Sunday, March 24, 2019

Process - the Penny has dropped

Wall hanging - Penny Rug with a twist

As you will see from past posts, I have been trying to work out what process is and how process applies to my practice.  I think the penny has finally dropped!

Art students today are taught to keep visual diaries and establish mood boards. 
But I’m a wordsmith by training and I write daily.  

I record my thoughts on anything: personal highs and lows, my view on current politics, family matters and ideas about my art,  whatever occurs to me at the time.  In the course of my writing I see that I keep coming back to certain ideas.  

For a long time I was convinced I should write in one book and that my art ideas, images and drawing should be in a visual diary style journal.   As a result, I had no cohesive ideas about my art and its progress.   I tried to take the ideas from my daily writings across to my visual diary and that didn’t really work.  I thought I had a to have a visual diary to fully explore every idea.   Then I ended up with a heap of visual diaries with only a few pages of drawings on that one idea.

Looking for help, I did an online journaling workshop with Sharon Boggon.   She gave me permission to write and draw on the same page!    

Exploring penny rug ideas in daily writing

It took a while but now my daily writings include notes and drawings of my art ideas when they come to me.   When I have an idea that reoccurs and sticks, I move onto a visual diary.  And its not a special diary, I just keep adding ideas to it.  But, by the time I get the ideas into a visual diary I am working through the ideas and how I can make my own mark.

Rough drawing in daily writing
rough drawings in visual diary

In the course of my daily writings I realised that I like applique, I like felt, I like thick threads and I prefer a number of simple stitch techniques.   When I look at what I have done in the past I see lots of applique in various formats (from traditional turned applique to raw edge collage), lots of running stitch and chain stitch and spirals and circles.

Add to this mix an invitation to participate in an exhibition with five textile artists who work primarily with wool.  My thoughts jumped to penny rugs: felted wool, applique and stitch.   Ideas started to appear in my daily writings.  Then drawings and internet research happened in my visual diary together with drawings that has started as initial ideas in my daily writings.

With the Albury Wodonga Branch of the Embroiderers Guild Victoria exhibition looming I explored the penny rug idea and created a hanging. (Photo at top).  And I revisited and explored appliqued faces again. 


I have realised that for me, process is:
·         recognising recurring ideas
.     playing with those ideas that take my fancy 
·         working with those recurring ideas over a longer period of time.

Thank you for letting me talk out loud. 😊   

Not quite a self portrait

Not quite a self portrait
small 8' quiltlet with embroidered hair

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