So much snow fell on us yesterday. Our windows were covered by 3 pm, our world grey and dark. We have been having unseasonably cold temperatures, it feels more like we’ve been plunged in the depths of January and early February. I talk a lot about the weather… my journal since I was a teenage is half discussing the temperature, the rain or snow, the wind or how the trees bowed and danced. I love Mother Nature and simply observing her moods. When I write I think I focus on the weather first as though to clear my mind for what exactly it is I want to say, so please bear with me 😉
This morning, I went out to see the chickens (who refused to leave the coop when they spotted the snow), lit a fire and finally sat down to draw. My studio/work room had been overrun with my Christmas cards and packaging things up for orders. This morning, I shipped the last of my orders so my mind has cleared for new projects. I always have some kind of “Ode to…” brewing in my mind and this morning I worked out an Ode to working with the earth and with my hands. An ode to tradition bound up with the animals, insects and herbs that make a comfortable home. A home that goes so far beyond our front doors.
The sheep is at the center, providing us with wool that keeps our hands busy, our minds active and our bodies so warm (as well as countless other things – I’m currently contemplating insulating my chicken coop with wool and birch). The spindle – representative of transformation – spins the rough wool to the versatile material that we love. The quilt block is a marker of the home, of ancestors and narratives (to me personally, it is a symbol of love and comfort). The plants are dandelion, sage, lavender and Calendula – all magical, useful and healthful entities. I included oak leaves for wisdom, the boundary between worlds and for the love of the steadfast tree. Everything ties together to allude to traditional folk lives – working with animals and plants.
I developed it a little further by adding a home, emerging from the quilt.
And there she is! Homespun – an ode to a working kinship with the earth. I’m hoping to make some prints on rag paper. If anyone is interested, please let me know!
To leave you – some pictures from our walk through farmers’ fields today – in a foot of snow.