Thursday, November 8, 2012

More navel gazing

Two new Bonnie McCaffrey videos came out today.  These were from the recent show in England, which had representation from all over Europe.  What dramatic and vibrant art!   As usual, the use of new and original techniques is a big part of what is shown, but the designs themselves blow me away. I experience the same sense of awe when viewing shows from this part of the world.

This "sense of awe" then leads me to thinking about where I fit in all of this.  My "Twilight Snowfall" was shown on one of her videos, when it was in New Zealand.  The same piece was on display in Houston last week.  Through the FAN exhibitions, my pieces are shown in association with Quilt Canada.  So I am part of that world, but such a small part.  When I think of strategies to become better known, I have second thoughts.  Am I willing to set apart 50%-70% percent of my time to marketing and networking, in an effort to promote myself?   Not bloody likely!   More and more I'm realizing that my pleasure comes more  from the creation, not the exhibition.   Earlier in my life the accolades and feedback were paramount, but not today.

Having said all of this, I have a new piece in the works.  Awhile back, when showing off some of my new found FMQ'g skills, a friend looked at my feathered paisley patterns and said "Carp!  They look like carp!"  I was a little put out with her at the time, but when I thought about it, she was right.  They do resemble fish.  So what if-----?  I think this is likely to become a series of very stylized fish.  The first piece will be painted fish, with heavy free motion embroidery. Not very representative  of the FMQ'g paisleys at all.   But I don't want to completely loose that association, so there are two or three more pieces gradually taking form at the back of my mind.

 I am treading slowly this time, and am doing a technical study, before embarking on the main piece.  I have been experimenting with thickened dyes and Dyna-Flo paints to find the best "hand" to the coloured fabric. This has lead to experimenting with resists against "wicking" of the colours.  Using Jacquard No-Flow taught me that it is just a water-based gutta, similar to the one I use for painting silk, and must thoroughly soak into the fabric to work properly (Ask me how I know.  Whoops!  My first fish will have blue lips)  Thickened dyes are wonderful to paint with, but so much colour came out when I washed them afterwards, that I decided this technique just doesn't work for me.  ( Yeah, I know, I must have been doing something wrong).  Doing a technical study is also giving me an opportunity to work out the best method for marking my pattern, prior to the painting.  No clear answer there, yet.  I'll know more once I have heat set the paint, later today.  This experimentation is also giving me a chance to play with some PFD fabric that I bought earlier this year.  I've been saving it for a special project.

So my recent health issues haven't really held me back.  The old girl is back in business again!