Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Ugly And Uglier

It is uncomfortable learning something new. Uncomfortable in an itchy, anxious, good way. My mind sees what I want to accomplish; my hands are not there yet. It takes trying, failing, evaluating, and practice to make it to the other side of where I am and where I want to be. It'd be so easy to quit... but I won't... because the desire to do is stronger than the frustration taunting me to give up.





LOL - I just wish it was a teeny bit easier. And it isn't. But it's not like we're talking about world peace. In the scope of life, painting fabric is no big deal. In the scope of my life, it's an opportunity. A curve I want to journey around.





My plans started out big, choosing a selection of colours, creating a palette, and cutting large sections of fabric that covered the entire work surface. I recently purchased a denim fabric (significantly discounted) for paint practice thinking I'd make aprons out of the painted pieces however....





... when I did what I typically do and created an all over, basically even, more like print-making than art-making fabric, I was frustrated. My mind sees the sophistication of Diane's garment pieces shown above right and my hands create more child-like art. It looks like a deep wide chasm between.





One of the concepts I've been sharing with the friend I'm helping is to keep moving forward, to do something, evaluate it, respond to it and keep going. I will make mistakes. I will wish I'd made a difference choice but I value the learning curve, I believe I can find answer to questions, and I think of it as a bonus if the "sample" becomes wearable. Above left, I was testing different mark making tools and above right is the same piece of fabric with random bits of left over paint. Ugly and uglier and below left...





... I kept building up the layers until I arrived at a design that I liked. This fabric is canvas with an interfaced backing. It's smaller pieces left over from a previous project and far more manageable. I like the look of the paint and especially of the splatters. The piece at right...





... become the one above with the addition of silver and pink splatters and copper leaves. By this point, I knew - just as I knew with the all over design - that this too was the wrong direction. The pieces were fun to do and fabulous in terms of painting. They are stiff, suitable for bags... like the cosmetic bags I want to make... and they are not the garment fabric I wanted. I will finish though. There is further learning with stencils, with layering, and with completing the bags. My next step with the piece above is to add satin-stitching around the leaf shapes and to explore the combination of paint and stitch.







There are three other pieces in progress that I want to add more layers and details too. They already contain several layers and need several more. This is more working with paint than working with fabric. Again, the wrong direction and yet still good learning.





This piece is almost finished although it seems to still be asking for something more. I believe it's outlining around the paisley shapes and I'm going to experiment with working with India Ink. Even though problems seemed to be happening all the way through this piece, I like how it is coming together. It's past experiences like this that allow me to stay with the learning curve and to believe that something good will develop. It's happened before; it can happen again.





This image is of Alisa Burke's painted pouches. They are along the line of the cosmetic bags I want to create from my painted canvas and then I'll be back to playing and experimenting and working so that eventually my hands can achieve that degree of sophistication that I see in my head. The next practice curve is with clothing. I'm looking forward to that.






The video above is very short - under two minutes. It's inspirational. A push to keep growing and developing and living out our potential.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - past learning that encourages present learning

15 comments:

  1. To me it seems when learning a new skill/expression one tends to go out too far. Then after evaluation, a person comes back more towards the center but with new knowledge that less is more. This is my take. Karen

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    1. That's the feeling I had - of swinging out and back and out and back and now I'm working forward with what I think is the path and it will - at least - be a step on the path.

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  2. I applaud your striving and stretching. It can be so difficult! When and if I renew dye painting, things I'll try are painting with my left (non-dominant) hand, and never making any circular patterns and no daisy-like motifs. Angles, waves, zig-zags, swoops, sweeps, lines, dots (an exception to the circular motif prohibition) and stop before I've done too much. Maybe I'll try holding a paintbrush in my arthritic toes.

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    1. It can be difficult. I'm glad to have past learning success to encourage me. LOVE your list of things to try. What fun.

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    2. Oh contraire! Ugly? Not at all. I find what you refer to as your 'child-like' examples, to be vibrant, lively, and showing movement. IMHO Diane's grey jacket back looks drab and mundane. I fail to see the 'sophistication'. Do your own thing ! Otherwise, your work will be a 'Diane' look alike.

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    3. Thank you. I'm glad you find my lines vibrant and lively. That's a lovely description. What I want to get away from is the all over design and what I want to move toward is more of a focal point/accent type element with the hard and soft edges. It's definitely important to find my own way of being. I don't want to "do Diane". I want to find my way to interpret the lines and edges and layering.

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  3. Your examples seem quite neat, rounded, floral, is that what you were aiming for? Would something abstract, angular, uneven, awkward, broken, distressed or fierce be more the direction you want to go. Would words translate into painting on fabric?

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    1. I started out exploring round items as a theme so that explains it - somewhat. Adding the contrast of an "opposite" shape would give the results more energy like a shot of the compliment can do with colour. Definitely something I'd like to explore. If you mean painting words on fabric, I've done that under some of the layers. If you mean, use a word as a theme, that's a fun way to work. Thanks for the feedback.

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    2. Yes, I phrased it poorly, but I was trying to say, can you imagine a word and then execute some art that embodies that word to you? (I know I am a crafter, not an artist I make functional items rather than art)

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    3. YES - working from a word can be great. When I painted the backgrounds, I chose each set of colours with a person in mind and what their preference were. Words like scream or sunset or summer or sophisticated all start the same but would create vastly different results. SO FUN!

      Way back when there was always this debate between quilt artist or textile artist or fiber artist or some such other term. I see a similar debate going on with the words artist and crafter. I find myself thinking just make something - call ourselves makers - do it to the best or our ability and that's good and enough. IMHO - the making is far more important than the title.

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  4. Perhaps for now working with a border of the fabric and painting down from it may help? It looks like you want to fill the canvas?

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    1. LOL - that could be a fair description. I'll be working not so much toward a border as toward less is more with some focal areas - a similar idea. Thanks.

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  5. LOL forgive me commenting with my observation :) I have been lurking and reading your blog for a long time. I love the way you work through the creative process and I hope one day to take a similar journey to find my creative story and expression.

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    1. Your comment was right on and I really appreciated it. No forgiveness needed. With the original, I wanted a carefree kind of feeling... which it has... but it also quite evenly spaced and lacked the originality I was hoping for. With the canvas pieces, I did want to fill the canvas to practice the layering technique. The pieces are very stiff and end up being things like bags which tend to have an all over design BUT... thinking about it... it'd be fun to cover them in sections and see how shapes within shapes could be made and connected. Hmm... an idea to explore. That's what the creative journey is about. Heading here, doing that, evaluating. It's ongoing whether you have a bit of time or a lot of time because all the dots connected and take you forward. I'd encourage you to start now in some way rather than think it needs to happen some other day. Today could be the day and bit by bit you'll grow your skills. And have fun.

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    2. Promise I'm thinking about the start 😊 I have a 20 week old puppy between me and the journey at the moment. Please keep posting your journey. Tonight I've learnt that creating space on a piece is as important as the colour tone and balance. I'd not considered working in reverse like that. I'm fascinated with texturing denim and using the reverse as part of the palette. The fun is in the planning lol

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Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feedback and the creative conversation.