after the blues have gone away

With a very healthy stack of new fabrics to work with, i turned my attention to sketchbooks from the past few years, and pulled some ideas that leaped out at me. Some date back to 2011, and gave a recurring theme. Browns, soft vintage violets and lavenders, machine work (!!!!yes) and “stacked” techniques, these are jump off points, and may or may not be incorporated in some form.

mw start

I’m calling this period/amalgamation the “Milkweed Studies”, though some of the resulting work won’t be recognizable as milkweeds! I started thinking about milkweeds back in 2013 when i was in FAN but never completed the piece and had to drop out of the exhibit, something that embarrassed and horrified me, as it was a collaborative effort with someone else. Being a gardener and protector of bees, butterflies and other pollinators, also means these plants are vital in my world view, despite the invasive label they have in some areas.

A few pieces get dropped right away, though filed for other work in the “series” maybe, and i am left with these:

studyingThe small black and purple page is a line study of sorts; though it’s a pattern in a sense, it will be merely a guideline with the fabric above it. The small milkweed paint sketches are my real focus, but they won’t be translated as purely in the final work.

milkweed paintstudies C

mw fabric 1

As excited as i am by the face and figure pieces of fabric that i did during the residency, and though i have started on one face already, this is where my focus will be for the next while. I have a deadline again with the residency show, and will work this into the theme of “SelfEdge”, as the interpretation is rather loose. (It’s all in the artist statement when and how you write it 🙂 )

I’m going to incorporate hand and machine work again, something i haven’t done in awhile. My purist, obsessive side disagrees, but my pragmatic, it’s-just-a-tool side is thrilled. Let the fight games begin!


5 responses to “after the blues have gone away

  1. Arlee….the fabric print of the milkweed is, to my eyes, most wonderful. It is truly a fine piece on which to stitch with both machine and hand – sometimes my machine becomes just a “brush or pen” for me….and then I lose that sense of not being correct for a work…I “suffer” from same of the same messages about which you write. This cloth does call out for both methods, I am certain…and I look forward to seeing how the process explodes and develops for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have no sketchbooks and I wish I did, but it just hasn’t been something I’ve done . . . all I’ve done in a sketch book is made notes of what I learn on a course. Occasionally I’ll draw out a diagram of how to construct something. Perhaps if I have done a course of longer than a week the discipline would have extablished itself.

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    • i think it’s something you start when you are young and know you’ll forget things, or have “too many” ideas! i’ve kept them since i was 13 or 14, but have only the ones from the last 23 years.


      • There is no hope for me when it comes to sketchbooks then. The last time I was referred to as “a young thing with so many opportunities” was when I was 55, by my mother who was 96, and that was a good number of years ago. On the plus side . . . I still have rather too many ideas. I have accepted that Consistency is not my middle name. OH! I just had a thought . . . what if Constance WAS my iddle name! I almost choked on my morning coffee.

        Liked by 1 person

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