It's June, and the 6th piece of my 'year of the buckeye' series is done. Even as summer begins with a hot vengence, fall has also begun. Baby buckeyes are forming all over the tree, oblong globules of a umber-ochre color. And the leaves are out in full, going every which way, crossing over each other.
At the same time, I've been working on a small piece for my crit group based on a challenge called 'bits and pieces.' That piece is layer upon layer, encrusted, embellished, rich, heavy, over the top with details. Along with other exposures in my life lately (an abstract landscape oil painter, my garden), I wanted this piece to be at the other end of the spectrum--just using as little as possible to get my point across. I got close, but not close enough.
I started with polished cotton, which I painted with Setacolor paints. I placed an actual buckeye leaf on it, where it was are the light areas. Then I stitched lines inspired by the veins on a leaflet. Dashes cut out of scraps and pod shapes cut from hand dyed raw silk were fused on.
While the piece is simpler, calmer than my bits and pieces one, it still hasn't gotten down to the essence of what I was going for. But maybe that was because I didn't distill the thought into minimal words? Does the thought give birth to the art? Does thinking inspire art making? Is the scientist in me being too quiet or too noisy? How do I get to that place that some artists achieve, the place where one line connotes a world?