Wednesday, January 19, 2011

There’s a Fine Line Between Underworking and Overworking a Piece

My friend Ann asked me what I was going to do with the fabric pieces that I used the squishy fish on. Hmmm. I wasn’t sure as I didn’t have a good feeling about them yet. I realize they were more experiments in process using various pigments and stamps but after I was “finished” with them, I wasn’t really finished with them. A couple of years ago I won a carved Speedball Speedy-Carve stamp making kit and finally made time to carve a couple of fun stamps to try on

the green batik fabric. I’d already had the fish printed on the fabric and some freehand do-dads but the fabric still seemed a bit “flat” to me and uninspiring to use in a project. After stamping and doing some more washes using the Daler Roney FW Inks, within a couple of strokes I had completely overworked the green batik fabric (pictured below) and now I think it looks too muddy and even confusing. I thought a lot about the fine balance of layering without overworking and think it’s a real art.

I usually over work rather than underwork –though when it comes to process I’m probably too impatient to really overwork any piece of art! I used another one of the screened orange fish on the teal batik fabric and added a yellow border (after consulting my color wheel) and some appliqué sea elements for a small art quilt. That also seemed "unfinished." As I slowed down and tried to be more thoughtful about the overall piece it felt like it was heading in the direction I was looking for by using some iron on transfers. I found the digital images in one of my mega clip art books of vintage illustrations and really love that look. I also was able to reuse a welded steel piece

that used to hold one of my clay fish (that was accidently broke in the Gallery) to hang the small,

16” wide x 12” tall quilt. This exercise had me thinking a lot this week about process, gut instincts, an artul eye and the art of knowing when to say when. It also reminded me that I need to open up a bit, have more fun in my art making and a make a LOT more mistakes!


Linda Starr said...

Oh I had a feeling the squishies would end up in one of your fabric creations.

Ann said...

Luckily, one woman's overworked piece is another woman's work of art! :) Whether you liked it or not, I LOVE your spirals and circles. Those are keepers!

Andrea said...

It's beautiful!

Judy Shreve said...

It's not just beautiful -- it's so fun! What a great piece.

Patricia Griffin said...

wonderful! And I love how you used your steel piece to hang it from.