Thursday, September 20, 2012

Looking at Recent Work

Now that I've had a chance to recover from the show last weekend, I've been doing a lot of thinking about what constitutes a body of work. I have a tendency to want to try different things, so I go from figurative work to colorful abstracts to sweet little vases of flowers to landscapes... you get the picture. There is really nothing wrong with that, but in my session with creativity coach Lesley Riley in June,  I received some solid advice to stick with what I'm best at - which we both felt was sketching with stitches and bits of appliqué, concentrating on figurative work.
Regardless of that, when planning for the show, I became obsessed with doing small decorative abstract  pieces, which were fun, but not my best work.

I added small stitched flower and leaf embroideries to the top two. The thing I do like about these pieces is the presentation. I bought 3/4" deep canvases from the craft store, painted them black and then mounted the needlework pieces on top of them. They look more modern than if they were framed under glass, but then I wonder if they would get dirty after a while. Right now I feel that I've done enough of these for awhile. I may put them in an etsy shop (yet to be opened!) and concentrate now on figurative work.
I did do a couple of "people pictures", women with rather blank expressions on their faces. I thought of them as being straightforward and uncontrived, but I think they need more - maybe a sketched  background and a bit more expression in their faces. These pieces are stretched over 11"x14" canvases.

Getting back to my original thought on this post, I think that when you see a presentation of an artist's work, it is nice to see a consistency in the various pieces - something that identifies that artist's style. I've been spending a lot of (too much) time on Pinterest lately and I've enjoyed collecting pictures of paintings by some of my favorite artists. One thing that becomes very obvious after awhile is the consistency in style that marks a painting as, for instance, a "Matisse" or a "Modigliani". Here is my board on Matisse. If you look at it you'll see what I mean - for that matter, look at any artist's body of work. Of course, there are always exceptions.
So, I'm getting back to work, taking out my linen and textured background fabrics, black and brown threads and creating a new group of pictures. I have a small exhibit coming up in November, so that is something to work toward.

I hope you're having an enjoyable and creative week!
It is cool and sunny here in New England - my favorite kind of weather!

Enjoy your day!


sharon said...

Love the idea of a black painted canvas to mount your needlework pieces on. Mind if I use the idea?
I think what your faces need is their story, a bit about them, a hint at who they are, the Judy touch.
Yes, do enjoy the autumn. The sweetest season. May you be energized by it.

amanda white said...

Hi Judy, Interesting thoughts. And I know what you mean about Pinterest. I too have been sucked in this week and its addictive.
I love the purity of your faces' lines, but maybe contrast them with a complex background?

Libby Fife said...

I thought the faces went nicely together and actually envisioned them in a grouping.

I wish I had something helpful to tell you about style and working in a series.Your faces and houses say "Judy" to me but I get the need to try other things. Maybe it is all in the presentation-what you show together that makes a difference. Or maybe a specific design component. Don't know. I just know that your pieces (no matter the method, etc.) have a wonderfully appealing graphic style to them.

Jennifer Richardson said...

i love that you're expressing
what is in that beautiful heart
of yours.
and the flower,
with the little beads,
speaks to me
so much light:)
thanks for the sweet share,

Simone said...

I love the clean lines of your style Judy. I am still trying to work out my style but am working towards clean, simple and understated! I look forward to seeing how your style 'progresses' but like it just the way it is! x

Nan and =^..^= said...

Hi Judy,
I think it's great that you are experimenting and enjoying it and then it is always good to get back to your inner style, the one deep in your heart!
Kind of like going on a vacation and how it gives a new perspective to being back home.

Karen L R said...

I think your style shines through in anything you create, Judy.

If we weren't struggling with process, we wouldn't be creative people, right? I appreciate that you share your musings here. Thank-you.

Anne said...

I think that all of your pieces are uniquely you. And I think that trying new things actually helps us to define our style. If we're always doing the exact same thing we become boring, to ourselves, probably more than anyone else.

I'm looking forward to seeing your new pieces for your show.

Stina G said...

Wow, Judy, I just had to say that the image at the top of this blog of the hands sweing/embroidering is SO BEAUTIFUL!! Wow.