Thursday, October 1, 2009

Tapestry Update

Just thought you'd like to see where the tapestry is getting to. I'm using a lot of my homespun, as well as various other yarns that seem to fit the need, and I wanted to take pictures today, since it's starting to do what the most happy art does sooner or later -- things are appearing in it that I was not aware of putting there.

If you look at it you'll see silo-like structures, and a barn like building, and sloping fields and ploughed earth and various things I had no idea at the front of my mind were happening. I was intent on creating a balanced design with a range of colors that seemed to want to be there, and just now find that stuff is emerging. This happens with art that is alla prima, which all my work is.

That's a fancy Latin phrase meaning just jump in and do it! don't futz around with studies and plans and little sketches and that kind of thing, it just kills it on arrival. I've done all kinds of art this way -- this is one reason I don't work in stone! not possible to do it with stone, though a stone artist of my acquaintance tells me there's still a lot of interesting decision making even in working stone.

I'm not saying this is for everyone, just that it's how I work and feel best. I did try doing a cartoon (preparatory design that goes behind the warp to work from) for this tapestry, on the grounds that just because I don't like doing it doesn't mean it's a bad thing. But I ended up deepsixing the cartoon and getting on much better without it. It was starting to feel stilted and confined rather than expressive, so I figured it isn't for me.

The odd thing is that it's like painting in slow motion! tons of time to think, rethink, try stuff, let it digest, very good considering it's so not how I usually work, warp speed being my natural way, pun not intended!

I once took a botanical illustration daylong workshop just to test my capacity to work slowly, and I did have a good time, daylong workshop, once I calmed down about it all, and even did a few more paintings later, which went over well. But I soon returned to my genetic heritage, heh, hurry, fast, no faster, ah, there now it's ten more and choose which you like best, one of those was worth keeping ,tear up the rest and use them for collage or artist books or beads or something...

Yesterday I was at work on the current piece when a neighbor stopped in to chat and insisted that she didn't want to interrupt my work, was interested and I showed her it, explained what I thought I was doing, but set it aside. You can't actually make art while you chat with the neighbors! it needs all the focus you can give it. I can't work for very long at a time before I tire mentally, for this reason.

I know there are people who think you can talk and chat and work, but I doubt it. They may be making something, but I don't think it's art. Even when I've learned in a workshop or class, I have to be out of there to do the best work I can do at the time.

So anyway, here's the current State of the Tapestry! two more planned, with different colors, though, but probably some echoes of this design in them, don't know yet. What usually happens is that I have a general idea of what I want to do, then the piece takes over and makes its own decisions more often than not and I'm just the humble laborer taking orders.

Yesterday on my walk I caught a lovely winterberry bush, the red berries being much brighter and more intense in nature than in the camera, red for some reason is a terrible subject for any camera.

As you will see when people appear on tv with bright red jackets, which have a hellish dazzle, the bane of camerapeople. When I see an experienced broadcaster doing this, I wonder, gads don't they teach you anything about the camera and what it needs from you, huh?

Also spotted a nice shrub with white blossoms which I have not identified but would appreciate advice on.

On the shopping for HP front you will be gratified to know that I dumped the store that won't ship, refuse to try to find it, ordered online from another outfit, no prob, shipment arrived today exactly as promised, was correct, all looks good, and I will probably give them my business from now on.

Nice day today with HP, he reading history of Peru, and noting that the writer mentioned Heyerdahl, and did he still have his copy of KonTiki. No, but he has about five other Heyerdahl titles....this is very heartening, when he is doing this well and being interested for quite a while. AND, big deal, he moved his legs a bit. Not enough to be useful, if you follow me, but certainly helpful in the circulation arena.

So, good stuff, better day today! I'll take it.


  1. Your tapestry is looking good. I like the serendipity approach.

  2. Love the tapestry. I wish I could be that creative - i.e. not needing to follow directions of some sort, just letting it happen. Nice pics of the plants too.



Thanks so much for commenting. I read all comments with care and much pleasure!