Friday, February 22, 2013

To Risk and "Be"

The realization today was the downward pull of winter. While I did not mind shoveling the wet and heavy two-inches of snow that fell last night, it did not help my mood. I really had intended to clean the paper work area of my office, but the small containers of bits started calling to me. At first, it was dosed with a large amount of guilt. Am I becoming the person with bits too small to use? To brighten my mood, I decided to make a small collage ( 6 x 4.5 inches) only using things I had in one of my containers of small bits. The background is from a card made by Marianne Hammett of Chicago. The silk piece was applied to the card so crooked that it made me crazy and I could never mail it to anyone. I think I did a good job of camouflaging the crookedness by adding the wave trim and cutting the card.   I don't know what she uses but I also discovered almost nothing sticks to the silk! So efforts to change it failed although if you look closely you can see some stamping that I attempted. I do like the way I was able to change the white around the silk. The image of the woman is from a card my friend Marie Z. Johansen created and has sent me several times. Love it! I added the cherry blossom to her forehead and her "halo." I will gladly gift "BE" to Marie if she would like to have it. The words are reminders to myself and were left over from test prints for my 12-12-12 quilt.

This does show me, once again, that sometimes a limited palette works and what is needed to create. Too many choices can be just as bad as too few. Of course, it did not make much of a dent in my small bits, but it did brighten my mood.

While working on this piece, my mind went back to several conversations I have had this week on risk. I listened to one friend give a list of endless excuses of why she cannot be creative and so much of it was fear-based. Does trying new things take courage?  Is trying and failing such a bad thing? I frequently ask people who are afraid of risk, "What is the biggest chance you have ever taken?" I realize that getting on a plane and traveling to an unknown place a third of the world away is foreign to most people. But something is lost in our obsessive concern for safety and security--the spirit of adventure. Life is a gamble in which we don't get to deal the cards, but we are obligated to play them to the best of our ability. None of us gets out alive. I would much rather take a risk and fail then to simply be safe.  On the flip side, I have reconnected with former student and friend Diane Fisher. She has asked me to help her guild be more creative/adventuresome. I am so honored and excited! So what is the biggest chance you have ever taken?

And I'm making this my Off the Wall Fridays post. We all have to support each other!


  1. Very thought provoking post! The biggest chance I've have ever taken is to admit I was on the wrong path (after a lot of effort to get there) and to change. It led me to return to school to study art. Failure can be a huge teacher, but sometimes the fear of failure can be so much more scary.

    1. Mandy, Why? If we learn from our mistakes, then should we not embrace the learning instead of focusing on the "failure"? One thing I have learned is the fear shrinks the more I embrace it instead of avoiding it. Thanks so much! Hugs, Karen

  2. The woman is an ancient Indian dancer...with the red 'pottu' and jewellery and flowers on the head.


  3. a big chance is always taking a chance! but the greatest is risk is taking no risk at all!


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