a message to my followers

The past 2 months have been kind of unreal. Day and night, I work on pieces that I hope reflect the feelings of a great many Americans who are searching for ways to cope since the election. After posting something new, I am frequently moved to tears as I sit in front of my computer, reading the supportive comments that come pouring in. Even though I don’t answer everyone who writes, I want you to know how encouraging your words are.

If you’ve read the comments on my posts both here and on Facebook over the weeks since I formed the Wee Folk Players (They’re a Stitch), you’ll know that there has been push-back against my political satire, too. I guess that’s a sign that my message is getting through. I post and sometimes answer the critical comments as long as they are civil or relevant, but I’ve had to block some bizarre rantings and put up my Troll Free Zone sign (pictured below) on occasion. Alas, we are living in extraordinary times, the fairies have left the land of innocence and there is no going back.

A short time after the election, I wrote the fairies made me do it, as a way to explain my recent foray into current affairs. And a couple of weeks ago, I posted a message for my Facebook followers. A friend who missed seeing the message on FB suggested that I also publish it on this blog, so here it is.

Salley and RedA Message to my Followers
Published on Facebook, Dec. 11, 2016.
As you have no doubt noticed, my page has recently included art work with a political edge. This is creating quite a stir, so I thought I’d address the issue. In the future, I plan to show a mixture of political satire, apolitical pieces and travel photos, along with a smattering of archival material. I am not by nature a political person, but I believe that speaking out through art is important for the health of our democracy, especially now. Art making requires a point of view, which can be confronting, depending on a person’s background and beliefs.

American populist voters wanted a dramatic change and now the tables are upended. As in many a cautionary folk tale, their wish has been granted, along with all of its unforeseen consequences. The universe has shifted and yes, even the wee world is shaken up. A brisk wind has blown through its ivy-covered cottage doors and the fairies are scrambling around in a panic. Is that so surprising? Rejection of the status quo is unsettling, whether it be through the election of an unpredictable new President or change in an artist’s approach from sweetly neutral to opinionated.

weetrumpandfaireiswm

The election isn’t the only reason my focus is different, although it was the tipping point. For some time, I’ve been exploring more topical subjects and addressing world events, so I see this as a natural evolution. Some of you may think I’ve gone berserk while others applaud, saying, “You go girl!” All I know is that I have not felt this free and creatively engaged since art school 40 years ago.

I can certainly understand how many of you feel sad and perhaps even betrayed by my new direction. You think I’m being divisive and that political criticism has no place in this innocent wee world. It’s shocking because you’ve come to depend on my miniature, stitched scenes as a safe refuge from the ugliness of the world. A lot of us want and need a nonthreatening haven to engage with and I encourage you to create your own wee world the way you envision it. You have the ability to make that happen for yourself! You don’t have to pay attention to what I’m doing if it taints your experience.

As for my own vision, the not so docile fairies are like a pack of muses, leading me on a personal search for understanding of the real world around us. I invite you to come along on my journey. I do not know where it will lead or how long I will be traveling on this particular fork in the road. But I do know that I will strive to make art that speaks from the heart, in my own way. I will listen and observe and tell it as I see it. My work can range from sentimental to sophisticated or from silly to serious and quite often contains a touch of irony. Thank you to all of you who’ve cheered me on in this new endeavor. And I am willing to accept that some of you will strongly disagree and even be offended. All I can say is that I hope you come along and see where this is going, sometimes holding your nose if you have to. You may even find yourself spontaneously laughing every now and then!

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75 thoughts on “a message to my followers

  1. Salley, I admire your work, and I admire your stance. I find the current state of affairs deeply depressing and downright frightening. My approach, after staring despair in the face, is to try to maintain a quite haven on my blog. There do need to be places where fear is banished. If I spend too much time thinking about the man elected president, the depression threatens to drown me.

    But, he has encouraged me to be kinder; spend more time with our food pantry, encourage people to be good to one another, smile more. The unintended consequence of a terrible election.

    I support and encourage your blog; rock on!

  2. I admire your guts Salley Mavor, and last time I checked, we still live in a free world where you have every right to express yourself however you feel. Keep doing what makes you happy girl, you are a gifted and talented artist. Be free, little Bird…………………….LOL. Have a wonderful New Year, Salley.

