Anyone who knows me well knows that I'm a *little* obsessed with the feminine, especially in the past two years since the birth of my son. I have had some amazingly poetic conversations with other women my age about what being feminine means to them. I've collected many descriptive words that really resonate for me. To name a few: Leviathan, matriarch, womb, folds, birth, huntress, mistress, salt, protector, heat, flesh, femme fatale, ova, nebula, livid, torrid, wet, budding, spewing, gaping, maw-- and from looking back on this list it seems like I'm mainly intrigued by the physicality of being a woman, but it runs a little deeper than that. I am fascinated by our duality. We are soft and hard, smooth and jagged, fragile and powerful, intuitive and rational, subtle and pungent. We are spiritual, guttural, intense, dramatic; we can turn on a dime. It upsets me when people cast the very real, physical, visceral aspects of being female in a negative light. Being a woman is anything but delicate, but that doesn't make it ugly. I would argue the opposite.
I try very hard not to censor myself in my art. If there is one place I have always felt I could be honest it was pencil to page. As long as I feel compelled to explore what femininity means to me I will not hesitate to document it through whatever medium I am using.
I've spent the past week threading, tying, tensioning and twining the warp for my latest project (many "t" words!). I finally have it all ready. The cartoon is derived from a photograph of a silk rose I keep in my studio. I scaled it up to 32" x 40" and traced just the outline onto some vellum. Then I went in with my chalk pastels and a rag, and rubbed the color in. after that I went over the outlines and darkened areas with my sharpie. The background, though left uncolored on the actual cartoon will be very dark (black mixed with strands of other colors for a bit of depth).
I intend to maintain an intuitive and textural weaving process, which I think will lend itself well to my theme. I will say that I hope to make the petals appear reptilian and scaly.
Here it is behind my warp! I'm already so excited! Biggest project yet!
*If anyone happens by here and feels inspired I would welcome for you to leave a note with keywords that come to mind when you think about being female. Please be mindful that this is my personal blog and I'm looking for honesty, creativity and insight.*
I have spent the past week battling the flu along with my hubby and my son. It's been brutal, but I have managed to get a fair bit done on my finishing for the Dimensions tapestry. I also know exactly what I'm doing for framing, and it's very simple, so hopefully tomorrow afternoon I can build it, glue it and clamp it overnight.
The back. All the ends are tied off and clipped, and I've turned the fringed edges under, covering them with a band of twill tape. Now I am hand stitching the soft side of Velcro to the top and bottom edges. THAT'S HARD! I've poked myself so many times and I'm really clumsy with a thimble too. I need to get one of those soft leather thimbles that actually fits the finger.
And in other news a friend sent me 3 lovely 1 lb batts made up of layers of all different kinds and colours of fibre. Thank You! I already spun one up (the one on the right below) and here are the results!
Check out my lovely lizard mug. Match!
Okay that's all for this week, but I'll post again when I have my frame built, and maybe a bit on how I'll be packaging it up for shipping, and of course my progress on Leviathan.