Detail from "Rain Dance," an original quilt by Sherrie Spangler

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

"In the depth of winter ..."

Somewhere near Monterey, CA, in the summer.
I feel like the gargoyle, hunkered down
and trying to remember what summer feels like.

 In the depth of winter,
I finally learned
that within me there lay
an invincible summer.

Albert Camus (1913 - 1960)

A sewing friend sent me this Camus quote today and said it should be my mantra. I told her that I don't think there's a summer inside of me, although I keep trying to imagine that it's so. I dread the dark winters and I long for endless summer light. The Northwest is not the best place for someone like me, but in the spirit of being positive, I'm posting some of the photos I took when the days were bright and colors clear.

Western Washington in the summer

My daughter's former yard in Olympia, in May

A quilt that I made sometime in the summer in Illinois.
I called it "Garden Gone Wild."

Perhaps I am a bear,
or some hibernating animal underneath,
for the instinct to be half asleep all winter
is so strong in me.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Now this quote about hibernation is more me. I don't get much art quilting done in the winter because I just want to hibernate. Blogging is easier ... I guess because writers are used to working in dark, cold garrets, but artists need good natural light.

This is why Western Washington is home to so many writers.

And this is why New Mexico is home to so many artists.
I took this photo in Silver City, NM, in March years ago.
I want to live in New Mexico.

Detail of "Study In Green," which I made in the summer.

Dave walks among the giants in coastal California.

One of my quilts for the Journal Quilt Project.
I used torn masking tape as a resist on black fabric.

I took this photo in Sequoia several years AFTER
I made the little quiltlet below.
I just discovered the similarity while going through my photo files.

There's a certain Slant of light,
Winter Afternoons --
That oppresses,
like the Heft Of Cathedral Tunes --

Emily Dickinson

Oh Emily, I can relate. Poor Emily's poems may have taken a different turn if she could have visited Hawaii in January:

And I'll bet she never soaked up the sun on the beaches in Southern California:

Somewhere south of L.A. in the summer.

Detail from "Beach Houses."
I painted the fabric while California dreaming.

One kind word
can warm three winter months.

Japanese proverb

Thanks, Linda, for inspiring this entire post
with that one quote!

(That's Linda's embroidery at the end of the last post.)
Have a colorful day


Margie Kraft said...

Hi Sherrie - here's wishing you a colorful day from Idaho. I've posted some color for you on my blog :-) We don't have any natural desert color except dead-brown right now, so this is the next best thing IMO.

JoAnn Deck said...

Sherri, I totally relate to your feelings about the overcast skies. Any morning that I wake up to sunshine energizes my creative muse. Bright track lighting in my main workroom installed a few months ago has been a blessing.

Judys Fiber Art said...

Well dream on. It rained mud on us yesterday. Blamed it on high winds moving across Texas. But here in southwest Missouri, Spring is just 3 weeks away. Can't wait.

The Idaho Beauty said...

I've never had much interest in the southwest, in spite of the raves of artists. However, in this book I'm reading (where I stumbled upon the Society of Six) in case after case, artists who came from the east of midwest made very similar comments about the impact of the geography as well as the colors and the antiquity. And it so shows in their artwork from their stay there. So I find myself rethinking this dismissal of the southwest I've always had. I really know little of it, short of a family vacation mostly driving from a to be to c, and too young for it to make the same kind of impression it would today. I'm thinking a self-imposed residency might be in order...

Sherrie Spangler said...

Thanks everyone! Feedback energizes me almost as much as sunshine!

Sheila, Sheila, you need to experience the Southwest as the artist that you are. The light and air are truly incredible. When I lived in El Paso and spent a lot of time in New Mexico I never tired of the skies, sunsets, light on the desert rocks, the smell after a rain ... the heat lightning forking across a wide green valley, the perfume of pinyon pine and miles of yellow poppies carpeting the spring desert!

The Idaho Beauty said...

It's pretty hard to entice a mountain girl who loves her lakes and streams with the alleged charms of the desert. But I'll buy your light and air argument. It's one of the reasons I want to visit New Zealand and possibly Australia some day - the color there is just different.

Jean S said...

My son has problems with the dark winter days and I bought him one of the bright lights made just for that purpose. He sits under it up to an hour in the mornings and it's made a huge difference in how he feels. I got his at Costco. You might think about trying one of these.

Jean S.