Monday, June 12, 2017

Update on works-in-progress

(Above:  Week Five of my installation-in-progress at Columbia Music Festival Association.  Click on any image to enlarge.)

I'm very pleased with my installation-in-progress.  Six weeks ago, I felt overwhelmed.  I wasn't sure I could fill twenty-four running feet of gallery space adequately ... at least not by the end of August.  I thought I'd need loads more circles and that I'd run out of time.  The opportunity to work on the temporary walls at CMFA (Columbia Music Festival Association) has been wonderful.  I've been able to stand back and view the relationships between the orbs and to relax about the upcoming deadline.  This installation will be ready for my solo show at Waterworks Visual Arts Center, Salisbury, NC.  In fact, I'm ahead of schedule!

 (Above:  Detail of the installation-in-progress.)

At first glance, the installation might not seem changed from last week.  Yet, it is!  I "turned the corner", so to speak ... expanding the field onto the wall on the far left.  The back wall is 20'.  Including this far wall, I'm at the required 24'.  I made nine orbs this past week, seven of which are on the far wall.  I added the other two elsewhere and think I might need about ten or twelve more orbs to fill out the display.   Before making more, I'm going to experiment with epoxy.  This was always part of my "ideal" plan, but six weeks ago it seemed impossible.  By this time next week, I will know if pouring epoxy over the orbs is a going to work.  I'm excited!

 (Above:  His Secrets and Her Secrets, small set.  Photos and buttons on paper.  Each work 8" x 6" unframed; 12" x 10" framed.)

The installation of circles/orbs has been good for blogging.  It has reminded me that I don't have to totally finish something in order to blog it.  I tend to wait until something is done ... which has happened a lot recently due to my button obsession.  The first few button ideas just flew out of me and were quick.  Now, however, I've moved on to more ambitious projects ... things that take a little more time.  I will be blogging them soon.  This post serves as a "teaser"!

Lips!  A work in progress! Three weeks ago I posted my need for photos of "lips".  Thanks to everyone who sent a photo!  I wanted them for a diptych art quilt called His Secrets and Her Secrets.  I've been working on it ever since.  Recently, the two quilts were laid out on my living room floor.  I had several leftover photos.  I made three small pieces ... just to experiment with the buttons on the mouths.

 (Above:  Secrets, photos and buttons on paper.  8" x 6" unframed; 13" x 11" framed.)

These small works let me consider how I really wanted to stitch the large art quilts.  I like the bow tied buttons on the piece above but thought forty bow ties would be too much.  I also decided that I didn't want small red buttons at the intersections (though they look fine on the smaller works).  It was good to see the sizes of the buttons on the mouths.  I spent three days sorting through all my buttons ... dividing them into color groups.  It was necessary in order to locate enough pink and red buttons for the larger works.  Thankfully, I found plenty!

(Above: Ready, Aim, Fire!, a work in progress.)

Another work in progress is Ready, Aim, Fire!  I've been working on it longer than the lips.  It has gone through several stages including being glued to a piece of acid-free mat board (which required it being under weights.)  Under all those heavy objects is a well shot police practice target with a colorful bulls-eye of stitched buttons.  It is nearly finished and I will blog it later this week!  Excited!

 (Above:  The Wall of Ancestors, Man of the House.  Framed: 29" x 25".)

I work on several projects every week.  Some are "on going" ... like tagging keys, wrapping old wooden thread spools, and adding to my Wall of Ancestors.  This past week three more pieces came together.  All three images were very badly damaged.  I scrubbed away mold and treated affected areas with mild bleach.  I erased years of dust and dirt.  I cut each image ... because large areas of the chip board foundations were missing.  I'm happy with the results.  The piece above fit nicely into an antique frame I bought months ago.

 (Above:  The Wall of Ancestors, My Brother's Keeper.  Framed:  19 1/2" x 23".)

This late 19th century photo originally was 16" x 20".  After cutting away damage, 13 1/2" x 16" were left ... a perfect amount for an odd stick of ornate moulding that's been collecting dust in my garage for years. 

 (Above:  Wall of Ancestors, Take Nothing for Granted.)

This photo was originally a 20" x 16" too.  It was REALLY in bad shape, but how could I resist that face?  The phrase "Take Nothing For Granted" went through my mind instantly.  The photo had to be cut down to 12" x 9" ... but I had the frame already.  It was meant to be.

Check back later.  Ready, Aim, Fire! and His Secrets and Her Secrets will be finished and blogged later this week.

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