Thursday, March 26, 2009

Don't Quote Me

Before I was an artist I was a writer. Before I was a writer I was a singer. Before I was a singer I was a skinny little girl with glasses from a trailer park in Wisconsin...but I digress. I have always loved the story. I loved to read anything I could get my hands on, loved the southern stories in the southern accents of my father and his brother (the southern preacher). I loved sitting on a stool reading to my mother while she did the dishes. I loved words.

Singing and writing were always just different ways to accomplish the same thing..TELL THE STORY! When I began doing fiber art it was only natural that words would become a part of that. Actually they became a big part of that. Almost from the get-go I started putting quotes under my cowgirls and almost from the get-go people started responding to them. But you know, I'm not so clever. I can't even really take credit for the words. I've just learned how to listen. A good writer needs to know how to do that. I've had collectors say in not just a little confusion..."But I thought Calamity Jane really said that!" And I always respond "She did. She said it to me." More than once they've looked at me as if to say they hope I keep taking whatever medication I'm on. Oh well.

But I take the words these women (and sometimes even men) say very seriously. Some of them are well known and the history books have recorded other words they have spoken, but many are nameless, unknown keepers of our history. They have never been given a name, but for the first time I have given them a voice. I don't think they would mind. I also think in a way they speak for me. Selfish I know, but hey it's my work. They say things that maybe I don't have the guts to say in the real least not right out in the open. I like people to like me and they may be less inclined to do so if I said "Ain't afraid to love a man...ain't afraid to shoot one." Even though at times that might be how I felt!

In the early days of making my work I was in a marriage that was situated well on the other side of dysfunctional...about the time I was "listening" and writing my first quotes. At a gallery show a woman took her time walked all around the room and read every single quote there on display. One of the girls at the gallery then introduced her to me and explained I had made the fiber pieces and I even wrote all the quotes. The woman frowned slightly-looked totally bumfuzzled and said quite seriously..."But you look so nice!"

So I figured I needed to incorporate a few less hostile females into the overall fabric (no pun intended) of my storytelling. So I brought in mothers and teachers and wise women of native heritage and the story became more well rounded. I heard them speak serious words, empowering words that made me proud to know them. But I have to admit, I still like the words the sassy girls say the best. "I took to makin' trouble like most women take to makin' biscuits."

Can I get an Amen?


The Junkin' Yaya said...

AMEN to that! :) Gosh...I just LOVE your stories. Have a beautiful weekend girlfriend...and will talk soon! xo...deb

The Muse said...

Hello! I am here...visitng by way of "The Junkin Yaya" DEB :)

Nice to meet you..
and great style!

The Rustic Victorian said...

Amen! The western gals would pat you on the back and be proud of your words and works. The Sassy gals,,,well, we all have a little sass in us from time to time...looks "can" be decieving, first impressions are usually wrong! I looked at your creations long before I saw the video. In my imagination,,,what I saw,, was a more Rugged 70"s hippy look,,,just goes to show you,,never judge a book by its cover. Not only are you beautiful and classy, but you have a great sense of humor,,,thats a win-win.
I am so glad you are blogging. Thanks for the Chic-fil-a video...good one.
Happy Weekend!

Erin in Morro Bay said...

Amen! And we all know that the sassy gals have more fun. Especially when they've managed to survive and escape a disfunctional marriage - been there, done that. Your work is amazing and often touches the soul.

Deborah@ The Painted Nest said...

That's right~~~gotta love a gal with grit and likes to eat em too!!! I love your work it speaks to to soul~~~Deborah

Tristan Robin Blakeman said...

wonderful article - very much enjoyed it!

Susan S. said...

AMEN SISTA! Hi there...I popped over from Deb's Junkin'Yaya and am NOT disappointed. She SAID you were awesome and boy, was she right! I LOVE you stuff, your attitude, your blog, your PUPPIES! What a great story. I've read a couple of your blogs but need to get back to hiss! But now I have something exciting to look forward to. Reading the rest of your blog and drooling at your art.

boylerpf said...

AMEN! Love your writing..will be back for ! The Junkin Yaya sent me over and she was sooo right!

Gillian said...

Amen KC ... loved reading your poignant story and so love your art, came by via Joanna, have you linked on mine now so I don't miss any more art:)

JoAnnA Pierotti said...

Living in an RV for 3.4 years...I often thought of these women. WE, hub and I were pioneers of the 21st century, buying three acres with nothing but a dead well on it.

I kept telling myself, if they could do it, so can I, with much more than they were offered. Always wanted a gun of my own, to be honest. But have found life here is pretty peaceful.

From my experience, if I could write quotes, oh my, you could not put them out there for public

But really, the sweet side of life came from it too. I live in a town that was built in the 1800's and nothing has changed much, except for the people. I often wonder in thought of those who once walked these roads. What were they really thinking? I would do anything to really know, and KC, you have helped me in that department. I think I would have had many friends back then.

I pondered, living in my somewhat modern world, but those women keep me a going, and so do you KC.

Thank you honey from the bottom of my heart!

Mary said...

Amen! I knew you were a writer:)

Halo Hill said...

You get an Amen AND a Hallelujah from me, Sista! I love sassy women. I'll find my favorite quote and send it to ya, you'll love it!!


Angie said...

I'm with the rest...I love sassy! I save quotes like treasures.

sue pieper said...

Having been born & raised, and still living in WI, I have to ask-where in WI are you from? Oh, and I just added your blog link to my artist blog list on my blog-hope you don't mind!

Anonymous said...