Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Tommy Says: Paint the Quilts!

Unaccustomed as I am to holding back anything that I feel from this blog, it is needless to say that I was majorly in the dumps and ran off to visit Tommy as a remedy. At least I was thinking clearly about that choice.

I am so smart.

Tommy is so smarter.

Plus she is not encumbered by my baggage and hysterical insecurities. ( she has her own, but this is all about ME).

I brought seven quilts that she had only seen on the blog and upon viewing them in real life, gave me all sorts of helpful encouragement. Even the scraps that I also brought along were greeted with enthusiasm. Then she got my attention when she repeatedly said, Paint these! Or Paint the Quilts! Why look at other artists when you have all you need in YOU!!!

To clarify...not to put paint on my finished quilts. No. Make paintings that are like my quilts. Color, design, pattern, layout, shape, colors...the WORKS.

Brilliant!

I felt UNDERSTOOD and slept like a baby. The next morning I felt renewed and having the foresight to bring my entire stash of fused fabrics, I set out to make a quilt while Tommy (hell bent on becoming the trimmest gal at her college reunion) went to work out.

Here she is posing like the painting I sent her by Skip Lawrence (title: Carly)

Her studio is rife with lots of possible ideas and I was inspired by this tiny photo of art glass

By the time she returned from the gym I was totally out of the dumps and almost finished with my first composition of the day. I had scraps leftover from another project and that became the sourdough for composition #2. I think I have figured out what the problem was now. Phew! What a relief.

You can stop reading now, while I open my veins. This will interest only other artists. If you are a well balanced individual, thank your lucky stars.

When I was a painter I did paint realistically. I don't want to paint like that anymore. I want to paint abstractly and with abandon. But I couldn't get around seeing images in the way. And the more I painted, the more the images had to be defined and brought to clarity. So I fussed and dinked around and that made matters worse. When I tried to learn from artists whose work I admire, by copying them, I did learn something: i.e. that I can't make someone else's work and be happy about it. Gack.
So now I see that I can make paintings that have the essence of my own work in them and can make them non-pictorial and still make them look like I know what I am doing. Which is the sticking point. I hate that amateurish look...
Of course I haven't done this yet, but the brain is in the right gear, I think.

But first I have to get that awful painting off my wall and outta my sight.

14 comments:

  1. Must have caught you in the midst of posting!!

    teri

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ok...now....it is wonderful that you knew to go to Tommy. She has a wonderful talent for cutting thru the bullfertilizer and saying what needs to be said. YOUR work is YOUR work....and it IS wonderful. And so are YOU.

    teri

    ReplyDelete
  3. I was a little surprised that you didn't post your two new pieces. The second one can be seen on my blog tommythematerialgirl.blogspot.com with the picture of you. I hope you don't mind.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Mel, thank you so much for sharing your creative process with us. I am just entering this world of art-making and looking for my artist voice. In the meantime, I learn technique by "copying" someone else's work and am never satisfied with it until I add my own "spin". Your words are so encouraging to me to keep searching.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous11:21 AM

    And now it is time to PAINT OVER that painting - as you are crossing the bridge back to Melody!

    ReplyDelete
  6. anomaly@cablelan.net12:02 PM

    Melody,

    Thank you so much for sharing your current artistic developement. it is so wonderful to have you articulate what so many of us are experiencing on our artistic journeys from the fingerpainting plasticene stages of infancy to .....whatever, passing through many media and life experiences as we go. Right now I am (and I can hardly believe this) drawn to doll/figure making. So like a good left brain person, I have acquired all Suzanna Oroyan's books, and am absolutely flabbergasted at her ability to articulate some of the "art" concepts that I have struggled with since forever. My current fave is how she identifies the process of abstraction as a dynamic...you see a shape that looks like something, and develop it (in her case into a doll), or you start with something "realistic" like a face or body and abstract it as you try to realize your objective. I may not be saying it well, but I think the idea of painting your quilts is an application of this...you have found in fabric a way to give yourself permission to play around with shape and colour and dimension, and it has been wildly successful...now you're bored with that, but you haven't yet given yourself permission to play around with paint....but I know you will.

    Good Luck, now I'm back to opening my new packages of Makins clay to see how I can draw with it!!!

    Anne on Pender Island

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oh, the artistic angst of Mrs. Mel - a recurring theme - that we all love.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Natalya12:57 PM

    Brilliant! What if you painted on fabric and then quilted it? I bet that could be amazing....

    ReplyDelete
  9. Natalya,
    I have painted on fabric and the fabric stiffens and the quilting is icky. I have seen it done on finished quilts, but really it just isn't my style.
    Melody

    ReplyDelete
  10. you should try the textile paints again. they don't make the fabric stiff. acrylic will. Setacolors have the least hand. some jaquard paints have a bit of hand. I think the metallics and pearlescent paints tend to stiffen it more than the regular colors.The metallics create more of a surface on top of the cloth. My quilts are not stiff unless i have a section that is calling out for an irresistable touch of acrylic golden fluid. I try to keep that to a minimum, because I do not like stiff fabric either. there are also dynaflows that do not change the hand of fabric at all. but they are more flowing and less controllable. anyways, i look forward to seeing where this latest direction takes you.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Natalya5:55 PM

    I hope you do give textile paints a try, as Judy said, they are quite nice these days. Dyenaflow is wonderful. Maybe what you have seen isn't your style, but I bet what you could do might just be magnificent. I can't wait to see what you create - oil paint or textile paint!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Yes What Judy said!!! I have used the setacolor and it has none of the stiffness that the old acrylics used to. ( the sea turtle quilt that is on my blog has the background fabric painted with setacolor) I find that if you thin the paints with enough water they act just like good water colors.

    ReplyDelete
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Hello,
So nice of you to drop by. I love your comments, and if you would really like a reply, please email me at fibermania at g mail dot com