Process Pledge: Working in a Series
While it took me FOREVER to figure out how to work in a series, I now know a few ways to attack the idea. Here we have a collage of my Pine Tree series. The common element is the tree shape in each of the compositions. Some have house shapes too, but others are examples of my Stack idea. Despite the varying sizes in this photo collage, all the quilts were about the same size and all had some hand stitching and of course all were fused hand dyed cottons, with a few commercial cottons included. I began by making lots of tree shapes thinking I would make a quilt with blocks of trees. Nah. That wasn't going to work, and I quit that idea and returned later with the better plan to make individual compositions, making me much happier.
(Collages were made with Picasa3, a free program from Google).
The Pine Tree series was not my first series, having done this Street Series first. But what made the Pine Tree series significant is that it was sorta pictorial. It is easier to explain than the Street Series.
In the Street series my aim was to limit my color scheme (ha!), to use the Stack construction again, but to keep them all to the same size and shape. They would also have strings and dots and handwork too.
Color was the real limiting factor though, as I was trying to get past my dependence on 'all color, all the time' which had gotten kinda stale.
Feeling courageous, I decided to go for the really hard stuff, MUD.
Brown is not my favorite color, but I had some super earth tones in my stash, and determined to use them I did a series with the working title
Rivers of Illinois.
I couldn't stick with one size and designs went whereever they needed to go. I felt I had 'overcome'.
Much later I found I could wander back into that muddy stash and make more with a similar feel. If this were a gallery showing, I might put these on an adjacent wall. The yellow and blue composition at the bottom of this group (A New Day) is included even though it isn't muddy colored. It just belongs. Artist's perogative.
So far I have been talking about small works. Easy peasy. What about making series that are larger and more complicated? Eeek.
I should mention right here that I never know I am making a series when the first piece gets made. That would mean I know what I am doing, calculating the future. As if.
With this Bon bon series, I made lots of parts first (blocks and strips). That seemed to be a good way to start since I had no ideas. At least there is something to arrange and design which could begin to work into a composition, maybe. Plus it kept me busy and out of trouble.
Layout came from a quilt made by Robin Ferrier. It was in horizontal bands. That was enough to get the parts organized and vroom! soon the top was assembled. I had made lots more parts and the second one was easy. The third one, in blues and greens was difficult and forced. I made it once, didn't like it and then tried a second time, removing parts and decided to stick with the results. #4 incorporated some of the blues that were left and a really different layout was used.