It has been 2 months since I last posted. Last week my friend Sheila mentioned that she’d love to see what I’ve been doing in the studio recently. “Why not post it on your blog?” she asked. A gentle nudge.
You may be wondering where I’ve been? Then again, maybe not. I was ready to post the last week of February. I procrastinated a few days. Then at 8 am on the morning of March 2nd I got a call that my mother had just been put in an ambulance and sent to the hospital. Four days later she was dead.
So where have I been? Wandering around that vast emptiness called grief. Giving myself the time and space to feel. Mostly it’s been painful, very, very painful. There have been some “ah-hah” moments and some smiles. And lots and lots of tears.
Would you believe I actually have also made some art? 2 pieces specifically deal with my mother. One about how she was during her life and one about the day she died. I’m not quite ready to show them yet, but I do have a few other pieces to share with you today.
My last post, on Feb. 16th, showed 2 pieces based on a scene of a river at the Natural Bridge State Park, a favorite walking place of mine. One was small, one larger. Turns out I made a third one as well. Let me refresh your memory. Here’s a photo of the first two.
I wasn’t really happy with the larger piece. Didn’t seem abstract enough for me. Had I really simplified the image down to it’s elemental shapes? How had I portrayed the different substances? Ice? Water? Rocks? Was I able to capture what I felt was their essence? I thought I’d try again.
This first picture is the wool layout. I wanted the cool colors of a winter landscape: white, gray, bluish gray and black. In part I did this by making the 2 layers of wool different colors in some areas. I hoped it would give the finished piece more depth and interest. I also wanted some sky included.
Now the piece has been felted. I like it.
Here are all three hanging up together. Which do you like best? Why?
I don’t have titles for any of them. Do you have any suggestions?
I wanted to show you a picture of my studio wall. It is the wall where I hang felted pieces that need surface design like stitching or beading. It is my hang and think wall. I look at the work every time I walk by, sit on my couch and look some more, and eventually I get an idea of what comes next.
I keep telling myself it’s time to get to the sewing machine and stitch. Or do some bead work. I’ve told myself “No more new pieces until you finish (and frame) some of these”. All of my finished work is now on display in the offices of Berson & Corrado, outside New York City. The hallway outside my studio is empty except for hanging hooks. It needs some finished pieces to adorn it. And my felt has slowly spread onto other walls and even the walls of the back room of my studio. In self defense I will say that I finished 1 piece (not yet framed) and am stitching another. But I love the making of felt, and the ideas keep coming. I like to make things when the ideas are fresh.
Are you familiar with the Victoria Crown Pigeon? It lives in Papau, New Guinea. I saw a picture of it on a greeting card and fell in love. It’s flamboyant headdress of feathers reminded me of a shawl my mother gave me. I don’t ever remember seeing her wear that shawl, but now I have 2 pieces of felt that are wearing it.
The first piece I did I remembered to take pictures along the way. Here’s the wool layout. The photo of the bird is in the upper right corner.
The piece with the fabric layed out on top of the wool and wet down.
I don’t seem to have a picture of the piece once it was fully felted. And on the second try I forgot to take pictures along the way and only have the finished felt. The second piece uses less realistic colors, brighter fabric and a different style headdress.
Here are the two together, along with original photo card.
This is the first post on my blog that won’t be read by my mother. Earlier in the month I had my first birthday ever without my mom. This next year will be a year filled with firsts.