In the last month I have really enjoyed my weekly art class. It has been a different kind of class, not one that has taught me a specific technique, or given me a clear set of goals. It's the kind of class that you get out of it what you put into it. It's given me little sparks of ideas and inspiration, and it's been a positive, supportive environment to play around with different materials and techniques.
I started this class wanting to tell a story, or discover some kind of truth about myself. I realized that is more like a year-long goal rather than a month-long goal. I got started on a handful of projects that I can continue working on, and I've now met some women that I can discuss them with. Creating art in a vacuum can be difficult, it seems to go a little faster when you have someone to show it to, to talk about it with, and to hear some ideas that you hadn't thought of.
It turns out that I'm not a very good painter. I like paint and I like colors, but I'm not really very good at making it come together into something beautiful or interesting. I would like to create some interesting paintings, so I'm just going to have to keep doing it until I get better. The best results that I had with paint involved thick paint and a palette knife. I mixed blue and white paint just a little bit, so that you could still see the individual colors and I spread it on cardboard using horizontal and vertical lines. I love how the lines of paint intersect and cross over each other.
I also liked using a fiber paste that when dried makes this amazing textural surface. I applied oil pastels in a similar pattern to what I did with the paint to create some interesting effects. This is a close-up of one area that I particularly liked.
Both of these were experiments in technique and mark-making and I want to continue playing around to find other things that I like. When I am doing this, I find it helps to not think of anything in particular, to not have anything to say, to just let the materials guide me.
My most successful project occurred very naturally and was inspired by the two paintings above. I've had a wire grid in my box of supplies for years, and I thought maybe I could weave fabric into the grid. At the studio where I was taking the class there was a huge bag of clothes that I could dig through. I loved looking through the bag for complimentary fabrics, the act of weaving the material was meditative and easy, and I think the final combination of fabrics is really interesting.
Two different people separately told me that the piece above looks female. Someone else said that it has a personality, that it looks like a broken doll. I'd like to give it a name, something young and fun, like Polly. I think there are lots of possibilities for exploring this theme. I
can create a character by using pieces of clothing that might come from one person's closet.
My classmate donated the scrap wood and suggested I search for old barn wood to use as a frame. I like this idea, so I am on the hunt for interesting wood.
I made another piece out of denim, and I love the subtle differences in the material and the variations in the seams and stitching. Denim is a universal material, but if you look closely at it, each pair of jeans has so much individual variety, color and texture.
Here is one that I made using Milo's old bibs. I love the colors and how the thick flexible fabric can bunch up and create a 3D surface that you want to touch.
I need more discarded clothes, I need more scrap lumber. Does anyone have anything that they can donate? I also need more grids. I found some wire mesh at the hardware store that works, but I like the coated kind
that they use for baskets. If you have some materials that you would like to donate, please let me know. I will pay for shipping! If you have 15 - 20 pieces of clothing from your own closet that you would otherwise donate or throw away, send it to me and I will make a piece and name it after you.
I'd really love to hear your comments and thoughts, so please leave them below.