Lets do a round up of cultural events, Its the Chinese new year and February was once celebrated as the first stirrings of Spring, a time to give shepherds a holiday before the madness of Spring lambing and a time to make pledges and dedications to the new year. So my tardiness of posting a New Years post in February fits in to an antient tradition.
The Glass shown here is the first piece of work with 2022 on it:
This glass was commissioned way back last year. It is finished in time to be received for a birthday present later this month. It has not been the easiest to finish as I have discovered glass paint takes better to old glass than to more modern. As is and always will be, experience teaches and I now know it needs heat to set it in place, and as an oven of the appropriate size is not available I have found placing in front of a vector heater produces enough heat to set the paint on the glass.
The story of this piece is that the glass was made commercially sometime in the twentieth century, and it spent it's life holding flowers. But when I received this commission it was the only piece of glass I had to use and so its life changed. The last stroke of paint was applied on 21st of January 2022. The glass is completely hand painted, the design is totally original and will never be repeated. As with all the glass I can't even sell prints.
The poem writen at the bottom of the glass is by Mary Oliver titled I worried from the book called Swans: Prose poems published by Beacon Press.
I worried a lot. Will the garden grow, will the rivers
flow in the right direction: will the earth turn
as it was taught, and if not how shall I correct it?
Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven,
Can I do better?
Will I ever be able to sing, even the Sparrows
can do it and I am, well
Is my eyesight fading or am I just imagining it,
am I going to get rheumatism?
lock jaw, dementia?
Finally I saw that worrying had come to nothing.
And gave it up. And took my old body
and went out into the morning and sang.
I have used a dark blue for this poem to represent the our human frailty how we are grounded in water and earth and we suffer from doubt and fear. Its madness that all the tile I have been working on this vase I have suffered from doubt that I can ever make this art thing work, that I will ever be able to pay the bills. Even while working on pieces that tell me not to worry; worry is precisely what I have been doing.
The next bit of writing is in sky blue to represent a prayer thrown up into heaven. 'God I let go of the worrying, I yield myself to mystery, and I wander into wonder. Today I go out into the morning and sing.' This prayer should be my dedication to 2022. I is something that may take more than a year for me to truly come to grips with but I can through it up there again and again.
Finally at the top of the vase above everything else, written in gold to represent its precious value, is the word of God to his people taken from Isaiah 51:3
The Lord will surely comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins: he will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the Lord, joy and Gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing.
My pledge for 2022 is to work on not worrying my hope is that this will be a year of growth and blossoming in a land of singing. Belatedly Happy New year from me.