I started this week with a note-to-self about content.
Working in the studio, it is easy to get involved in process and technique. That’s the day-to-day work of artmaking. But, I felt the need this week to remind myself, to remember, that it’s the thought and memories that are the whole reason for artmaking.
I have a number of works-in-progress right now, all dealing with the concept of home. Home is what you remember. Because this is such a personal subject matter, a number of times I have been absolutely stopped short by an image.
When I was creating the art quilt of row houses, I was overwhelmed by nostalgia. I grew up in that neighborhood. I have walked a sidewalk in front of those homes and looked in the windows. I rode my bike in the alley behind the houses. To see those images come to life on my worktable was an act of remembering.
When I created the art quilt based on photos of an abandoned house n South Carolina, I remembered standing there by the side of the road. I remember now the smell of pine and the sound of the pine needles beneath my feet. It was an off-the-beaten path road with little traffic. The house was overgrown with vines; the roof was gone. A fire, probably. I found it hauntingly beautiful, rich with somebody else’s life and memories.
This week, I’ve tried to give myself time to have some of those stop-dead-in-my-tracks moments on purpose. The shapes of houses. A small child drawing. A distant house through the trees. A large detailed bird nest. All are filled with meaning. I don’t want to get too busy to see and remember.
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