Friday, May 21, 2010

Started AND Finished this week!

I am very happy to say that I started a piece and totally finished it (ready to hang) all in one week. This is amazing because lately I have been starting so many things and if it can't get done in one sitting it may not get done at all. I accept that there are always going to be pieces that will never get done. I think that is part of being an artist. There are too many ideas to explore, and often the new ideas want out so badly that you can not ignore them. I especially have a hard time staying with a piece of felt while I am rolling it. While my body works the felt my mind is free to wander and dream up the next piece and I want to start it right then. Yes, I know I have very little patience. I think I find it even harder now that I forget so many things. I think I want to start the next piece before I forget my 'great' ideas. I have tried keeping an art journal and writing notes...but these things need memory too.
1. You have to remember to use them.
2. You have to remember where you put them when not in use.
3. You have to remember why you thought that was a good idea.

The fact that I could stick with this piece is really amazing because it gave me a lot of trouble. It all started with this piece of silk.

I saw a forest of trees in fall colors in this silk. This was a bit odd because I don't usually use warm earthy colors, although the natural dyeing has gotten me looking at them with a new eye. The other strange thing for me was to work on a fall piece in the spring. My work is usually directly linked to the natural world around me. (Maybe I just wanted to use some of the gold and brown silks we just I can justify dyeing more!)  Well, the layout of the silk on the wool looked great but the wool did not go through the silk. It is possible that I was overzealous in the beginning and felted the wool too much. I decided to leave the piece for the night and see how things went when I was refreshed in the morning. And I actually did go back and work on it in the morning...but only made slightly more progress. It was felted, but some of the pieces of silk were barely attached. I decided to do some machine embroidery to keep them anchored. This proved to be another test of my ability to stay with a project because my machine and I do not get along well. I do not have the patience for needles breaking, bobbins running out, thread jams, etc. but each time I walked away from it I HAD to go back. I guess this piece wanted to be done. I sometimes feel that I am just a facilitator for the art, as though the pieces have their own need to be created.  I love that feeling. And I think this is one of my best  pieces.


 It was made on a resist to be a pillow but when I stuffed it it was too hard to see the design. I guess it wanted to be a wall hanging. Here is the FINISHED! piece. (The true colors are closer to the first photo)