Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Doing the work...

"Fear is lack of knowledge, is the space in an empty cup, fill it and fear will be gone. Creativity is the ability to believe you can fill that cup." Javi
Today was not about making great art, not even about making good art. Today was about getting in the studio and doing some work, proceeding past the staring stage, just picking up a spool of thread without much thought and beginning. I'm tired of looking at the two painted scraps and trying to decide what to do with them, not interested in setting them aside for later. They are standing in the way of the next project I want to do. So today, we dispatched with them, for better or worse.

I began with the one with the most visible landscape qualities (to my eye). I'd decided what was holding me back was what color of thread to use. A spool of King Tut thread in variegated rusts and golds was sitting on the ironing board. I pooled a length over the postcard and decided why not? Not at all what I'd been thinking, but I liked the look in the upper section, outlining the mountains, the break in the clouds, swirling across the sky. I continued to use it to define the road and then started filling in that space. With what, was the question, and I found myself making small circles in the garnet stitch. Not exactly the look I wanted, but then I thought to overlap the circles. That gave me the more gravelly texture I was looking for. However, I was sorry I didn't use a different, lighter value thread. Too late - now what to do with the ground. Switching to a variegated green thread, I started at the bottom adding grass along the road. I moved up towards the mountains and tried to stitch in tiny tuffs of something. Not as successful. Moved back toward the grass and stitched in an intermediate size that I liked. But overall, it looked a little flat, a little confusing. Don't look too closely at the deer I added - it has a bum leg, but at least it adds something to the view, a focus and some perspective. It probably belongs in the mountains, not out here in the flatlands, but it was all I had. A good learning piece, I've decided.

On to the next one. Today also seemed to be about letting go of an idea in order to move forward. Although I could still see the portal, I had to admit I didn't want to add more of the large garnet stitch to form a stone wall, partly because I didn't think the thread color was right. The heck with it, turn it vertically, remove the quilting and start thinking of this little strip of land with the big big sky towering over it. Maybe a row of trees along the ridgeline. No, that's not really a ridge. It's reminding me of the Palouse hills, and now I'm thinking a building in silhouette flanked by trees might be interesting. I sketched some to work it out but was dissatisfied with my house, pretty sure I was not getting the angles right. I decided to take a break and check my photo archives in the computer, look at the pictures I'd taken of the Palouse, see what kind of trees prevail, look up some barn photos for perspective. As I paged through these I stumbled upon some with windmills along the hill tops and suddenly remembered all the reference photos I'd taken at Maryhill Museum last year. Yes, windmills against the big big sky would be just the thing. Only the white thread did not stand out on the background as I'd expected. So I stitched around each with a black/grey Sulky ultra twist thread. They're a little wonky but at least I've made the first attempt at using windmills.


Cathie said...

That is really, really beautiful. What a wonderful job you did on this piece of painted fabric. I love it.

dining tables said...

I know that you can make that kind of amazing art work because you have the talent and the heart of a true artist. I just wish that I can see all your beautiful creations.