ends and beginnings

I emptied my thread ends box today. It held the threads that didn't get used on a piece this year. These threads were active players without a field to play in. They came into existence at the end of thoughts rather than the beginnings. They got snipped off and thrown to the side after trying hard to be part of the team. There are a lot of them.

I've grown used to not being satisfied with each and every work that I create. Like these thread ends some work just doesn't work. The process of creating has become more important to me than the finishing up. For each work that gets finished I estimate that there are two or three pieces that get thrown under the table. Thus, I have fallen in love with my rotary cutter, it facilitates my cut-up-and-rework frame of mind. I am beginning to see a signature style in all of the work. I am drawn to black. I like surprises and there is an undertow of anxiety in all of them.

Cut-up-and-rework pieces

I named the work I finished: Aquifer, Beast, Chaos Ensues, Focus on Something Else, Glyphs, I Need a Third Eye, Ladder to Elsewhere, Looking for the Pattern that Connects, Signals, Thugs, Unglued, and Unmapped.

Some finished pieces

And now I am working on a piece called Ship of Fools.

Ship of Fools work in progress

2018 will be filled with new challenges: a one man show at a local art museum, a proposal to a local venue for a juried show in Memphis, several teaching positions and days and days of continuing my work. It's those last items that I look forward to the most. They provide a silence and thoughtfulness that fills me up.

Happy New Year everyone. Hope to meet some of you this year in workshops. Check out the listings at the right for dates and locations.

May your studio be filled with inspiration and your days full of mystery and wonder.

Looking for the pattern that connects

Moving through a shattering period of tenuous health concerns and re-defining what is important in life, I was frozen in my work.

So I grabbed a bunch of scraps and started putting them together. That process gives me a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day regardless of outcome.

My thoughts were on how disruption forces contemplation. How pieces have to be sorted and put back together. How mending provides silence for thought.

Someday I'd like to do an installation of all the scraps I have in this studio. They tell so many stories about the effort and work.

Someday I'd like to do an installation of all the scraps I have in this studio. They tell so many stories about the effort and work.

As I was putting together random scraps of fabric they were added to my design wall in a rough estimation of a body. I wanted to create a figure filled with anxiety, confusion and isolation. Lonely—moving toward an uncertain horizon.

The piece morphed many times.

At one point it was so tall I had to extend my table.

Loved the action of this one but didn't like the way the figures interacted. Negative space is clunky.

I am always tempted by the backs of these assemblages. I am certain that I will end up turning one of them around in the future.

This solitary figure started my brain working toward a story.

The figure morphed into a tipsy unbalanced figure being watched by a secondary figure.

Experimenting with background and foreground. Still too disparate right to left. The figure disappeared.

The final composition prior to beginning the stitching had a flow to it that leads my eye around the piece.

The resulting composition gave me a number of opportunities for thread stories. Movement, itchiness, hidden messages. Playing with the tension on my thread and using a black thread on top with a variegated thread below gave medotted line that comes in and out of focus.

I see the figure as a witness to the chaos, looking for the pattern that connects.

Below are some of the details.

Almost done. Looking for the pattern that connects. Paula Kovarik 2017