Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Loosening Up

I started on June's challenge piece today with great eagerness. Been awhile since I've done more than putz around in the studio and it felt good to be designing again. I gathered up my reference printouts, cut a window viewer the size of the finished piece and went to work.

I had a few ideas that had formed since deciding to use one of the tissue paper sunprints. I drew on transparencies placed over the printout of said fabric to test some of these ideas before trying a full-size sketch. One of the promises I made to myself several years ago was to stay away from making predictable work. The direction this was headed felt too predictable, and frankly, not very inspired. I was spinning my wheels and realized it was time to loosen up.

So I cut the paper into strips to experiment with another idea I had, one perhaps similar to bargello piecing. The bargello idea wasn't creating anything interesting, but merely flipping and rearranging the strips did. I wasn't confident enough, though, to cut up my one-of-a-kind fabric. Ah, but I did have a second one very much like it that I had no plans for and could test this idea on. Now I was really loosening up knowing that it didn't matter if this worked or not on this piece. In the picture above, it is cut into 5 strips.

And here some strips turned end to end and switched places.

I really liked what I was seeing so sewed the strips back together, pressing seams open. A much improved piece of fabric!

And here is how I used that window viewer to isolate the area of it that will be showing. One of the things I like about June's painting is the curve of the water. In the more abstract vision that surfaced in my mind, I could see these squiggles over the surface not unlike her curves. I thought of them as spirits or perhaps prayers - this IS a Bishop's Close I'm working with here. But how to render them? Stitching? Applique? I wasn't sure until today. I remembered the quilting stencil you see on the left, and knew that was the shape I had in mind. I cut a few out of newsprint just to see how it would look, and I definitely like it. The fabric on the right matches perfectly the water in June's painting, and looks so good with the colors in the painted fabric. But I'm not sure it's right for the squiggles. and don't know how else to work it in. I may cut the squiggles from the navy net - a piece of which is lying across the fabric in the lower right. I like where this is headed.

I must admit that my more predictable design idea is still playing in the back of my mind, and I may pursue that one as well. June, I have found out, did two paintings based on the textile piece I sent her. I sense one does need a warm-up piece and then something totally different.

1 comment:

JennaLouiseCreates said...

Such a nice project, I really like the colors:) Thanks for stopping at my blog, yours is always a treat for me. Hugs, Jenna Louise