Last night I spent some time in the studio working on two pieces: my 12x12 gray piece and another piece that I've been slowly puttering with for over a year. I spent a bunch of time just standing and staring at them. There was a line in the most recent SAQA journal about the actual process of creating art being the very hardest part of the job of being an artist. The marketing, administrative stuff and documentation tasks of an artist are all comparatively easy. I hadn't really thought of it that way. But, it is so true. Creating an art quilt that meets the vision I have in my mind, says what I want it to say, feels how I want it to feel, and is created with appropriate and successfully mastered techniques is hard. That doesn't mean the work is unpleasant, obviously. I actually enjoy it... usually. So, I'm embracing the fact that it is a challenge and walking into that willingly.Last night, I spent a lot of time pondering ways to incorporate free motion stitching into my compositions. More and more, I think of my work as a collage.
a technique of composing a work of art by pasting on a single surface various materials not normally associated with one another, as newspaper clippings, parts of photographs, theater tickets, and fragments of an envelope.
an assemblage or occurrence of diverse elements or fragments in unlikely or unexpected juxtaposition
(I think that's a rather inspiring definition!)
I have a regular selection of images, techniques and materials that I include in my fiber collages: hand stitching, sheer fabrics, recycled fabrics, surface design, embellishments and free motion stitching. But, I haven't used much free motion stitching lately and I really want it to re-emerge in my work because it is so integral to the idea that I am creating an art quilt and not just a collage of stuff glued on a single surface.
Yes, I've been using the stitched arch at the top of several of my pieces lately. But, it's not even free motion stitched -- I'm using a regular foot for those lines.I don't want to use all over free motion quilting, rather I want to create a block of stitching that is part of the composition creating an additional shape and layer that relate to the other elements in the collage. I've done this effectively with simple stacks of straight lines, as in the purple lines in my 12x12 Passion piece.
But, I'm tired of the blocks of parallel lines. I want to find new collections of lines and motifs that can say something a little different.
Obviously, I need to pull out the sketch book and just doodle. Standing around staring at the needle and thread is not going to open up any options or ideas. I have to do the work. The hard work.