In these quiet weeks, I am finding it hard to come back to the screen. This screen, specifically. Is it because the space where my knees sit is freezing cold? (My hands are freezing right now, too) Or, because a pause midwinter makes sense from 1,000 perspectives? Or, maybe I have nothing to say (when has that stopped me before, you ask?!!).
An unexpected benefit to my neglect here, has been getting into a rhythm of finishing work. Ironically, I had signed up to do a spring show and was DREADING the prospect of spending a season ONLY finishing things, but the moment I decided (for a host of reasons) NOT to participate, the finishing seemed to want to happen. I have to ask myself: WHY am I capitalizing words as if I am writing an article about the THRILL of orgasm for COSMO?!! No. Seriously, what is my deal about finishing?
Once Upon a Time, Bird Woman was born. She emerged from scraps of embellished linen and pieces of a hideous 1970′s jacket, and some sequins that my cousin sent me at the time. I put a small island of Victorian sequined black silk below her feet (that came from a friend for my birthday one year). I made her wingtips look like flames, to make her a powerful bird. I blanket stitched a full moon over one wing and she got even more powerful. For her general environment, this creature was lucky enough to get one of the many woven cloths that I made during a Jude Hill class (it might be two combined, actually). Then she went into hiding again. I wondered where she was for awhile but I didn’t look for her. She resurfaced, got some more stitching, then disappeared again. I found her about two weeks ago, and now, apparently she is ready to be given a little more starry sky above her head, and some edges.
The blue silk frayed like mad. The NEXT time I used silk for a background, by the way, I ran a line of machine stitching along the side prone to giving off its threads. The lost cloth here created a bit of a challenge – but not too bad. Mostly, I was sorry to see so much of that Noxzema blue go. After trimming the batting off, I auditioned backgrounds, with the idea that I would put the whole thing onto another cloth.
I looked at these selections starting with upper left and going clockwise. The purple velvet was nice, but I liked the burnt orange of my slippers (just visible on the frame’s edges) better. The green and whites both fell completely flat. But, orange? Why, yes. It makes the Bird Woman sing! How can a single infusion of color do that?!! But it does. Orange makes Bird Woman sing!Here you can see how I applied some tiny seed stitches and “X’s” to approximate stars. The upper edge slanted precipitously downward, and since I was loathe to lose anymore of that rich, blue silk, I tucked a kind of corny cotton printed with a night sky. I will tuck something else on the left side to complete that edge.
This will be carefully stretched a bit before mounting onto its backing (which of course I had to piece because the orange swatch was not wide enough). Stay tuned for the finished piece!!
What is your style of finishing a piece? Do you run to it, with eager anticipation for the satisfaction of a job well-done? Or, do you resist? If you resist, how do you work with your resistance?