How’s it possible it’s been three months since we last written you? Despite the gap in our writing, we want you to know you’ve been on our minds probably more than you know. Please allow us to explain…

Recently, we were commissioned to create an outdoor public art piece for Bend’s Tin Pan Alley Art Collection. While we knew we had to work in a media that would withstand four seasons of weather for several years, we thought we’d remain true to our style through our subject. Having an opportunity to work on a 4×8-foot panel, it’s been a scale we’ve long dreamed of working in.

Unlike our spontaneous approach to the fiber art, the parameters of the commission required us to submit a proposal. Our plan was to create a painting of a wide, vast panoramic landscape. After prepping the panel with its base layer of gesso, we were poised to make our first marks, outlining some of the general elements of the scene. But then there was a long pause.

Like most people, we see, hear and feel the struggle around us. Some days, we get overwhelmed and it can become difficult not to succumb to stewing in the problems affecting us, or others. As it happened, on the day we had reserved to begin work on the public art, it was a bad day. Then it turned into a bad week. We were in a funk.

There are a lot of discoveries a twin can make while working with their identical. One of them is that there’s powerful synergy. When the synergy flows, nothing can beat it. When we’re feeling unhappy, it can become the lowest of lows. In both cases, we can see how these sensations extrapolate to every type of relationship in the world, our version of this is just a bit more immediate and obvious. So back to that week of feeling down – we were unable to lift ourselves out, compounding on each other’s despair, and it continued to get worse – until we got tired of it. Which is when we began to seek the positive.

And this is when we thought about you. When we find ourselves upset, it’s often triggered by human behaviors that cause pain and suffering. And yet, many other human activities are what cause us to feel the greatest joy, lifting our desire to be our best selves. After that long week of muddling around in gloomy thoughts, we thought about what would make us the happiest, in terms of what we could convey through the Tin Pan Alley piece. We thought about community, and the role it plays in all of our lives. Community, in all its best forms, will support an individual. It will lift, inspire, and nourish. When you visit, call, or send an email, this is exactly what you’re doing for us. Reflecting on these gifts, it changed our approach to our piece.

So here, we’d like to introduce you to “You Have No Idea What You Mean To People”. As we thought of you, our moods lifted and we wanted to reflect our happiness (and relief) through the art. We began to paint a neighborhood of homes scattered over hills, drawn together with textured trees, roads, and bridges. We were depicting community through metaphor, but the message was lost in subtlety. Considering how much we needed to be uplifted, we thought others might feel the same. We asked our visitors to write or paint in their words of aspiration, personal mottos, or quotes they think of during challenging times in their lives. We asked for them all, eventually getting our FaceBook and Instagram audience to send us their words of inspiration. In the end, “You Have No Idea What You Mean To People” (the title comes from one of the written phrases), has hundreds of words inscribed into it, from around the globe. This piece has gone a long way to lift our spirits, and we’ve been able to get back to celebrating the beauty of humanity again. Once again, we think of you, and thank you!

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