travelling and inspirations

I'm on the road with my husband. A good excuse to play, or as some might call it, goof off. But I've been thinking a lot about my work, what to try next, what needs to be finished before my next art fair or show; but mostly about where I want to go with my art.

Sometimes I think I'm an artist in search of a medium. I'm most successful in fiber, but I keep richocheting to other media--watercolor, oils, paper collages, photography. Those attempts remain in the background, but I think they're influencing the fiber stuff.

So I present to you a photograph I played with in Photoshop Elements yesterday (ah, the joy of finally having a laptop to travel with...)

It began life as a picture of yellow crocuses against brown leaves. I can't wait to print it on silk and add some stitching to it. Or to try painting a big piece of fabric using this as a reference. Or making some felt with this as a starting point. Something tactile. When I get home.


July and the buckeye

June was kind of a washout, art-wise. I spent much of the month getting ready to travel, travelling, and recovering from travel. I'm sure the experience will show up in future art, but it felt good to get back into the studio and just do the work today.

And to have a series to get me going. July in the midwest is full of lazy afternoons, spent in my hammock reading or bird watching, watching the summer progress in the garden. The buckeye leaves are still a lush green (buckeyes lose their leaves early), and the fruit are slowly swelling inside of velvety golden brown pods.

The background is hand dyed silk. Using Luminaire metallic paint, I loosely drew in the five leaflet leaves of the buckeye, overlapping as they do in reality. Then I decided I like the back side better, where there was more of the olive green showing and less of the metallic part. I fused the silk to a piece of felt to stabilize it, and then drew a seed pod on with Shiva paintsticks. Instead of waiting 24 hours as usual for the paintstick to dry, I went ahead and pressed it with a hot iron--and the strokes flowed together. Using a varigated green thread, I stitched curving lines across in two directions, entwining the lines where possible.

The words were stamped on; they say 'July fruitfully lazy days'. Kind of a summation about how I feel about the month.

The piece didn't feel quite done at this point. I had an elementary art teacher who claimed that all good pictures have a spot of red in the center. I don't believe that--now--although that probably accounts for the long vacation I took from making art, from about 10 to age 35. But I do like the excitement caused by opposing colors. Analagous schemes lure me, but those opposites just pop. So I took a piece of red pearle cotton and stitched a lazy running stitch across the top. Now it seems done.

This series continues to draw me in, give me a place to work when no ideas are coming. I am casting about for ideas for the next series, and wondering about the wisdom of having two series going at the same time--I do have an art fair and a solo show to get ready for. But now that I'm back in the studio, I'll stay there. Until the next distraction, the next hammock beckons.