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SEEing – Embrace the Gift of Opening the Creative Eye

It’s officially the second half of the online sessions for Mixed Media Embroidered Journal and students from every corner of the globe are partying with their sketchbooks and journals. It is truly a wonderful thing to see all the experiments and curiosity that are afoot!

(Quick Advertisement: If you’re ready to take the plunge:  ***For the online series registration Visit the Schoolhouse To get the ‘What’s On’ email or to book me locally, Email: victoria@freedomofstitch.com.  Don’t forget to subscribe at the right so you get the Freedom of Stitch muse visiting YOUR inbox (about every 3-4 weeks).   If you’re local to Missouri — registration for the MO Fiber Artists Conference in Tan TarA MO is OPEN!!! Check it out & come play with me in the Mixed Media Lab for Fiber Artists!!)

So, In the online Mixed Media Stitch online series, students began on the theme ‘Nests and Trees’, Sandy from LaCenter is working toward something really special. We’ve explored Thread Salad and the ways of working with fiber in a dimensional way. At left, her work-in-progress nails the idea! (follow the Flickr link below to see more student work)

As we continue to consider the possibilities of working on paper, fabric, and even such non-traditional surfaces as window screen, the creativity if just bursting–  Which brings me to the question: Are YOU seeing with your creative eye?

If you are in the habit of moving through a day without exercising your creative vision then, hey bub, you’re MISSING out!! There is NO time like the present to get away from auto pilot seeing, break out of visual apathy, banish end-result finish line focus and be truly IN your journey from place to place, thought to thought.

How do I do this, you ask? EASY!  Look not for results, or satisfaction… or finishing the piece. Look, instead, at “what is”… Look for specifics like breathing in the smells at a particular moment, naming them to yourself, thinking of what they remind you of…  or, really LOOK at the textures in front of you.  Like these seed stitches wrapped with satin floss…  Try to recall at least TWO things that have those same textures or shapes in them…  By taking note of what’s right in front of you, and then relating it to something you remember or imagine, you’re forcing your creative eye to OPEN and EXPERIENCE with all of its might…

Students in the local Mixed Media Lab did just this when we began experimenting on Monday:

I started the night off with rubbings taken from my collection of pressed flowers. Using charcoal, soft pastel, graphite, and wax crayon, the artists really got into the possibilities of taking their time to develop a good result.  The room went silent as everyone focused their creative eye on technique, trying different pressures and approaches to capture the best lines. As each rubbing was layered and revealed, we were inspired to try each others flowers for different results.

It was also fun to combine materials — layering soft pastel over wax crayon was very effective.  We then used watercolor crayon dry, then worked back into it right on the paper or fabric with a wet paintbrush. The results were a very impressionistic painterly effect.  Overall, rubbings were a great success and produced lots of diverse background papers and fabrics to be used later.

After that, we shifted into paints — specifically Lumiere iridescent paint and craft acrylics.  Using folding and dipping, brushing and dyeing, we created custom dyed papers and tissues as layering elements for future work.

The coolest part was seeing the students explore new and different ways of mark making and pattern-ing with paint and paper or fabric.

Overall, it was a GREAT success.

As the artists began collecting their treasures, packing up supplies & hugging goodbye, I was reminded THIS is why I do what I do — creating a space for people to let their creativity run free is a cornerstone of MY being fulfilled. There is no comparison to the gasp or “a ha” moment when a student breaks through hesitation or doubt to realize BAM– I CREATED THAT!!!

I love sparking that fire of satisfaction in a self proclaimed “mess maker” — or better the “I am SO not creative” type.  I LOVE proving doubters absolutely WRONG, and setting them on a journey of discovery that can last a lifetime. Giving the gift of opening their creative eye. For me, THAT’s the work I am here to do…

Over in formal painting this week — I was lucky enough to have my work cut out for me:


While I demonstrated craft acrylics on a red sunflower, each student had their own flower or fruit to create.

Just watching them get into the groove of moving paint around the canvas to create texture in the strokes, or to experiment with shading and shadow is SO exhilarating!!

And, then, sharing the moment when the creative eye opens wide and with new confidence a student  rushes forward with certainty — choosing THIS line, or THAT color — is one of my greatest pleasures.  It’s experiencing the absolute certainty that you have manifested your own path successfully. Job done.


what do YOU want to manifest?

are you SEEing with your creative eye?

It’s time to GET BUSY, get FOCUSED, make a creative space…  and then SEE what shows up to play…


For a refresher, Visit the post on 3 inspirations including changing your location — strange spaces lure the eyes out to explore and play…

And remember: the online Mixed Media Stitched Journal class is only 1/2 way along, so it’s certainly NOT too late to jump in and explore something new! Visit the write up and see what others have said at the launch, then JUMP in with us!  Our little group spans the globe in every corner from Denmark to Australia, from Ohio to Wales — It’s certainly a one-of-a-kind group!

Need a visual boost? Visit the new Fearless Stitchers Gallery & Boneyard on Flickr. My students are sharing everything from works-in-progress to finished pieces.  While you’re there, check out the Mixed Media Embroidery Gallery which is now over 3500 works strong (!!!)

In the meantime, I’ll be writing a new online series of workshops, editing the Studio Sessions, and begin filming again on the Sinister Stitch Chronicles documentary of the Sinister project!! The dear Womandrake is getting a little testy from neglect so it’s time to show her some love!

If you’re new here – visit the Sinister stitch diaries to get the scoop — you can also visit FreedomOfStitchTube at YouTube and catch the first 3 episodes of the Chronicles which lay the base for the full length documentary (coming in 2013).

*whew* Now, YOU get busy & give yourself the gift of creative vision — see you in the studio!!



***For the online series registration  Visit the Schoolhouse To book me locally, Email: victoria@freedomofstitch.com

If you’re local to Missouri — registration for the MO Fiber Artists Conference in Tan TarA MO is OPEN!!! Check it out & come play with me in the Mixed Media Lab for Fiber Artists!!

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