Still looking

These tiles had one thing in common. Black thread on a neutral background.

I'm still thinking about how patterns emerge. And how our brains look for unifying elements to make sense of chaos. Quilts use repeat modules to create a whole from fragments. So, if I brought disparate elements together could I create a whole? Here's a few base thoughts:

  1. Regularity unifies.
  2. Grids are glue.
  3. Lines travel and connect.
  4. Connection = comprehension

So I took a few of the sample thread studies I have laying around and cut them into 2" squares. Assembling them randomly on a background substrate created a tile-like pattern that I emphasized with a grid that holds them together.

Then I started looking for connections. These small tiles really have little in common— just some black thread on neutral fabric. My eyes seemed to bounce around the assemblage, hip hopping to find similarities. So I added a line mimicking the hip-hop journey my eyes were taking. 

Adding denser fill stitching at the intersections of the connecting line and patterned tile added a sense of rhythm to the piece.

Adding hand-stitched details adds action and brings the tiles together in small areas.

Then I turned the piece to the back to see what was happening with my random connections.

The picture on the left is the front of the assemblage. The one on the right shows the stitching I added to the piece. I love the raw quality of those marks. And, I had no idea that I had formed a face in profile when I was working from the front.

Here's another comparison. The left side is dense with stitching and linework that is beginning to represent my idea of complexity and chaos. The back shows a simpler yet texturally consistent stitching that appeals to me. There's a sense of space on that side that brings more focus on the character of the lines.

I'm not sure how much farther I want to take this piece. I love the complexity that is beginning to show up with the layered stitching. And I like the back of the piece. I'll have to study it a while.


focus on something else

I'm reading many things these days. Political rants, financial analyses, artistic journeys, poetry, the Quran, the New York Times, Smithsonian magazine, Harpers and science fiction by Phillip K Dick. A friend suggested My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor. I may read that after I finish The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. I'm looking for a simple, devil-take-the-hindmost novel to immerse myself in too. Perhaps a friendly slice-of-life novel would be a good escape?

Escape, one in the Silent Witnesses series of Stones Who Might Talk, Paula Kovarik

No wonder my art flutters from one point of view to the next. Cool and composed to frantic and obsessive. This is a good thing. And this is not a good thing.

Testing stitching on backing fabric. A mindless task that feels soothing.

Testing stitching on backing fabric. A mindless task that feels soothing.

Fractured focus breeds anxiety, allows for mood changes, builds new vocabularies and urges me on. The pile of trials on the table are companions on this silent journey I take each day.

Second in the Chaos series. I'm a little tense sometimes.

Anyone have a book they'd like to recommend?