Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Solutions are Everywhere

I've always spread my net far and wide when it comes to topics of interest. My reading lists over the years can best be described as eclectic. I study all types and media of art, open my ears to all genre of music, remembering that whether or not I initially like it, there may be something for me to learn, take away from it. Go looking for an answer, and I will go to all the obvious places which may or may not provide a workable solution. But by keeping my eyes, and mind, open, I often stumble upon solutions in unlikely places.

Smithsonian Magazine is one of my favorites because of its wide range of topics and frequently inspiring photographs. I nearly flipped past this image from an illuminated manuscript circa 1130 a.d. without much thought - it certainly is not in a style or subject I would work in and the article that it accompanied had nothing to do with art or illuminated manuscripts, but was about the Vikings depicted in it. But my work this year with water themes perhaps caused my eye to take a second look at those fish. No matter whether you use paint, or fabric, or charcoal or pen, depicting an object underwater is tricky (as I discovered when working on Spring Runoff), depicting the movement of water less so but often predictable, especially for fiber artists. There's the ubiquitous meandering quilting line (like I've been using on my Moon over Pend Oreille series) and the "wave" partial spiral. By the time Willow was ready for quilting, I was definitely ready to find another way to make the water move. I'd seen it rippling and looking all in the world like a piece of shibori fabric, so I tried a type of cross hatching with stitch that was not as successful as I had hoped. But at least it wasn't meandering.

When I took a second look at the illumination, I thought this solution, the more or less parallel rippling lines over the fish and around the boats was quite brilliant. So simple and definitely got the message across. I may have to give it a go.

1 comment:

Olga said...

Sheila I so agree about solutions being everywhere. In fact I believe that lateral gathering gleans more interesting solutions which set off wider inspirations.

I like this 'now you see it now you don't' way of depicting what is under water. I hope that you enjoy exploring it further.