This story began several months ago when I was watching a television program called “Texas Country Reporter.” It is a travel show that features interesting people and places in Texas. I caught an episode one Saturday afternoon in which one of the people featured was an artist from Sugar Land, Texas. Sugar Land, the original home of Imperial brand sugar, is a suburb of Houston and the next door neighbor to my town of Richmond.
As soon as I saw the artist work I was smitten and her pieces seemed familiar to me. I am not sure where I have seen it before, but I knew I had. They are unique, recognizable, and immediately touched my heart.
Fast forward to last weekend. While on our road trip to Kerrville, I was, of course, perusing Instagram. I began following her as soon as the show was over. She had made several of her distinctive hearts and had them available for sale. One of these could be mine with one quick message to her. A few quick details later and I had selected the heart I wanted; and the best part was that I could pick it up at her studio! And I did, yesterday afternoon. What an incredible treat.
This is the heart I chose. I had seen some of her hearts with nails or screws and loved them. I chose this one because of the three nails piercing the heart. It just spoke to me.
Denise Greenwood Loveless is the artist and her website Art Of Greenwood is a feast for the eyes and soul. Her philosophy that we are all “perfectly imperfect” resonates throughout her work. She says she struggles to “keep cute” out of her work. Many of the character pieces and even the “heartists” as she calls her hearts, could easily cross over into cutesy if she were not mindful of her vision and purpose. I love the edgy nature of her work as I have always been drawn to the juxtaposition of elements in art. I love the way the heart looks on this piece of tatted lace. The structured rectangular lace is not too frilly, yet seems to be in slight conflict with the shiny glaze and the ruggedness of the nails.
When I arrived to pick up my heart, I was welcomed inside of her fabulous home and given a full tour. From the outside of the house it looked like a typical suburban home of the type likely built in the late 1980s to 1990s. But step inside and it is another world. I was like a kid in a candy store. I didn’t want to leave, but my momma taught me to not overstay my welcome. Her home is a cozy art gallery. Every bit a home…normal and lived in which I loved, but with vignettes and cozy corners everywhere. This is not a show place where you would be afraid to sit down, rather a unique, eclectic and beautiful home. There is art everywhere – hers as well as the work of others she admires. There are fabulous furniture pieces that she and her husband have rescued and refinished and it all adds up to an incredible place to live.
I discovered she and I share a love for collecting rocks and sticks, and in the course of a short one hour visit my soul felt refreshed, I had new art, a book recommendation (which I have ordered) and just the words I needed to hear about art, creativity, and life. She made me feel better about my apparent lack of focus as I hop all over the map in my creativity. At least that is my perspective.
As I toured the home and studio of an artist I admire, of course I internally bemoaned my shortcomings. I heard the voice that says, “Why can’t you do this?” Or, “If you only applied yourself you could be doing this kind of work as well.” Do you have those little nagging voices talk trash to you as well? I’m sure we all do in some form or fashion. There is really no place in this world for that kind of stuff. We all must actively silence those thoughts by replacing them immediately with words of truth: I have been given gifts and talents to use; I have value; My voice deserves to be heard; I can do this. You must prepare in advance because you never know when or where that internal enemy will rise up and try to knock you down. Arm your mind in advance with positives and tell yourself, out loud, who you really are.
I stood outside her house and told her that fiber art is not my passion…my must do or I will die a little inside thing. I told her that writing is that for me. And I believe that is true, but the the more I view the fiber as an artistic medium and not a product to produce for mass consumption, the more I see things I want to say with wool, a spindle, hook and loom. We are all multifaceted. I don’t have to choose one or the other. I can do both. And I believe I should do both.
I don’t know where my new heart will find a home. I tried a couple of places, but somehow it seems at home in my yarn room. I write here, I spin here, I crochet here, it seems only fitting that my new heart should live here as well. Time alone will tell.
I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes:
When our eyes see our hands doing the work of our heart the circle of creation is completed inside us… Michael Bridge
Until tomorrow, keep looking up, embrace today, and go have some fun!