  3. Love your work! That is just what it is, YOUR work. I never understand how people feel they must attack a person for expressing themselves. Be it in any medium.
    I always say….if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all….someone else said it first, it works, it makes for respect of individualism, which many obviously don’t have.
    Keep it up, keep expressing yourself, keep sharing. You are spot on as far as I’m concerned.
    Happy New Year!!

  4. It saddens me that trolls have invaded your blog. The climate in which we find ourselves allows anonymous tweeters to spew their nastiness without thought for anyone who might be in the way. I too am depressed and frightened by what may happen in the next four years, and frustrated because I feel so helpless and unable to make a difference. Thank you for your courage and determination to make your art a voice. You speak my mind.

  5. I’m so glad you feel free to express yourself through your art. Glad to hear of the not-so-docile fairies leading you as muses! Just know that I love and appreciate every single thing you’ve made and shared with us! This is great stuff! We need so much more than escapism now!

  6. Dear Salley Mavor: My Husband and I LOVE your artwork and we are proud that you are expressing the feelings of so many of us who are truly saddened by the outcome of this election….How can so many people support HATE? Your have a right to your opinion and your feelings are done in the most beautiful artwork I’ve ever seen…Not mean ..no nasty words.. We all need to support what is good about US. Thank you for your e-mails and your artwork is Fantastic. Virginia Rialubin

  7. Thank you for putting your fairies out there to speak their minds! You are so correct, artistic expression in all of its messy forms is essential to upholding democracy & most importantly, freedom of speech. You have inspired me to follow in your footsteps!

  8. Your artwork is amazing. It has inspired and delighted many others. Your honesty, coupled with your creative energy, is worthy of our sincere respect. Please continue to be yourself. You have the recognition and support of so many. Your voice is important. God bless you.

  9. Thank you for giving voice to what so many of us are feeling, and thank you for maintaining your integrity as an artist, as you continue to create and speak from the heart. If we cannot look to artists to speak the truth, we are lost as human beings. A large part of why we are in such turmoil is that half of our country looked away from the truth and believed in lies.

    Political satire or no, we desperately need creative souls to remind us of the goodness in the world, to continue to make it a more beautiful place with unique works of art, to provide much needed affirmation. There is ugliness and hate, but there is also magic and innocence and light. Believe.

  10. I have enjoyed your work for quite some time now. I was a bit disconcerted when your writings took a political turn, but kept reading nonetheless. We are a free nation and many people have given their lives so that we remain such. I, myself, along with friends and family have lived in fear these past years of the path that the leaders of our country have taken, regardless of what people felt. I will continue to enjoy your work and defend your right to voice your opinion, even if it differs from mine. And for whatever it’s worth, I have lived overseas and experienced the lack of the freedoms that we hold dear. It’s not pretty.

  11. I rarely comment, so here’s my two cents.
    Above and beyond, whether we agree or disagree about *any* subject you post or create, this is ultimately *your* blog and we still have freedom of the press, you can post anything you want.

    If you offend, bore, or prick your followers in a particular way, they are free to unsubscribe or scroll past the ‘boring/offensive/whatever’ post. If you inspire, motivate, or amuse your followers in a particular way, they are free to subscribe and linger. Both options allow, -because this is a public forum, for a comment. In the paraphrased immortal words of Thumper’s Mom “You can have an opinion without being mean.”, and frankly, who has ever been 100% right?
    In my particular case, I have a fear (it’s really dumb one, I know, but there it is) of “holes, pits, etc.”, so when I notice that you have a post that looks -to me- that it has “holes”, I scroll quickly.
    Politics, religion, and who’s Gramma has the best cookie recipe are fields full of landmines, we should try to tread lightly while walking through them.

    God bless us all!

    • Interesting to read about your fear ( and no it doesn’t sound dumb at all )
      Often think that hate stems from fear too.
      This feels like a healthy forum for support, love and safety.

  12. Count me in. I’m loving that we finally get to hear the voices of those so-cute fairies. Maybe some of the birds could chime in? (didn’t want to use the tw–t word there, hah!)

    Maybe you would be interested in joining the Craftivist Collective?

    http://craftivist-collective.com/

    Carry on and follow your truth.

