As an artist/designer/craftsperson, I rarely felt alienated from my work during Pandemic 1.0, although the work and focus have certainly changed. Fortunately, inspiration abounds and I continue to make, if only for myself(!). We can all probably attest to the the foundation not feeling as steady as it did before – not quite back to “normal”…and sometimes, we may feel we (collectively) are regressing…. but we press on. And so it goes in my world. Here’s what’s been happening (at least some of it) and what’s on the horizon.
The third piece in my natural dye series revolves around printing/mark-making (specifically on cloth) with thickened natural dyes. 9/18-19/21, SEFAA Center, Atlanta, Georgia. Learn more.
Much of my decorative and fine art work is created with naturally dyed cloth, including emerging 3-dimensional work and hand-stitched, applique layered modules. This work continues. See more about 3-D and Stitched Modules.
My “artisan apparel” line, Petal-Una Collection continues, for now. This container for my wearable work is now entering its 10th year! From this point forward, I’ll be celebrating its unfolding as I continue to create a limited number of RTW and custom hand-dyed/painted/printed wearable pieces. Look for changes in the coming year as this part of my practice enters its next phase. Visit the Petal Website to see more.
One of the things I decided to start doing this year was renew a commitment to daily drawing and sketching. To that end, I humbly offer a new series in this blog: “The Weekly Sketch,” featuring scanned (and unadulterated) excerpts from my 2014 sketchbook.
They aren’t finished works; they are process pieces – the byproduct of my daily commitment to the page, which I feel keeps me loose and open to creative possibilities in and out of the studio. Essentially, they are meditations on surface and texture, a means of rendering my mind’s-eye more porous and receptive to information which might serve me later. General Info: The subjects vary – sometimes I work from images, sometimes from life; many of the examples are gestural or loose renderings, some are more detailed. The media and tools vary as well – brush and ink, technical pen; pencil, pastel; and who knows what else may turn up in the future. Many of these examples also reflect the use of a new tool for me: a digital stylus and graphic interface which I use now for a lot of my surface design studies – it’s easy to stay loose without having to worry about committing a line to a piece of paper – also easier to erase if something doesn’t work! I allow myself an hour to an hour-and-a-half for each session, no more. The time limit keeps me from getting too deep; and although that often means I can’t finish (or over-work) what I’ve started, I have honored the commitment to the daily practice. After that, I’m off to the computer or the felting/print table, the sewing machine, or wherever the Work next requires my presence!
I’ve been working on some printed cloth to incorporate into soon-to-be-revealed petal-una pieces. These are floating print layers and are one-of-a-kind pieces, each having a life of its own. I am always on the look-out for what I feel are perfect confluences of pattern and color in whatever surface design work I’m up to – these confluences will often become the subject of further image and pattern development. Here are lightly embellished “portraits” of some of these recent discoveries:
Soft afternoon – change of light and color and the last blossoms of Fall before leaf-change. I am in familiar territory again after working through time constraints and energy traps – grateful for this long-desired spell of studio time…and happy to be writing again.
I am diving back into the flow of work and ideas – able to take some time to consider relationships, connections, to move ideas forward and bring their essence closer to being. To be estranged from the heart of one’s creative light can be confusing and disturbing. Sometimes the condition is the result of choices made, actions taken; sometimes it seems to come without provocation or invitation. In either case it can stay well beyond any reasonable degree of tolerance and can make one’s creative process feel jerky, awkward, and strained …until one’s “groove” is recovered. I am glad to be here in the flow once more, however temporary it may be.
Today I have been working with some nuno-felted cloth from the “vault”… dusted off, overdyed and recast as a wearable construction – the final form is starting to take shape, one act at a time. This process is a deep one. It represents a kind of cross-fertilization between past and present, taking on a level of complexity I did not have access to when the original cloth first came into being. Cut and textured, with curious fringe –ties which double as the means for configuring the piece to a variety of shapes and forms on the body. It is a history unfolding, this piece – an accumulation of layers and strands of past action and memory. It starts to feel flexible, alive as it unpacks the memories of hopes and fears bound up in creating new work. This is what I have been waiting for.