I have begun to weave a small tapestry for the Renditions non-juried exhibit that ATA is hosting this coming summer. As I designed and began this tapestry, I started asking myself why I was weaving it. It's funny, but I find that when I put a question like that 'out there,' the answers often start flooding in.
We went to see the recent Tom Hanks movie about Mr. Rogers last night. Many years ago, I watched a LOT of Mr. Rogers! When my oldest son was about 2 years old, he knew exactly when the show would be on, and we watched it everyday, sometimes twice a day. When Mr. Rogers said "Hello, neighbor!" each time, my son answered, "hello, dee-bor!" It was a wonderful movie, and brought back sweet memories. Also, it was about motivation; about why Fred Rogers did what he did, and why the reporter following him did what he did.
This morning, I read a random devotion by C S Lewis, and it turned out to be about motivation: specifically about the motivation to create, and how it is rarely, almost never, about wanting attention, glory, fame or fortune, as those things are rare results for creations. I mulled that over, on top of my Mr. Rogers mulling.
Several things have recently occurred to put me on this mind-path. First, I received top awards in two exhibits I participated in last year. That was great, but it did not feel at all like why I had created the pieces, or even why I had entered the exhibits. I also, in the past year, created two of the most challenging tapestries I have ever woven, and I believe them to be my best work, to date. I entered them both in American Tapestry Alliance's juried exhibit, ATB13, and they were both rejected. I have been very fortunate to have had work in at least 6 ATA juried exhibits, and I have also worked with jurors on 3 of them, so I know not to take the rejection of these tapestries to heart. Oddly, I did not even feel badly about this 'rejection,' which is also why, I think, I began thinking about motivation, about why I am compelled to continue creating tapestries. Tapestries take a long time to create. They are certainly not cheap to create, in either materials or labor.
When I was getting a second cup of coffee this morning, I picked up the morning paper, which my husband had left open to the comics. Beside the comic strips is the daily 'horoscope,' which, in our paper, is more like daily 'good advice.' This was mine today:
See what I'm saying? Answers start coming! The true answers came from within me, though, which, of course is how it always is. You can be nudged in a direction, but you have to get at the end result yourself.
Why I weave a particular tapestry has always been the same for me, at every step of my creative journey. I weave to 'see if I can' - each tapestry has been a challenge of some sort. It has been a 'can I really create this?' question that can only be answered by doing it. That is why I am weaving the small tapestry I'm working on now.... it is such a creative technical and design challenge, I am not even sure it will succeed, but I am determined to find out!
There is a second motivation as well, one I'm not sure I will ever quite understand. I am happy when I weave. I feel the contentment that comes when I feel like I am doing 'what I need to do,' for whatever reason. And that is very motivating!
|The Duet cKathySpoering 2019|
|"Graffiti Garden" cKathySpoering 2019|