Monday, February 25, 2008

Ma Vie En Gris

The Academy Awards ceremonies last night inspired this title, although I was too absorbed in reading "Three Cups of Tea" (moving story of Greg Mortenson's work assisting communities in remote villages of northern Pakistan--do read it, it is inspirational) and unwinding from four intense studio days to pay much attention. I was determined to get new Pages and Parables pieces well fleshed out before I switched gears to do my residency and teach at U of R this week and I am proud to say I pulled it off. But I was so tired by last evening that I went to bed at 9PM!
The first ground I dyed and silk screened at my studio on Thursday for new Parables pieces is still in process, but I started a second one on Friday that I'm delighted with and is ready to continue layering. I am moving the series forward from Parables 2 by varying the scale of the letter forms and utilizing the value range of bright and dark reds that I experimented with on my previous piece for the magazine before it became "Letters to Broadway." The other ground will get finished next weekend and this one will hang on my design wall all this week, so once I can get back to my own work I'll have two new Parables pieces well underway.

So then I moved back to working on the third Pages piece that has been in progress. Friday night and Saturday I completed stitching all the rows on the water soluble fabric. I had already decided to try applying sheer letter forms to this new piece. I did a sample, washed it out and the letter forms held their shape, so the idea appears to work. On Sunday I drew some new shapes, refined some of the older ones I still like, pinned and cut them all out and started composing. Once I determine that I have placed the individual elements all exactly as I want them, I will stitch these down to the existing surface, add a hanging sleeve at the top and then wash away the water soluble so they will all "float" on the pages beneath. The idea behind the choices for "Page 3" is for the black letter forms to appear to be flying off the white "pages" into the grey areas surrounding them. I edited out the idea of putting some letter forms behind the pages -- maybe on a future piece, but not on this one.

There's a storm heading our way and so I'm driving up to my studio today to pack all the supplies in my car I need to take to U of R before tomorrow's predicted six inches of blowing, drifting snow. Better to do the drive and packing today when it's clear and sunny and mild! Given the accuracy of weather forecasting, the heavy snow may miss us (hope hope), but I'll feel more relaxed having it done today, just in case we get more rather than less messy weather tomorrow.

I'm spending my first day at U of R working on my own work and I have an idea for another piece that features burned edges. I'll gather the materials and try out a sample tomorrow. The space at U of R is limited so I want to work with processes that don't require a lot of space or equipment. Burning and stitching are the perfect solutions. This falls into the category of another one of those creative challenges that always spark new insights-- the original ideas don't always work out as I hope, but they almost always lead me to a new idea that does.

No comments:

Post a Comment