My fabric career spans decades, serving clients from Hawaii to Puerto Rico. I have worked on the dining table, in a spacious bedroom, down in the basement, and from the kitchen counter. Soon I will practice in a studio made just for me!
Originally a two-part wooden door opened to the work bench / potting shed of my garage. I like the above view of layered solutions. The craftsmen who integrated the block wall were a delight to watch. Photograph below shows the new door and windows. The mammoth piece of equipment signals that soon water will be piped in and out of the space.
Each one of the spaces in which I have worked has evolved my skill and craftsmanship. Clients have evoked ever-widening artistry. It is my goal that the new studio will support larger inventory, more complex work patterns, and greater focus on increasingly authentic art.
In the beginning…….God created…….In the beginning……..was the Word……
In the beginning of 2016, I stalled out. In the midst of stacks of fabrics, committed projects, commissioned work, beckoning ideas, and pots of paint, I struggled to create a plan and to write a schedule that would contain and direct all these good things. The elements of a blessed beginning were drowning me through my own inaction.
The inner coach screamed: cut, stitch, paint. Madeleine L’Engle’s words whispered in my head, “Inspiration come in the midst of work.” Studio action created 31 little art tags this morning. My happy hands cut, stitched, and painted, completing one of the elements for a presentation next week.
Cleaning picture files yesterday, I discovered the included photograph of Genesis, a privately owned piece. I like the swirling, undulating energy in it. The contrast of the oranges and blues creates both friction and clarity. It was made by cutting, stitching, and painting. Beginnings are complex. A starting point is not.
Both of these photos appeared on our fibergig Facebook timeline in September. Viewers commented that the products were quite disparate. Perhaps not many studios create a runway garment and a spiritual mural in the same summer. Actually, I use the same techniques to create all of my work. Often the role of the work itself is the same.
I designed the organdy black cape and several other garments for a runway show, in which several members of my Seeking Stars Art team were featured. The garments were to showcase jewelry and to energize the movement of the models. They played a beautiful counter-melody to the primary players.
A congregation in Texas commissioned the large mural for its fellowship space. In the photo, the visiting bishop address the faith community about its vision for the future. Behind him, the mural is a visual reminder of the constancy of the Christian Trinity. It plays a silent counter-melody, fully supporting the message.
I learned counter-melody in high school band, when I played the euphonium. Trombones to the left and tubas to the right blew out harmony and rhythm. Trumpets in front tooted the melody. But our small section, along with a few woodwinds, often had the task of enriching the sound with a secondary tune. Perhaps this is where my love of complexity began.
My art friend Marsha once defined my style as complex primitive. I rejoiced to hear that.
I have worked for years evolving complexity in my work. Initially I used it to create greater energy in the compositions. Today, I employ the techniques to give depth. I work to express hope and love in my art. Complexity helps the viewer find a comfortable starting point.
Primitive shapes are my starting point because I cut out designs far more often than draw them. I like simple shapes as a distillation, the removal of specific qualifiers to create a more universal image.
In this stole for Lent, the hand dyed fabric is quiet in tone but complex in pattern. The raw edge appliqued cross suggests reflective and penitent thought. The message is clear, but merits more than one look.
This is my year of listening. On Mondays I post a quotation from my collection, words that resonated the first time I heard them, and which continue to resonate. That is a plan for listening which I share with others. I also have personal listening that is about discovery. What am I hearing?
I started listening to Ted Talks as I work in the studio. I am listening to understand the size, structure, and energy of these presentations. I also get to think about topics that would not necessarily come across my radar.
I am listening to trusted voices. Good words come from folks dear to me, good and familiar books, and from those who share my path, if even for a short time. I also hear my own voice, sometimes more clearly through my visual art.
The best thing I am hearing is God’s laughter. Several years ago, I told my sister that I wanted a complex answer to a simple question. This was not a whim, not a clever sound bite, but rather a deep desire, a prayer. I listen and I hear complexity. How do I like this? God is laughing and I am dancing.