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.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Changed My Mind...AWoman's Perogative

Got up early this morning, 4a.m., totally inhuman but in theory one of the best time for creativity. My intention was to look for fabrics for my new quilt idea. Lo and behold, even after much caffiene, I don't have the fabric I need. Y'all have seen pictures of my stash so this is a near unbelievable occurance. Undaunted, I thought at least I could find the design I had planned to use....and of course, with the way my day was going you can guess the results. No design.

Several months ago I had torn up enlargements of three designs because I felt they were too large....leaving too much negative space. However, I would never have tossed the original drawing or the transparency. Okay, my studio is not at it's best but give me a @#$% break....there are only so many places where I store drawings and transparancies. Nada,nyet, nunca and several other versions of "I cannot find the blasted things anywhere. Uncle! I concede defeat.

Failing at the fabric event and with the intention of doing something creative,out come the paint and canvas. After all I woke up when most of the world is still asleep with the creative energy so had to expend the energy, read too much caffiene, some way. Paint tubes srparated in order, brushes and canvas ready, I began the under painting.

I love to do to layers of under painting and then scrape away areas to add new color. As you can tell, I am in love with abstract but always with earth strata or geology in mind. The top painting is finished at the moment. Tomorrow may tell another tale, but for now I am satisfied with what happened.

For all you serious painters, don't faint on me,but the way both of these paintings were done was by putting dots or lines of paint directly on the canvas. I then spread it with a large house painting brush, apply more paint, push it around with smaller brush. Next step is to start removing areas with my favorite tool, a kitchen sponge. I start with a dry sponge and as new colors are added, I wet the sponge to get a smoother finish. Now that you have picked yourself up off the floor, give it a try. You can achieve amazing blending without delicate brush work...and get tons of happy accidents.

This is a background piece again with earth strata/geology in mind. It is painted on masonite....not my favorite surface for painting, but perfect for mixed media. The next step will be to add colored pencil and/or oil pastels or whatever comes to mind to get the effect I want.

What started out as a potentially unproductive day ended up a day full of fun and pleasant surprises. Sure am glad I couldn't find my design and didn't have the fabric I need.
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Rayna said...

That first canvas is especially cool, Gabrielle. I am leaving a comment because I KNOW how e#$(@$)(!@#& e3 depressing it is when nobody leaves a comment.

I've been hardly falling asleep by 4:am, so count yourself lucky. There is something to be said for the peace and quiet of the pre-dawn hours when you are finished sleeping and ready to create.

gabrielle said...

Hey Rayna, Thanks for the comment about the canvas and for leaving a comment. I had been suffering from what my doctor calls post-menapausal insomnia. Thanks for the great diagnosis. Changing my sleep schedule has been difficult since I am a night owl at heart....but I will have to admit that I am enjoying the early morning creating...and surprised that new work and new ideas are coming.
Hope you start getting some rest...probably too much on your mind to quiet down. Sending you some sleepy vibes.

Jeannie said...

What?!!! You mean that after you get through the menopausal insomnia, you then deal with post menopausal insomnia?! Oh *%&+#! When are we going to be able to sleep again - wait - maybe I don't want to know. Love the painting Gabrielle. Cheers.

StegArt said...

Is there such a beast as pre-menopausal I am, up at 4 a.m. too.

Luvkuku said...

On the subject of finding/not finding a particular fabric, I plead guilty to sometimes buying MORE of a fabric I KNOW I have, and then, of course, I can find the original piece. If I don't get more, I NEVER find it. Same thing with designs, templates, etc. And this is when I try to clean and put away everything whenever I finish a project. Read: I don't finish a project nearly as often as I start one!
AJ in AZ

gabrielle said...

Jeannie and Terri, Sorry to hear we suffer from the same symptom...insomnia. According to my Doc, it is hormonal change but the he added as kindly as possible,"It also has to do with "older ladies" don't get as much sleep because of a drop in your melatonin levels.
Older ladies...he was so close to a properly placed foot or knee. He escaped only because I was on my best behavior.
Thanks for the comment on the painting, Jeannie. Glad you liked it.

gabrielle said...

Hi AJ, This is not my usual modus operandi.I do occasionally mis-place things but usually a good search reveals their hiding place. This time the designs are truly lost. Shame on me for not taking better care. My hope is that when Thom, our youngest, who is storing stuff in my studio, moves out, I will find all the lost things.What a great run on sentence.

Luvkuku said...

I hope you find every missing thing eventually. One time I kept getting up in the morning to find one or more of my small sock knitting needles missing, and finally caught Kuku kitty making off with one. I followed her to the stashing place and rescued several other items I had not known were missing. Very careless of her to let me catch her!