10 August 2008

Early Morning Club, Week Four

Monday, August 4th

This piece bores me. It sends me to sleep. I have been struggling with creating more interesting backgrounds so I thought that I would try a collage-style piece, similar to a scrapbook page. But the background still lacks contrast, the foreground elements are uninspired, and the colors are very boring. And even when I think about changing things--making a higher-contrast background, creating more interesting elements, adding snappier color--I am still bored by the idea.

Tuesday, August 5th

After yesterday's sleep inducing snoozer, it's refreshing to have a piece full of color and fun and movement and whimsy. No, it's not groundbreaking work--lots of people have made wonky cityscapes--but it's new for me. I like that the scene is not confined by the background, there is the sense that the city continues on outside the edges. There is more texture in my fabric choices, which adds visual interest. I also had fun picking color combinations for the windows and buildings.

Wednesday, August 6th

This piece began as the background alternating layers of darks and lights. It reminded me of subterranean rivers twining in dark places. I added the river rocks in various sizes to further bring forth that idea. I limited the palette to browns, greens, and a touch of gold. I also used more values with a higher contrast--darkest darks and lighter lights.

Thursday, August 7th

Each day I make one of these pieces I learn a little something more. What excites me the most about this piece is the diagonal line of green squares. I have a tendency to want to stay in the grid, but here I broke it by moving the green squares across the yellow into the sage. I also echoed the designs in the batik with the magenta design in the upper right corner.

Friday, August 8th

Today was difficult. I had an early appointment that gave me little time to work this morning. I started something but didn't finish it before I had to leave the house. After my appointment, I headed to work early. I created this piece there, but found working in a different environment to be challenging--I didn't have my tools, my fabrics, or the comfort of my studio. This piece reflects a return to rigidity and symmetry due to circumstances.

Saturday, August 9th

When I finished this piece Saturday morning, I hated it. I didn't even like looking at it. I didn't place it on the pile of my previous pieces, instead I rolled it up and stuck it in the champagne bucket where I keep my incoming bills. I headed to work fully intending to make another piece when I got home. (And I even considered burning it in our fire pit.)

After a full day at the shop, I returned home and took another look at it. Kevin suggested taking some time to think about why I disliked it so. He also reminded me that the point of this process is to make lots of crap. I realizes that rust and gold are not colors that I normally use a lot. It also didn't match my vision for the piece: I wanted the gold shapes to appear more connected to the background, perhaps like they were carved into the surface, rather than applied on top. I decided to keep it and not bother making another.

But my visceral reaction was interesting. And it was truly visceral--looking at it made my stomach hurt. It's weird, but sometimes art I don't like makes me feel queasy.

Sunday, August 10th

It wasn't my intention at all, but this piece reminds me of really abstract fish. Either that or fin-tailed cars from the fifties. It's fun and I like it.

General Thoughts

This was my fourth complete week in the morning club. To my reckoning, that's one full month (well, a short month) of keeping my commitment to awake each morning and create. If I look over the pieces from this month, I can see improvement.

But the biggest improvement is in my own approach to creation. Each piece I complete teaches me something. And I tuck those little lessons away one by one, only to remember and use them in the future.

I feel like I'm becoming more fluid and less rigid in my thinking. I'm trying to break out of the grid and I am slowly seeing signs that I am. I also think that I am becoming bolder with my ideas. This week there is much less background space in my work. I'm using more of the space, including the space outside the 6" x 9" rectangle. And I'm working on developing relationships between the elements in my design, so they aren't separate shapes floating unconnected in space.

I am learning so much more than I even imagined. The secret to improvement is practice. And each day I make another I improve a little, tiny bit.

Onto another month of creative play and practice.

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