I imagine painters go through this too: “if i cover this area again with white, and start again, i can focus what i want to say, i can change the feel, i can refocus the focus”.
Because i see a big fail here, as i worked on the mountain zigzag area! I want all of these elements to be strong, not strong in that they fight each other and there is no main voice, but i don’t want the story trailing off in a little falsetto either.
The centrepiece of this is of course the moon. (Background central stitching still be worked.)
The mountains i have started are NOT, how embarrassing. Because this area was to be cut out and backed, i tried a “colouring” in my photo editing program–i DON’T LIKE IT.
Actually it’s not the intended deep blue i don’t like, it’s those icky mountains. They’re weak, childish, less than what i can do and intended. I think they need to be somewhat similar to the moon fabric i used, a crackly indigo overdyed grevillea ecoprint. Fortunately there is JUST enough of that chunk left, and with fewer light areas–because they do need to be darker than the moon—so i’ll actually be covering that stitching now.
Is art/something/anything better because of the size? Can big be as intimate as the smaller work, the microcosm? Is it scale or portrayal that makes something demand to be large? Can small and dainty be transumed by changing scale and still be a communing with the subject?
One also has to define what “big” means to themselves though: is it actual size, the complexity of the technique used on it, or the point being made using this medium as the voice? Some may even question *my* “big”, but when each element may take 15-41 hours to create, and there are 15 of them to work, well, it FEELS big!
Most of my work to 2011 had been a “comfortable” size, usually within the 20-28″ range. It fit my worktable, it was easily portable, and it was finishable. I started questioning why i didn’t get “expansive and gestural”, feeling limited by the zone where it was easy to fit everything in, almost in a numbered fashion.
Subsequently most of my work since then has been much larger, not only in inches, but in complexity and duration of process. (Pieces have ranged from 30×40 to 36×43 to 40×54) I’ve come to realize i must find a happy medium, both in size and in practice, due to the fact that my work is extensively hand embroidered. I know there is no race or prize for having a certain number of pieces done per year, but when i see only 3 things done over 12 months, i wonder how a body of work can be completed in a reasonable time for exhibits.
I’ve tried doing small exercises that could later be incorporated into larger work, i’ve deliberately set sizes, but in the end, the background fabric determines, literally, the size of the finished piece. Because i was intentionally creating these fabrics for future work, they were larger than the previous comfort zone sizes. This summer i will again be doing a residency to make more of these fabrics, and this time will cut down consciously a few in motif and area so that i have a stockpile of possibilities that are within my zone! This isn’t a limit really, as pieces can always be incorporated into each other if i *do* want to go bigger again.
These are fabrics from past residencies, inspiration and jump off points this year.