Thursday, March 24, 2011

Rambling Thoughts on a Series

For some reason my brain has been quite chaotic lately.  So many things to do, negative thoughts, feelings, new ideas and old ideas all swirling around.  Even my trustworthy yoga and exercise haven't been helping much.  I don't know why.  Maybe it's the thought of spring and possibilities. 

For the past few days/weeks, I have had some recurring thoughts about this latest series I'm working on called Color Fields.  I showed you the first two pieces (with some not so good photos) and am just about finished with the third piece.  The fourth is already on the design wall. This third one has given me a little bit of trouble.  When you see it, you will probably wonder why?

And that brings me to some of the thoughts I've been having.  One day my husband walked into my sewing studio and asked me what I was doing.  I think I replied I was making something.  He said, "It looks like you are making stripes."  Well yes, as a matter of fact I was.  But it was/is more than that and I had explained that to him previously.  I'm sure he was just teasing me (at least I hope so!).  But then I started thinking . . . well, maybe that's just what everyone else will see when they look at these.

When I posted the first piece, I mentioned that they are inspired by aerial views of tulip fields in bloom.  How will anyone know that, if I don't write it in a statement?  Does it matter?  Color Fields can mean a few different things.  Have I taken the abstraction too far?  Is it too minimal? Will anyone get it? Does it matter? 

Ultimately, and I know it sounds a little flippant, but it doesn't matter.  I have to make the ideas I have.  And this seems to be my style right now: abstract, minimal and geometric.  I don't even think about entering the "big" art quilt shows like Quilt National because I don't think this style is what they are looking for.  I think the "in" things for the past couple of years for those types of shows seem to be an emphasis on surface design, lots of texture and new techniques of construction or materials (disclaimer: I haven't been to a lot of these shows.  I do have quite a few of the Quilt National books and see images in magazines, etc.)

My construction technique is quite traditional.  I mostly do the machine piecing because I think it makes a nice, strong graphic line.  I use 100% cotton fabric - very traditional (although I do dye it).  I haven't gotten into surface design or embellishment because, once again, I like the strong, graphic quality of the solid color.  Most of my pieces don't have a lot of texture right now, just the machine quilting.  These Color Fields pieces have even less texture because most of the quilting is straight lines.

Where is this leading?  I don't know.  I guess I'm thinking this series may not be for everyone.  But I'm going to keep working on it because I am kind of excited about it and have a plan.  So, here's to stripes!


Diane said...

I'm very drawn to your color fields, Lisa. If you take the as stripes, your composition and arrangement of color make them really interesting and visually pleasing. But even without knowing that you were exploring tulip fields, I could see landscape in them. And, as you ultimately concluded, what does it matter if you are loving them and loving the process?

Brenda Gael Smith said...

Stripes are good! So are series.