On my to do list were Challenges 4 and 5 for the Artist Muse group.
I didn't think I had been putting these off, I had just had so much else to do.
Now I realise I had. Sorry Sue.
Sue Bleiweiss sets the challenges based on the book The Artists Muse.
She does a great job.
These chapters were basically about being free with your work and doodling and splashing paint around.
Now you would think for someone who always tells people she comes from the "old slappers
school of art" that it should be an easy project.
Huh, read on!
The first challenge was to gather 12 different fabrics.
OK the first problem came right here.
Good grief I think I am being brave using 4 or 5 colours in my art work!
In retrospect I should have picked different fabrics in similar colours but by now my brain was already in overload so I grabbed anything - this is me trying to be free!
Next we had to cut the fabrics into pieces and apply them to a background. Easy.
Well the pieces had to be in a bag so you couldn't see what you were picking then once you had
placed them on your background you couldn't
move them again.
Oh good grief, I spend days moving stuff around on my collages.
This was so hard for me.
The result was utter chaos. I put a piece of sparkley tulle on the top and thought, what the heck chaos it will be, and did some mad free machine embroidery over the top of that.
I put this to one side and started the next challenge.
We were given 3 choices and I chose the fabric weaving challenge - that should be OK, yes - no!
This time we could use 6 to 12 fabrics. I chose to use 8 and had learned from the last exercise to pick them more wisely.
Now to make the strips. We had to rip the strips not cut them. OMG! It had taken me 5 (yes 5) years to get to grips with ripping paper for collage!
We weren't even allowed to get rid of offending, dangling pieces of thread. (whimper)
I did as suggested however and carried on.
Once the weaving was done I covered the piece with a chiffon scarf and stitched a grid. I couldn't help myself, it just had to be a zig zag over those offending raw edges - sorry Sue.
Another piece thrown to one side.
I went to bed.
Yesterday I decided I would see how I could
make the pieces more to my liking - I know that wasn't the idea.
I decided the first piece was just too dizzy and stitched a grid pattern in silver. I think it has made it more unified. I am doing a circus quilt and I think it will be a great background for this.
In the Artists Muse book the 5th chapter is about splashing paint around.
My first idea was to couch some threads to the piece but instead I decided to play with my machine.
I do not have a good grasp of free style embroidery with the machine other than doing random spirals and vermicelli so I thought I would work in the squares and make patterns.
I had great fun and managed a few little flowers and am happy with this piece. I will make it into a cushion I think.
I know that if Sue, Jan or Laura had been here they would have said leave the pieces alone and learn the lesson that you can make something good from chaos and being free but, I think I actually learned a very important lesson for me.
I'm not such an old slapper after all!