  13. Sharing your feelings with all of us Wee People lovers continues to feel like balm for our bewildered hearts. Interacting with my best friends still makes me feel like “How could you.” Thank you again for using your voice.

  14. Yes, Salley Yes! I am with you and so happy to be so. Your courage and vision are such an inspiration, have been and will be. Thank You so much. Thank you to all the Wee Folk followers of good heart.

  15. Please do continue to express your thoughts and feelings about the current situation through your art, Sally. Laughter heals and your work and observations about the present situation through drawing an analogy to the fairy tale world is actually quite delightful. Of course it doesn’t offend me, because I agree with you and have made the same comparisons in my own imagination. Fantasy exists not only as an escape from the real world, but as a place to play and re-imagine it as the world that can be. As others have said, we need creative people always, but especially during darker times to speak honestly through their work as it brings ideas into play, thought, and action.

  16. I’m exited to follow your foray into new waters. I think only good can come from more fully integrating our various pieces and parts, I tend to trust any creative impulse that heads in that particular direction.

  17. Dearest Salley,
    We absolutely love your posts and feel the same way. We think it is wonderful that you can express your fears and frustration through your art work. It is completely mind-boggling to imagine what this new year will bring. In many ways, we feel transported back to the tumultuous late sixties/early seventies when we were energized to protest so many things. Just keep up the good work and know that so many people look forward to your future chapters.
    💜 Mary and Billy 💜

  18. I admire your feelings and honesty in your writing. I have been very sadden since November 8 and am still trying to find away to deal with his all. I am on a fixed budget so am unable to give to help those organizations that would defend and resist.
    Is it wrong to hope for that day when all those that voted for “him that shall not be named” realize their mistake.

  19. To add my thoughts! I love the current direction you are taking the wee folk! Thank you for helping me through this very strange and disturbing time. I look forward to where you will take us.

  20. Looking forward to seeing what those fairies will be up to in the future. However I am sorry you are working “night and day” without help. I do think they could use some fairy power to help you.
    After all you are their life source. Happy New Year. Bring it on 2017.

  21. I am not saddened by the election. I am glad. I think is great we all can give our opinions and love your characters you made. I am hoping these next four years and after bring our country back to great again. I pray God will Bless America and we get back to good values in this country. These last anything goes in this country has left good values out. I am not afraid nor feared as i know that God is IN Control always.

  22. Salley, I love your work. Keep being true to your vision! I was brought up with “The personal is political”, and it’s something I’ve always believed.

  23. I love what you’re creating. These are difficult times indeed, and no doubt will be more trying in the days to come. Artistic satire and humor sustain us on this perilous journey. Your works are that and much more. I look forward to all your artwork. Thank you!

  24. Well said! I love this country as I know all of you do too. One of the many wonderful things we have is freedom of speech–Let’s exercise it! Thank you Salley

  25. I applaud people like you who have a voice that can reach many and actually do so! Please speak often and loudly for those that can’t speak loud enough themselves.

  26. Well said- all of it!
    The freedom of expression, finding your voice in your work, new energy,
    Surprising yourself at how changing things up has opened yourself up.
    It’s all good and healthy. Agree or disagree. Doesn’t really matter
    as long as it gets us thinking and learning, trying and questioning.
    And learning to have respect for each other.

  27. It will be interesting to see what the future holds, for our country and your art. I hope there will be time for playful innocence along the way.

  28. haven’t artists used their work for centuries to protest? you have every right to share your views. and i feel you are doing it in a very gentle, respectful yet powerful way. a dialogue without hate is so important.

  29. Good for you Salley and keep onward! We cannot remain silent in the plain sight of a corrupted and antiquated Electoral System and gerrymandering of the States’ Districts. We all play a roll in this free society. Now more than ever it will require of our constant involvement in order not to be treated unfairly. The more people become involved and vocal through the different mediums of their choosing, the better it will be for the Country as a whole.
    Your work is magnificent!

  30. Sally, freedom of speech takes many forms. The last I heard we still have this right, whether it take the form of words spoken, words written, or art. The fact that you are able to articulate your feelings through your art is monumentally important and I count myself lucky that you allow me and others to peek into your fairy world and share your path. Love trumps hate, gentle humor trumps anger, and Nasty Fairy trumps trolls!!

