Detail from collage sketch

Thursday, March 18, 2010

These are the days...

These are the days you have to laugh and remind yourself of why you love being an artist.
Why... I wondered.
You would think by now I would have learned that "conventional"
saves time and money in the end.
Doing work on standard sized paper
Saves you a lot of headache when it comes time to frame
If I could just resist pastel...
...I'd need glass less often
If I could just work on canvas...
...I would not have to spend time looking for straight pieces of 1 x 2 wood
with which to cradle and mount the masonite
If I could just pick one main medium to work with
...I'd have less of an issue picking a concentration area for art school
But "If-I-could-just...__________" I may not be the kind of artist I am today
Sometimes what needs to be conveyed
Does not fit in the dimension of "conventional"
A lot of my work is "awkward" in terms of space and hanging
Sometimes art is not convenient
And it is most definitely not always simple
I don't have magic powers
A piece must become
There is a process
"Masterpieces" often being as "Mess-terpieces"
Ideas and techniques must be refined
I have days that I think
I have run out of ideas
And I have run out energy
Just like everyone else
Those are the times I must dig deeper
Reflect and think and pray

Monday, March 15, 2010

Painted Warp: An Exercise in Spontaneity

The colorful yarn in the above photo is "painted warp" rinsing in a bucket of water. I was thrilled with the vibrant colors that occurred! I measured off my yarn and tied it into a neat bundle. I laid it out on the table, on a drop cloth, and "painted" it with MX fiber reactive dye. It sat over night covered in the plastic drop cloth and I came back the next morning to wash out the remaining dye. What a fantabulous way to start my Thursday morning! It is going on the loom tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Process and My First Weaving

Process is such a big part of my work:
I plan
And mess stuff up
I undo
I rework
Put it away
And revisit
And I do eventually finish

In spite of such factors sometimes process drives me batty
School and such deadlines require this process to condense
I enjoy such challenges
Sometimes I work myself into a corner artistically to see if I can get out
But sometimes I fear
That the process will not work itself out in the end
I fear I have been too spontaneous
And craftsmanship has faltered
After all, there is a fine line between random and sloppy

This was the case with my first weaving
It is five inches wide and ten feet long
I thought I could weave this no more
I thought I was losing my mind
After all that work
I feared that I would not like the end result
I mean there was a plan... well a half plan...
Weaving is technical enough that one needs
At least a half plan

So I began
Shortly after what I felt was a quarter of the way through
I was getting bored with the pattern
Lynn suggested I play with the blue line
So I did and broke it into three segments
None of this was in the "plan"
(Which is why it is a half plan)

I hoped the proportions were correct
I hoped things blended correctly
I hoped I did not run out of fuzzy red yarn...

After all, this whole piece was a response
To the last four inches I had woven
Finally, it was ready to come off of the loom
I was happy with the length
But felt something was missing
I looked at it
Something was not quite right
It was not "there"
It’s an internal thing that is usually quite accurate
Though I have yet to figure out where "There" exists

This was to be mounted on 1/4 inch molding with Velcro
That Saturday I had to buy ten feet of Velcro
This came to thirteen dollars and some odd cents
(and that was with a coupon)
I found that funny
I also had to buy a saw
I found it funnier that I was not carded for it
Considering I have been carded for fabric spray paint at Joann's

I hand stitched velcro to the back of my weaving
That took two and a half hours
With each stitch I felt this dreadful uncertainty
What if this still does not look right?

Finally, the piece was mounted to the wood

Fear was very close to me Something is still not right…
Don't panic

I wondered...
What if...

I walked to the left side of the piece

Loosened the Velcro and reattached it
This time with and undulating wave in the material
I stepped back
I smiled to myself in the solitude of the studio


That was is...the weaving must not hang flat but rather in relief
As this fell into place words flooded my mind
Past, present, and future
The zip
And just like that a title phrase came to mind
The Uncertain Present Moment