05 July 2011

on the chopping block

Every year in the summer the company I work for decides we all need to go away for a week and forces us into vacation mode. While its definitely not my favorite time of the year to take time off, who am I to complain about nine days off in a row? You don't have to tell me twice.

There are lots of things that need to be done that don't rank anywhere near the "fun" or "interesting" scale but with all that extra time off, I decided to make a serious effort to get in as much studio time as possible.

Today was a good day in that regard.

There's been a different kind of excitement lingering in my mind when I think about what I want to make. I feel like I've finally hit that sweet spot for what I want my work to be. Its been a long time coming, I've been at this for a while, but you know, I'm okay with that. Because each step has helped me get here. And now that I know where "here" is, I'm going to make myself comfortable and really settle in.

I continued on with my remnant collages.

My first step was to go through my stack of completed quilts and decide which ones should go on the chopping block. I came away with this pile:

I don't really have much trouble cannibalizing old work. Its not that I hate these pieces (most of these have been in shows or books) but I don't feel like they represent what I want to say anymore.

So in my mind, its better to yank out the scissors and give them a new purpose. I'd rather love them in a new piece of work then feel okay about them in their current state.

I also love working on these collages because I get to yank out all my scraps and dump them out and make a mess. Messes are goooooooooodddddd:

Right now I'm busy completing the five pieces I started back in this post. They are on the small side, 10" square. There's a certain kind of comfort level at working smaller right now, like we're still getting to know each other and we're doing that in several brief little visits.

What I find really interesting about these pieces is that they make me kind of twitchy when I'm working on them. I'm not very practiced at combining prints. In fact, I often feel allergic to it. I tend to work in more solid block and keep the imagery clear and graphic.

These are new and I've gotten to a point where when I start to feel like I want to pull back and simplify, I know I'm on the right track. Basically I work on it until I get nervous that its getting out of control - and keep going.

Its intoxicating.

That freedom.

I've got six total complete, four just need the edges completed. And three more that are very nearly finished:

I have an 18" canvas waiting on me. My plan is to begin that one tomorrow if I can find some free time.

I feel like I've finally found something I can dig my teeth into for the long haul, a series topic that I may never tire of. Its not really an idea that I ever thought I could wrap my mind around.

And yet here it is.

And all it took was a pair of scissors and some old artwork.


Karen Stiehl Osborn said...

These are very intriguing! Can't wait to see them finished.

Anonymous said...

Well that sounds like positive progress to me! Just the fact your challenging yourself and being brave is more then many artists dare to confront. I admire it.

And kudos for reusing old work. I'm glad I'm not the only one who does this. I tear up old drawings and sketches for collage effects and it horrifys my friends and family but rather that then have unwanted stuff lying around!

Kathy said...

There is so much satisfaction in getting someplace new from somewhere old! And who knew that there were so many possibilities from the same stack of 'stuff'? Have fun!

lynda Howells said...

Hi..l don't cut my quilts up, l made them in mind for my image blocks. We work in a very similar way. Love your pieces. Most of my fabric work is made from salvedges materials, eco-dyed stuff by me and found items.x l am enjoying watching your work grow. xlyndax