear on tree branches.  For many people, this is a difficult time of year.  Seasonal Affective Disorder afflicts many people who physically feel the lack of light during the winter months, and this time of year is often the most difficult.  These people experience directly the battle between the Cailleach and Brìghde.  They must decide whether the dark power of the Cailleach, will be defeated by the rising light of Brìghde or not.  Many fight their battles with aids of special lights that mimic the sunlight.

For those of us that do not experience such a direct example of this ancient power struggle, we still can utilize this time of transition.  We can look bravely into the darkness around us and bear witness to the growing light.  We can look at this time as one of renewal and re-affirm those resolutions we made at the beginning of the year.  We can remind ourselves that any challenges we currently experience, no matter how difficult and dark they may be, will pass, for in order for darkness to exist, light must exist as well. Often, we face the hardest parts of a challenge just before we transcend it.  This is not the time to give up or give in.  

Brìghde, as the goddess of wisdom, intelligence, creativity, and light, offers us the skills to apply her qualities to our lives, to live with passion and in accord with our spirit and true nature.  Brìghde's fire is the spark of life.  Now is the time to ignite!

Happy Là Fhèill Brìghde, Imbolc, St. Brighid's, Mid-Winter....
Antony

PS: The image here is of my painting Brigid: Igniting the Fire (ink on canvas).  Prints and greeting cards are available here.


Interested in seeing and learning about my exploration into tapestry weaving?
A monthly donation in an amount of your choosing will grant you access to my behind the scenes studio blog DoAnArt Studio where you will see tapestry and other works in progress and gain insights into my process and my inspirations. Your donation will help in the creation of art! 

Just click on the link below:

Donate now!
DoAn Art is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the purposes of DoAn Art must be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.  
Subscribe in a reader
All artwork, photos and text © Copyright 2005-2013 DoAn Art (Antony Galbraith) unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Antony Galbraith.

Friday, January 11, 2013

A Nest of Rabbits

I have started working on a family of Cottontail Rabbits. The sculpture will have a doe (the mother) and three kits (babies). The mother and first kit are complete. The second kit is nearly finished and the third you can see in the background needs a bit of work.

I think I needed to work with Rabbit energy.  I have a strong connection to the Hare (and it's close relative Rabbit).  For me this animal represents creativity and the creative life.  They live in a world filled with fear, with dangers threatening them everywhere.  Yet, despite this, Hare/Rabbit, must face the day and all its challenges.  It takes courage to leave the burrow and forage for food and find a mate.  It takes creativity and grace to outwit the predators that come from land and sky.

Often making art is difficult.  Sometimes making art forces me to face fears that rise up to confront me. They could be fears based on my own judgements about my work, fears concerning making a living or fears attached to the direction my work is taking me.  Rather than let the fear stifle me, I tell myself that the fear is only as bad as I let it become.  Rabbit (and Hare) teaches me that I have the ability to overcome fear, whether it comes from outside or inside. Through my creativity, I can find ways to transcend fear and experience a rebirth.  Rabbits and Hares, being the fertile creatures they are, are wonderful symbols for rebirth!

It seems appropriate that Rabbit comes to me at the start of the year, when I have committed to following where the fiber arts want to take me.  Perhaps working on this sculpture offers encouragement as I begin this journey and symbolizes the abundant creative energy that awaits me in exchange for letting go of the fear.

Antony


Interested in seeing and learning about my exploration into tapestry weaving?
A monthly donation in an amount of your choosing will grant you access to my behind the scenes studio blog DoAnArt Studio where you will see tapestry and other works in progress and gain insights into my process and my inspirations. Your donation will help in the creation of art!


Just click on the link below:

Donate now!
DoAn Art is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the purposes of DoAn Art must be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.  
 Subscribe in a reader
All artwork, photos and text © Copyright 2005-2013 DoAn Art (Antony Galbraith) unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any  downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Antony Galbraith.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Weaving a Way in 2013


 2012 was a challenging year for me.  It started out with my moving from Vermont to NewYork to care for my terminally ill grandmother.  It was a challenging situation, but I wouldn't have wanted to do it differently. I will treasure for the rest of my life to have spent my grandmother's remaining days caring for her.  We had plenty more good days together at the end than difficult ones.  I got to spend many hours sharing stories, dreams, and experiences with her.  Needless to say, my creative work was strained during this time, being a full time care giver takes a lot more energy than I realized.  I told myself that soon I would be able to get back to creating. 

