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Archive for November 30th, 2010

Searching for Inspiration

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

I have really lost my way. I think a few things have conspired to make me lose my confidence. I have gotten too many rejections. I am looking at my work and wondering if I took off in the wrong direction with the aspen pieces. Should I go back to doing more abstract work? Then, I get hung up when I attempt to start a new piece. To make a long story short, I have just felt lost in my studio for some time. Except for my little fiber sketches, I have been catatonic. I probably should take a look at some of those for inspiration.

Anyway, I decided that I needed a fiber project that was non-threatening. Jane LaFazio posted about coasters that Alisa Burke made from some scraps that Jane gave her. You can see her tutorial on her blog. I made mine slightly differently than Alisa.

I knew there was a reason for hanging on to these denim pieces I cut off my Mom Jeans this summer.

I made 4 pieces of denim background from the two cut-off legs. I then covered a piece with fused scraps and ironed them down.

I then revved up the Janome and free motion quilted the whole piece.

At this point, you could cut the coasters and finish the edges, but Alicia had the great idea of covering them with tulle and stitching again – in a straight line grid. I did this, too and very much like the effect. I used red tulle and black to white gradated thread.

I will zigzag the edges to finish them. I think it would be nice to leave some of the denim showing, as Alicia did. This would work very nicely with a felt base. Lots of options.

Yesterday, Robert Genn, in his letter, had 3 solutions to fighting the blues for a Scottish artist:

The sherbet cure. Like sherbet after the main course, take a couple of days of de-briefing. Intense influence has scrambled your cerebral neurons. You need to re-boot. I’d take a long walk in the heather and top it off with a few single malts. Near Inverness, I know just the places.

The solitary confinement cure. While any sort of intensity and learning is great, an artist also needs a private vacuum in which to gather thoughts and re-unite with personal processes. In the words of the writer Annie Dillard, “You need a room with no view so memory can meet imagination in the dark.” Leaving your intense experience and exciting environment behind, your work must now come out of you. Too many lambs spoil the haggis.

The forced beginning cure. This is where you puff yourself up, squeeze paint and dig in. Awkward at first, the processes that sustained you before, augmented by what you have recently learned, will gradually take over and you’ll be your old self again. You must know that people have risen again in their studios after a bout of major trauma. It’s been done before.

So, I tried the forced beginning cure tonight. However, I kind of like the first one that involves some single malt.

I had a full day today of getting some things checked off my to do list. And then an evening in the studio. It was a good day.