Archive for the ‘Dream Imagery’ Category

Sometimes I feel like a Duck

September 26, 2011

Our little black bear.

The image of this sweet confused young bear’s face is burned into my mind.  A week ago, we raised the deck door window shade, and much to our surprise and delight, there she was – sitting sideways under the pine tree, looking back at us with as much surprise and confusion as we at her.  We shared a few quiet moments before she ably lumbered over the fence into our neighbors’ yard.

We excitedly followed her progress over the next day, hearing that the DOW was going to let her find her way back to the mountains as long as she didn’t become a nuisance.  And then we got the news that 3 overzealous men from the DOW had shot her full of tranquilizers, causing her to fall out of a neighborhood tree, ultimately dying from her injuries.

What to do with that news?  So much anger, sadness and helplessness.  I cried a lot.  I keep seeing that sweet inquisitive face, and wondering why people have to be so hurtful and well, stupid.

Bear Medicine: Introspection

I kept thinking about this bear visit all week, and the gift she brought us.  It slowed me down from the usual daily race, and helped me remember that with all the crazy things going on in the world that we encounter, the only thing we truly can control are our individual reactions to the craziness.

I also started re-developing some focus again on myself, on routines that are healthful for my own body, mind, and spirit.  Thanks to my bear visit, I’ve been awakened from the trance yet again.

Ducks on the Long Arm machine.

What’s on the Long Arm Machine?

One of the routines I’ve been redeveloping this past week is to get into the studio and do some art each day, even if it’s only for a short while.  I had forgotten how much of a stress relief it is for me to have that daily meditative time, creating my art.

I’ve been focused on finishing a piece I started several months ago.  I finished constructing the top (pieced and appliqued fabrics which I hand-dyed and screen-printed) awhile ago and now am adding the drawing/stitching on the long arm.

The idea for this piece came from one of my vivid night dreams.  As I’ve worked to turn that dream image into a physical work of art, it has become a bold and graphic representation of how I felt in that dream.

Reconnecting with this piece, spending a little time each night in the studio working to finish it has helped me get back into a meditative rhythm not only with my art, but with myself.

Ducks getting stitched on the long arm.

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Pass It On! Art Show Opening in Longmont, CO

January 12, 2011

Quick Announcement! My artwork is included in the Pass It On Art Quilt Show which opens this Friday, 1/14 at the Old Firehouse Art Center in Longmont, CO.  The show opens with a reception Friday night and will be up through Feb 18.

I wrote about this invitational challenge and posted my piece that I did for this show in an earlier blog post here.

Besides the art quilts that are part of the PIO challenge, each of the 12 artists included in this show will also have additional art work on display.  I actually was able to include 2 of my Tangled Web textile paintings as my additional work included in the show.

Please stop by and see the show if you’re in the area!

“Pass It On” Challenge: My First Dream-Inspired Textile Painting

August 27, 2010

"Dream #1 - Alchemy" (c)2010 Ayn Hanna, 18"x24", Textile Painting (cotton fabric, cotton thread, cotton batting)

I completed this textile painting back in Jan this year. It is for an invitational quilt challenge sponsored by Machine Quilting Unlimited Magazine which I participated in along with 11 other artists.  I had to wait to show this piece until the whole group of 12 art quilts were published together in an article in the Sept issue of MQU magazine.

The challenge was titled “Pass it On” and was a fabric art version of the children’s game, “Telephone”.  In the game, one person whispers a sentence into the ear of another, who in turn then whispers what she heard to another, and so on until the final person repeats the sentence out loud (and it rarely resembles the original sentence).

Our fabric challenge consisted of 2 groups of six artists.  The first artist in each group started with the same photograph (“Ironton” by Aaron Angert posted below) as initial inspiration and each made an art quilt based on this photo.

"Ironton" (c) Aaron Angert (original color photograph)

Then each of them sent their quilts to the 2nd person in their respective groups but did not show them the original photograph.  The 2nd quilters then created their own original designs based only on seeing the 1st person’s quilt.  When finished they each “passed on” their quilts to the 3rd person in their group, who made a quilt inspired only by seeing the 2nd person’s quilt.  This process was followed through 6 artists in each group.

We each made a quilt which was inspired purely by seeing the quilt of the person before us and none of us saw any other person’s quilt, nor the original photo used for inspiration until the end of the challenge, when we got together as a group to see all 12 quilts and the original photo.

I was 4th in line in my group, and the quilt I was inspired by was “Nostalgic Moon” by Nora Jones:

"Nostalgic Moon" (c) Nora Jones, 18"x24", Art Quilt

When I first saw Nora’s quilt, it triggered a flashback to a very vivid dream I’d had and I knew right away what I was going to do for my quilt.  I sat down and sketched out a drawing, based on a powerful scene from my dream:

"Dream #1 - Alchemy" (c)2010 Ayn Hanna, 18"x24", Ink drawing

Here is my statement about “Dream #1 – Alchemy”:

Dream #1: Alchemy (Jan 2010) – MQU Pass it On Challenge Quilt

(Cotton fabrics, fusing, machine appliqué, cotton threads, machine quilting and embroidery, hand embroidery, paint sticks.)

When I received Nora’s quilt, I was struck with a vivid reminder of a very powerful dream I had about a year ago, and I knew immediately the image I was going to make for my quilt.  In Nora’s quilt, the black birds, mountainous landscape, and the dreamlike atmosphere all brought my dream right back to me.

In my dream I was on a journey, hiking through the mountains and valleys on a sad desperate search.  As I came over the top of a hill, I saw what I had been looking for – the scene of the “crash site”.  Under a huge golden vibrant tree, there it was – a big black bird that had crashed and died, a pile of feathers – my wreckage.  I had come to repair my bird.  I knelt down and started putting the pieces back together again, reconstructing my bird (myself).  While I worked, I felt a resurgent sense of energy within – not only was I rebuilding my bird, but this time, I was giving it rocket boosters!

As I watched my bird take flight, thrust so powerfully and confidently up into the air and headed for distant adventures, I felt the same rush of energy within me, my spirit healed and flying again.

Something I love about the finished quilt is that because of the size, shape, and color, the dead bird/pile of feathers can be read not only as intended (dead bird), but also on another level as an energized shadow of the living vibrant tree above.  And read on this level, the “tree of life” ultimately aids in alchemically transforming this pile of feathers into a living flying bird again.  This quilt carries messages on multiple levels for me personally, metaphorically, and pictorially.

The 12 artists who participated in the challenge are: Vicki Anderson, Kay Jones, Stephanie Patterson, Janet Pugh, Denise Labadie, Claudia Martin, Kit Robinson, Julie Hallquist, Nora Jones, Maxine Carlstedt, Vicki Carlson, and myself.

The full group of 12 quilts is displayed in the Sept issue of Machine Quilting Unlimited magazine.  The group of quilts is also traveling throughout summer of 2011 and can be seen at the following venues:

Milwaukee Machine Quilting Show, Milwaukee, WI (Aug 3-7); Rocky Mountain Quilt Festival, Loveland, CO (Aug 20-22); Quilting With Machines in Ohio (Sept); The Firehouse Gallery in Longmont, CO (Jan 14 – Feb 19, 2011); Denver National Quilt Festival (April, 2011); and HMQS in Salt Lake City (May, 2011).


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