12.15.2005

aurora stuck

I am paralyzed by a fabric. This fabric, in fact.
I made it over a year ago, playing around with potato dextrin (not reading the directions of course) and fiber reactive dyes. This is actually the back side of the fabric, which I have, after much debate, decided I like better than the front side.
When I look at it, I see the aurora borealis over the Mississippi. See the far shore in the picture, the reflections in the water, the streak across the sky? It's there, it's subtle, it may be all my imagination.
Sometimes I think I should just let it be, and frame it as is. I paint watercolors, too, and the hardest lesson I keep having to learn over and over is to just stop painting when it's nearly right. Go too far in watercolor, and there's no going back. Many pictures are ruined by continuing when I should have just stopped.
But then there's the thought--an evil, insidious thought--that I should continue just for a bit, that I, the almighty artist, will know when it's right to stop, there'll be no question in my mind. The almighty artist rarely speaks up at the right time. I have the discard pile to prove it.
And I do know that a lot of what I might do to this particular fabric would be reversible. But some things I do aren't. So here I sit, stuck on it as surely as it's stuck on the wall. Generally I can convince myself to dive in (I believe in the Doritos principle--use it, I can make more), but something about this piece and its serendipitous beginnings makes it a unique piece I'm afraid I can't replace.
I ironed it again today, hung it back up after not seeing it for a few weeks. I fear I will probably let it hang there until the new year, and then put it away again. Maybe the right idea for finishing it will come along, that perfect solution...but I do love the piece the way it is now.

4 comments:

Elle said...

Watercolor is my other medium and you're very right--with watercolor, less is more. My other art friends (who worked in oils or acrylics) used to call me crazy because watercolor's so unforgiving.

bj parady said...

But there's something compelling about watercolor, about that inability to change things (much) and the wonder of the 'happy accident'. I keep going back to it, even though I'm not very good at it. Once in a while everything works right, I stop at the exact proper time, and get a nice piece. That keeps bringing me back to w/c.

Kristin La Flamme said...

I see it! I think a teeny tiny bit of quilting would enhance the scene though. Just a bit to define the contour of the shore and mabe a few sparse treees to give scale. Just a thought.

David, President of Big Down Corp. said...
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