 My grandmother, Dellmarie Galbraith, passed away in April of 2012.  But getting back to creating was stalled further by an illness that to this day has gone undiagnosed.  I spent the remaining of 2012 seeing doctors, getting test after test, undergoing procedure after procedure, with little answers to the cause of abdominal pain, significant weight loss (over 25 pounds), neurological problems and a slew of other symptoms. Reading and watching movies was difficult, due to difficulty concentrating, painting was difficult due to poor fine motor skills, I was fatigued and weak most of the time. I pushed and tried my hardest to do as much as I could within the limits I was experiencing.  Finally, at the beginning of December, I lost hope in ever really learning what was wrong.  I sunk into a depression, as I mourned for the loss of so many things I enjoyed.  Looking to 2013 with no answers or possible treatments was disheartening.


Then, one morning, I looked at the herb garden beside the driveway and saw a single stalk of yarrow blooming among dead ones.  I knew instantly this was a message sent to me and I would have to explore it more closely. I have learned that Yarrow is good for the digestive tract and is a plant brought to North America by the Europeans, who used it for many things medicinal and non-medicinal.  In spiritual practices Yarrow is considered an herb of Healing and Strength. In some  Native American traditions, Yarrow appears as a plant totem representing my month of birth.  I saw this plant growing green and blooming in early December, despite the ice and snow, and realized it was  representing me and telling me that giving in to despair was not the way to begin 2013.  It was time to change my approach to my illness.

I have since embraced the notion of slowing down and taking my time.  I realized pushing myself to feel better, to convince myself that I can solve and get over this health problem was actually contributing to my fatigue and lack of energy. It was time to pull back, and find a way to work within my limitations, not to fight against them. While my stamina is still quite low, pacing myself and slowing down has nearly eliminated the worst of the fatigue. I no longer have fights in my head that I am wasting time when I sit quietly for an hour or two doing absolutely nothing.  I still cannot say I feel rested or refreshed, but I definitely feel less burdened. 

I have embraced silence. I found I actually need it like food.  Too much noise, or action becomes overwhelming and drains me.  I engaged in the quiet activities of spinning and weaving and practiced moving slowly and sleeping more.  As I did this, I began to see a path opening through the fog that my life had become shrouded in.  Since it is not clear how long it will take for me to get back to full health, I had to make some changes, so that I had something to look forward to in 2013. 


 The major element of 2013 would have to focus on my speed and pacing.  Slowing down and pacing myself to conserve my strength and prevent over taxing myself was key.  One day, while meditating, I thought of the Slow Food Movement, which has been growing in popularity in recent years.  I wondered if there is such a thing as Slow Art, and soon found that there was.

Slow Art emerged out of the Slow Movement philosophy that began in 1986. The Slow philosophy accepts that everything changes, and while the rate of change appears to be increasing, the pressure to match this speed increases as well.  Despite the changes taking place around us, our basic needs have changed very little. The need for community, the need for care, the need for rest and companionship, the need for quiet and stillness are met only through slowness of connecting with one’s self, one another and the natural world.  While the worlds of technology, mass communication, commerce and the consumption of resources grows faster and faster, a balance is needed that allows us to recover slowness in our lives. 

I have since decided that in 2013, my primary focus will be embracing the practice of Slow Art, which will focus solely on fiber arts. Such arts will include custom pet portrait and totem animal sculptures, spinning yarn and the creation of various handwoven tapestries over the course of the year.  

My practice of Slow Art will include:
  •  meditation and mindfulness;
  •  an exploration and appreciation of the history of spinning and tapestry weaving;
  •  the use of re-usable, recycled and sustainable materials;
  •  putting time into creating my own materials; 
  •  the creation of artwork from these materials and practices.
My activities in 2013 will include:
  • Creating custom needle-felted sculptures;
  • Hand spinning and dyeing yarn for tapestries;
  • Building my own tapestry looms;
  • Designing and hand weaving tapestries;
  • Following the progression of my practice through blogs and personal journals.

My public blog DoAn Art  will focus primarily on my needle-felted sculpture work and living the practice of Slow Art.  You can sign up for free updates on the subscription "Don't Miss a Post!" link on the blog page.

My private, patron-only blog DoAn Art Studio will share my exploration of tapestry weaving, loom building, the making and dying of yarn.  This blog will share works in progress and excerpts from my person journal. A monthly donation in an amount of your choosing will grant you access to the blog. You can post donations through my Fiscal Sponsor: Fractured Atlas Fiscal Sponsorship: DoAn Art. Upon donation I will send you an email on how to access the DoAn Art Studio blog site.


Donations received will go toward the purchase of supplies and to assist in administrative costs to support my efforts to produce artwork that celebrates nature and the virtues of embracing the philosophy of the Slow Movement.

It is my hope that I will demonstrate that my current illness does not have to be a hindrance, but the catalyst for change that will prove to be beneficial not only for myself and my art, but will allow me to continue to work toward contributing toward a better world.

Thank you for your consideration and support!


DoAn
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DoAn Art is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the purposes of DoAn Art must be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.  
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All artwork, photos and text © Copyright 2005-2013 DoAn Art (Antony Galbraith) unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Antony Galbraith.

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