These three pieces came from an Illustration Friday topic “Insect”. After I did the first one, I liked the idea of imposing unnatural pattern and color onto the fairly realistic, natural forms of the beetles and did a couple more. These may not be the last.
On the QuiltArt mailing list people talk about finding their artistic “voice” or developing their own style, and I have struggled with that myself and tried out quite a few styles for working. In “Art and Fear” by David Bayles and Ted Orland I came across this thought and it struck me:
“we don’t learn much about making art by being moved by it…. As viewers we readily experience the power of ground on which we cannot stand…”
How often we think that the art we love looking at is the art that we need to do, so we take a class from the artist whose work we admire, or we buy the book and do our best to emulate that work. But that is not our work.
There are so many fiber artists whose work I admire and love, but trying to work as they work is futile and ultimately unsatisfying. I love Lisa Call’s cool and rhythmic abstractions. I love June Underwood’s organic energy. I love Pamela Allen’s sense of humor. I love Rayna Gilman’s layered complexity and Melody Johnson’s joyous color, and so many others. But the pieces I am doing right now come from someplace altogether different and they feel, more than most of the work I have done, quite satisfying. I guess they are somewhat like I am. Quiet. Straightforward, I hope.
They are observation and a little bit of storytelling and, quite a lot, a consideration of pattern and relationships. And, of course, my own ideas about color. And while they do not convey any heavy messages, I feel they are quite personal to me and may be harder (for me) to sell than some other work has been.