Maybe that's why I've decided to rename my work area the Try Again Ranch. I've been living here for about a week and a half.
The Try Again is where beautiful visions go to die.
|Here's one of the deep, litter-strewn valleys of the Try Again, facing westward, looking toward Disappointment Bluffs|
At Try Again, defying the heart-stopping loveliness of the images that inspired them, pieces of work turn out bold, messy, hard-to-read. Colors turn out wimpy or blotchy--who's ever seen blotches in the sky? Needles become unthreaded. Bobbins run out of thread. Bobbin and needle refuse to work nicely with one another, instead creating wasteful tangles on the wrong side of the work. Everything has to be redone. My record for one day: four projects begun, four in need of redoing.
Making matters worse, the artist, temporarily diverting her attention from the making of art to the making of dinner--slices her thumb on a mandoline while trying to make Bluefish and Potatoes Genoese Style.
The point of all this effort--except for the bluefish--is my upcoming solo quilt show at the University of Connecticut Health Center, which will start in mid-May 2012. I'm psyched for it: an opportunity to spend a couple of months creating a body of work? Sign up this artist!
But be careful what you wish for. What if you pine for an opportunity to create a body of work, and you start the body of work, and every piece of fiber art you create for a week and a half is terribly, terribly far from the loveliness of the image that inspired it?
So it was the first image I decided to make for my UConn Health Center show. In fact, if all went well, this image would be the first of a series I would call Penwood Long Blue Shadows. I won't show you the other photos right now. But my fiber image of this one, the first one I chose to make? I can show you that:
That's all I'm going to show you of this one. That's how bad it is. And it was a week's worth of work.
So, I rolled it up and put it away for another day when I had more courage. And I moved on to the next project. How about this solitudinous view of Joe and the dogs on Nauset Light Beach in Cape Cod National Seashore? Its working title is Guy on Beach:
|Since when are there blotches in the sky? Maybe it's UFO activity.|
|More blotches in the sky. Should I try to make it into a flock of birds?|
Meanwhile, many thanks to Mickey Lawler, the Queen of Pebeo Setacolor Watercolors, whose books and teaching have enriched my own knowledge and experience as an art quilter.
Meanwhile, I also had to start all over again on the fabric I was going to use to depict some cabbage leaves.
|This exquisite image deserves the most skillful treatment. Look at those purples and silvers.|
Now I'm working on rubbing plates to create the magenta tracery of the ribs of the cabbage leaves. Take a look: I've glued cording to a piece of foam core board to create raised places where the cabbage ribs appear.
|Here you can see a pattern I created for the birdbath shape, and in the center, some mottled green and copper fabric I created to make oak leaves. How would this fabric represent the birdbath in the image above?|
Hopeful or not, at some point I had to break from my work to make dinner. And I cut my left thumb on a mandoline in the process of making slices of potato just slightly thicker than a potato chip.
They were deelish.