Monday, August 04, 2008

The Fourth Day - Illumination

I hope that you already discovered that our 12x12 blog was unlocked on Saturday and all of us have posted our illumination quilts. Here is my contribution.


You can read about its development in my entry on the 12x12 blog. I'll add a few tidbits here that I forgot as I was writing the other entry.

I got a crazy itch to do some monoprinting a few weeks ago. After we returned from our trip to California, I actually pulled out the paints one evening at about 10:30pm. (I was still on California time.) I had intended to use yellow paint on white fabric. Blah. When I switched to gold and silver on the black, I was pretty excited. I just used a plate of glass from an old picture frame. I don't remember how big it was, but it was smaller than 12 inches on either sides, which is why the background is pieced. That was not a completely planned design decision. But think it worked out well.

I also discovered that a very smooth, clean brayer is essential. See those black dots in this close up? Brayer glitches.


After I completed the main composition, I began embellishing. I thought it was going to need something to tie the collage area in with the background. So I added a beaded swirl. Hundreds of beads. I worked on it while we were in NY. I was never happy with the shape of the swirl, but I didn't have my chalk pencil to draw a graceful guideline. Eventually, I hated both the shape of the swirl and the beads themselves. I took this picture in very bad light just before I ripped out all the beads. (I knew you'd want to see the "before" picture, so I hope a bad lighting is tolerable.)


I didn't decide to rip out the beads until it was all sandwiched together -- with fusible! That meant I had to yank out all the little threads with tweezers. Arg.

It was the right choice. Don't you agree?

If you read my 12x12 entry, you'll know this piece is inspired by the creation of "the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night" on the fourth day in the creation story in the Book of Genesis.

illumination close up

I'll just add very briefly that I am saddened and frustrated by Christians who have put a strangle-hold on the story of creation in Genesis. (There are actually two stories and they don't even match up, but that's another discussion.)  I feel like they insist that they know exactly what it means and how it relates to our world. It boils down to front page news, curriculum battles and political manipulation. Creationism vs Evolution. Or Intelligent Design. It doesn't matter what you call it.

When I create art that is inspired by the story of creation in the Book of Genesis, (and this is not the first or the last piece I will make that is inspired by scripture) I feel like I take a bit of a risk in letting people assume that I believe a certain way. I am willing to take that risk and I don't feel obligated to explain myself. But, I believe God is a whole lot bigger than seven days or 6,000 years.

I am thankful to God for the gift of creativity and for creation.


Gerrie said...

Yep, you made a wise decision! When I fist saw the photo with the spriral, I thought to myself, I don't remember a spiral!!

You know how much I agree with you about how the "Christianists" co-opt the Bible to suit their own very narrow views. I am happy to see you opening minds through your art work.

dee said...

you're so right about the beads Deborah. I like it so much better without. It's really moving and the swirly design makes it look like it's floating in space.

kathy said...

this is AMAZING!!! The monoprint for the background is genius and so perfect. I've found with beads,sometimes the only way to see if they work is to just do it and decide. Even 'laying' them out in a pattern isn't the same. I've ripped more than my share! Lovely to watch you evolve! And I look forward to September when I can see this for real!

Jen said...

Lovely piece Deborah! You made the right decision about the beads, but it must have been heartbreaking to rip them all out after all that work.

Scripture is such a rich source of inspiration! I also hate to see it "strangled". It seems to me the height of arrogance to see God and the world through such a narrow lens. Jen

Jules said...

I love the piece and the inspiration.

Kristin L said...

Definitely the right choice removing teh beads and spiral. Less is more works well for you.

I know what you mean about people assuming certain things about you. Even (especially?) in "real life" people make assumptions about me, so I'm sure our edited blog lives allow for even more of that. It's the way it is though and I appreciate that you share your inspirations with us regardless of how they may be seen. With your work though, I can't imagine anyone looking at it and not seeing beauty.