At home I'm cutting out new letterforms and contemplating another new idea, which is to create a loose grid on a white ground and compose flowing patterns of letterforms across this surface in shades and colors and sizes that will appear to recede and advance. Here is a very rough beginning -- throwing pieces up on the design wall is one of my forms of "sketching" and I have lots of leftover letterforms to play with and move around from the Pages piece I just finished. Even this rough beginning suggests possibilities and I'll return to my studio next to make more of this type of cloth for the ground fabric, which strongly appeals to me, but in the dimensions that fit my series, roughly 42" x 48" or 48" x 48."
An artist friend who is a painter visited my studio and commented that she is amazed at the amount of work that goes into my pieces. Although I enjoy painting with acrylics on canvas, there is something about layering and printing with dyes and paints on a textile surface that resonates with me aesthetically. Perhaps it is because cloth is so malleable, so adaptable to a multitude of processes. It can be sculpted, painted, draped, worn, hung on a wall, cast in bronze, burned, buried, stitched, wrapped, stretched and framed, among other options.Choice of a medium is a question of artistic fit. Did Kara Walker set out to work with cut paper silhouettes? Or did the choice of materials evolve in service to her concept? In contemporary art, various materials have been appropriated from every source and are being used by artists. Every type of material imaginable can and is being altered, combined or constructed into simple or elaborate works. Artists translate ideas into form; their choice of materials and mediums are no longer limited to drawing, painting and sculpture, although many contemporary artists still work in those mediums. It truly is a new frontier for cultural definitions about what is art.