Sometimes I intentionally work in series, exploring a certain idea, exploiting the same inspiration. Sometimes I find a series when I'm two or three pieces into it, when I lay the pieces side by side and realize the connection. Sometimes I've forced things into a series for expediency, as in the planning for my website (soon to be coming to a cyberspace near you). And sometimes the series just explode into my studio, linking the pieces together with some kind of synergy springing from my artistic brain, bypassing my scientific brain.
The Dance of the Blue Slash series is a prime example of the last kind. It began on the kokopelli quilt I discussed before, where the unfinished piece needed some bright blue pieces. I dyed a piece of silk the right color, and fused part of it. I cut off the pieces I needed, and they worked. But I had cut more than I needed, and so there were extras laying on the chest right beside my design wall.
So the March buckeye piece came along, and needed a border. The blue slashes jumped over and formed the border.
Next came an abstract view of the hills around me in their winter dullness...it needed the blue, too, five tiny pieces on the surface, floating in the space between the hills.
Fourthly, there was a piece of silk I had painted abstractly from a memory of the wooded riverbank in late fall--greys, rusts, some blues and a touch of yellow here and there. Although I had added some texture to the piece by pleating it, the piece was unfinished. Until the blue slashes said, hey, make us long and skinny and we'll fit between the pleats and spark the piece up. They do. I currently am trying to fight the fact that this piece would like to be in a windsock shape with a light inside of it--being silk, it glows...the mechanics of that are still giving me pause.
And fifthly, there was a small practice piece that has been kicking around for months. It is a prime example of more is more, having every technique I've been using lately on it almost. But it wasn't quite right, not finished. The small blue slashes danced on to it, and found a home. The piece is now quilted and ready to mat. The edges are uneven and ravelling, but I like it now.