There comes a time when a piece of work has gone on long enough. I started a large artist’s book well over a year ago, and actually put together all the pages and started to finish some of them. It was in and out of its wrapping several times, then went through a transformation of sorts where it was combined with another book project, from which it was then untangled. Then it was going to be used, once again, as part of another book project. I went through the pages writing little notes of adjustments and additional work etc, then, well, put it away again. I realised the project had gone stale, and that I had done work since that I had found more exciting, and I didn’t actually want to do any of the helpful little suggestions attached to each page.
So, out it came, again, and after a very good sort out, much of it was put in my useful materials recycling box, some of it can be used in my latest work, and one or two of the pages are good as stand alone pieces. It is a relief to get it out of the way, and its satellite collections of folders filled with possibly amazing additions to the tome. I moved out of my studio a year ago, and I don’t really miss it; I wouldn’t mind a bigger table but that’s easy to achieve. For me, a large space meant I started too much work, and although I did finish everything I started there except this one, it’s great to have to move the work along rather than start another piece which I could then put under the table. There’s only room under my table for my legs, and that’s the way I want to keep it.
So here are a few images of the book sorting, followed by some new pieces being laid down, and the rhinos.
It’s quite a new thing for me to work with so much pattern and colour, it’s been creeping in gradually over a few months. This is my photogenic scrap basket above, not posed at all…
I’ve made a couple of pieces for the work so far, not stitched yet, and above and below are two more. The project has a plan, which is largely if shiftingly in my head. Basically I make one piece at a time, doing whatever I want, and only what totally inspires me. I made my ‘Found’ series and ‘Beach’ series in that way, and enjoyed the process immensely.
Choosing the fabric when you are intent upon working with a mix of patterns is great fun. I drew the rhino from an image in one of my old and much used books about African wildlife; I want to use another mammal at some point, possibly something with stripes.
And here, below, is the fabric and mixed media ready for the next page.
The main fabric is a piece of demo fabric printed during a class; these bits of cloth often excite me more than the planned sort. The piece will have a butterfly/moth and pods theme, using fabric, and printed acetate and paper. The main problem is I like that yellow and black fabric and don’t want to cover it, but the transparency of the acetate may help to solve that problem. Right, of to get on with it then.