This week I read a book that really touched and inspired me. Inspired Rug-Hooking: Turning Atlantic Canadian Life Into Art, by Deanne Fitzpatrick [copyright Deanne Fitzpatrick 2010 / Nimbus Publishing Limited].
My friend, Katherine, and I drove up to Deanne’s studio in Amherst, Nova Scotia a couple of years ago to take a weekend landscape rug hooking class. I bought the book while I was there, but it has been in my “Read Me” pile of books until now. I wish I had read it before the workshop, but I am so glad I have read it now!
Deanne’s book, although about her life as an artist and designer of beautiful hooked rugs, is so much more than that. It describes how she has learned to be completely present in her daily life. Noticing the small, and often overlooked, things around her has opened up her creativity and appreciation for her life and her art. She has learned to live a full life, conscious of, and interacting with, the people and landscapes around her.
Noticing one’s life isn’t always filled with happy things. Dealing with one’s emotions isn’t always pleasant, but she isn’t afraid to do it. All emotions, even ones we may consider negative, are what make up our life. She is present and ready to feel and deal with them and use them in her rugs.
Although I am an artist and designer of hooked rugs, this book isn’t just for people like me. Deanne writes mostly about her life and the beauty that inspires her and then manages to gently move the reader into how she designs her rugs: house and home; landscapes; storytelling; spirit; winter; people; and prayer. This is an inspirational book for everyone- not just rug hookers.
There’s a lot of beauty out there and if we learn to not overlook the small, everyday things around us, we can enrich our lives.