Monday, October 8, 2007

When a Fiber Artist Paints

What happens when a fiber artist tries to paint? A self-taught fiber artist? Someone who does not know how to paint? Well, it's not necessarily pretty, but at the time, it felt necessary. This piece was created after I received another rejection from a juried show. I don't know which show, other than it was the show that broke the camel's back. I was FRUSTRATED. Where could my anger go? For me, creating fiber art is not a quick and anger releasing method. It had to be immediate. I grabbed a canvas. I have several still hanging around from when I used to glue starched fabric pieces to canvas to create what I called "acryliquilts." Since I have acrylic paints and brushes at the ready, I tore off the plastic from the canvas and let myself make a mess. At the bottom of all of this paint are negative words. Not profanity, just negativity. These words looked violent and terrible against the white canvas, so I gave it an ochre glaze. Then I wrote less negative words. With each layer, I changed paint color and painted more positive words. The last layer consisted of a large red yes. I figured one yes was not enough and added several more. I felt much better after this was done! MOMA has not contacted me yet about acquiring it.
This noisy piece was created in the few days after the shooting at my Alma Mater Virginia Tech. I did a painting as soon as I heard what was going on, before the total number of people killed was even known. I find that piece too disturbing and have hidden it. This one has some graphic wording at the bottom. Other layers include the words "33 dead", words against the proliferation of guns in this country, words overheard regarding our right to bear arms. Over that, I painted white birds for peace, and words for hope and freedom from violence. This was not created for arts sake. It was a release from all the anger and desperation I was feeling. While I know I will always involve fabric in my day to day creations, there is nothing better than a supply of fast drying acrylic paints and stretched canvas at the ready. MOMA has not contacted me about this piece either.


paula said...

I like the 2nd picture, its pretty cool! dont feel bad, MOMA hasn't contacted me yet either. They must be busy.

Jamie said...

Wow Kim, that's pretty profound. I really like the white doves sandwiched between the negative and positive words.

Our lives are filled with both but if we can try and bring the positive to the top it might help to deal with the negative. Or it might just be that if we recognize the good and the bad, we have a tool for keeping balance in our lives.

Either way, your words and art are great food for thought.