Sunday, September 22, 2019

New work

Many deadlines and calls for entry are crowding my calendar. The time has come to pull out the "starts" and massage them into something I can be happy with.

untitled 1, 16 x 16, collage/paint

A workshop in August with Jane Davies gave me some insight into process. Jane warned the participants not to expect to go home with finished work. We were to consider everything we did to be a "start". Jane counselled us to work with multiple pieces at once, to do one or two things to each piece in rotation, and then to move on. In this way, we could perhaps avoid getting "stuck".

When you think about it, you don't want to practice "getting stuck". Rather like spinning your wheels when your tires are deep in the mud, perseverating in the stuck position just reinforces those pathways in the brain, and leads to frustration / avoidance / grief in the studio.

I've heard similar advice given to writers who are struggling to complete a particular piece of writing:  put aside the task that is not flowing and tackle something else. If the novel isn't going anywhere, write a magazine article or a book review. Then return to the problematic project with a renewed perspective.

untitled 2, 16 x 16, collage/paint

Having come to art through fibre, I am very much a "planner". With my cityscapes, I begin with my photo, which becomes a drawing. I choose a palette of colour to work with and proceed from there. Perhaps a few tweaks with dark/light relationships, elimination of some detail, and the outcome is very much determined from the start. Not much opportunity for "happy accidents".

Painting and collage is, for me, a very different process. Obliteration is a tool available to the painter that is not readily at hand to the textile artist.

Two shows coming up next month, and these two recent pieces will be submitted to one of them. 

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