Sunrise | Norma’s New Day

Approaching the topic of “sunrise,” Norma planned to do something calm and beautiful.

“And that’s not what it came out to be at all,” she said.

Sunrise by Norma ColmanTo create the piece at left she used only materials on hand. She found the tie-dyed silk and iridescent ribbon bits, then worked them into a design using randomness. She literally “threw” ribbons onto the piece, then put netting over it and “stitched the crap out of it with variegated thread so the ribbons were secure under the tulle.” Then she gave it a dynamic sun.

She described the results as “one fractured sunrise, filled with all those bits of ribbon.” This was reflective of her days in May, which she spent preparing for her transition to full-time work as an artist. (She’ll be officially launching her new business next week.)

Our brother Paul commented that this is one of the more vibrant, moving pieces she has done. “Like a buzz saw ready to break into stuff,” he said (from his wood carver’s point of view). Norma said this is probably because she is HAPPY.

She may want to add beads to the work, or a different center of the sun. This work will hang over her sewing machine, where she does so much creative work. But already, she has posted a photo of the sunrise on Facebook, where friends and family were extremely receptive and supportive.

Norma offered several observations from this process:

  • “Mining the abundance of what you have in stock is fun.”
  • “This did not take a lot of time because I just let go.”
  • “Our [sibling discovery] conversations about technique have made me want to play more with technique. This is liberating me to experiment and move faster – to not be so studied.”
  • “Sometimes I hesitate to share work in progress, because I’m afraid people won’t get it. But posting it on Facebook generated interest and enthusiasm. And this is what it means to be an artist in the community.”

Reflecting on the word “sunrise,” Norma commented about the historic repetition of sunrise. “I remember farm sunrises and the roosters crowing. I remember sunrises going into work of one sort or another. When driving, you get the really chance to look at them. I think we pause to see sunsets more than sunrises.” Now self-employed, Norma may start her days early, just so she can take in the sunrise.

* * *

At the bottom of my notes from this discussion, I wrote the following phrase, which we three siblings tossed back and forth until it rang true. “We become artists to tell the lies, or to tell the truth, or to blend it all together.” Rest assured, this is a line we will revisit!

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