Expressions in White: excavations

10 Apr

Following along with cloth wizard Jude Hill —Jude Hill’s Spirit Cloth–and for the past so many months have been actively participating in her workshop–Spirit Diaries that has now morphed into a “What If” approach to expressing self through the medium of fiber.  I’m thinking  about that now.  About expressing.  Expression.  To express.  Thinking about the meaning as well as the “why” of it all.  To express, to represent by sign or symbol.  To symbolize.  Yes?  But no.  Here’s the definition I prefer–“to squeeze or press out.”  That’s it.  That’s what expressing self through fiber feels like.  To squeeze out, wring out,  distill self to bare essence, and then convey THAT.  And I’m wondering now, why in the world do I do this–why do I TRY to do this?  This excavation of self.  And honestly, I don’t know.  I know when I succeed at it–or don’t.  I just don’t know why.  And have arrived at the point where I realize that asking “why” is simply a futile exercise.  It doesn’t matter.  This is what I do simply because I can’t help myself– something inside is demanding to get out.

But really it’s so much more than that.  It’s a process that pits me straight flat up  next to all sorts of things.  Assumptions.   Beliefs.  Fears.  Joys.  Truths.  Understanding self.  Understanding period.  To express self.  It’s a process that sometimes feels like a journey through a meat grinder.  And sometimes it feels like a magic plunge down a long water slide.  So I could go on and on here but let’s not, just for the sake of attention span.

This “What If-ing” began as a study of white.  White?  Yep.  White.  And I was stuck from the beginning.  Just now pulled up some images I was seeing in my nearby environment, thinking about pattern, shadow, texture.  Thinking about the meaning of white.  I kept at it because of a sense that there was some kernel of knowledge to be gleaned by simply doing it, even though I didn’t want to.  Didn’t resonate with it.  Resisted it big time.  And what’s come from this process has been very interesting indeed.  White.  All color?  Absence of color?  I don’t know really.  But it’s come to represent, during this white what-if-ing–it’s come to represent a non-dual state.  A state of inclusiveness.  That existence is not either/or.  Not this or that.  Not one thing or another.  But everything. This AND that. One thing AND another. The pain WITH the pleasure. It just all IS. And for me, freedom comes with the acceptance and acknowledgement of that. So here. I was looking at white and not white. Curve and line. Inside outside. Animal, plant. Reflection and shadow.

a field of sunflowers in winter
the start of kombucha
my nest
inside outside
polarized rice and water
whiterice whitewater
white quartz. a gift from boy
shape in the banana’s center
white banana

And this came out of all of THAT. All of what I’ve tried to express in words. This became my understanding of what I’ve said here.

The first one is “Seeing Through.”


And then this. ” Freedom”

white feathers

15 Responses to “Expressions in White: excavations”

  1. Anonymous April 10, 2013 at 2:29 pm #

    there’s something about constantly learning to know self, too., for me at least. we are secrets to ourselves all along maybe
    and i love the orderly and beautiful first one, but it’s the second that is close to my heart. and maybe these two next to one another tell you a LOT?…love,


    • patricia April 10, 2013 at 4:30 pm #

      yes. your observation about the two pieces side by side–the order and the abandonment. two sides on one coin. and i find it interesting that i’m learning to be o.k. with the order–have railed against it for EVER–but it has its place. so good to hear from you. hope the computer is fixed?


  2. Anonymous April 10, 2013 at 2:31 pm #

    well..something new, with the spiffy new innards to this computer…i’ll need to identify self…
    it’s me…grace, the anon above. i used to get the switch to the wordpress identify box but now we have this instead. oh


  3. julie April 11, 2013 at 11:10 am #

    Yes, on a blind wall, I would have been hard pressed to identify both works as from the same artist . I applaud your willingness to ” journey through a meat grinder” to find these sides of yourself and to stand back and learn from them, too. By the way, they are both really lovely w/out any backstory, too!


    • patricia April 11, 2013 at 12:48 pm #

      ha–love that you wouldn’t have known both pieces were from the same–did you say artist? no no no. i’ve never considered myself THAT. over on what if Grace mentioned something about looking at the two different pieces as two parts of self–the ordered one and the wild thang. i posted there that all my life i’ve railed against the “ordered one”–part of myself that maybe felt too repressed by? predictable? conventional? i don’t know–you probably see where i’m going. but this is changing somewhat as finally at this ripe age i’m seeing that structure–yes even order–has its place. even cloth would not BE w/o the structure, right? so maybe some inner integration is going on. one time i posted to Jude that maybe i had a split personality–schitzo–ha. said in jest. she said she had those same thoughts about herself so i felt like i was in pretty good company. i’m so laughing about this now. thanks Julie.


      • Julie April 11, 2013 at 4:41 pm #

        You probably can create such self expressive and lovely pieces precisely because you don’t consider yourself an artist! My work got a lot better once I decided I was not an artist instead of working really hard to become one.


        • patricia April 11, 2013 at 4:49 pm #

          now that’s very interesting! so you put all of your energy into your art? rather than into “being” an artist? too cool


          • julie April 12, 2013 at 12:09 am #

            i dont know about “all my energy” since the only thing I sincerely do w/all my energy is lose and gain the same 15 lbs over and over again. I just know that just going, as Jude says, worked a lot better than trying.


  4. saskia April 11, 2013 at 11:13 am #

    hi there, have read and reread post here and wandered about in related posts via the tags, love the crow piece btw, reminds me of primordial soup, a piece I saw before seeing the crows, so in my mind soup comes before crows; ha see how a story can go starting from ‘here/now’ going back into the past, as is often the case when you first meet someone. Slowly I’m getting to know Patricia-in-blogland, who may closely resemble Patricia-in-the-real-world. You mention discovering several things in this post thru the journey into White, like existence includes everything and with that realization comes a sense of freedom and two different pieces evolved within this freedom and both are you, part of you at least.
    Do you know where you would like to go from here, does it have to be in cloth?
    Does that matter to you?
    I apologize if my questions seem impertinent, I am interested however.


    • patricia April 11, 2013 at 12:57 pm #

      oh Saskia. this is the most provocative comment, not at all impertinent. i love it. love your questions at the end. i could respond here and will a bit, but think these would be better entertained through email. what do you think? but briefly let me say that i’ve never known where i would go from here–wherever “here” happened to be. very curious of course about what’s around the corner, but to answer you directly, in one way it doesn’t matter to me. the man is talking really loud on the phone right now and i can’t concentrate–do you have my email address? love, much love xoxo


  5. Mo Crow April 13, 2013 at 9:40 pm #

    love seeing your two studies in white side by side & have been thinking a lot about how the what-if-ing is all about working form the inside out,allowing the process to lead the way from one thing into the next but it’s also about letting all the inspiration from the outside in, with Jude leading the circle into the white & we’re all moving the energy right along, it’s all so exciting & full on that I can’t touch the cloth at all at the moment but am enjoying being a part of all the energy moving into the light!


    • Mo Crow April 13, 2013 at 9:41 pm #

      that should read “from the inside out” but form kinda works too …


    • patricia April 13, 2013 at 10:41 pm #

      i love the way you’ve framed this–the working from the inside out (and that’s how i actually read it the first time) as well as from the outside in. again, not just one way or the other. all of it part of the band. and funny, you speak of moving into the light. just posted on what if–piece i’m calling “in light and mint.” ha! love xoxox


  6. nadia April 14, 2013 at 6:30 am #

    I like what you said about white as a non-dual state that has inclusiveness. Food for thought. And your two white pieces together demonstrate how you are “just going” and yet developing the ideas. Lovely work.


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