I’m in a fallow period now, just humming under my breath, wondering and wandering, finding the next work to do. The “success” of the “failed” ecoprint made beautiful has me rethinking some of my own methods, and wanting to return to past possibilities in design. I have ( like you probably do too if you’ve been “textiling” for years) piles of notebooks with things that never gelled. Sometimes it was a lack of confidence, oft-times for me it was the wrong skill set or one not learned yet. And sometimes too many things got in the mix and muddied things up!!! I’m going to look upon this opportunity as a collaboration with my younger, less skilled but more enthusiastic self and me now, the old cynical hand.
One of the FAN shows slated for this year has a collaborative approach: we are paired, agree upon a subject, then one artist does representational and the other an abstraction of the same subject. Since no one in the group really “knows” me, Marianne Parsons agreed to be my other for this project, brave soul! Her representational work is wonderful, and she has a more experimental view as well in terms of fabric use and technique, so it could work
We went through a long list of subjects and finally settled on “milkweed”. Our only rules are size (18×45″) and that elements of the representational piece: colour, line, and/or design are “repeated” in some sense in the abstracted one. While the flowers of the milkweed (asclepias) are gorgeous, both of us are more interested in the pods: with their wonderful shapes, burstingness and the fluff explosion of seeds, they are a natural for design explorations.
There actually are ideas in my old sketch/workbooks that can be used for this–jottings of technique ideas, colour use and specific design elements. Paring down my library made me look through some of them and be reminded “Hey i can do this! I made notes!”
And the venue? The La Conner Quilt and Textile Museum in La Conner, Washington!