August 22nd has come and gone. It has been almost two weeks since my plan to make art daily using my surface design/artful techniques list was excitedly put into effect. Then… procrastination and consternation took over. I have only my little 3D applique sample to show for all of my gung ho, full steam ahead, art adventure intentions. I made a couple of other things but they are just not good enough to share.
During one of my lengthy procrastination sessions I decided to turn the project into a series of mini art quilt journals. I love making art quilts and the hope is that by narrowing my options, the decision making process will be less harrowing. Decisiveness is not one of strengths but I’m working on it.
The mini quilt in the photo was made with cotton commercial fabric, warm n’ natural batting, freeform free-motion stitching and a little bit of hand stitching. My 3D applique is a heart pillow which I stuffed with bamboo stuffing, embellished with a button and attached to the quilt with some hand stitching. I call it “do more.”
In the elusive pursuit of having the discipline to make art daily and because of my recurrent indecision about how to begin a project, I have decided to adhere to a list of surface design ideas which I compiled one day while procrastinating. The intention is to incorporate each individual technique or element on the list into a project everyday sticking to the alphabetical order. Here is the list if anyone would like to play along:
burning (safely using a heating tool)
drawing with pen/ink
painting fusible web
printing/painting using found objects
This should be a fun and challenging exercise. Why am I doing this again? Oh yeah. That discipline thing. I’ll start tomorrow. Wish me luck!
“Collage is the assemblage of different forms creating a new whole.”
Collage has such an enchanting and vast history so I will only nibble at very limited edges in this post.
It started out as paper art in the Orient, way, way back in the day–the 12th century. Paper was held as sacred. Poems were embellished with flowers and other motifs from nature. Decorated text. Although it has evolved immensely, and is now a practice used by artists all over the world, it has held on to it’s roots. Collagists still decorate text and anything else that comes to mind. Not until the twentieth century was it considered a valid fine art method. Artists bringing painting, sculpture and assemblage to the collage party weren’t taken seriously at first but persistence has it’s rewards. The freedom of expression and spontaneity that collage offers revolutionized the way folks looks at art. Artists began collecting and using all kinds of stuff in their pieces. The limitlessness was tempting and many creatives gave in. There were of course many artists who were opposed to the abandonment of conformity but many were thrilled by it and their art displays a special passion. If I had lived back then I would have been one of the giddy ones. Anything can be used in a collage and that thought brings me sheer joy.
Fabric is my primary medium of choice. Occasionally adding found objects, paper, paint and anything else the piece calls for takes me on interesting adventures. One of the reasons for starting this blog is so that I will hopefully be forced into art discipline. Either I make stuff or my blog withers away. Blog withering is not acceptable. Experimentation and getting away from comfort zones leads to learning, growing and ultimately meeting goals. I intend to do much experimenting.
I am starting over in blogville. Since accidentally deleting old artsy notions and philosophical musings (due to my being indecisive and impatient) I have been so anxious to get back to sharing what I know about one of my biggest passions–collage. I will delve into many techniques that will help bring this expressive art to life. My intent is to learn as well as teach.
Collage has several technical definitions but I like how the thesaurus explains it: a mixture of pictures, an abstract composition, found art, photomontage. This is what I attempt to do with fabric. I adore “material.” That’s what my Grandma used to call the sweetly patterned light blue dotted swiss, the beautifully sheer organdy and all of the other meticulously cared for fabric she owned. The vast variety of textures and colors that make up today’s delightful choices make me swoon. I love it all. From the flimsiest georgette to the heaviest canvas, it all thrills me to the core. Walking into a fabric shop is like finding new money. So when something as liberating as collage is available to be toyed with in relation to the textile realm, I am all in! The general principles and elements of composition and design do come into play with collage in order to help a piece of work make art sense but many times instinct takes over. Doing exercises in order to learn and absorb those principles have helped to bring cohesiveness and order to my work which is sort of a weird concept when talking about collage which most of the time is without any order at all at first glance. I guess the challenge is to produce a sort of jumbled harmony. I like to work fast without much conscious consideration and I want my designs to adhere to that jumbled harmony notion. That is exactly why I have put those pesky rules safely in my subconscious where they silently come to my aid whenever necessary.
My next post will be a brief overview of composition and the principles and elements of design.