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?