Needle felted angels made with natural fibers and colors, holding a singing bird charm. Small, sturdy, standing soft sculptures to give to people in need of comfort, such as going into the hospital or recovering from an illness. These angels are also perfect to give to those who administer the care.
An update on my journey to making my own guardian angel as I do for others. This has been very enlightening indeed. When I create an angel for someone, the process goes pretty much the same, I center myself, give thanks, and ask just the angel I am creating to come forward front and center to my mind's eye so I can see them, feel them, get a sense of their personality. I often get images right away, and I start to pull fibers. In a way I hear them saying "not that blue, a deeper one", or "oh, I hadn't thought of that, that is nice." I don't hear clear voices, it is more like a thought in my head that isn't really mine. And sometimes I seem to lose the "connection" to them and I have to either re-group or stop and come back later.
So I centered, and asked my angel to come forth. I said "I am creating an angel for Claire Demarest, please have her primary, feminine energy angel come to the forefront." I saw the purples again and felt confident it was her showing me and not me making it up. She gave me much clearer images this time. She was in a very full dress with a tight bodice. Her hair is dark blonde with ringlets, swooped up on her head with some cascading down. And then she seemed to take a deep breath and show me that her aura is gold.
My next step was to look at all my fibers, and start pulling out ones I think are what she showed me. Here is what I pulled. I went back and forth and back and forth. Some were to bold or bright, not quite the color she showed me. The second image is what I narrowed it down to.
As I started working, I noticed that it felt very comfortable, it felt very familiar, more like she was looking over my shoulder and guiding me, not presenting herself in my mind's eye. I realized that I feel this a lot, and maybe just wasn't realizing in my daily life that this was her. I asked if this was true and the thought I got back was "Of course. This is how we work together, I am showing you that I am always with you, whispering behind you into your ear. This is how we work together, it is different than when you call on someone's angel. You are trying to do this process of making me as you do other's, but we are actually going to practice working together as we do always."
The next hour was more like a conversation, us working together, collaborating what fibers to use and how she would look. She was pretty clear on some things, and on other things, such as the detail work, she got excited about something I pulled out and said "oh, let's try that" or "can we do this instead". I asked her why she kept changing her mind and why she had me redo a few things. She said simply "Because I can." I said that was a little presumptuous. And then several layers of her meaning came forth.
First, she was doing this partly for practice with me. Trusting, getting to know her "thoughts" verses my own. I realized what a gift this is. She was showing me that I can actually have that much of a connection with angels and how cool is that! Second, she simply enjoyed it and reminded me it is as much about the process, the joy of being in the moment, as it was about the "finished product." And let me tell you, she was enjoying the process. Finally, it was reminding me how fun and rewarding it is for angels to be able to take a more dense form - my gift to these angels is helping them, even if as a small soft sculpture, to have form.
When it came to her wings, she most definitely showed me the very large, white wings that point up to the sky. I saw them as having quite large, distinctive wings tips going all the way down. I started to make them, and she changed her mind, liking the more wispy feel of the ones I made. Then came the halo. She kept showing it as a glow, not an actual halo, and reminded me that halos are the way painters tried to portray the aura they saw around the head of the angels. That it is not a physical thing, it is their aura. And hers is gold. So I am still working on it, nothing I do seems quite right.
And her hair is not quite right yet either. I need to create tiny ringlets still. Finally, she wants some gold bead work, so I am still working on that. Oh, and finally, finally, she wants her arms to be a darker purple, with less pink. Yep. I tried to be okay with the lack of ringlets in her hair, and her sleeves being a little too pink, but every time I think about her or look at her, those pop into my head. As I sit here, I know those are my thoughts more than hers. That is my need as an artist to get it right. I think this is a good thing, if I am going to make an artistic, physical representation of the image they show me, I want it to be accurate, and what they want it to be.
So, minus those things I just mentioned, here she is in almost complete form!
It became clear to me this Christmas Season that people have very different views of angels, whether from their religious belief, spiritual belief, personal experience, or artistic renderings. I listened to a talk from an “Angel Expert” on the radio, I listened to how many times angels and archangels are mentioned in the Sunday Church service, especially on Christmas Eve. I even just downloaded a book on the “physics” of angels and looked into classes on “Angelology”. The more I try to understand them, the more conflicting human ideas I come across.
I admit, I am more confused than ever, but I am more okay with being confused than before. As I was talking to people in my Art Booth at Armature at holiday art shows and craft fairs over this shopping season, one thing remained clear – the reason I started creating art angels in the first place. I want people to have an understanding of what their guardian angel looks/feels/senses like; to give them a link, a connection to start their own journey. I don’t claim that I can see physical angels or that they come to me when I call them and we have full conversations, but I do know that the artistic fiber art angels I create touch people’s hearts. They strike a chord, they stir up a memory, they pluck at a heart string, etc. So I know I am at least on the right track. And yes, I believe my creations are talented and artistic and fun, I love doing them. But are they what angels actually look like? I have no idea. What I do know is that they are what they need to look like to touch someone’s heart.
In fact, I did not sell that many of my angels and fairies this season. Sales were down on Etsy and at the shows. I was having a conversation with a successful artist here in Bend and he said “they key is to find your target audience”. Hmmm… That is a good question. The people who bought angels on Etsy and the people who bought them in my booths had at least one thing in common – the angel was for someone special. When I explain that the guardian angel I am creating an artistic rendition of comes to me in color, texture, size, personality, and not a name, it becomes a whole new concept to them – this is a truly unique way to connect with that angel and bring some joy-peace-closure-comfort-smiles-giggles to someone. They don’t think “Oh, cool artist and art.” (Well, hopefully they do at little…)
So what am I then? An artist? An angel channeler? I guess I am both, but primarily I am a delivery person. I am a connector. I connect people with angels, hopefully lighting a spark within their hearts to start their own confusing angel journey. So for my mission of “putting a guardian angel in every person’s home”, I am off to find the best way to reach my target audience. Wish me luck, no wish me clear guidance from my guardian angels, I am sure they are exhausted from telling me and me simply not hearing them :).
Angel Blessings to you all,
FROM THE Author
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