I have rashly decided to take part in Sharon Boggon's Take it Further Challenge. I tried to do the TAST challenge last year, but once a week was just too much to add to other committments. Hopefully a challenge that only has to be finished once a month will be easier to accomplish. The challenge for January has been posted. I have thought long and hard about it, just whom do I look up to and admire? I have come up with two names.
The first is Ann Stone. I am willing to bet that none of you have heard of her. She was a friend and neighbour for nearly 20 years. I first met her when she and her husband moved into the bungalow opposite. For many years she had been a professional dancer, and now she was able to indulge in her passion for art. Her paintings were amazing, but she had many other skills including stitching, and she was the first person I knew who created art from textiles. Her work inspired me to have a go, and Ann encouraged me on every step of the way, always telling me that I could do it, even when I had serious doubts about myself.
The second is someone I met almost by chance about 5 years later. I was now fully seduced by textiles, but needing a new direction. I was introduced to Vicky Lugg by a fellow stitcher, eventually spending a number of years attending her Masterclass in stitched textiles. Vicky was a very supportive mentor and teacher, her support for all her students going far beyond the call of duty, and enabling each of us to call her our friend.
So what was it about these two ladies that is so appealing? What is it that I particularly admire and wish to emulate? I have to say that it was their vulnerabiltiy. Each was willing to push the boundaries and expose parts of themselves in their work. Sadly, they are now no longer with us, but their inspiration lives on.
I'm not sure I can do this in a month. I'm not sure I'm brave enough to expose my vulnerability! However, I have at least admitted that here, and if I keep working away at it I may achieve something by the end of the year. Thanks for the challenge, Sharon. I'm willing to give it a go.