About a year ago I lost track of keeping up with my website. I also fell into a slump with my artwork. A serious personal problem interfered with my life resulting in a complete stall. Many months passed and I became more and more distressed about my situation.
Needless to say, I did not utilize my website and blog at all.
Recently I attempted to post on my blog www.studioquilts.com and since it had been so long since I was last on it, there were MANY changes that developed with the theme, the plugins, the whole package needed updating. Well, I attempted to do that and after many hours of attempting to sort it out, the site became virtually inaccessible. I had to face the grim reality that I would have to start fresh. The site was old and outdated anyway. The art that was shown was not anything like what I create now. So, this was a good thing, but could I pull it off?
Well, here I am a few days later writing the first blog post on my new site: www.deborahbabin.com. It is barely defined but I like what I see and I am learning as I go. Thus, this first post is lengthy, bringing things up to date.
NEW ART WORK
Last winter, I decided to take an online course with Lisa Call titled Working In A Series. This was such an amazingly thorough presentation which did help unlock my creative mind and begin to think about making art again. I enjoyed taking the course and being able to work at my own pace in my own studio. I really liked some of the pieces I made. Although, I did not choose a topic for a series that got me motivated on my own. Lisa offered another course soon after titled Abstraction. This appealed to me as well. Again, a very comprehensive course with enough links to last a lifetime. Lisa doesn’t leave one rock unturned. Again, I liked some of the work but I did not come away with a break through as I had hoped. I did sort out and rule out a lot so this was helpful.
In January I received an invitation to exhibit for the month of August at a local gallery Bainbridge Arts and Crafts, located on Bainbridge Island. Theme : inspired by water. What a great theme! I was honored to be invited and this was exactly the motivation I needed to get productive again.
In the Working In A Series course, Lisa stressed how important it is to refine your series down the the basic elements. To focus on those until you have exhausted the subject.For example, I chose leaves because I seem to always include them in my work in one way or another. So, to refine this I narrowed the series down to A. a single leaf B.size: 15×15″
During the courses, I learned the value of sketching and writing (journaling). I sketched for weeks and wrote about water defining how water inspired me. The main components I came away with were A. movements of water (currents) B. colors of water, a color palette, with the colors of the Caribbean waters, which are my favorite. Next I spent weeks searching online for particular fabrics that reflected the palette.
Unfortunately, the more I sketched and wrote, I gradually became reluctant to start sewing. I was not used to turning sketches into actual art. Lisa also says you just have to make a lot of art. Some will be good and some will not. So, eventually with this in mind, I dove in and started sewing. The first attempt utilized one of my sketches. However, the more I worked on it, I knew it was overworked. I had too much riding on one piece. It was hard to put it aside and admit that I needed to move on, but I did.
Next, I decided to pull out all of the fabrics that inspired me the most and concentrate on the palette alone and “experience” the fabrics. I wanted to let them talk to me and I was ready to listen. I began to do some simple piecing. Before long I had composition that pleased me. This composition inspired me to do some hand embroidery. I liked the interaction of the fabrics and wanted to now enhance the surface with hand embroidery; furthering the water theme with stitches that contrasted in value and texture keeping with the water theme.
While I was searching for fabrics I came across one that really caught my attention. It was a screen printed fabric from the 1960’s. It had the perfect colors and movements. It was a barkcloth fabric which had nice texture.
The finished piece came together quickly and restored my spirits. I was truly inspired by my concept of water and pursued utilizing my refined components: color palette and water currents.
This piece broke ground and now I have completed several others and have cohesive body of work that I am very proud of.
Thank You Lisa!
And, the personal problem is gradually resolving.