Thursday, September 27, 2012

Gifts to Mentor Creativity - The Spirit of a Creative Woman's Legacy

Have you ever received a wonderful gift that you weren't expecting? Something that you could use right away for a project, or something full of the energy of the original owner which immediately inspired you to try something new?

In 2009, our local arts community lost an accomplished artistic, creative lady who spent her life mentoring students and friends and facilitating them to reach their creative limits. I met "J " through a fibre arts / rug hooking group. Her family chose to take her stash of fabric, tools, books and all of the other wonderful things that we as artists collect for our art, and share it with her artist friends. I was fortunate to be part of her friends group and was recently gifted with something that she used in her creations. Many of us took part in the  exchange - all leaving with treasures that reminded us of her and that we could use to keep the creative process going forward.

What do you do with your precious stash, your books, your tools or your prized work once you are done with them? What a wonderful idea to gift them to your friends.

I was fortunate to receive a hook - one that "J " had used to make her fibre art pieces. I have a fairly large collection of hooks and besides those that I use regularly in my own fibre art, I have many that I have either bought or received as gifts. When I am working on a piece, I'll change hooks and try one or maybe two from the collection. I like to sense how they feel in my hand and to imagine who the lady (or ladies) might have been who once owned and used the hook. Most are hand made (probably by a helpful husband) and from the handle size, give you an idea of the size of the woman's hands. I like to think that the spirit of the woman still lives in the hook - her tool to make the beautiful rugs that kept her home warm.

I have my mother's hook. Sometimes when I am on a deadline to finish a project or am becoming weary of it never seeming to progress, I take out my mother's hook and as I pull the loops, I try to pull some of her energy with them.

"J " 's  Hook

Some unique hooks from my collection 

In keeping with my rug hooking passion, I also like to take pictures of sheep - the source of the wool we use in our art. I use the photos for blank note-cards which I have available at - if interested. The note cards are 5"X 7", acid-free and can be nicely framed.



Mary, Kate and Patricia

Rufus, Annabelle and Lucy
                                                  Ⓒ content copyright 2012 Patricia Winans

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Dreamings from Down Under

40 Degrees Celsius and counting!

For the month of  November 2011, I had the wonderful experience of travelling 'down under' in New Zealand and Australia. One of the highlights of the trip was spending a few days in the Alice Springs area and making the trek to Uluru in the Australian desert.

Uluru is a very large, red rock that is a sacred aboriginal site. Uluru is actually one end or tip of a large rock formation that loops down and underground in a U shape. The other end or tip, The Olgas, also rises above the desert a short distance away.
Climbing supports (along the horizon line) for those brave enough to try!
Up a little closer
Nature's Exclamation Marks!!!!!
Aboriginal cave drawings

Ancient aboriginal drawings, or 'dreamings' can still be seen outlined on the walls of shallow caves at Uluru. The symbols in the dreamings depict trails across the desert, water holes and all other aspects of daily life that are are in the memories of the aboriginal artists. Today the artists continue to create their dreamings or dreaming art - using canvas, wood and paper as their backdrops.

Inspired by what I saw at Uluru, a wonderful exhibition of aboriginal art at the Melbourne Art Gallery and by my experience snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef, here is one of my Australian dreamings.

                                                                                                Ⓒ content copyright 2012 Patricia Winans

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Dancing in a Circle - My Mandalas

For as long as I can remember I have been fascinated with the symmetry and precision in historic architecture, especially the round rose windows in many of our old churches. Playing with a compass in grade school in math class, wonderful circular shapes could be drawn with intersecting arcs filling the space - and there it was - the answer as to how the rose windows were designed!

Circular shapes play a constant part in our lives. As Fincher (1991) says, "we are predisposed to respond to the circle" whether it be a circle of friends, our own cyclic lives, the seasons or an actual physical, circle that has no beginning and no end. When I think of circular shapes, I also think of the labyrinth that was drawn centuries ago on the floor of Chartres Cathedral in France and mandalas that artists have also been creating forever.

Circular drawings, paintings or mandalas are part of my art experiments. Mandala is a Sanskrit word that means center or magic circle. They appear on the walls in ancient caves throughout the world. Other artists create mandalas from loose, coloured sand and let them blow away once they are finished.

Over the years, my mandalas have evolved to contain written messages. Look carefully and you will see  the words Love, Hope or Joy. Each is an original watercolour that is matted and backed with acid free material and comes in a cellophane envelope. They make a nice wedding or shower gift or something special for a friend. There is lots of space on the mat below the image to write a personal note, a quotation or little verse.

If interested, contact me a

Matted size: 8 X 10                  Image: 5½ inches in diameter

                                                                                     Ⓒ content copyright 2012 Patricia Winans