This is a big topic. I worked early in the week on my lists and noticed that I kept coming back to what I think of as my roots: drawing, painting and printmaking. I also think my most successful years as an artist thus far have been when I was making paste papers and books. I think that focus, for nearly 16 years, really got me exploring more and eventually led to the fabric and dyeing work. The interesting thing is that I haven’t really explored surface design in the ways I had planned and still want to. I think I felt I needed to learn techniques and look at artists (that I barely knew existed). Then I had to deal with the whole issue of learning to sew and quilt! In 7th grade sewing class I sewed the sleeve of a shirt I was making to the middle of the chest!! Funny now, but truthfully I didn’t know how that happened! I think I am somewhat dyslexic and always get bogged down in detail and especially written directions. When I buy “how to” books I mostly look at the pictures! I am terrible at math, can barely use a ruler, and weights and measures, well, we won’t go there. BUT! I can make a beautiful book, always make up recipes when I cook, you get the picture. I have figured out a way to be me! Plus, I do really like to make my own rules!
I decided to critique and share an older piece of work. It’s called “In Extremis” (2005) and I made it after the devastating Indonesian tsunami. I couldn’t stop thinking of the loss of life and the “being here and gone forever” within seconds. I made three boxes out of book board/ the 2 ends are 6”x6” and the center box is 6”x12”. They are covered with paste paper. I think this piece is all me in terms of interest. I love color, pattern, simple design and storytelling. The thing is, the piece is sooooooo small! I keep thinking what would the effect have been if the figures in the piece were at least 12” tall? My thoughts and feelings are big but I always express them in little tiny packages. I feel like the piece is mostly successful, the colors work together and the paper, textures and collage help convey the message. The boxes are well made and I figured out (with my husband’s help) a mounting system for them to hang together. (the color is a bit off in my photo, it was really hard to shoot).
This is what I have learned; I am very much influenced by the art quilt/ fiber arts movement, but I am not a quilter really or know where I fit in. I loved making the teabag “quilt”, but that is more about putting small parts together to form a whole and my interest in color, pattern, impermanence and transparency. (and meditative work) Slowly the answers are being revealed to me and that is an amazing feeling!