Marla Skibbins, Prayer Artist
When I think about my Prayer Art I cannot help but think about failure. Don’t get me wrong, I love most of the work that I produce. I love the intention behind all the pieces that I create. And yet…most of what I start out to create ends in some kind of failure.
Here is an example of how creative failure unfolds in my work: my Prayer Art has words embedded in them. Some pieces more obviously than in others. For the Studio Tour this year, my vision for my pieces was that they have the loving kindness prayer embedded in them. I got excited about the idea and spent a lot of time coming up with a way to express that prayer. I sent my ideas off to a stamp designer to create just the right stamp.
Then things got stuck. I’ll spare you the details, but when I finally got the stamp, it was not at all what I envisioned. Even the stamp itself did not stamp very well due to the type of font the designer used. I kept trying different paper, different ink, pressing REALLY hard, but nothing worked. What I had seen in my mind was not gonna happen. My idea failed.
I was bummed but determined to somehow have this expression of well-wishing infuse my work. So, I played around some more and finally just went with a less-than-clear image of the words. When I let go. Finally, I realized that I liked what happened when the words were a little more fuzzy and a little less loud. When I welcomed the beauty that was already there, things started to flow again. When I looked at the pieces that this new stamp created, I felt happy and jazzed to include this new element into the work that I will be showing at the 2018 Studio Tour.
MImagine: if we could just let go: let go of all our expectations, all our ideas of what is good or bad, of how we think life should be. Imagine: if we could just allow the beauty of what is there to be revealed. What a gift that would be. I know that I enjoy the ride a whole lot more when I remember to let go.
Hope to see you at the Henderson’s Ranch!