I’ve been in my studio a lot the last week. I’m trying to create a regular work habit. I’m under pressure to get some new pieces finished for an upcoming show in November, so there’s no time to waste. I’ve put priorities in place and that’s helping me keep focused. I’m seeing results and that’s helping me be motivated.
My art is comprised of a lot of phases. It’s never as easy as saying, well let me throw this together. I get an idea and know what I want it to look like, but how it gets there is always process. For example, the piece that is currently on my design wall is pretty large. I’m working on a forest scene. I could slap some fabric down and have you imagine that they are trees, but I want it to be more realistic. I need to work on the shading. I have lots of options. That’s were things get interesting and challenging.
I never choose the same option. On the parakeet quilt I just finished, I used colored pencils for shading. I love working with them, but had a couple glitches I didn’t expect. Fortunately, I was able to recover from the issues and I’m happy with the final outcome. The glitches do put me in a panic, because they could turn into a irreversible catastrophe.
The current piece I’m working on also needs some shading. Because of it’s size, I decided to use Shiva paintstiks and a stenciling technique to add depth. On this too, I stumbled with a few glitches, but in the end I’m good with it. Another catastrophe diverted.
Of course there’s more to this quilt than just a couple of grey trees. In the foreground of the photo, you’ll see a paper cutout that I used to find the right proportions for an ivory-billed woodpecker who is going to play in these woods. Layer upon layer, the design forms. Each step, I get to choose the options to create what I envision. But with each step, I’m also at risk of another irreversible catastrophe. It is harder to recover from these on larger pieces, there are a lot of hours invested in what you see. There’s a lot more hours ahead. After each layer, I pat myself on my back and get ready to move forward. I’m ready to move forward on this piece…and looking to good karma following along with me.