It's Complicated . . .


There's a saying in our family: 

"Is two too many?  Is ten enough?" 


It applies perfectly in any situation involving aesthetic decision making -- or cupcakes. And one of my biggest challenges as an artist (and as a person -- let's be honest) is keeping it simple.

Rather than "less is more", my natural tendencies seem to run a bit toward the Victorian:  
too much is never enough.  

Perhaps because I know the magic lies in knowing when to stop,
that's always the hardest decision I make.

I glory in the piling up of complications 
of every sort.  If I could pronounce 
the name James in any different 
or more elaborate way 
I should be in favor of doing it.

-- Henry James

There's a movie scene I love in which one character asks another what he thought of the LENGTHY manuscript he's given him to read, and his reply is, "You didn't make any choices."

Editing, editing . . . art is really all about editing. 

Adjusting the viewfinder to show exactly what is essential, and not one bit more:  distill, condense, concentrate, cut down, clarify, express, extract, purify, refine, trickle, trim....and thereby get to the meaning.

When it's my turn to order at a restaurant, my family does a collective eye-roll.  It's very rare that I don't have to tack on a customization of some kind to my order, a "make sure it's well done" or "sauce on the side, please" or "cheese on the enchilada but not the burrito"... I always feel like I've really accomplished something when I can just say, "I'll have the chicken parmigiana."  Period.

So it was a welcome challenge for me this week
to create a piece for which one of the requirements was simplicity.  And luckily this simple project came along  just in time to provide my initial post-surgical return to stitching.

I will admit it was hard for me -- I spent as much time taking things off as I did putting things on -- I kept wanting: 

more stitching, 
more embellishment, 
a border, 
more in the picture . . .

. . . but I was working under strict parameters.  
Always a great exercise for a person such as myself.

And actually, it required the perfect amount of stitching to get my fingers working again.  Threading needles the second day was a bit easier than the first, and that little progress was enough to put a smile on my face.  Hopefully the trend will continue, because there's something of a work pile-up cluttering my to-do list and complicating . . . well . . . everything.

But for now, Friday's here!

And whether your weekend 
finds you enjoying the simple 
pleasures of home or 
seeking adventure elsewhere, 
I hope it finds you . . . simply happy!



Leenie said...

"Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."
— Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

I think your newest is perfect.

luanne said...

Simple & lovely. I like the text background too. Your stitches look perfectly tiny as ever, and I hope your hand/arm is as happy as your psyche to have taken up the needle again.

Now, don't overdo! Happy weekend.

Allie said...

Yep, perfect! Love the text background. So glad you're able to stitch again. Hope you have a simply wonderful weekend!

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