Project Rewind....”Finding A Balance”
One of my favorite “impulsive” quilts was made over several months. So, you may ask, “How is that impulsive?” Good question, and I can explain.
I found some blue lame’ fabric in my stash and said to myself, ”WOW, that looks like water!” The fabric would be too overpowering and flat to use it without changing it a bit. I found some gray quilters cotton and hand painted several different shades of Lumiere* paints over the fabric. Later, I ironed the back of the fabric to set the paint. Then I cut the cotton and the lame’ fabrics in fluid shapes then sewed them together. I was very pleased with that 36” x 45” pieced and painted fabric. I pressed it and put it on the design wall where I enjoyed to glance at it for several weeks while I worked on other projects. It was an impulsive joy! A one day project.
Approximately two months later the fabric called to me and asked for “life”.... ocean life? But I did not want to portray undersea life. Possibly because I do not swim very well and am a bit afraid of being underwater. Ok, I will give this some thought. I remembered vacations to the west coast and being at the ocean with it’s wild water on one side of hwy 101 and the cliffs and huge trees on the inland side. One time when we were at an overlook, I remembered watching people during a yoga session there on the edge of the park area. Life and Balance.... that is what this fabric wants.
So, over the next weeks on my design wall I would add a tree...cut away a part of the tree. Add a reflective moon, take away a bit of undergrowth to the landscape. One morning I walked into the studio and saw a shadow on the fabric. I thought the shape of the shadow was a bit like a dolphin in mid-leap.
Ok, so now an impulsive creation of a sea mammal “sort-of” like a dolphin. The more I experimented with the sea mammal...not going to research on the internet...but from my impulse only . ..and scattered memories of articles/books I had read about sea mammals, I made my own interpretation. Since this is impulsive art, I added a sea mammal family mid-leap...they are symbols of finding a balance of life and creative joy! I loved looking at this on my design wall for several more weeks.
Now, when an artist knows the time has come to finish the project, the impulse for design begins to slow. It is a bit sad for me during the end process of creating a project. I feel as if I am closing the covers to a wonderful book, and have to leave the characters I have loved. But the water called to me... the sea mammals called to me... the moon called to me... and the gentle repeating call was, “Where are you in this picture?”
I sat down that day and impulsively made flat dolls to add to this picture. As I worked, my thoughts took on a more in-depth accounting of my life. I remembered the constant motion of my past, my planned goals, and my hoped for dreams.
I added the dolls...a younger Diane who was agile and impulsive and filled with all hope....
and then a current Diane who is more subdued, calmer, and balanced in hope with faith.
My lesson in making this “impulsive” project is that I learned,
“ Life happens when my plans go slightly awry. It is accepting the balance and finding my peace.” dcl/2011