Wrapping up a life changing experience

It’s hard to believe that April is almost here.  I will be heading back to Mendocino, CA to wrap up my artist-in-residence experience.  I spent 6 weeks there in the fall and returned home to finish the body of work started there.  And now there is a body of work of 21 pieces!  Thank you Fed Ex ahead of time!  It has been pretty exhausting trying to realize this goal but I did it.  You know when you want to throw in the towel and question things you do because you get so tired?  I started feeling that way until yesterday when something from my past came back into my life to remind me of why I do art.

About 15 yrs ago I received an Illinois Arts Grant to make an art quilt for the local cancer center.  It hung for a long time and then a renovation took place.  The cancer center was no longer going to hang it and they were kind enough to call me to return it.  ‘Hope’ is a large piece, about 6′ x 4′.  I picked the piece up and knew immediately where its new home had to be.  I carried the piece across the medical campus to the cancer floor of the hospital.  A few years prior to that I spent a lot of time there with a young friend who eventually lost her battle with cancer.  Kristin & I would hang out & talk about how to make the cancer floor better for patients and we dreamed that someday we’d get art quilts in there.  So I walked into the area with the quilt and gave it to them.

It took a few years but some special funds allowed the piece to be framed.  As I entered the area, there it was!  Gloriously gracing the entrance area greeting people with its warmth.  I forgot how beautiful it was.  There are giant daffodils coming out of the dark background.  Daffodils are the cancer flower of hope.  I started to cry as I took this in with a few of the nurses who remembed Kristin as well.

Walking away I knew that my exhaustion made sense & I was reminded that I do art to try to make a difference.  I can’t cure cancer but maybe with my art I can make the journey a little more tolerable.

So find a reason to remind yourself why you do what you do.  Grasp a time that stood out and allow yourself to be exhausted but to celebrate that exhaustion.


About Deborah Fell Art Quilts

I am an artist whose medium is quilting. I create original art quilts which range from $25 to several thousand dollars. My work has generated international recognition. I teach art workshops and am a veteran teacher of over 30 years. I teach design, surface design on fabric, piecing and quilting and the business aspect of art.
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