new show

I have had an opportunity come up at the last minute to have another solo show. For the month of April, some of my fiber and watercolor pieces will be hanging in the lobby of Blessing Hospital in Quincy, Illinois.

Hope you can stop by.

new beginnings

I have been neglecting this blog, that needs to change. Starting now, I want to publish more often, to keep reporting on where art is taking me.

Last summer when I was flying over the midwest, I was looking down on the landscape and thinking about all the art I had seen based on the patchwork like intersection of fields and roads. But I couldn't remember seeing much that included the creeks and rivers flowing through, adding curves to the straight lines. I came up with this abstracted sketch:

I wasn't sure this was the right configuration of straight and curved lines, so I doodled in my journal:

Next came the fun part, playing with fabric. My first attempt involved a naturally dyed piece of linen, all squares the same, with the creek line depicted strictly with lines of black thread stitching.

OK, but not quite what I was looking for. The next try I painted heavy canvas, leaving white spaces to denote the field edges, and a piece of blue ribbon stitched on for the creek.

This is actually my favorite. It's painterly, fairly abstract, nicely colored. But I kept going.

This began with a piece of hand dyed raw silk. I used decorative stitching to mark the field edge, a different stitch and varigated thread to do the creak. The piece is quilted to a piece of felt. Then I stenciled on the shadow of my plane crossing the landscape. Probably a mistake. I think it destroys the abstract illusion--maybe it's better to let the viewer interpret something on their own without shoving it in their face?

But, since I follow the Doritos principle of fabric (use it, they'll make more), I tried one more time. This piece has the feel of reverse applique, in actuality it's a black background with earth colored silk sewn on top. It does make the creek sink into a lower level, where it should be. The plow lines are mimicked by stitching. It's probably my second favorite.

So what have I learned from this series? I worked through an idea, explored it, got it out of my system. Ended up with some pieces I regard as sketches. But I stretched some, applied techniques I've picked up along the way. Had fun. That's an important part of being an artist, isn't it?