Happily, this shift in my working habits has really worked out well, allowing me to work on a piece until I got stuck, then let it rest, ideas percolating quietly while I forged ahead with something else. I don't get bogged down or frustrated with one piece. I don't obssess. To put it succinctly, I am wasting lots less time than I did previously.
I thought it might be nice to share some of this process by showing you what I was also working on while finishing The Spell is Broken.
Here are three pieces I've been working on. The tall one standing up behind the book is one that went oddly astray. It might be due to the fact that I had no real clear plan, but only a nebulous idea of "an old map", which came to me while looking at a foxed and stained vintage book page. The parts around the perimeter of the piece came together pretty quickly and easily, but the main focus - the map part in the center - did not. I knew I wanted the rivers to be done in embroidery, but had little else in mind. I fugured something would occur, as it usually does.
Nope. I tried a figure, a dragonfly, maybe 8 or 10 other ideas, but - nope. Anything I could come up with was only overshadowed by the now too detailed (I thought) perimeter. Everything I tried had to be ripped off, if I had gotten hopeful enough to even glue it down. So there it sat.
The hardest part thus far has been attaching the snakeskin; despite copious amounts of acrylic gel medium, I'm not sure how well-secured it is, or how well preserved. The stitches around the bottom edge are there as much to hold it in place as for decoration. I'm not sure I would reccommend sewing a snakeskin onto a book, but if you do, it would probably be best to split the snakeskin so it's flat instead of tubular. I'm just sayin'.
One Saturday morning when I got tired of fighting with the snakeskin, I started the piece in the back of the photos. This one came together pretty smoothly; the thing that slowed it down was just the huge amount of stitching.
Here is the finished piece, entitled Revelation. I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. I'll be showing you further progress on the other two soon, along with another new one!
What processes, methods, or approaches work best for you in the studio? I'd love to hear your ideas!