Last May, I took a class from Kathie Roig on painting warps with fabric paints. It was a great class and on my drive home on the last day still on an 'end-of-workshop-high' I had a brainstorm for a multi-layer woven project that would incorporate imagery-based painting for each of the layers that would tell a piece of the Cleveland Area human-ecology story. Like so many ideas that hit me in situations like this - it of course felt brilliant... and then daunting.
It has been approximately 10 months since the class and I have continued to mull over the idea, building on it and refining it mentally for a while. In early January, I felt like I was at a point with the idea that I could move onto ordering warp yarn and fabric paints. The supplies arrived in late January, I took each of paints out and created a sample of the colors on a piece of white cotton fabric... and pulled out large sheets of paper to 'mock up' the way I thought I wanted the final layers to look, to play with proportion of the heights, etc. And then, more uncertainty and doubt crept it. The piece just wasn't feeling right yet. And there are so many steps to the process, that I just didn't want to move forward with it until I really felt comfortable and confident in the idea.
I took the afternoon off of work on Friday and went down to Kent to check out the open house at the textile studio. After spending some time there, I dropped into the Kent State University Fashion Museum to spend some time in the exhibit Shifting Paradigms: Fashion + Technology. It is a great exhibit that was helping me to research some ideas I have for other pieces. I my way home later in the day, I stopped at the Library and picked up 4 books I had requested including the 3 journals by artist Anne Truitt and the book The View From the Studio Door by Ted Orland. When I got home, my first copy of the Complex Weaver's Journal had arrived with a series of fantastic looking articles on resist dyed warps. What a LOT of GREAT stimulation for my artist-self! Then, I got a couple of inspiring emails from my mom too.
So, all of this great stimulation seemed to have shaken some ideas into me and with the extra 1/2 day for the weekend, I was able to go more deeply into my thoughts than most weekends allow.
I spent a large chunk of time thinking about the painted warp/multi-layer project this weekend, writing notes as a way to keep the flow of thoughts, and sketching out how the piece might look. And I think that time - and the time mulling over the ideas over the last month have led to a refined idea that should be more powerful. So, by Sunday night I had started winding the warps. After work on Monday, I finished winding the warps. Last night I scoured the warps and tonight I got the first 2 of 5 warps sleyed in the reed and stretched on a table in the basement ready to beginning painting tomorrow night.
So - thanks to a watershed weekend I am finally moving forward. Next steps:
- Paint warps 1 and 2 tomorrow night
- Spend Friday night at 'Art Happenings' with my lovely friend Lisa - and hopefully our fellas too
- Spend a chunk of Saturday with some family fun
- Paint warp 3 on Sunday & perhaps begin warping the ARM loom with warps 1 and 2
- Purchase weft yarns (can I get them locally - or do I need to order online?)