So, as some of you know, this was originally supposed to be my spring collection. Being that it is the middle of summer and I'm still so in love with the concept of this collection, I'm extending it through the summer and maybe... forever? There may never be a deadline and I'M REALLY OKAY WITH THAT.
This exercise has taught me so much. I've been able to get in contact with some of my favorite artists, interpret their paintings in a completely different and new way, AND explore weaving techniques and colors that I didn't have the courage to otherwise. I've grown to love texture even more than I did before. I've learned the discipline of putting my exploratory practice first, when I've needed it to fuel my everyday work. I've been able to understand how to push myself to another level. Always having inspiration there to react to but never actually seeing what I can do to take that feeling to the next level, has made me realize how much a different perspective is necessary in this world of making.
Each of these pieces becomes my new favorite after seeing the end result. This one was absolutely no different. Dani Schafer, the talented artist that inspired this piece, has and always will be a brilliant source of inspiration for me and my work. While it's a different medium, I find that she understands the ups and downs of working as an artist, but she always finds the happy moments amidst the struggle. I appreciate that SO much.
I've been following Dani's work for awhile and have read her Journal (I suggest everyone take a moment and check out what she has been up to) multiple times, where I've found that I resonate with a lot of what she has to say. I came across her piece called 'Of This Place' almost a year ago, when she had posted it on Instagram, alluding to a journal entry she had written regarding this series of work. In that entry, she talked about hitting a point with her work where it felt like she was going through the motions and "falling into some patterns". She continued with talking about the way she was trying to break from that by using new color palettes and techniques. Seeing this body of work as a "transitional stage", helped her push through her current work and understand a more beautiful concept of exploration. I had screen-shot her painting and kept it with me until this spring, when I was going through something very similar with my work and decided I needed something to shake things up.
It can be a long, hard process to push through the old and into the new, but it is so very worth it.
In pushing myself to try something new with each piece of this collection, I found this one to be particularly hard. Using the a comfortable (to me) weaving technique called 'Soumak', I tried to reinterpret the colors in a very fluid manner. Often with weaving, blending can be very hard with larger fibers. I wanted to understand how to master blending on a large scale; blending with small and large fibers, but also blending with colors that are not common to be seen together in the weaving world.
I found happiness in the end result and the vibrancy of this color combination. My blending technique still needs work, but I found that larger fibers are so generous with their flexibility!
Thankful for endless creativity and endless inspiration from Dani Schafer. She's a gem!