Today it was Works in Progress, and I brought in several works in progress, three or four of them barely designed, and ready for me to do designs on them, one under way, one almost completed. In between chatting about art, design, higher education, the political scene, literature and various other topics that came up as the afternoon went on, that is.
As usual, I brought a box of materials, threads of all kinds, plus reference books. Since today's emphasis was on design and working on it, the book of drawings is one of the best places a designer can start, both to study and to draw, to get your eye and hand in. Then the book of geological photographs, natural shapes and forms, wonderful ideas. And my own looseleaf notebook of drawings, most of them done not as ideas but as fully developed drawing.
And for color, nothing beats the sheer intelligence of Albers. He was the twentieth century master, taught at Black Mountain College many other artists, composers and wild talents. One of his students, Maggi Johnson, was my mentor until her death in her mid nineties last year. So I have an unbroken succession to one of the greats! well, two of them, in fact.
I found a wonderful motif on Twitter the other day, one of those stylized initial letters in illuminated medieval manuscripts. So I swiped the shape as a design element, repeated it five times, meeting in the middle, to form a kind of mandala effect, on a piece of dyed linen, and will stitch into that. Maybe with silver, maybe gold, maybe colors, maybe all of the above.
The series of graduated hoops I'd set up with dyed silk will probably not be drawn on again, though I did break down and draw a rose motif on the smallest one. The silk and muslin and linen all started life as plain white, and I dyed and printed and generally made changes on them as a support for stitching.
Then I started the printed piece, a formless sort of group of metallic imprints I'd put on muslin, and began to form a mountain landscape, drawing from shape to shape and starting to couch copper metallic thread onto the contours. There will be an indigo metallic in what is to be the horizon line of the mountain range.
I learned quite a bit in the course of this residence, one being to stay calm in public long enough to stitch peacefully and to concentrate on designing. Before this I would have had to be at home to design happily.
But now I feel as if I can do it anywhere! this bodes well for the good weather, if we ever get any. I can definitely see working out of doors. The light is very favorable from now on, too. Plein air stitching!
And all this is leading up to the June exhibit, for which I hope to have enough work to make a show. The title of the exhibit: Leap and the Net Will Appear! and the next few weeks will feature quite a bit of leaping!