|"Muse no. 1" (dress)|
"Potential" (the mixed media collage this muse inspired)
After a false start that I spent too much time on I have arrived at this starting point for a series I have been wanting to do for quite some time. "Nine Muses" will involve the sewing of nine dresses, some from commercial patterns as this one is, and result in a mixed media work that uses some of the same materials and imagery as the dress. The use of the materials and imagery is just the jumping off point for the artwork which can, and
I hope will, evolve into works that are layered and nuanced and somewhat abstract.
One of the challenges or criteria of the work is to repurpose materials that would have been otherwise discarded.
The top of dress incorporates white fabric that was salvaged from a 5 and 10 kind of store that was going out of business.
The skirt is a discarded sheet that was languishing in a drawer for I don't know how many years.
And the leaves are from plastic bags, hand stitched to the dress bodice and skirt.
The artwork has all of those elements in it plus other fabrics, acrylic paint, shellac and used tea bags.
The Muses (or dresses) will just be numbered without titles or names.
But the artworks that result from the muse will be titled.
This one, "Potential", refers to the potential promised in the beginning of a new series
as well as the potential offered by the promise of spring represented by the leaves, colors and the time of year in which this work was made.
I am not giving myself a time period for completing the series.
I will continue to make some small work, do some teaching and tend the gardens
with the Muses in my thoughts as I go about the maintenance of daily life.
Things for me to ponder besides the making of dresses and mixed media collages:
Why are the Muses unnamed?
What about this series compels me?
Why do I return to making dresses as a means of expression? Are they self referential or
do they have a more universal appeal?
How does the scale of the 2D work affect my process? This one is 22 x 30" while I have been working
in the 12 x 12" and smaller range.
All of this I have been thinking about while making the actual dress and collage.
Here I have committed the thoughts to paper which makes all of those thoughts concrete.
This demands more of me.