I started the Early Morning Club as a way to create lots of pieces and meet my crap quota. Each morning I get up and spend 30 minutes or less composing a 6" x 9" finished vertical piece. Here are the pieces from the past week.
Monday, August 11th
I started this piece as I normally do, by just arranging and fiddling with different fabric shapes. At one point I realized that it was starting to look like a television. That reminded me of how disoriented I felt the night before while watching the Olympics on NBC.
I very, very rarely watch network television (just Liverpool and other soccer matches, as well as Doctor Who and Torchwood on BBC America). There were so many things happening--graphics moving, backgrounds moving, music playing, non-stop announcers talking--that it was confusing and overstimulating. This piece reflects the confusion and disorientation I felt while watching. I named this piece "300 Channels and Nothing is On."
Tuesday, August 12th
After the utter chaos of Monday's piece, I entered my studio on Tuesday wanting to make a piece that felt soothing and calming. I created the background layers of gradated purples and teals first, with no expectation of what would go on top. When I finished the background I realized it felt like the ocean.
I have been reading about early culture symbols, such as runes, as research for devising my own symbol set. The rune, Laguz, is known as "The Rune of the Sea," and seemed an apt focus for this piece. I do feel calm when looking at this piece. It's like a shrine.
Wednesday, August 13th
I wanted to keep working with the quiet color palette from yesterday. I like the gradated purple and green squares. I also like how I combined the strip set, the striped fabric, and the teal batik on the left. So I like elements of this piece, but the overall composition lacks focus and cohesion.
Thursday, August 14th
A vision of a lush green background was the inspiration for this piece, titled "The Rune of Right Nourishment." I like how I balanced the use of gold as a contrast to all the green: in the three little squares, as the background for the rune, and in the background.
Friday, August 15th
"The Rune of the Forging of Character" was inspired by a vision of overlapping flames the previous evening. So when I woke up and headed downstairs, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I only allow myself 30 minutes each day for the composition, so I had a lot of work to do in choosing the fabrics and making combinations, cutting out and overlapping the flame shapes, and then creating the foreground elements. I didn't have much time to edit or consider, I could only cut and place. There's a lot of energy and life in this piece.
Saturday, August 16th
Again, this piece was inspired by a vision the night before. There I was, sitting and waiting for Michael Phelps to win another gold, when I saw a tree in the moonlight. I made a note and remembered it for the next morning's piece.
This is the first piece I've done in which stitching serves as a design element and not just as a way to keep the glued pieces in place. I used four different colors of thread to capture shadows and moonlight. I like how this piece looks like sketch. It's titled "Night Vision."
Sunday, August 17th
Again, this piece was inspired by a vision, but unfortunately, the reality of the piece doesn't match what I envisioned. I don't think that I made the right technical decisions in executing it. My vision was of a teal river carving through a lush green landscape. This river seems plonked down, not carved. I again used stitching as a design element. I have some ideas that I may try over the next week or so to try to get the look I want.
This week rocked. The previous four weeks were mostly about playing with fabric until I found an arrangement that looked good to me. This week was different. For the most part this week, I had a vision in mind that I then tried to create. That is so exciting to me.
I've spent a lot of time thinking and writing about finding my voice. But this week I've learned that I can't think my way to it. I have to create and create and create some more until I find that I do indeed have something to say. I believe that the work of the previous four weeks primed the pump so to speak. I may just have a trickle of ideas now, but more may come. And if it dries up again, I've learned that creating something anyway works.
Five of my pieces this week have titles. I've decided not to try to title them, but if a title comes to me while I'm working on it, then I will use it. It seems that when I have something to say, then a title comes along.
I like the accidental rune series I've developed. I have a couple more ideas that I will play with in the future.