28 July 2008

And That Was the Week That Was

And so began my second week as a member of the Early Morning Club. Let's get straight to the pieces.

Monday, July 21st

Throughout the first week, I worked from scraps leftover from a series of related projects. They are all colors and fabrics I love using. As I began working on Monday, I decided to alter my palette a little and I grabbed scraps from an unrelated project. These are purples and periwinkles and blues--pretty colors in their own right--but not colors that I tend to use.

Even though the composition reflects the themes of the previous week (overlapping shapes of contrasting colors arranged on a background) I found it much more difficult because I was working with colors I am not as familiar or comfortable with.

The composition is alright. I liked using two different shape combinations, but they do lack connection. I added the small green rectangles connecting the triangle units to help unify the design, but think it's too literal a solution.

After this experiment, I decided to stick to variations of my preferred palette for the time being.

Tuesday, July 22nd

I mostly like this piece and think it offers many possibilities for the future. Again, I created more complex shape (and color) combinations. Copper squares show up again to help make connections between the four units.

I like the little touch of red. I don't generally use much red in my work, but here it's unexpected enough to create a little visual interest.

Wednesday, July 23rd

I love this piece: it has a washed-out look that is calming and balanced. I loved using the restrained palette of near neutrals, of having to balance just a few colors, and of using value as much as color. In a larger piece, I would play more with interlocking the shapes like puzzles.

Thursday, July 24th

I recently read a book on pre-historic mark making. I was fascinated by pictures of ancient carvings and paintings. Did they originally mean something--directions, a record of trade, a warning? Or were they just created for expressive, aesthetic reasons? This piece reminds me of such marks.

Friday, July 25th

The process for creating this piece was different from the previous mornings. Usually, I play with my composition--adding and substituting and rearranging the shapes until I find a design I am happy with. Once I am happy then I fuse and glue everything down. But this one began differently.

I had an image of a red dot interrupting gray stripes. So I began there. I quickly realized that the gray stripes weren't going to stay put, so I fused them into place. This set a constraint that guided the rest of the design. For the rest of the piece I fused and glued as I went.

My husband think that it looks like math (he's an engineer/physicist). I think that's due to the symmetry of the piece. I think it looks like the movement of planets and rivers. Perhaps I've recreated an ancient alchemical formula for stopping time in its tracks.

I think it looks more interesting in a horizontal layout.

Saturday, July 26th

I've started keeping a journal to go along with each day's work. Here's an excerpt from Saturday:

Today I awoke with a busy day staring me in the face. I wanted to keep my commitment and so went downstairs and began as I always do--placing little scraps on my background until inspiration strikes. I half-heartedly arranged colors and shapes but a vision kept appearing of browns and reds--of barn doors weathered and shining in the sun. I wanted serenity and balance from this piece because I knew my day wouldn't be that calm again.

I stripped the background of the chaotic jumble of greens, grays, teals, and golds in triangles and rectangles and other assorted polygons. Then I selected three browns and cut a rectangle from each. I centered a red square and added little yellow accent squares. The part of me that wanted serenity was satisfied.

I like this piece, but want to take the idea further by playing with value--both in the foreground and background. I'd love a hand-dyed/painted background to go from light to dark and place rectangles on it going from dark to light.

(I seriously need to add painting/dying/surface design to my toolbox. I feel constrained by the limited fabrics I own. I want to be able to create exactly the type of fabric that I need.)

Sunday, July 27th

This piece went astray on me. I wanted to play with Thursday's idea, but got lost along the way. I like the top third, but the bottom leaves a lot to be desired. Ah well, more crap for the quota!

General Thoughts

This week was busier than last, which made getting up each morning more challenging. But each morning I awoke and said "Yes" to creation makes it harder to say "No" in the future.

This week's work is more scattered and less cohesive than last week's. But I think that's OK. I was starting to feel overly comfortable with working with one or two shapes only. It's much more challenging to work with multiple shapes and find a cohesive design. I think that's why Thursday, Friday, and Sunday's pieces are so formal in layout and why there is so much symmetry in their design.

That gives me a direction for the coming weeks: to play with using different shapes in informal and asymmetric layouts.

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