Saturday, March 26, 2011

Self Portrait With Bobbin

Self Portrait drawing, c. 1990-95

While going through some of my old journals and sketchbooks I ran across this drawing. I didn't date the piece so I'm not absolutely certain of the date... late 90's... and it was a lone piece, stuck into the back of a sketchbook. The expresssion is sorta scary, but I think that's because of the angle of the mirror I was using. The drawing was glued to the larger paper (8.5 x 11") with a bit of pattern tissue added as well as lines indicating quilting stitches and a sewing machine bobbin with thread... a true self portrait indicating what interested me at the time. The tissue has turned brown with age because of0 the acid content of papers used for pattern tissue, then and now, and even the acrylic medium in which it was encased didn't prevent color change... a lesson for those of us who use ephemera in our work.

I now date each piece as I complete it, on the back when I can, or if it's in a book I put the date in one of the corners. So many times I've made something and later wished I knew when I made it and what was going on in my life when it came into being. So I'm guessing on this one, but hopefully my life history from here on will be more accurate... if anyone cares!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Trust God, a commission

Collage 9" x 12"

This is a piece I made as a commission before I got sick about 2 weeks ago, and is the only art I've done lately. Sometimes when I don't feel well I simply vanish into a series of books , emerging only when I'm on the mend. Even though my sketchbook was beside my chair I never touched it except to move it. But now I'm back and I'll tell you a bit more about the piece.

The clients gave me carte blanche and asked me to use Proverbs 3: 5-6 in KJV. It seems that this is one of the most popular verses in the Bible, and no wonder. In my NIV it reads, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight".  

Normally I don't like to do commissions but this one was a pleasure, though from the time they asked me until the time I actually started working several months elapsed as I thought about what to do. As it turned out there was no advance preparation; I simply started working.

Knowing the colors used in their home I knew I wanted to use yellow and red so I started looking through my painted papers for usable material.  Some of what I used came from sessions with spray paint and stencils. The figure in the lower right quadrant is a stencil I cut to represent myself or 'woman'.

The lower left is a piece of washi paper that I ran through my pleating machine and dyed while still on the gathered thread. I ironed it flat and glued it down and then journaled about the verse on top of the painted paper, deliberately camouflaging portions of the very personal words. The rest of the text is done with individual rubber stamps, like I do with my sermon notes series.

The clients love it and everyone is happy except me... I hate to give it up! But that happens to most artists who are pleased with their work.

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