This week I have been thinking more and more about ideas and what triggers them and how do I move along. I was thinking particularly about my postcard series which I did during the winter this year. They were a response, initially, to an offer to work as an artist in residence at the Ballarat Winter School organised and run by Glenys Mann as part of Fibre Arts Australia.
About Fibre Arts Australia - most of the events are held at Ballarat Grammar which is a large secondary school with boarding facilities and so you are feed and watered, and can be as creative as you want and meet lots of other lovely creative people. Glenys organises at least four events there with amazing international textile and fibre artists.
And back on track - when I was asked to be at Fibre Arts Australia and I had decided to make "Postcards from Ballarat" I started to experiment and practice on different weights of watercolour paper and make assorted "Postcards from Masterton".
I made postcards about Henley Lake in Masterton which is quite toxic, especially in the summer and I made postcards about Lake Ferry on the Wairarapa coast, about the fishermen and the environment. I collected bits to add the the postcards, used photographs and stitch. And the heaviest watercolour paper I could find (400 gms). I decided that, after thinking about actually sending the postcards and what they would need to survive with the wet paint etc and being in the post.
Then I did some research about postcards, how long they have been around, their purpose which was all fascinating. They were really like our text messages today. And I wrote a plan for what I needed to do in Ballarat and what I needed to do before I got there.
When I went to Australia I did a wonderful collage class with Cordula Kagemann in Taralgon again organised by the amazing Glenys Mann. I was so pleased to learn from Cordula about her processes and to see actual collages and the layering she creates in her work.
This was my work space in Ballarat - it was just great. A wonderful view outside, a place to display and sell the daily postcards and in the coffee shop.
It was really interesting to see how the post cards changed day by day - as the weather changed, as I became more familiar with Ballaratt and as time passed and I knew I had to go home.
Once I was home in Masterton and it was winter I became fascinated by the weather and our big sky and a new series of postcards evolved.
I always find it fascinating to look back and analyse my process and to see what inspired me. In this case it was definitely about having a goal and a purpose. I loved doing the research and finding out random useless bits of information. Did you know that in Britain, when the postal service was first devised the receiver of the letter was expected to pay the postman and so initially the postal service ran at a loss? Sometimes inspiration can be a long percolating process (see last weeks blog post) and sometimes something much shorter. Do you think about your processes? Or do you just do it?
I have been working on an idea for a new quilt.
I am using some fabric I especially dyed for it combined with black and white and blue plain fabric.
And yesterday I started slowly putting it together.
We are surrounded by earthquake information at the moment and this piece will be titled "Epicenter" when its finished. Hopefully ready to be stitched by the end of the week - watch this space.
And then suddenly I remember some ideas I had maybe 12 months ago, searched them out and was left thinking . . . . . . . . . .
You know, there must be so many ideas and memories running about in everybody's head not just mine. I can remember doing this and thinking, "This is so cool," and "How would I make/piece/construct this?" I put it on Facebook and someone said, "Just try." I didn't, "Too hard I said." But now . . . . . . . I am so glad I remembered these ideas, maybe I will use more of them.
How does your process for design and planning work?
"I paint flowers so they do not die." Frida Kahlo