Thursday, October 13, 2011


Discount, 5 x 5", ©2011 Kim Hambric

Yes -- limitations.  We've all got them, right?  And some of us have more than others.

One of my most notable limitations is my inability to draw.  I actually stink at drawing stick figures. I'm in the art business so I can play with colors and textures, since drawing is obviously out.

I've greatly limited myself in how I create and what I create with.  Just a year ago, I was dyeing my own fabric and also using fabric from my stash of 2000+ commercial fabrics to make quilted wallhangings.  While most of my quilts were relatively small, the size of each varied with almost each quilt.  Would this one be square?  And then how large?   A rectangle?  What should the proportions be?  Which of all of these fabrics would I begin with?  Patterns?  Solids?  Hand painted?  Too many choices.  And then, when I decided to add paper to these quilts, even more decisions had to be made.

Once I started playing around with paper, I realized that I was in love with the texture.  So many different papers (oh no! more choices).  But I limited myself to what I had on hand.  What shape?  What size?  I had some illustration board already cut into squares and gessoed and ready to go.  I would limit myself to that.  And paint?  It wasn't in the plan until I saw a painting in a magazine with great swatches of color.   I could do that.  Right?  I tried smearing paint on these little boards with an expired library card.  I could not come close to replicating that painting in the magazine, but I did find a technique that I loved.  I used only the paint colors I had on hand -- the ones I am still using.

So.  Small squares.  Red, blue, ochre, brown, black and white paint (I did purchase an orange).  Papers I could immediately get my hands on (still love those magazine inserts).  I'm still loving working within these limitations.  And yes, I still buy supplies, but the process is very streamlined now.

I feel like I've been set free using these limitations.  Perhaps I have narrowed down my audience while narrowing down my supplies and style.  They did love those pinks, greens and purples I was using 10 years ago.  And may use again.  Much later.

This piece is available in my Etsy shop.


Colleen Kole said...

Well , you sure are creating piece after piece as if you have been set free. I do love the texture on your pieces. Keep it up.

Thea Belecz said...

Good post, Kim!! On a topic I am struggling with right now in my own fiber art. TOO MANY CHOICES. I actually got a migraine the other day trying to decide on a painting technique... egad. Thanks so much for confirming something I was in the process of deciding for myself - that limiting your choices, or setting parameters (I love math), is actually freeing.