Joyful Garden (63″ x 54″)

Winner 3rd Place overall at Minnesota State Fair Fine Arts Competition. Tad Simons of Mpls. St. Paul Magazine called it “a textile masterpiece”.
Splashing Robin
Arden working on border

I’ve envisioned an imaginary garden that would live forever without watering. This had to be a fantasy of color, birds, flowers, turtles, butterflies and all else garden. Even a fairy garden. There had to be a waterfall, partly just to see what would happen when I blended purple and blue silks pouring into the azure water.

The blue jay took my beading skills to task. I believe many of the beads are turquoise and I worked toward creating patterns that made it look ‘real’. This was definitely ‘therapeutic’. Most of the blue jay is beadwork. The bird’s nest near the bottom of “Joyful Garden” was made by braiding and ‘weaving’ the nest into shape for the nestling baby robin.

This might have been complicated and it took 6 months* to complete, but it lent itself well to a variety of silks which I love stitching together by hand, with no real plan and then ‘seeing what happens’ when I press it (kind of like drying flowers). It was a delightful journey to a place where all the birds are singing and even a wise owl plays piccolo!

*(editor’s note: The 6 months were 7 day weeks and, often, more than 12 hour days.)_