  31. In a previous blog, my articles were humorously political. In the new one, because the climate had changed into something so ugly, I changed artistic directions to something sweet but still humorous. I didn’t want the negativity.

    Though, art is a voice that documents not only the mood of the artist but the change of time. It’s nice that art can make people feel good but should the artist change directions, and we well have a right to do so, it’s equally important to not suppress it. We don’t grow cemented in one way of creating. Fernando Botero is an example of that as well.

    May even be interesting to see a town recreated of Wee people to reflect what we’ve witnessed in our political history, to provide children an elementary understanding of the powers that be.

  32. Sally, I have followed your art for several years. I’m excited about your new direction and totally support what you’re doing!! Thank you for speaking out!

  33. You have my appreciation, full support, and many thanks!!! I’m still surprised by how thrilled I was to see ‘the fairies made me do it’. I’ve loved the wee folk since I first saw one and admired the artist that created them. Now I love the artist!!! What a deep divide there is. Makes me realize that if you’d come out as a Trump supporter the fairies would have lost their magic for me.

    Ellen Prewitt Sent from my iPad

  34. Thank you for being you…for saying what some of us have not been brave enough to say…for being a thoughtful artist who has made a difference to so many of us who are struggling right now…for providing some comic relief and creativity. Happy new year!

  35. With this mess of an election, two terrible candidates to choose from, I feel like I am stuck on a scary Disney ride for for years and just holding my breath and praying for the best….. Which I have done for the last eight years also and about sixteen before that. We are all in this ride together and being nice to each other is the only way to go, but calling anyone who doesn’t believe like you do a troll, is not the way to start. I personally find it hard to believe that every single person who posted on your page agreed with you which leads me to believe you delete comments that don’t fit your agenda.

    • To be clear Patti, I did not call everyone who disagrees with me a troll and if you visit previous posts, you’ll see that I post and answer more than a few critical comments. I encourage civil discourse and it is my prerogative and responsibility to block comments that contain swearing, ranting, name calling and hate speech.

      • Salley, you are the image of class and style in a world that is frightening for all of us….I would never suggest that you would call ANYONE a name for anything….. The mention of trolls came from other comments….. But now that I wrote that…. Perhaps you can conjure up a troll??

  36. Thanks Salley, though I live far away, my concern with “things” over there
    isn’t less than yours, it will influence us all …
    I hope you keep doing what you do and will keep following you and your
    sweet (or not-so-sweet) fairy world !
    Wishing you (despite all) a creative, lovely, healthy and happy 2017

  37. My heart soars with hope as I read your words; as I experience my own inner growth through your inspiration. I applaud your integrity and willingness to explore and grow. Thank you.

  38. I am most appreciative of your website and response to the times as an artist. A much more acceptable response for my taste and creative ideas. Thanks I will continue to support you.love your website!

  39. I’m with you. We MUST keep up the resistance against everything Trump stands for. We cannot allow our country to ” fall down the rabbit hole” of injustice. Please keep promoting kindness and justice for all.

  40. Do you follow Mary Engelbreit on Instagram? She shares her views through her art, fiercely and unapologetically, and often with a lot of humor. And folks always voice their disappointment in that. She handles it beautifully. Bravo for put it all out there!

    • Thanks for mentioning Mary Englebreit, Nancy. We’ve known each other since she featured my work in her magazine almost 20 years ago and I’m honored that she has been cheering me on and giving her moral support to what I’m doing. As you say, Mary is another example of an artist known for her sweet and comforting portrayals, who is voicing her opinion in face of opposition.

      • Of course you know each other! Sometimes it’s hard to be our whole selves in our work and art — I really appreciate both of you doing it. Maybe some radical fairies need to find themselves in a defiant chair of bowlies (or something like that).

  41. Dear Salley
    This new direction in your work Is a breathe of fresh air and very exciting! Its so true that us Artist have to express ourselves and Art has such an important place to giving a voice to humanity. What you are doing also breaks the barrier between Craft and fine Art. something I myself have challenged in my own work.
    This are times where strong voices of truth are needed. Doing what you are doing thought your dolls has such deep meaning. Any voice of reason is meet with some distain, let the voices of those you are touching be so loud that it washes away any stain from the distain.

    You work touches us deeply in the core of our on innocent and now this new work is asks this core to wake up. Amazing Woman its magical!

