Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Desperately Seeking Inspiration

Or perhaps it's not so much seeking inspiration as solutions for inspiration. This isn't where I started the day but it is where I ended - that vision gap thing getting in the way again. I'm thinking I want to piece a background in horizontal strips - probably curved strips - to be the background for photo manipulations. I printed out the lot on paper today at about the size I thought would work in my planned 16 x 20 inch format. This is the idea that started to come together as I chose discounted floater frames. Anyway, the photos are of the shadows wild grass cast against a paved street. I'll probably print them out on cotton sateen, and my mind said a basically black background would work well. So here I am with all the black fabric in my stash that appears to work together without overpowering the photo images, and I'm just not sure. Have thrown in a couple with a bit of color and guess that the only thing for it is to start cutting and sewing together strips.

I actually started at the computer today, after taking another look at the discharge piece and curious to know what you all thought from yesterday's post. I was supposed to be looking at reference pictures for the thread-painted purple seedheads idea and to work out a sketch or two in preparation for stitching - I'm hoping to have it all done by the end of the month. But I find myself a bit intimidated by it - the pictures show a different orientation than I remembered and thought I'd use, so dithering has begun. I switched to the other idea I'm really more keen on pursuing - a second Palouse Hills with a spring theme. I meant to sketch out main lines from my reference pictures, but the lure of Paint Shop Pro manipulations won out. I printed out 4 or 5 different views, not saving the changes to a file. The one above is just a cool manipulation I stumbled upon of the reference photo I think I'll use. Not sure how I would use this manipulation though.

This is the original photo except I've lightened it and bumped up the contrast. I'm really keen to work with the bright greens I remember from a spring drive through that area.

Ok, it's true that all these things I did today were on my goals list, but it still felt like I hadn't spent any "studio" time and was just avoiding dealing with the wire on the discharge piece. So after lunch I made myself face it. I fiddled a little with the crimp tube but unfortunately, I don't have a crimp tool small enough to work with these. As I studied the knots already tied, I decided they were holding pretty well and opted for a fix that I'd read in Quilting Arts - just apply tape over the wire to hold it in place. I had to change the end point on the 4 corners so that they matched the rest of the wire "x's", retied those knots, then used linen tape to tape over all the knots. I cinched up the rest of the wire I'd woven in and out and around, placing tape over places where it changed direction and wasn't holding the snugging up well. I've pinned it up on the design wall for more pondering. I do think it's destined to be mounted on mat board and framed. The white showing through the middle looks very odd.

Then I circled, and circled, and circled the studio, because dang it, I still had a couple of hours before I could justify stopping. I put away no longer needed items from the work table. I watched my mind scatter to one thing after another that I COULD think about working on. I pondered how to render the spring furrows and whether I could paint swaths of green on the silk fabric I'd used in the fall version. Or could I get that green just with thread? I really have the urge to sit at my machine and piece, and besides the shadow grass piece, I'm thinking about using that same horizontal strip pieced background behind a couple more of those stamped leaves on hand dyed fabric charms. But in staring at them, I moved one onto what's left of that silk fabric wondering if it could be a background instead. No, the pieced background would be better. All these ideas require pulling fabric from the stash and I just don't feel I have a good enough sense of where I'm going with all this to start that process. Except for the shadow grass, or so I thought. And then I remember that sketching of the purple seedheads - maybe that would have been easier than what I ended up doing! Sheesh - so much for confidence and focus!

I think some of this indecision is brought on by an impending trip this weekend. It's splitting my concentration, and even though I have little to do to prepare for the trip, I'm having a heck of a time not letting my mind wander to ridiculous worries about it.


Olga said...

Sheila I am sorry to read that you are in a confidence dither, but certainly recognise the phenomenon. Sometimes stuff just takes a lot of time and faffing about to feel right, or even to look halfway right. Part of the problem with your wire work too is that you are expecting perfection straight off. It helps when you can try different things out and play around with effects before committing your materials. I think that what you are doing with the metal plate looks really good, simple and elegant. If you are worried, perhaps practising with something that has the same hole in the centre would help.

I know what you mean about an impending trip causing waves. I am filling in time before going off for a residential workshop - something I have not done for years, and all the time caring for my mother made me quite a hermit. So, now I am really apprehensive, which is totally ridiculous, ... but -

Anyway, good luck, with everything.

MulticoloredPieces said...

Hi, Sheila. Sometimes I find it helpful to do multiples of something. That is, I'll do one idea in several ways or as many ways as I can think of. That way I can choose what I like best, and there really is no right or wrong when the point is quantity. It sort of frees one up. Your experiments sound very interesting--good luck!
best, nadia

The Idaho Beauty said...

Olga, well of COURSE I'm expecting perfection - lol! Thank you both for your encouragement. I know from past experience that sometimes the best thing to do when the old confidence disappears is to set the thing aside for a bit. It almost always looks just fine after I've put some distance between the time of struggle and a final assessment. Either that or what needs to be done will surface with the fresh outlook.

My stack of fabric already looks more promising when I looked this morning, and I think by the time I return from my trip, I will have a new outlook on this whole thing. Nadia, you are right about the multiples - I think that's exactly what I need to do.

Anonymous said...

Just thought i would change my old approaches of not commenting and say hello. Been around for awhile and have loved your posts