Friday, February 23, 2018

Creative Chaos

For a few days this past week, my studio looked rather like those February winds I mentioned in an earlier post had come right in and blown everything about.

I was working on my latest piece for the Scotland Series...testing out felting ideas, sampling stitching on water-soluble stabilizer, auditioning colours for wee buildings.  Creative chaos indeed!

The piece is now finished, and awaits its floater frame, but you can have a look at it beforehand:

Impressions of Portree (Isle of Skye)
12" x 12", mixed media on stretched canvas:
acrylic paint, coloured pens, needle-felting, quilting

And a bit of a detail shot...

I also added to "Abbey Echoes I" by mounting it on a painted stretched canvas -- an idea learned in the "Picture it Framed" class with Lyric Kinard.  I tried to echo the arches in the white-on-black painting.

Abbey Echoes I
12" x 12" mounted on
painted stretched canvas
Finished size: 16" x 20"

I think this now makes it a better companion piece with "Abbey Echoes II", which finished at the same size.

Abbey Echoes II

In between the Scotland-inspired work, I've made a mini -- the first this year and the first of a series based on photos taken last July at a ranch about 3/4 hour's drive southwest of here.  There is an old home on the property that was replaced by the current ranch house some years ago, and simply left there...

It saddened and fascinated me -- particularly the door hidden behind the overgrown bushes...

And so I was inspired to start with this little piece:

Overgrown - (C) 2018
5" x 7" matted to 8" x 10"
There will be more to come in this series, as I am hoping to need "non-Scotland" pieces for the Lacombe Art Show and Sale in April (news about my application is due in a couple of weeks; I'll keep you posted!)

I also have some photos I want to recreate in textiles and stitch that are close-ups of various flora and fauna.  Those may take quite some time, so we'll see how that works out.

Meanwhile, I knit two hats for a client; continued piecing units for Bonnie Hunter's "On Ringo Lake" mystery (I'm now on Clue 6!); made progress on a very colourful bed quilt (for my home) that now needs fabric for borders and backing; and started yet another bed quilt from stash fabrics, based on a pattern from   "Simply Moderne", one of the magazines I gave away recently to celebrate my blog anniversary.  

Oh, and I did a bit of serendipitous snow dyeing with all that white stuff in my back yard...

Snow-dyed cheesecloth, scrim

Assorted cotton, poly-cotton and muslin

Batting scraps!

I really don't know what I'll do with them -- or even if I like them very much -- but it was a bit of fun.  Now my stock of dye powder is pretty low, so nothing will happen till I replenish it!

And so it goes...

Perhaps this gives you, my Gentle Readers, the impression that when it comes to my art work, I'm all over the map -- that I don't have a distinct style or 'voice' -- but I would disagree.  

I think it's possible to experiment with techniques -- from applique to piecing to mono-printing, to dyeing, to colouring with pens; from quilting sandwiches to mounts on stretched canvas to work directly applied to that canvas; from semi-representational to more impressionistic to down-right abstract -- and still have a distinct way of expressing oneself artistically.

Those of you who've followed my blog or see my work in my Facebook posts (3F Creations) will know that I have a penchant for landscapes that are more impressions than realistic, a fondness for colour, and a "side bar" of work that is more abstract or unreal, and may venture into making a statement from time to time.  And I see all of that as part of my unique artistic voice.

I'll leave you with those thoughts...and the link-up to Nina Marie's Off the Wall Friday, where she brings up that very topic: finding one's voice.  I'm curious to know about do give it some thought, and pause for a comment if you're willing to share.

Happy Weekend, everyone!


Kate said...

I loved experimenting with new techniques. Never stop learning. I am always surprised at how many times techniques can be applied across projects.
I love following your experiments.

Jo said...

I am such an experimenter at heart! But after 8 years of experimenting I am trying to focus more on making. But I was paralyzed by all my unfinished projects. Now I am on a find it finish mode until all the experiments, works in progress, new blog and photo organization is under control. Then I want emerse my self in focused making. Not just making samples but taking my list of ideas and pushing them to do what I enjoy as techniques into my art. That will help I think in finding my voice!

Joan said...

I love your snow-dyed fabrics, and your Scottish series.
I also am all over the map when it comes to stitching. I seem to have spent much time trying to find my identity within my work only to find that I like to play with whatever technique, fabric or medium takes my fancy at the time that I sit down to do something. So now I've come to the conclusion that it's more important to enjoy the creative experience as it happens. After all if someone likes one of my things they don't need to know my voice or what went before.
Enjoy experimenting. XX

Linda A. Miller said...

What a charming seaside village you have wonderfully portrayed in Portree. Good to see that Scotland travels still inspire you. I have some dyed cheesecloth from my dyeing projects last summer. Yet to find the right use for it. Have fun with yours!

Sha said...

Sometimes, it feels like one is asked to define their voice in such limited terms as to fit it on the end of a pin head, while we are so much vastness, creativity and curiosity.. I think it relates more to HOW we see things, relate to things, choose to work with the options we have at our fingertips to create. What inspires us, and pushes us thru the norm of our knowing at the moment. This may lead to very similar creations or those that vary widely. My style is perhaps life filled and very varied in techniques, muse led at times and curiosity and 'what if' at other times. I allow the piece to define it's size and content and form. My voice is creative, experimental, fun.