    Sending you much love and gratitude and have a wonderful creative 2017.

    xox Catreeana

  42. I love what you are doing! And I love that some of us still believe in fairies and magic. Your work makes me laugh out loud in a sad time!!

  43. As a fellow Artist that creates whimsical art and art that reflects the human condition I applaud your new work that communicates our current political and social situation. Leading up to the final solution in Germany, Hitler and his henchman got rid of the Artists, Intellectuals and reputable Journalists because they spoke truth to power. History repeats itself as it has been said. We are on the front line for truth vs propaganda.

  44. I just stumbled across your site, which was shared in a FB group for activist crafters. I LOVE your work! It is so important that artists, crafters, writers, and makers to use their talents and platform to engage in activism (if they feel comfortable doing so, of course). Looking forward to seeing what you get up to!

  45. I love everything about this. My art has also shifted since the election, and thus far have been slow to share it. Thank you for speaking your mind and encouraging me to do the same!

  46. I came here by way of While She Naps and can identify with you completely as an artist and someone who feels the need to speak out and share ones fears and pain. That’s what artists do. It’s not always pretty and comfortable but it keeps us sane. I have been pretty vocal about my opposition to Trump on Facebook on my personal page (not my professional FB page) and definitely felt the wrath of the trolls, especially the first few weeks after the election. I have friends who keep quiet even though I know they feel the same way, but I can’t keep my mouth shut when I see history’s parallels. I’m shaken to the core. I was looking for quotes last week for a class I teach on making prayer flags and came across this quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. that feels especially relevant; ‘Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.’
    So keep on creating and share your work with the world, there’s a lot more people who appreciate it than those who don’t.

  47. I also came here via Abby Glassenberg. Art is the perfect forum for political expression, and I hope you never feel a need again to explain that. My husband and I have a 3 blogs between us: mine is for quilting, his is for science, and together we share one of viewpoint, as well as travel, recipes, nature, hiking, etc. On my quilt blog I have danced around the subject of the election and politics, mostly in terms of how it’s taken my words away from me, how much more difficult I find it to express myself. If readers leave because of my occasional comments, that is their deal. That said, I can feel my need growing to express some of my thoughts in my quilts, too. I don’t know quite how that will happen, but I look forward to the process. Thanks for your post and your honest expression.

  48. I have been sadly watching more and more of our liberties disappear in the last eight years. We are being forced to buy something we may not want with the Affordable Care Act which has made health care and insurance less affordable for myself and most people I know. Political correctness has made it difficult for people to voice an opinion for fear of being called racist, sexist, homophobic, etc.. Our porous borders have left Americans open to more dangers than ever. The murder rate is at an all time high in cities like Chicago. Recently 4 young people who have not been taught to revere life held a young man hostage while torturing him and expressing hatred for his color of people. I am hoping the change in our leadership will also change the downward spiral of our country.
    I purchased the wee people book last year and began the Nativity figures. Sadly, I have not finished them yet. My full time job really interferes with my hobbies! I have high hopes for the future.
    Lori

  49. I too was never political. The out come of this election fell on me like a ton of bricks. I lost my bearings and couldn’t look anyone in the face as I didn’t know who to trust anymore. Your little satire helps me to know there are people out there who share my confusion in what is happening in our country, It is not a time for refuge of thought but a time to speak up!
    You are a brave women and one of my new heroes.

  50. I think the “Tweeter in Chief” was a cute and accurate name, I thought at first it was the Blue Bird of Happiness in Chief.
    I am astounded by those who haven’t come to grips of the election. We are sick of politicians and when a non political man won the liberals don’t get it. What happened to giving people a chance to prove themselves? There is a learning curve to the job of PITUS, can’t y’all cut him some slack. Those of us who could not come to grips with#43 couldn’t speak our minds as we were instantly labeled RACIST.
    I’m just sickened by the ugly way those who backed Hillary acted and continue to act.
    CAN’T WE ALL GET ALONG? Our founding fathers must be rolling in their graves……

  51. Sally, thank you, thank you–just wonderfully funny and relevant. Yes, it discomfits many people to have someone CHANGE, God forbid. Keep going! Of course you will ruffle some feathers . . . Sending hugs and appreciation from Omaha! Meredith

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