Thursday, September 27, 2007

Starting A Series #2

Left, Getz 24 x 20", Right, Love and Happiness 24 x 20"

While color is my reason for making art, looking at art and just about everything else, on occasion, my greatest motivator is music.

In my studio I have a 5-disk cd player. I had been doodling and spinning in my desk chair for (many) days. I told myself that I would be inspired by the next song. I fully expected the random selection to bring up a classical piece, a French accordion song, or a jazz standard, but no. The winning song was Al Green’s “Love and Happiness”. I began sketching moments later. Soon (meaning 3 days) the piece was close to completion and I was able to listen to something else. It used to be my favorite Al Green song, but has, at least temporarily, dropped to the bottom of the list. “Can’t Get Next to You” inspired the next piece in the series. Stan Getz and Luiz Bonfa’s “Jazz Samba Encore” inspired the next two pieces “Getz” and “Luiz”.

For me, inspiration can't be searched for. I can't over think it. I just have to remember to make a note of it when it happens. I wish I could train myself to keep a journal. My fear then is that I would have too much to choose from.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Big Box Customer Service (not)

A couple of weeks ago, my five-year-old daughter and I went to our only fabric and sewing store. One of the big ones. I'm sure everyone would know the store. Don't feel I should mention the name, however.

I had a long list of items, half of which were already in my basket. My daughter starts doing a little dance and tells me she has to use the bathroom. Earlier experiences have taught me to go to an employee and ask for the key to the restroom. I approach an employee who is sitting on the floor stocking the shelves. She tells me they don't have a bathroom, and to go to the store next door. She says that "corporate" (sounds eerie) has permanently locked the restrooms. I ask where the employee goes when she needs a restroom. She says nothing and turns away from us. I thought maybe she didn't hear, so I asked again. I asked her back if she really wants me to put down my basket, go to another store, and actually come back and resume shopping. Of course, there is no answer. My daugher informs me that she can hold it. She does. We finish up. I come home and Google for sewing supplies.

The result of this well-known store's inconsideration is my purchase from addictedtocrafts.
(Sorry, I haven't figured out links yet. The link might work, it might not.) They had everything I needed -- needles, steam-a-seam, marking pencils, Velcro, even Coats and Clark thread (although I haven't figured out their color#s yet). I should email "corporate" at that big box store and thank them for helping me to discover this site.

I'm always willing to hear from others about great places to purchase supplies. draft

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Will this Bird Become a Series?

I knew I had to include a bird in a piece immediately. I knew I had to include a house shape in a piece immediately. And trees, I must have trees. Last week I carved two bird stamps and then a tree stamp. And somehow the house shape for the quilt just happened. I’m also not sure whether the piece is too busy, not busy enough or just right. Is it too Halloweeny? Too dark? I feel I must have all questions answered before I start the next piece. Maybe I should give myself very few options and do another very similar piece and get started. I know that it must be house shaped! I love the shape although I cannot find a way to crop the photo so that it looks good. Hmm, photo looks good here, just not on my website. This piece is called Goldwing in Winter

Friday, September 21, 2007

Starting a Series #1

Above are three pieces from my newest series, Planting Seeds -- Planting Seeds III, VIII, and XII.

Working in a series is relatively new to me. For the first 10 years of my art making life, almost every piece was done individually. I recreated the wheel with each new piece. On occasion, scraps from a large piece might be used to create a similar smaller piece. But that was it. On to the next piece. What to do next? It could take days to come up with the next idea.
I would read about other artists working in a series and I would think, "Wow! How dull. Can they not think of new ideas? How stifling." Now I understand that it can be a freeing experience. I can still change the size, the color, or even the theme (as long as I work with the same size and color).

Since I have started working this way, I have produced much more work, had much more fun, and have been far more satisfied with the outcome of each piece.

My most recent series is called Planting Seeds; a series comprised of 12 15x15" pieces. Each piece has a hand scattering seeds. I could say that this idea came from months of brainstorming. There may have been a subconscious seed or two in my head, but those two words had been on my bulletin board for a year or two. While pacing in my studio looking for ideas, I saw those two words. I was off! I was supposed to be finishing a previous series. A series that was not my favorite and most pieces were unfinished and buried under scraps from a large commission. I knew I should finish them. How terrible to just let them be covered and discovered unloved and unfinished two years from now. After 12 pieces in my newest series were completed, the older pieces were finally done. My belief is that new ideas trump old ideas. Maybe my belief should be finish what you start. Immediately! Should my belief become "if it feels good, make it?"