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.

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