Posts Tagged ‘realism’

New work: Siesta

Saturday, April 24th, 2010

Siesta, 45 x 33″, Tsukineko ink and stitching on cotton.

Every few months, I sit down and plan my activities for the next 4-6 months. Projects, development, shows. Experiments which beg to be tried, skills I need to hone. Then I tack the plan up in a nice prominent place, maybe get through step one, and do something else entirely!

That’s a long-winded way of saying that this piece is not at all what I meant to be doing this spring. I meant to do experiments with watercolor on soy-resist cloth. Then I ran across this napping raccoon and was struck by the contrast between its soft fur and the hard driftwood it’s using as a bed. I vaguely recall coming home, opening a drawer, and taking out a pencil and a length of seductive, snowy fabric. My next clear memory after that is jabbing myself with a hand sewing needle and finding a big pile of bumpy, thread-encrusted fabric on the table in front of me. The sides of my hands were covered in ink, the sink was full of purchased hummus containers which had been licked clean, and the calendar said that several months had gone by. “Oh, you’re back!” said my husband, when he saw me inspecting a ring of fur visible beneath my pants cuff, “I hope you don’t mind, but I went ahead and put away the Christmas tree.”

It could be worse. Some folks go on benders and wake up with tattoos or strange piercings. I merely go off the rails with chunks of cotton.

Now, I’ve taken some artistic license with Siesta: in real life, the driftwood was much closer to the color of the raccoon’s fur, so close that the two were harder to distinguish. That could have made an interesting study, staying in a narrower range of hues and concentrating on texture and line. However, I opted to make the wood colder, even introducing some blue, so as to make the raccoon seem more vulnerable. I’m not yet sure what I think of it.

It was fun, but I’m oddly drained and eager to move on. I think I hear some soybeans and some watercolors calling my name.

Stay tuned.