Visuals have been hard these past few weeks. Either they are disappointing like these of my new neighbor's house going up or they are impossible like the ones below which really show nothing of what is happening with "Mermaids" but are the only things I can show. I'm living with gallons of frustration. Each and every day this late summer has started at 6:30am with noise, i.e. chainsaws cutting trees and that sickening snap of the life of a tree followed by the resounding thud when it hits the ground, bulldozers and dump trucks complete with the wafts of sand blowing into my house on clouds of diesel exhaust, and now compressors and the constancy of nail guns. Not only are my nerves shot but I landed in the ER two weeks ago with breathing problems which they labeled bronchitis but I know it is being caused by the caustic cocktail of sand and diesel.
One day last week I was talking to my boss on the phone (I was out of work on a 'vacation', unable to really do my job well with breathing problems) and staring out over my deck into the back yard when I see two little dogs chase each other through my yard with a teenage girl in hot pursuit. My new neighbors. Trapped inside a hot house, (can't open the windows or sliders) looking at this scenario made me madder than a wet hen! We bought this place for it's privacy and quiet, knowing that the land next to us was up for sale but thinking that no one in their right mind would pay the $275 thousand he was asking for it and then have to sink hundreds of thousands more into clearing and building. Surprise to us! Tony has been looking at the real estate listings. He wants to move again but I don't know if I have it in me to pack it all up and start over. All I really know for certain is that the visuals directly outside my studio are making me sick - literally.
I haven't been posting a lot here because I just can't show what is going on with my work if I want to try for the next Quilt National. It's killing me because things are shaping up nicely and looking amazing. Above are the two hand dyes I chose to flesh out the skin of the two mermaids. Took me the longest time trying to settle on the exact placement of the tissue pattern. I spent hours looking to get the shades and blotches in the right place. The choice of color here really makes them look other-worldly. Above these base fabrics I have layered others to flesh in depth, but they are subtle and from a distance these two read as the main characters.
These fabrics comprise the major part of the fish tail of the mermaids. I stumbled on the fern fabric in a sale on one of my favorite online haunts and it is so perfect for that tail that I couldn't have done better if I spent two years looking through fabrics. Finding another which felt just as perfect was not easy. They are on the quilt now complete with their tail fins. Hair is coming next. I've decided how I am going to quilt this one too. I am mapping out the patterns of the stitching on my cartoon and will be using chalk pencils to actually draw out the patterns so I don't get too carried away and make a mess. Going to have to work with small sections at a time as the chalk wears off easily.
Looking at this becoming, up on my design wall is exciting and it is keeping me going. I can now really see what my mind's eye was visualizing. With this being the first really big venture for me, I am just loving it. It's taking twice as long as I thought it would, but I don't care. It's coming from my heart and soul. A slow steady flow. Turtles always win the race anyway.
As I look to my goals for my next year, especially within the Visioning Project, I think I am going to expect a little less in the "timing" of my pieces and more in the "development" of them. I am my best when I am working steadily without looking at the clock or at dates. This doesn't mean I won't be setting goals, it just means they won't have time limits. My goal has to be to just keep myself steadily working. Eventually they will all make their way out of me into the pieces I feel already exist in my mind but need to be fleshed out in fabric. Ultimately the goal of having a body of quality work with which I can begin to show, is the one true goal I am working towards. I am enjoying the process. I just wish I could share the visuals. All in due time.