If you have not paid a visit to Jude Hill and her Spirit Cloth blog, you are missing a master storyteller in action. Her narrative pieces are truly wonderful, not only for the words she uses to tell about the pieces, but the embroidery and applique is visually wonderful. She tells stories that are mythical….and real at the same time.

I have been thinking a lot about that lately, stories, that is…and how they are told. And also I have been thinking about outsider art as well….as in, untrained people making art(that’s me-the untrained part) wondering if having training helps you tell your story better.I often think most of my stories would begin the same way..once upon a time there was a little girl.
And then what???? Do i put the words on the fabric? How could i illustrate in fabric the concept of Once? I want to say, Once(and only ONCE) Upon A Time and Far Away there was a very little girl named me…because to tell the truth, when i look back that far, it has the aura of being a fairy tale…of being something the “I” that i am now has no real connection to…it is remembered as a well loved story, a wish that it could be the same again in innocence and possibility.But then I always have wished that magic was real and that the rainbows in the oily water next to a street curb were a reflection of something wonderful just underneath, instead of just gritty rain water. And yes, I wanted to climb inside the bubbles that i blew and go all over the world and see it through curved rainbows.I used to think i lived a charmed life….then i realized i was just living my life as it came unrolling like a carpet toward me….or, to put it another way, the life i had by jumping always headlong into the future. And here I am….wanting to tell the story of how the unknown and always exciting tidbit of the future that the days always seemed…how they became THIS life, THIS set of circumstances. And how time has slowed down and speeded up. The days go slower and the years go faster. It’s not that i want to see how it all turns out, mostly because i think it has already been all turned out…..and anyway, we all know how it all turns out. Remembered by friends and family for a time, by works, for a time(maybe) and after that the only record is your name on paper or stone. So, would you rather be the grasshopper or the ant?

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