Things are getting more and more eccentric at Casa de la Swain. Changing styles in my textile work, falling in love again with painting and photography...and then there is the ever illusive quest for continuing creativity through working with Eric Maisel. Still on the road teaching, posting now at the Ragged Cloth Cafe and taking the pledge to keep handmaiden up to date.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Back to the Oven for More Basting

Wow! was that a great discussion or what over the small work. Let me get myself in further trouble...I really am a nice person...will let's don't get hyperbolic....but my goal in blogging is not just to keep in touch but to start just this kind of discussion. The more we can learn about our art through these discussions, the better the work.
While I agree that small works are easy, fast, fun and rewarding, we have to consider how much you can say in a small work. I still maintain that there are some wonderful small works being made but there are also a lot of what I would consider studies that don't hold their own at this small size.
You don't have to work very long before you realize that you can say more in a larger format. There is room to give the composition more movement, the design more elements, the color more flow.
I am not saying don't do small works. I am saying do works of many sizes each appropriate to the image you are trying to portray.....not every image is going to work small; not is every image going to work large. Yes, use the small works to get the juices flowing but show us more....where the exercise lead you.
Liz commented on Robert Genn's suggestion of using a window template over a piece to find interesting and appealing areas that deserve to be created in their own right larger. I cannot tell you how often I do this. When you have years of sketch books, there are going to be small areas in unsuccessful pieces, that are real gems. To create these in the small size that they are in the sketch would take away the power of the image.
In closing, let me get myself in real trouble by saying that there is a lot of mediocore work being done (speaking of the professional quilt world only), large or small. I include myself in this group of mediocore quiltmakers, but I am doing my darndest to push out of this place.
And please, keep working small because it gives you pleasure.....just think about working a little larger now and then.
Now to go out in the freezing cold to pick up some canvas and pletex interfacing for an idea that woke me from my cozy warm bed this morning.


Karoda said...

Now, I can dig what you're saying here and am currently in this space of working larger (anything over 24 inches for me).

stay warm.

Rayna said...

ok, how do I read this thing without all that caterwauling in the background???

Carol Logan Newbill said...

Caterwauling? I thought I was hearing things. Thanks for letting me know it wasn't my hearing acting up.

Caitlin said...

Interesting that you said that there was a lot of mediocre work around - I believe that in order to get to the GOOD piece of work, I have to get through a whole lot of crappy ones first - that's why it's important to just keep trying... but I don't think I'd want those "learning" pieces out there representing me!!

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