Location: Algonquin, Illinois, United States

Saturday, December 30, 2006

It’s a Wrap

Here we are in the final hours of the year, and I am anxiously awaiting the New Year. There is nothing like the feeling that I get at this time of the year, a whole new vista lies before me, and anything is possible. All that I have to do is set my mind to it. After all that is how I managed to get through the last couple of weeks of pre-holiday madness. Now I just need to apply the same fortitude and dogged determination towards getting a couple of pieces finished for some looming deadlines that I hope to meet. The hope is to close out the year and begin the new one with a clean slate.

Along those lines I would like to attempt an answer to Karoda’s question “How did you develop the idea for the women in the quilts to be looking away from the viewer of the quilts?” The initial idea came from this journal quilt that I created for May 2005. This started out life as I was drawing a nude in my journal from one of my drawing books or magazines. As I was drawing the back of this woman I began to think of some of the old movies where the leading lady always wore these sumptuous gowns. Since I was looking for something to make for that month for my journal quilts, she came into existence. Unfortunately, she did not make my cut to be included with the other journals that were submitted to Houston, but there was something about her that I really liked.

And so the series was born. What I have discovered along the way is that doing the subject from the back really forces you to concentrate on the composition and on telling some sort of story. Doing the back of a person has the potential of being boring. It is not at all like doing a face, which immediately captures the viewer’s attention. Yet when you are done with a face you are left with nothing more than a portrait that may remind the viewer of Aunt Betty or Cousin Ann. In the end the work is subject to or at the very least colored by the viewer’s relationship with the individual that comes to mind or worse some perceived stereotype.

In working with the backs, the subject almost becomes anonymous. Some of the comments that I have gotten about this series are that the viewer feels like they could almost step into the scene, and that in some way they become actively involved in the piece. That was a side effect that I had not anticipated, but upon reflection is something I believe that all artists strive for on some level. From a technical standpoint these pieces have been some of the most difficult that I have done to date. As I have said I have found that I am forced to focus on things like composition, line, color, where and how my eye moves when I look at the piece, and the story.

Working in this series has spawned a long list of “backs” that I want to attempt. Some of them are fully developed in my mind’s eye and the challenge will be on the execution and a faithful reproduction of the image the muse has provided me. Along those lines there is a “back” that is beckoning and demanding to be made.

Best wishes for a joyous and prosperous New Year to all.

"Where there is a will there is a way," is an old and true saying. He who resolves upon doing a thing, by that very resolution often scales the barriers to it, and secures its achievement. To think we are able, is almost to be so - to determine upon attainment is frequently attainment itself. —Samuel Smiles


Blogger Karoda said...

Hi Linda, reading how this evolved for you reminded me of the movie Daughters of the Dust (my very favorite movie of all time) where director Julie Dash used the same technique in views of the ocean in order to place the audience within the scene.

4:08 PM  

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