Showing my work means letting go. I have to be ready to hear my work evaluated with differing opinions, ideas, and tastes, and I’ve been working on seeing rejection as valuable constructive criticism. But recently I had the chance to learn another lesson, one of letting go of mistakes. And here I’m not talking about the kind you make while… well, making. I mean not taking your work too seriously, or considering it too precious, to fall apart, disintegrate, fade, age. Or in my case: get attacked by cats.
I mentioned a big trip to the UK and Iceland last year, where Patrick and I were gone for two weeks. In the meantime, our three cats went through their own stages of grief: denial, anger, eventual acceptance (they were fairly blasé about our arrival). While still angry, however, Sally decided it was high time one of my weavings became a new toy. When I got home and discovered what she’d done, I went through my own grief, to say the least. I was so upset I simply hung the weaving in a corner of my studio so I wouldn’t have to look at it, and tried hard to forgive. I fumed. I didn’t know how to accept that it might be ruined.
But then a funny thing happened: I grew to love it more. The little snag adds more depth and visual interest, and it seems to flow naturally from the bottom of the mountain. It looks deliberate. That Sally, always ready to lend an artistic “hand.”
Studio mates. Constructive criticism indeed.