Coleen Kole contacted me and asked if I would participate in the Around the World Blog Hop. Since I am "in the groove" at the moment, I felt this was a good time to plunge in. I have know Coleen for years and have watched her perfecting her craft!! She dyes all her fabric and has been diligent about learning all she can to direct her artistic journey. Her work is really wonderful and as I was telling her, I still have a vision of one of her pieces from a few years ago imprinted on my brain. Looking at her recent work, I can say she has a signature. I really love her work.
OK, now on to the questions....
1. What am I working on?
I am in the planning process of a large piece I am calling Time Line. I think of time as a line like the ones we made in history class that went around the room. This was a "dream" idea I had after returning from the Crow Barn and Terry Jarrard Dimond's deign boot camp. I sketched it out as soon as I awoke and I have just finished with the segments of time (on paper). Believe it or not, I am also working hard to create the "white" background for the piece.
If I get stuck, I make these little squares out of scrapes to get the creative juices flowing. Sometimes I just sit and make them for hours and they have taken on a life of their own. This is piece number two I am working on called "Conversations". Each square reminded me of a small group having a conversation. It should be interesting to see which piece is resolved and completed first.
2. Why do I create what I do?
Why do I breath? I have to. My favorite quote is from Sister Corita Kent," Nothing is a mistake. There is no win or fail. There is only make." This is a VERY early piece I made called "Make".
I have what one might call a compulsion to make. If I am not involved in cloth, then paint or clay or sketching or bookmaking. I HAVE to make every day. I love fabric and taught myself to sew at eleven when I begged for a sewing machine. Long story. This is a bit from the artists statement from my one man show:
“From the minute we are born until the day we
die, we are wrapped in fabric. We have an intimate relationship with fiber. It
is our comfort, our protection and in it we present ourselves to the world”
Fabric has been a life long "companion" and I feel very comfortable with it. It has been the one consistent media I use.
3. How does my work differ from others of this genre?
I believe there are no new ideas under the sun. Everything I see influences me. I remember a recent discussion on many blogs lately about the difference between stealing or being inspired. There are many things which inspire me, color being near the top. I am also inspired by abstract impressionist. Sometimes I am inspired by the "feeling" invoked in a piece.
So how does my work differ from others? If I used my own experience, probably not much. I am right in the same boat as other abstract fiber artists.
4. How does my creative process work?
Well, if I had an answer to that I would be much more prolific. I do have some creativity priming exercises which I discussed in question one. I dream a lot of my work and immediately sketch it out on awakening. If the idea won't let me alone (like Time Line), I start to flesh it out. I see it finished and just need to plan how to get there. Some times a concept or social issue gets under my skin and I need to make it visible through art. I made a series of over 20 portraits of my brother Eric. The first was to celebrate he fact that he survived cancer 13 years ago.
The one above was the first and my favorite (9" X 12")
This was the last (20" X 26"). After the first I used his image as a motif to experiement with various surface design techniques and I named each piece after a personal quality which also reflected the technique.
One thing I DO use is my sketchbook, drawing and even painting a piece before I start cutting up fabric. Here is an example.
I make art because it pleases me and I have to. I will never be famous or rich but I love what I do and I love my life. Everyday I get to "play" in the best sense of the word. I have no idea what I will do/make but it will be something enjoyable.