Tuesday, March 10, 2009

"To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong." Joseph Pearce

(had trouble uploading originals so I re-sized...
you may need to enlarge to get a better view)

This is a piece I just 'found' hanging in the hall coat closet, squished in between all the winter coats we have. Funny how there are only 2 people living in this house and the coat closet is full. Probably because I now live north of Chicago and when I found out we were moving here I went out and bought several coats for various weather(snow, sleet, rain) and various temperatures.Mildy cold, cold, very cold and
FREEZING cold!So that's why my closet is full and I couldn't find this piece until I went in search of a medium weight raincoat yesterday.
Obviously I hung it in the closet thinking I might just hang the piece on the wall in the hallway that the closet is in?? Who knows? Moving in and trying to find a place for everything is frustrating at best but when you downsize your home but not your personal belongings it is VERY frustrating!I've gotten off point here, so...
The above piece is one I did about 4 years ago and at the time I wasn't sure it was "good enough" to show anyone much less hang it up in my house. I did get brave enough
a couple years ago when I did an artshow to put it in the show, but it didn't get much attention. I have a newfound love for this piece, in that it is completely different from any of the others I have done and it was basically an experiment.
Usually the pieces that I end up liking the best are experiments but I don't go 'out
on a limb' much with experimenting. I stick with the old 'tried & true' formula and
then try to expand on that a little. But the above quote is SO true! WE must learn
to lose our fear (or at least I need to learn that) of being wrong in order to create freely. It goes back to what I read over at amusing muses blog & Katherine Treffinger's blog.We must learn to 'let go' and 'lose control' and let our creative instincts take over. That's when we truly create from the heart.

Again I've gone off on a tangent when I fully intended to tell you a little about this piece. I started with a piece of decorator fabric since they tend to be a little
heavier weight. I brushed gesso across the fabric lightly in some areas so the fabric would show through and heavier in some so I could build some texture.
In the heavier gessoed areas I used a tool (old credit card) to drag through and
create 'waves'. On top of the dried gesso I stamped with gold lumiere paint. When that was dry I started adding all the elements.I began with a vintage image printed on cotton, then it grew from there.I decided to try some squares of papyrus paper fused to the fabric with wonderunder.Then on to decorating with embroidery threads, silk ribbons, buttons and the dragonfly is a carved bone bead who is 'journeying through life'.

Rather than finish this traditionally, I chose to finish with raw edges and I didn't sew it with the machine. I stitched around 3 sides with hand stitching and embroidery floss, then stuffed the quilt batting in and finished sewing the 4th side. It hangs from wired ribbon. I've taken close-up photos of various areas so that you can better see the stitching, the gesso and the texture of the fabric coming through the gesso.


Terri Kahrs said...

Hi, Cathy! I'm so happy that this piece was "out-ed"! It was just waiting for the right time and venue. It's stunning!
Terri :)

Beth said...

I love all the details, especially the texture of the flowers in the upper right hand corner.

When you create a piece like this, do you have an idea right away of what it's going to look like? Or do you start and see where it goes?

Cathy Mendola aka pinkbirdgirl said...

Thanks Terri! And thanks Beth-I sometimes have a general idea of what I plan to do, sometimes it works-sometimes it doesn't and I just go in a different direction. I've tried started with a sketch but it rarely turns out like the original drawing, so I just do better with something simple like choosing a color scheme and a theme. I just kind of let it grow from there. Especially with the above piece. Had no idea what it was going to be when I started.

whymsicalmusings said...

This is just wonderful. I love the textures and your use of gesso on the fabric. Thank you for sharing. I love your blog and all of your creative ideas:)

TextileTraveler said...

Cathy, I think the reason this piece didn't get much attention was because you're just way ahead of your time. I can't believe you made this 4 years ago--all these techniques are HOT right now! It's beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Cathy, I can't believe you hid this lovely piece away! You and I are so in the same place right now artistically, and I am looking forward to seeing your new abstract work. I've been working on a new painting and it's not coming as easily as my first. Intuitive and easy don't necessarily mean the same thing, I suppose. Thank you for thinking I am deserving of this award. It will be my honor to pass it along.


Cathy Mendola aka pinkbirdgirl said...

Alberta, Becky & Textile Traveler (i'm so sorry I don't even know your name though I feel like we're friends) thank you all so much for the kind comments. I do like the gesson on the fabric and have decided I must try it again soon. Love the way it gives depth and texture.
Alberta--i'm working on some abstracts myself.
The first I started ,so-so, the second I think I like it alot maybe??? Don't have the nerve to show it just yet.I'm letting it sit to see if maybe I need to tweak it more.
can't wait to see more of yours.
hugs to all!

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