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Ellen Anne Eddy
Author of Thread Magic: The Enchanted World of Ellen Anne Eddy Fiber artist, author and teacher
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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Musings: Art Outside the Box- Someone Else's Eyes

When someone asks me what makes medicine or science an art, I always think it's a point of perception. Hard sciences that depend entirely on tests and testing, strike me as a form of slot machine. I'm not a scientist, so it's not how I understand the world. But I do know scientific and medical people whose work turns not on tests but on their perception. It's a matter of eye. They make science and medicine an art.


Often someone else's eye is a huge gift. The person who looks at your work and says,"Move it over 3/4" left. Or you need more yellow. Or have you turned it sideways yet? I'm always awed by the gifts that come through someone else's eyes.


I have huge respect for the people in my life who can do this. It's not always who you think. My god daughter, Sarah, is faultless. If she tells me a piece is wrong, I hop like a frog to fix it. For years it was a confessor priest of mine. My friend Rebecca can see if a text is one point off. Eye is a gift that does not respect positions. You have it or you don't.


I got given an unexpected gift last year, of that nature.  Lynne Clayton,who is an art teacher in Michigan,  came visit me on a dye day. I was trying to get the dye book together so she agreed to take pictures for me. Not only did she take some very decent process shots, she also took pictures of me.


I have body issues. I know no woman of my generation who doesn't. We're all too fat, too thin, to tall, too short, too something. We can't all be.  Which tells me the problem is not about the physicality.


Now I was, on that day, as fat as I've ever been. I was dressed in dye clothes and covered largely in dye. And somehow she took pictures of me that made me feel lovely.


How could that happen? I have no idea. But I never refuse a good miracle that washes up on my shore. I bless the eyes of those who can see what I can't, and let them guide me where I need to go.

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