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Wild Abandon….Guest Blogger – Karen Nelson

May 24, 2015

Level 4 Experimental Stitch and Multi Media – Opals Exhibition

As a child, color was very important to me. The beginning of each school year brought the thrill of owning a new box of crayons.  I have less memory of stitch.  I vaguely remember my grandmother embroidering towels. My other grandmother had crewel work hanging on her walls and I was entranced by the color and texture of those pieces. I thought that embroidery meant dish towels or a picture at grandma’s house. Art, stitch and design were unknown to me. As an adult colors and texture began to call to me and I began a journey to answer that call, eventually finding myself at Gail Harker’s courses.


Choosing a theme was a challenge. However, when I looked at what surrounded me both now and growing up……I knew my theme would be based on what resided behind dad’s shed on the farm in Minnesota, what spills over in my husband’s garage, and what I see every day as I drive 70 miles to work. My theme is “With Wild Abandon.” Tractors, rusted cars, farm equipment, car parts, leaning fences, abandoned homesteads, wide open spaces, incredible sunrises and sunsets, and the fields and pastures of the Midwest and prairie. “Wild Abandon” encompasses for me those buildings that are deserted, the rusted parts that lie in unkempt piles, the feeling that I get when I watch the skies wave with color, and the desire that I have to dance in the middle of the highway.


There is no doubt that I have grown and developed as a textile artist. I started out on my art adventure to learn and to express. I plan to continue doing both in the future. This course of study suited my desire to answer the calling of my soul. Surrounded by stitch colleagues who supported each other as we studied, I developed friendships that will last a lifetime. I imagine another 20 years of fulfilling the desires of my soul, continuing to marvel at the color, design, and texture of nature as well as of the abandoned, as I try to capture their essence……..and, of course, continuing to dance in the middle of the highway…..all With Wild Abandon.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 24, 2015 11:11 pm

    Love your theme and the colors are luscious!

  2. pennypeters permalink
    May 25, 2015 5:13 am

    Congratulations on turning rusted farm equipment, the vast prairies and sweet memories into embroidery! Your family must be so proud of your commitment to design and stitch!

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