Saturday, July 2, 2011

Old Work

The Faucet Painting
A variety of fibers, beads etc.
 I have been planning on posting some of my old           work.  These are a variety of pieces I have created over the past several years or so.  Some cloth is included, but in different ways, not just as in quilts.  Most quilts I've made have been given away long ago.  See, that's the thing for me, it seems to be much more about the process than the product.  Actually, now that I think about it, most of all of my work has been given away.
Except for the Christmas stockings I made for about ten years...those I sold!
These are some of the pieces that have hung around for one reason or another.

The faucet painting came about in one of those serendipitous moments in the local hardware store when my eyes fell upon that faucet and I said, "I think I need that!"  Some paint, cheesecloth, fiber, beads, sequins, wire...and TA-DA!  The process was lots of 'what-ifing' and no plan whatsoever.  Just pure fun!  This is the one piece of mine that has been in an exhibit, which was a proud experience.
I've had lots of other ideas to add to my 'hardware series'.

This little scene was part of a collage class I took at my local community college.  The assignment was to bring in a box and something old.  I used one of the unfinished CD crates and a large piece of bark that came from a small stump I'd had on my porches for over ten years.  One day the whole piece fell off.  Ahhh...yes just what I needed!  My instructor brought in some other pieces of 'old' that we could use.  Part of the process I really enjoy is the problem-solving.  I did not use to be that way.
I did not know about patience and deep breaths.
I had great mentor once who taught me so much about problem-solving.  I think that is why I treasure it so, good memories are brought to mind.
As they say, "When the student is ready, the teacher will come".

Sometimes ideas just POP...right into my head!  Story: Nancy has a mask.  She thinks to cover it with fabric..."Hey!"  she thinks...that starry night fabric.  Cool.  Nancy has some left-over clear tubing and springs...
Boing Boing Boing...
 ...add some beads and plug the ends.  Wa-La ...there she is!

This last piece (for today's post) is a quilted wall hanging.  It was inspired by tragedy.   In January of 2005 I was home sick...lying on the couch and feeling cruddy and listening to the pouring rain - again and again, day after day.  Then on the afternoon of January 10th the daily broadcast news filled with the story of La Conchita.  I knew this little beach town from my long commute each work day.  I had even tried to rent a little duplex there.
I couldn't believe my eyes.
For days I watched the story unfold.  The amount of loss was too much to bear, yet I could not stop watching.  I didn't know these families, but I felt as if they were my neighbors.  

I was compelled to create something.  I entertained only the most basic thoughts.  Ideas represented by simple shapes and appropriate fabric I had on hand.  I employed familiar techniques, those used in the past.
  I was motivated by an unexplainable need to do this.   
I grabbed fabric to represent the massive amount of mud.  The very green hillside.  The clouds and rain.  The rain.  Broken houses.  Emergency workers and their trucks.  Ambulances.  Outhouses.  Newscasters.  Community members.  And even Jimmy Wallet on the hill, searching frantically for his family.  I had to capture it all.
Right now.
Here is a link for a brief film about La Conchita. 
For some reason I could not embed it tonight.  But watching this and possibly other videos really brings the drama home.

I didn't even realize until someone months later commented that my stitches all flowed down.
  Just like the mud had.
What I looked at as a way to help hold down all of the crazy 100 MPH sewing machine lines screaming over poorly fused and deeply meaningful symbols...she saw as symbolic of the flow of mud.  Is that working intuitively?  I placed these pieces based on the repeated airplay of the tragic scenes, but I was not wholly conscience of my every move.  The creation just flowed, as did the mud, as did my tears.
Over at Grace's there has been a dialog going about context.  Some of the comments reminded me of the way it was for me working on these pieces.  I may begin with an idea and execute it as I saw it in my head or it may evolve to become something completely different.  I may not even have an idea!  I don't know that I really care which way it happens.  As long as I am in the flow...I'm good!

Photos by NAE @pomegranatetrail ©2011


deanna7trees said...

just loved seeing your old pieces. it's great that you acted creatively when the inspiration presented itself.

Nancy said...

