A few months back I mentioned that I was experimenting with some fabrics and thread to create new fiber artworks.
I have no idea what I am doing.
This is the first time I’ve created work with no predetermined concept, no sketching, no sense of where I am going.
To be honest, I don’t like it. I’m too impatient for this kind of work. I’m too afraid it will turn out to be a waste of time.
And yet, I know I need to keep working on it. I’m drawn to it for some reason. There’s something about being lost inside an artwork that I need right now. It’s making me slow down somehow. Since I don’t know where the “end” is, what the final product is supposed to be, I’m not really in a hurry to get there.
I’m still waiting for this to turn into the meditative, relaxing exercise I was hoping it would.
I have a feeling that just isn’t the kind of artist I am.
And, I’m ok with that.
If I were Anne of Green Gables I would call my dear friend, Amelia, a kindred spirit. She is my Diana and I am her Anne. We met just a few years ago, but it feels like she’s an old elementary school friend. We have one of those uninterrupted relationships. There’s always something we can talk about and even if we go awhile without chatting it feels like we pick up where we left off right when we see each other. A breath of fresh air friendship.
Now that I live in a different state and a long day’s drive away from Amelia, we have come up with a fun way to stay in touch. We decided to collaborate on some artworks.
Here’s the deal.
We pick a material and each start a new artwork using that material. Each piece is to measure 12 inches by 12 inches.
Paper is our first material choice.
I have been pondering the piece for a few weeks now not really knowing where to begin. The other night I had one of those half awake kind of dreams and an artwork popped in my head. So, I created it the next day.
I am really excited to send it over to Amelia and see what she has to add to it. As you know, this is right up my alley as I always like to add a step or two to my artworks that are out of my control. Here I’m handing over the entire work to someone else to do as she pleases. It’s thrilling because I have no idea what to expect to get back in the mail. And, I get to do the same thing to the beginnings of a work of art Amelia will be sending my way shortly.
There’s that feeling when you know you are about to start something. That a new series is just about ready for you to create it. There’s excitement, fear, anticipation, impatience, and eagerness, all wrapped up inside me ready to burst out and get to work. This is the fuzziest I have ever been about a final artwork. I am such a planner that I usually have the entire installation organized in my head before the work begins.
This time around the plan is to let the material do the talking. That is crazy town for me. I don’t really even know what that means yet. Right now, it is me giving my brain a rest and letting my hands take over a bit. Instead of high anxiety, labor of love, I am working towards a relaxing, go with the flow, work ethic.
I have no idea how long it will last and really don’t know if anyone will ever see a final artwork. I just know that I have some fabric, needles, and thread and I’m going to start sewing some stuff together.
I will think about the rest later.
It was strange going through a dead person’s clothes. Especially since I knew him. I hadn’t seen him for quite a while, so all the memories I have of him are from elementary school. He died young. I gathered his old clothes and comforter from his mother and told her I would make a memory quilt. My favorite part of the whole piece is that his comforter is used as the stuffing for the quilt. So, most of the quilt is “made of him.”
I know it’s only a quilt and it doesn’t change the fact that he’s gone and he left too soon. I hope as time passes it will become a reminder of good memories instead of a painful loss.
For the past 5 years or so I have been making work that has people’s faces printed onto it. I dig it and it seems as though a great deal of other people do too. I was surprised at my last go at the art making thing, as the result was quite different aesthetically, although the same in terms of concept.
***This piece, entitled Lost and Found, was inspired by all of the random clothing I find as I walk around the neighborhoods in Berkeley. I always wonder who used to wear the clothes and who might wear them next. Always feeding to my ever-thoughts about the strangers I will never meet.***
Perhaps my style is changing…
I don’t know yet how I feel about hanging this piece next to the other work I’ve completed for the Significant Stranger Project. Will it work with Mr. Rogers or what about Mary? Would they compliment each other? Something I need to consider. Most of my work doesn’t become complete until it is installed with the rest of its brothers and sisters in a large space. There seems to be a conversation that happens when all the work is in one space together. I’m busy trying to finish up this project to make sure that happens in the near future. I’d like to see what the work has to say to itself.