Eye of the beholder

I have two pieces on the design wall at present and both are further along than you might think.

Day & Night

As a rule, I dislike showing works in progress on the blog, not because I fear plagiarism (there are plenty of other more appealing folk out there from whom thieves might steal) nor because I fear criticism (I have learned which to listen to and which to disregard), but rather because what you see is probably not what I see.

Let’s take the following piece, which will be finished early next week for the Shakespeare by the Sea folks’ Feast of Fools auction and fund-raiser on April 15th:

tōri-iru (approx 40" x 30")

What you see is a sky, an ocean, a few rocks and some paper trees roughly-cut and stuck over top.

What I see is:

  • research complete, idea fleshed out, interpretive concepts integrated (to be provided in final write-up)
  • good sky, with light coming from the right
  • ocean strong enough to balance sky, paint adds shimmering surface. S-shaped movement of eye on water surface.
  • rocks are okay, might need one more for greater asymmetry
  • trees must have the two uprights and cross-beams of torii
  • trees are too symmetrical. When final pieces constructed, should be slightly more angular and less regular. Also should not meet smack in the middle.
  • Cheery blossoms to be of silk – test blossom made and it works well
  • Blossom path on water to simulate Shinto funerary lanterns.
  • Tree back to be slightly textured, while maintaining flow of vertical lines. Cherry tree bark has horizontal lines to be added with stitching (or eliminated entirely, if linear clash is distracting)
  • back ready, hanging sleeve done (may mount on stretch frame instead), bias binding done and ready, batt in cupboard
  • fabrics for tree matched and ready for construction. Shiva paintsticks to add texture and shading.
  • Trees to be constructed as entirely separate layer and attached on top.

Hours left:

  • design tweaking during construction (2-5)
  • tree construction (10-14)
  • assemblage of background panel (3)
  • quilting of background panel (3)
  • quilting of trees (4)
  • cherry blossoms (6-10)
  • attaching layers together (2)
  • binding and hanging apparatus (4)
  • final photography and write-up (2)

So I have roughly 37-47 hours of work left on this piece.

When I show someone a partially completed piece, they cannot see what’s in my head, not can they usually visualize where the piece will go. Invariably folks will see what’s in front of them (and who can blame them) and what’s in their own heads (again, a natural tendency).

At the point in a piece where I have lined up my ducks and am preparing to shoot, I find it distracting to have someone question my use of a bow and arrow over a gun or even my desire to shoot ducks in the first place. Not that I do (shoot ducks, that is).

For the sake of interest, though, I’ll track this piece through to its final state, just to see how much it changes in the final construction and assemblage .


One Comment Add yours

  1. crys says:

    I love that this appears to be a peek at a work in progress, but instead is a glimpse at the artist and muse. You are so intriguing!

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