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.
The sewing machine or a pair of scissors are often the tools first associated with my art practice. But it is the iron that is used most frequently and consistently. When I am working well, focused on what is before me and its purpose, it is the iron that guides me into good evaluation.
Fabric new to inventory is often washed, and always pressed. The sole plate glides over the surface. My eyes check for flaws. My hands absorb the quality of the texture.
After dyeing and painting, during applique and piecing projects return to press board. Heat smooths out the rough places. The iron’s point leads my eyes to fresh views of the work. I prefer to schedule this work early in the day. The closer scrutiny frequently suggests next steps for the fabric.
When the work is complete, each project gets a final press with the iron. Seams are checked and hems measured. Labels are attached and small threads are snipped clear. Bring the heat. Begin and end.
I found this forgotten treasure of 5″ by 7″ mats, painted fabric backgrounds matched and in place, in a supply closet last week. A few days later my sister shared information about CreativeSprint. I am blending the two together for an April visit into working small.
I first used this format three years ago. I added cut, fused fabric shapes to the painted background. Stitched accents created a third step to the process.
I will share daily the results of the Sprint. I am curious what the cumulative gallery and process will be. I plan to enjoy this visit to small dimensions.
This week’s studio work includes using products from one of our fellow Etsy shops, PG Fiber2Art. They market thermofax screens which are great for applying painted design to paper or fabric. We had the BOLD made for our new fiber tags. We ordered our fibergig name in two sizes, one for bags and one for garment labels.