That's the best time to act, eh?!!!

cindy said...

i like seeing all these different kinds of work by one artist. starry face is great. your words about the creation of the piece on La Conchita remind me of the feelings of my japan piece-and the bracelet. these are the strongest times, i think, when the power of the need to express/create take over. thanks for sharing.

nandas said...

grace needs to see the diorama!!! she loves those!! and its nice to be back and visiting blogs... in case you don't know me as nandas, its me nance from jude's. love your mud flowing really says something tragic has happened..even before i read the caption describing it. puts things in perspective somehow, doesn't it?
thanks for sahring all this.. and i know...most of my work has been given away too.

Nancy said...

Cindy - Yes when the need takes over. That is such a good and powerful time for creativity. I had that happen one other time when the nightly 11:00 news had a story about an abandoned newborn boy. Dumped head first into a dumpster, only to be rescued later. I stood in the shower crying at out and went through my stash. That very night I put together a simple patchwork, holding some of my stars and night blue fabric. I tracked down the social services department handling his case and mailed it to them with a letter for them and a letter for 'Baby Andrew'. I wanted him to know that Good Things could come out of the darkness and there were people who cared. I never did hear if it got to him (confidentiality and all), but I am not sure if that was the point. It got to someone and hopefully provided some healing. I didn't really stop to think...just had to make that precious boy a quilt.
Boy I am just the floodwaters of words, aren't I?!!! lol Thanks for your kind comment.

Hey Nance- nice to see you here again! Yes La Conchita has become a deep part of me. I was going to donate that quilt to a fundraiser for the town...but it began raining again and I couldn't get up there! After that it sort of hung around my house...forever! It was one of my mom's favorite pieces of mine. I loved how she really 'got it' and we shared that!
The diorama is one of my guy's favorite pieces. He loves it and I have no particular attachment to it! He always says people would love to buy it!!! Recently I am in a position where I'd be game for that! Ha!

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

Nancy...well...the diorama.
it is very great...and copper too.
nance is right...i do love it.
i used to do mask making workshops.
it's good to walk backwards sometimes...see where we've been.
i very much like seeing these things and knowing you more this
the Path ahead is just shining
with all the possibility.

more old work to show us??????

Nancy said...

"and copper too"...I don't understand...
Yes it is good to walk backwards...and the key word is 'sometimes'. I've been known to get stuck back there! HA!
These days I am looking forward as well, hoping all this shift will materialize into goodness.
I made a mask in 7th grade pottery...sometimes I think I about it, as I no longer have it.
Actually, yes there is some more old work. I will post it.
When I do look back, I see that I have been all over the map with types of creative self-expression! I'll see if I have any writing that would be 'blog appropriate'...most of it is super personal or work related (and I don't want this blog to be about teaching young children...not that I won't sprinkle some of that in now and then!).
I have one project that I may post as a 'page'...because it was a year long sewing and writing and photographing project. Just gotta dig up those old photos...
Thanks for stopping by Grace.

Nancy said...

PS Just reading over at MD Introduction about this class 'looking back as well as moving forward'...well considering this post I got the looking back part! Hahaha...
I didn't even realize how this post was fitting in until I reread that! lol

Anonymous said...

I really like your assemblage (collage) piece! Love how the colors all tie together.

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

and copper too...........!!!!!!!!!!
this funny...and How It Goes....
the two strips of what i now know
to be fabric at the top...right/lft
i "saw", interpreted without question to be strips of copper. just like the ones i have, have used in the past...
i didn't even question it. the
little world appeared so perfect to me that it was accepted as an
"of course! she used copper!!" i know, but i think i am going to still think of it as

Nancy said...

Haha...yes. I have in fact wanted to use copper...I may even have some! Posted a link for you over at your blog :)

jenclair said...

Nancy, I loved seeing all of your work with the thoughts behind each one! Your mask is so cool and the clear tubing filled with beads is definitely an example of creative inspiration at its best!

Nancy said...

Jenclair~ Yes it is nice to visit an earlier time. Also, I think this was before you and I visited each other's blogs!

saskia said...

I love the collage scene, I have a soft spot for boxes-with-scenes, or small cabinets-full-of-treasures and the faucet painting is so full of humour, excellent!!!!

Nancy said...

Saskia~ Thanks and me too with the boxes! Check out this one from Nancy at Avalanche Looms:

I love her weaving so much...and I've never forgotten this box!