I seem to be stuck on creating rigid, structured surfaces rather than those flowing, changing images I’ve done in the past. It’s like I’ve needed something solid to work on with my hands while something soft and amorphous is taking shape in my brain. I’m filled with nervous energy and can only mollify it with keeping my hands busy to give my brain a chance to work on whatever is going on in there. So I have been working small, doing something repetitive that doesn’t use up brain power.
The “Weave en Rose” series has been my project this past week. I wanted to experiment with weaving paper, carefully making notes on technique. Ultimately I think I would like to collage large sheets and then cut those sheets into long strips which I’d weave together in some pattern. (I envision this large, very large, measurable in feet rather than inches.) But I’ve had to work out the bugs on what works and what doesn’t when weaving with paper, so I decided to start small.
What will I do with these little pretties? We’ll mat them to 11”x14”, add a piece of foam core backing, and then put them in plastic sleeves for consignment sale in an art bin somewhere. The reason for creating them was the practice in doing, not the final outcome. Maybe someone will find these decorative pieces just right for enlivening a blank wall. Hopefully, only I see the flaws . . . .
Last month, I finished a large collage which I named “Tasman’s Quarry.” I almost abandoned the project mid-stream because I felt it was too basic, did not hold any surprises, and was the kind of project that any artist working with torn decorative papers could have accomplished. It is not in my “signature” style, but I still like the outcome. I think I did okay capturing the texture and color of an old Tasmanian sandstone wall, and it was this very project that set me on the path of teaching myself how to weave with paper.
Maybe I’m preparing myself for my next project, or maybe I’ve just taken a detour, but what we create is always a proprietary blend of our individual experiences, and the more we open up our senses and our minds and experiment with life, the more memories and impressions we have to work with, and then, ultimately, the more unimaginable unique outcomes we can create. (Mmm . . . now that’s a mouthful of philosophical mumbo-jumbo coming from my mushy brain!)