Women’s March

The Wee Folk Players (They’re a Stitch) have been working around the clock in anticipation of the exciting Inauguration and Protest Season in Washington DC.

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All over the country, Pussyhats are being knitted, sewn and crocheted for people to wear while participating in the Women’s March on Washington (and sister cities) on January 21st, 2017. Info and patterns can be found at the Pussyhat Project.

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Behind the scenes, the troupe is practicing for the new Administration’s first day in office.

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A new costar is being outfitted for his role as understudy for the leading man.

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Meanwhile Pussyhat production is hectic, with yarn suppliers reporting brisk sales of the color pink. I just hope that the supply holds up with demand!  Want to make your own? The Pussyhat pattern is a simple easy to make design.

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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 started speaking out, 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.

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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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It’s going to be SO beautiful

The Wee Folk Players (They’re a Stitch) continue their American Drama Series with a tale of international intrigue, featuring long term adversaries.

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Using an existing stage set saved production time.

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The Players’ newest cast member hardly needed any makeup, costuming or accent coaching to play his role convincingly. He stole the show, despite the maneuverings of the leading man.

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New props were quickly painted for this pivotal scene. As you can imagine, the audience is on the edge of their seats in anticipation of future plot twists, which are in the process of being written. To keep up with new episodes, subscribe to this blog (top right column on the home page).

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5 stages of post-election grief

The Wee Folk Players (They’re a Stitch) presents 5 Stages of Post-Election Grief: An American Drama. Is it possible to reach stage 5?

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Thank you to my my sister Anne Mavor for contributing her graphic design skills and my husband Rob Goldsborough for making the video. Below are a selection of shots of the cast with intimate glimpses backstage of makeup, hair, wardrobe and rehearsal sessions.

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The fairies made me do it

Over the 7 years since I started sharing my artistic journey on this blog, I have deliberately shied away from showing anything controversial or political. I’ve been playing it safe, but not anymore. The recent American Presidential election has jolted me out of my quiet world, into the partisan struggle surrounding us. I believe that we are in the first chapters of an epic cautionary tale, which portends to be an instructional parable and test of our democracy for at least a generation.

I cannot sit back and go on as usual, trusting that it will all work out without my involvement. Those pesky fairies are ganging up and insisting that I express my thoughts and opinions through art. They know that is how I deal with distressing events that keep me awake at night. In the dark, I think about and visualize what to make and how I’m going to go about it. It helped me get through election night, when I pictured a huddled group of wee folk under a sheer black shroud. And that is how I will continue to try to comprehend what I see unfolding before us. I have always been inclined toward editorial illustration, but couldn’t figure out how to do the work quickly enough to meet professional deadlines. Now, my mind is full of ideas and I will make the time to bring as many as I can to life.

Lately, I have been thinking about the purpose of art and have come to the conclusion that artists, writers, poets, comics, cartoonists, musicians, storytellers and filmmakers have more of an important role to play in our world today than is realized. We need art to help illuminate the way to a greater human understanding. It’s a messy process, fraught with conflict, but not lacking of wit. As Oscar Wilde said, “The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple.” We must keep creating art that recognizes and reflects the irony and tragedy, as well as the beauty of the society we live in. Goodness knows, there’s no shortage of material to use. I’ve already given this new movement a title: American Art – Post-election Period. You can see my contributions here. Also, a new drama troupe, The Wee Folk Players (They’re a Stitch) has formed and is adding cast members on a daily basis.

trollfreezoneAttention Please: This blog has been designated a Troll Free Zone. Civil discourse in comments is encouraged, but swearing, ranting, name calling and hate speech are not.

Now, allow me to introduce Wee Trump, whom I hoped would just go away. Alas, it looks like he’s here to stay for a while. He has a persistent nasal condition which may be permanent, but he and a lot of other people don’t seem to mind. Below are 2 portraits, from before and after Nov. 8th, 2016. Do clothes make the President? We’re sure to have interesting adventures together over the next 4 years.

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I know how much you like to see photos from behind the scenes, so here are a couple. The most challenging part for me was printing out the reference materials.

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