I'm trying some new things this year...
1. Beading on felt
2. Using fibers, paper, multi-media approach
3. Learning collage
4. Using some of the papers I've painted
5. Including words
6. Making a hand-bound book with my 12 pages
It all started on Jan. 1, when I impulsively wrote 6 words that seemed important to me. They are:
So with the six words for January in the back of my mind, I quickly flipped through my stash of painted papers (acrylic paint on 90 pound drawing paper) and found one that appealed to me. Same process with my felt stash. Purple felt! I basted it to a piece of interleaving paper to stabilize it, got out some beads and started stitching. Obviously, the word walk showed up in my beading. Here's how it looks:
That part was pretty easy.
Since I'm going to make a book, I wanted the page size to be larger than the bead embroidery (which is only 2.5 x 2.5 inches). I have some sheets of deep black paper (heavy-weight, with a deckle edge) which will be luscious for a book. I decided to make the book pages 8.5 x 11 and cut the painted papers to a 7" square. So now, I'm defining my BJP page as a 7 inch square, which will include some beading on felt of any size I wish for that page.
Now we get to the difficult (er, I mean challenging) part for me. What to do with the painted paper and the beading??? How to put them together??? How to add elements of collage??? How to add the words??? Yikes! Suddenly I'm all tense and don't know what I want to do or how to do it.
"Calm down," I remind myself... "It doesn't have to be perfect. Just do it. Think improvisationally." That works for about 5 minutes and I glue some wrapped fibers on the paper to extend the idea of walking from my bugle bead pathway onto the paper. Then I'm stuck again. I worry that the fibers aren't the right color. I worry about what to do next. I write some words on the page and worry that they look amateur... And so on...
Worrying about my art isn't the normal me. I worry about that too...
Finally, Marty's post "Editing and Improvisation," about ripping out beads in parts we don't like, rescued me from all the angst I was feeling about my piece. Somehow reading her words created a turning point in my mind. My self-talk changed to "This is a learning experience. I'm trying something new. I'll get better at it as the year goes by. It's a journey of discovery and everything I make is simply a marker along the path."
So here you have it... The first marker! Fini! Tomorrow I get to write 6 new words and continue the journey into February!
BTW, some of you readers are excellent at collage... all suggestions for the next piece are welcome!