Sunday, July 02, 2006

The Start of Something New

See, this is what I was talking about in the last post. I have a page and a half of projects either in process or on the drawing board, but now that I've finished one of them, do I go to my list for what to work on next? No - I go off on a new tangent.

I blame my internet friend, Margaret. She threw out a challenge of sorts, sending me to a website of Chinese poetry, some of which had translations. I found one that I thought I could work into my Birches series and made a copy of it for future reference. Margaret said, "Do something quick! Don't spend a lot of time on it." And I replied, "Me? Do anything quickly? I simply can't!" But of course, I realized I do occasionally put together a speedy piece. Such was the case with Silver Birches (that's it below), pretty much completed in a single day. But at the time Margaret challenged me, I felt I had higher priority projects to work on, so even something quick was out of the question.

While working on one of those higher priority pieces, my peripheral vision kept drawing me to something I'd put on my design wall. Silver Birches was made using reverse applique, and of course, I'd saved those tree trunks I'd cut away to reveal the silver fabric beneath. I'd carefully arranged them exactly as they had been in the original design, thinking I could use them in yet another version (a journal quilt, Silver Birches and Strawberry Moon are all the same basic pattern). I blame Margaret again for what happened next. I'd spotted a photo on her blog of birch trees in a Paris park, trees that were staggered rather than lining up like mine. Mmmm, I turned to the design wall and staggered my trunks - and a variation in my series presented itself. I decided right then and there, I'd use the staggered trunks in my Chinese Poem Challenge piece. Later, of course.

Once I get an idea that excites me, it drives me quite crazy not to follow up on it. And I've had to wait quite a bit to have an opening, but I could tell that as soon as Irish Eyes was done, I'd not be able to control my urge to get started on this. In fact, when I had my batiks out looking for ones to add to Irish Eyes, I decided to search for a background for the trunks too. This piece will do most of the work in portraying the mood of the poem, and with Irish Eyes boxed and ready to ship, I could not resist putting it up on the design wall and arranging the trunks on it. I don't anticipate having time to do more than mull over the next step until I get back from my trip (leaving Friday).

Yes, everything is as dark as it looks in the picture. I will add threadwork to bring light and definition, maybe a little paint as well. And the way it is cropped is not necessarily the size it will end up. I will try to heed Margaret's admonition to not spend too much time belaboring it, but I won't make any promises!


Sally Bowker said...

Sheila, I saw your comment on Lisa Call's website and your mention of the "abstract art show" with its notebook of artist statements sent me flying to your blog. You must be around Eau Claire, and the show was at the library, right? I'm in the show, Sally Bowker, and would love to meet you. I'm a painter, but am getting into some quilting........

I'm at Please contact me and we could meet for coffee..........?

margaret said...

Hope the hunting trip is successful, Sheila. Seeing the new piece while scrolling down, my immediate thought was "ooh, that's nice!" It could end up as a less-is-more thing, perhaps??