Continuing my work with children's drawings and abstract backgrounds.
I made some progress on the hand stitching for this flag quilt over the weekend. I debate each addition of detail with these questions:
- Is it worth the effort?
- Am I adding detail for a reason?
- When does decoration move the piece away from meaning?
While channeling my inner Jasper Johns, Betsy Ross and Faith Ringgold, I am also watching the news about personal freedoms, states rights and race relations. The raggedness of this piece feels right for the era in which we are living. Does it seem to you that we are hanging be a thread? Unraveling?
How much should I tidy up?
This piece got a lot of attention yesterday due to a post on Facebook by a group called the Anartist community. They (he? she?) post some compelling and diverse images of artwork but don't really do anything to identify themselves. It's an international community as evidenced by the quotes in various languages. A web search yields no other clues. The About section on the facebook page says: "An artist is never poor" (or "Un artista non è mai povero" if you prefer) to which I tend to agree.
I'm always mystified by how among millions (or is it billions) of people on the web sending out messages and images, does my work find a spot? What tenuous links are there that make one piece send out its feelers so that someone else is interested enough to look? These links intrigue me. They are a continuing theme in my stitching, a thread that binds all my ideas together. A link is a happy chance at connection that is at once mysterious, powerful and throbbing. It feeds my curiosity. It starts a conversation, binds together continents, and bounces from one to another.
Doing my Betsy Ross thing today I am reminded of when we were tomato farmers and we looked down the rows and rows of tomatoes that had to be staked, tied, and hoed each day, every day for the season. And then, when the harvest came in, we packed them into those neat little boxes of perfect pecks of #1 greens (with a hint of pink) for the market. We toiled and toiled on row after row.
Stitching is so much easier.