Batting, Tidiness, and Grouped Paintings

Well, some of the chaos has settled out, the sludge has been shoveled aside, the edges are painted, the paintings grouped, the batting painted and washed and dried, and maybe some textile work will happen.

First the batting — I love looking at it like this:

The batting is on the left; the “drop cloth”, placed under the batting to keep the paint from marring the studio floor (Ha!) is on the right. As you can see it’s been well used. And will be again. Someday it might actually be cut up and used in a piece of art. Ya never know.

The desk has been cleared of many of its papers and the rest are stacked neatly. I have to order some oil and acrylic paints, of course, so I have the catalogs at ready. However, I might go to Utrecht downtown this Saturday. They are having a big sale.

I’m undecided this evening whether to show you the grouped Petrified Forest paintings, now pinned to the newly painted wall, or one of the many experimental textile blocks I’ve been playing around with in the textile studio.

I took two of the 5 groups of the PEFO paintings to my crit friends last night. They allowed as how the groups (I took the two most problematic ones) worked as wholes, but needed a bit more tweaking to pull them closer together as paintings. I had already decided that, and this morning started, once again, to add a bit more paint here and there.

They also listened to my verbal spiel and I got very good comments on it. Basically, as  Jane said, politely but firmly, the spiel was both vague and boringly (my word) academic.  I knew this already — I could see the glazed look in their eyes. This is the same look that Jer gets when I try to explain what I’m trying to do. So this evening I tried writing in more colorful, less vague language. We’ll see how that goes. I must avoid the MEGOs (MEGOs being a shorthand way of saying “my eyes glaze over.”)

So I guess I won’t show the PEFO groupings just yet (more paint, more colorful language, later), but rather, let you in on one or two of the 12 or so playing-around blocks that I’ve got on the design wall for a May 1 deadline:

This is one that won’t be used in the final setting — too many sewing flaws. But the basic idea is present. The batting is bigger than the fabric and gets “deckled” — the wool is pulled to form an uneven edge. The center of the fabric is cut away and another piece of fabric shows underneath. In

In some of the blocks, the overlayment is sheer, so some of the underneath shows through and around, and in the one below, the batting also bared in the center as well as around the edges:

The ultimate number and use of these pieces is still up in the air, although I’m fairly certain that they will be brought together by another fabric onto which the blocks, with the deckled batting and the backing showing , will be sewn. But the order and the rhythms and the sizes and the way the colors play with one another — all still up for grabs. I think this will be a bit like the fireplace design that I did some years back. I’ll keep making these until panic strikes and then I’ll start arranging and rearranging them until something pleasant emerges. Then I’ll figure out what it all means.

As Jan says, you have to trust the process. Gulp. But it’s only January, so trust can go on for a  while. –June

Oh, and a bit of cheery happenings for the month — I sold a piece to a local interior decorator (a first so far as I know — home decor is not one of my strengths); and two of my honking big Mrs. Willard pieces will be shown at the “Volusia Wrapped in Fiber” extravaganza in Florida. I didn’t record the dates, so I have to wait on the paperwork to note the details.

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