Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Outpourings

Have you ever seen the work of Daniella Woolf? She was featured in Somerset Studio last year; I immediately fell in love with her works of paper, often constructed with shredded "morning pages." Writing morning pages is a technique in Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way: "three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning."

I have written morning pages off and on for years. The practice is an excellent way to get things out of your brain and off your chest, and put them right in front of your nose. What are you really thinking and feeling? Pour it out onto the pages without censoring and without stopping, and you'll find out.

When I saw Daniella's work, I loved the idea of using morning pages in art. There's something appealing about pouring out your heart in writing, then obscuring the words by cutting up the paper. The shredding maintains privacy. Morning pages are not meant to be read by anyone else; they are a safe place to vent. A lot of my writing wouldn't make sense to anybody else, and I won't want to re-read it, so why not put the paper to good use?

I started this piece last year, but I got around to finishing it only yesterday. I call it Outpourings: 13 Days.

Outpourings:13 Days

It's a tassel, of sorts.

Outpourings:13 Days (top)

The top is a simple felt heart stuffed with polyfil. A loop of cheesecloth is attached for hanging. The tassel is made from cut-up morning pages, strung onto embroidery floss, then sewn into the heart. There are 13 strings - 13 days of morning pages.

Outpourings:13 Days (tassel close-up)

I wrote on all kinds of papers and backgrounds. Watercolor washes, acrylic washes, inkjet photos, calendar pages. I tried cutting different shapes, sometimes folding the paper, sometimes rolling it into beads. It's been a long time since I've done any significant beadwork. This time, I felt that I was creating a beaded tassel with paper.

I think there's more playing with paper in my future.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

There's still time for valentines

If you're facing a quiet Sunday afternoon today, you've still got time to make some valentines! Grab some cardboard and magazines or catalogs, and start cutting.

My cat Gus likes to inspect my projects as I'm photographing them. Although I think was too sleepy to care much about this valentine - I think he was ready for me to go to bed.

Gus and veggie valentine

The theme of this valentine: I (heart) my fruits and veggies.