Monday, July 14, 2008


Thoughts on Making and Living Art

Linda Moran

Monsoon has struck southern Arizona, and we revel in humidity over 15 percent. It¹s an unusual time of year, where thunder and lightning make their presence known most afternoons, and succulents and cacti of all kinds stand up and salute once again.

One of the best gifts, beyond the rain, is a refreshening of the spirit, as the air crackles and life reawakens, much like our creative souls. For me, monsoon marks almost the end of summer vacation, as we in Arizona go back to school the beginning of August. It also marks the rejuvenation of fiber projects for me, as I finish old friends and baste together new ideas.

Fiber is an interesting medium, much like the monsoon. Depending on your location in Tucson, for example, you can get a downpour or a few drops to dirty the windshield. There are days when I can¹t stop the ideas, and days when nothing happens beyond winding a bobbin. The arroyos (washes) flood with rushing water and the detritus of a dry ten months. I use my dwindling hours before school starts to rush through some ideas, only to find I¹ve forgotten where I was several months ago, when lesson plans took over my

Almost daily the newspapers are full of stories of motorists stuck in arroyos because they tried to drive through the rushing water and never made it across, prompting a rescue by the fire department. Tucson has a ³stupid motorist law² that says if you drive through the rushing water and get stuck, you pay for the rescue. I have my own version I call the ³stupid sewer² - I think my stitch tension is fine, and I cover several inches of the fiber, only to discover I need to spend the next hour with the seam ripper, when all I had to do was stop and check.

Lately I¹ve been finding interesting metaphors about life in some very unusual places. Maybe it¹s a major birthday, maybe it¹s realizing I am mortal and not appreciating that fact. Maybe it¹s more awakening of the artist in my soul and the recognition that I need to make art in whatever time I have left to me.


Linda Moran is a fiber artist working with hand-created marbled fabrics. This centuries-old art form originally limited to paper takes on new life when used on fabric. Join her for musings on the fiber field, art in the Southwest, and the challenges of creating fiber art. See her work and contact her at The Art of Fabric,, or reading her art musings on her blog,

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