Saturday, March 29, 2008

Row, Row, Row Your Boat

Gently down the stream...While I've been researching and taking notes and contemplating Jasper Johns' grey prints and paintings and Japanese calligraphy and researching artists' books, I've also continued working on these two current Parables pieces.
The top piece is done; I'll add stitching and complete it. The lower piece is not finished--it will get another layer to create a dominant foreground. Some areas of this piece work better than others. I may decide to cut this one into small segments for the 12" x12" framed pieces.

Perhaps because I'm both an avid reader and writer I find I work the way a person reads a book -- developing the characters (the imagery) and following the story chapter by chapter (in my work, layer by layer, choice by choice). In both cases, I may have clues but am never quite sure what the ending or outcome will be. Today wasn't one of my more inspired days; I kept doggedly plugging away despite not feeling tuned in to what was happening and that usually leads me off the trail and into the brambles.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily...The two pieces that I'm working on are evolving into very different works from what I originally planned for them. I am not thrilled with every aspect of them but I always love the work, even when I am muttering under my breath at my choices! I always tend to reach a point in making a new work where I think I am in control and know exactly where the story is going and then SURPRISE -- a new twist, a new challenge to respond to, a new direction the piece starts moving in that I didn't expect (and honestly, didn't WANT). I used to fight back and try to drag the work back in the direction I wanted to go, now I just grin (OK sometimes I groan!) but then I relax and move along downstream instead of reenacting a salmon trying to spawn. If the point of creating art is to grow, how can I grow unless I "see what happens if..."

Life is but a dream. However I may feel about the work I've done at a particular moment, I always wake up the next morning after a long, tiring and sometimes frustrating day eager to dive into my current work again. I may even wake up with one of those inspired ideas for what I need to do next with the second piece. The jury is still out on it, but I can't help but remain an optimist. I've been in this spot before and ended up delighted once I added another layer. It might just happen with this one too!


  1. When these 2 pieces first came up on the computer screen I ended up comparing them, and the one on the bottom did not favor well, I think because of the colors used in both. When I scrolled down and could only see the bottom one, I loved it and I think they each stand up well on their own merits.

  2. Wonderful depth and dimension in the top one. I can see why you feel the other one needs more. Good luck with the next layer.