Friday, May 28, 2010

8 birds

The post below was written some time in late January or early February. It's a bit serious and contemplative. I just never got around to posting it and then wandered away from internetland in general for several months. Dez and Mike visited a while ago and while they were here I made two 18" pillow covers to match their quilt, including pieces that Dez had loved but had not made it in the final cut. In particular that pink patch with the Fridgeman and Sinkie Vs. Giant Evil Glazed Ham comic Corey drew. I also tried pilates with Dez in the morning and can honestly say that I very much prefer yoga to pilates; less sweating and jumping. So I need to either buy a yoga dvd or two or download something from the interwebs. Although, I did read in the paper that there is a new community center opening soon and they are supposed to be offering classes in yoga, pilates, and zumba and possibly, if there is enough demand for it, bellydance. Mm, ya, bellydance. I totally have to sign up for that and somehow find the money for it. I would practically die of happiness right about now if I found a good bellydance instructor. Silly financial situation and moving from metropolis to metropolis has made is exceedingly difficult to take lessons, but when we had DirecTV there was a bellydance lessons show that I loved to watch and dance to as often as possible. Without any further wee-hours-of-the-morning blathering, I'll stop and publish this. Derek and I are going to Arkansas for the weekend if not the better part of the upcoming week. Ostensibly for a family reunion o Saturday, but I haven't seen Gramma K in ages. Also, below is a pic of Dez and Mike with their new pillow covers. Lotsa love, y'all.

Cousin Mikey asked me while I was home in December, finishing the quilt, why there were so many birds on it and did your sister like birds that much? Well, no, birds really aren't her thing for the most part. And I wasn't 100% certain at the time why there were so many birds on it; I just know they belonged and they needed to be there. They were one of the few items I felt was paramount in making it to the finished item. It wasn't just an aesthetic I like this let's put it in thing but rather it felt like an actual need. And it couldn't be just any birds in any order; it had to be these birds and they had to go in these places.

A lot of things in my artworks from the past have a symbolic nature to them now that I think about them, but I was not aware of this at the time of making. I spent a lot of time wondering what birds needed to be on the quilt. I thought a little about why these birds in particular while I was still in MI, but hadn't come to a satisfactory explanation and have been wondering about them on and off since. It wasn't until I had left the quilt in Michigan and was looking through the pictures I took of it along with all the other family and travel pictures on my hard drive that I figured out the birds.

The birds on this quilt are my own version of a family portrait with all 8 members including sister's husband. There are 8 birds on the quilt, one for my sister's husband and one for each family member. The 2 silk screened crows/ravens are my sister and her husband because I wish for them long lives devoted to each other, a situation for which the corvidae family is known. The 2 painted peafowl are our parents and the 3 parrots represent our triplet brothers. 2 of the parrots are taken from the same print and represent our 2 identical brothers while the other is a wool embroidery, representing our fraternal brother. The fraternal parrot is embroidered and has a frame. This is because our fraternal brother was killed in a car accident and his life story is now complete whereas the other 2 are not and thus are not framed.

The last little bird, speaking in symbols and music notes, is me. I usually have such a very hard time explaining myself in words that it just doesn't happen, but not everything we say has to be in words all the time. I think that helps account for my affinity with stitch in general; sewing, embroidery, etc. all requiring forethought and concentration, giving the brain a chance to slow down and form cohesive ideas in a concrete, tactile way. I am not completely done with the quilt yet and will continue to add little bobs and bits as I visit with Dez and Mike over time. I think that's how stories work, though. You're never quite done with them until you are very really and truly done with everything else first.

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