26 April 2012

letting it go...

Like many of us do, I use art to work through things. Hard situations, stressful times. Normally the things I make that are about the darker moments I keep to myself. I did a small series a couple of years ago when I was at an in between time, coming off a hard period but feeling better about the world.

I made the Talk to Me Series.

They have journaling all over them. Really personal stuff. And while I was willing to share it, you'll notice that the photos aren't big enough to read any of what is on there.

Its been feeling odd to me that I want to show them but don't want anyone to get too close. I love the colors and the feel but I still get twitchy if anyone leans in to get a closer look.

I'm buried in deadlines right now but really wanted to take some time to myself to make art. I have two more shows coming up this year and I need to continue to make new work. I couldn't pass up the chance to continue to build new pieces.

I decided to rework the Talk to Me Series. I put them on my print table, grabbed the rotary cutter and just stood there hesitating. I've not blinked at cutting up any of my other work. I've always viewed it as holding onto what I love about it (the stitching, the colors) but these weren't easy.

It represented more, this act of reinventing them. In the end, I decided that it was time to just let it go, let them dissolve into the past and join me in the present.

I sliced one of them up:






 Grabbed a canvas, some black fabric and went to work:





This isn't done yet. I haven't decided yet if I to add more layers or if I want it to be more simplistic and clean. But I'm glad these pieces will be seen yet still mysterious enough to keep their secrets in tact.

How about you? Do you show the art that is personal and about difficult times?




14 comments:

mary said...

i tend not to make anything during those times...come to think of it i haven't made anything in months. see, it's one of those times...but it's getting better :)

Kim Hambric said...

My personal art rarely does much for me after I have completed it (if it is ever completed). I admire your nerve and skill in continuing with your personal art. I love where you are going with the artwork here. I think it is wonderful that you are not actually letting it go, but reforming it to your present place in life.

Susie said...

Lynn,

What a wonderful solution! I have a friend who does something similar to disguise her words. She uses multiple layers and then cuts through the layers forming small frayed windows through which there are tantalizing fragments. She also heavily stitches with embroidery thread around her windows.

Susie

Jean Baardsen said...

I've always felt that no one was really going to appreciate my depression(s), so I tend not to do art online during those times. But I feel like there's a major part of me that never gets included. Six of one, half a dozen of the other....

Judi Hurwitt (Approachable Art) said...

I do show my work, the good, the bad, and the really ugly. It's empowering to me, though I totally emphasize with you about not wanting people to get close enough to read the journaling! I love the new piece and I think the simplicity of the design allows the strength of the work to be its voice.

julaine lofquist-birch said...

and...why do we always feel like we're the only one? thank you, lynn! we do grow from those times, i think.

Deb H said...

I understand your hesitancy to cut up the original works, they are stunning! But I also really get that you don't want the words read. My solution has always been to pull back rom my art before anything really personal gets in. I guess my next challenge is to let it reflect more of "me". I want to be like Judi when I grow up ;o)

BTW - the new piece is even more stunning!

Mia Bloom Designs said...

I've made one piece from a page out of my journal. The words were partially hidden. I love your idea to cut up the artwork. Brilliant!

Lesley Riley said...

This new piece looks wonderful - more mature than the original mini-quilt.

Jeannie said...

You are so brave! First to write out your thoughts for all to see and then to have the courage to cut them up. As Lesley said, this new work has maturity and depth. I write in journals, mostly free thought exercises. Years later I go back, reread the pages, and realize how far I have come. Then I burn the journals. They have served their purpose and I am now releasing myself from those difficult times. I find doing that powerful and I see your cutting up the journal quilts as asserting the new you and the strength you have gained. Way to go!!!

Judy Coates Perez said...

Cathartic work is powerful and transformative. I have done one major piece a year for the last three years while going thru a difficult period (within a MUCH bigger difficult period, lol). Each have become part of the exhibitions put together by dinner@8. The last two have writing and images in them that became part of the layering process, sometimes covered over almost completely with paint. These become like talismans within the work for my benefit emotionally, and the obscured imagery adds textural interest to the final work.

I've found when I have shared the process (but not the personal details of course) on my blog many people can identify with it and appreciate knowing what's behind the work because it has greater meaning to them as well when they see it.

HollyM said...

I'm not sure I'd have the courage to cut it up but it really is wonderful. It is interesting and intriguing. The repetition of all the little squares is very mesmerizing. I love it so far!

luciethehappyquilter said...

I think you were very brave to slice up that piece but it's looking really good chopped up. You have inspired me to have a go. Thank for sharing this technique with us.

Lynette (NZ) said...

Brave of you to cut this - it is looking great.