In the second week of October I went to Adelaide to take a workshop with Lorna Crane organised by Fibre Arts Australia.
I had a wonderful 5 days. The school was huge, Westminster College, and I did get mislaid several times. But I didn't trip on the yellow road humps. Maybe I have grown out of that.
The workshop was about making hand-made brushes and then using them to develop our own "lexicon of marks". I loved this idea . A lexicon is usually associated with language - vocabulary and the ways a language is used. And so I have been making brushes to create my own language of marks and they way I use them.
I fell in love with the big, white trunked gum trees in the school grounds. There was a big one right outside my bedroom window.
I did a lot of work experimenting with my brushes.
And I made a scroll using layers of fabric and black organza.
Since I have been back I seem to have been very busy catching up on "stuff" and not doing much experimenting with my "lexicon" of marks. I want to do some drawing with my brushes and experiment a lot more but there's always something like my messy big table. I think I might just take a small rake to it and create a bit of space and bigger and higher piles.
After thinking and reading and thinking about my solid fabric stitching and why I might have done that I have come back to the old self confidence trick and self belief. I am back working on a "Sticks and Stones" series which are much more mine.
In this series I am thinking about life and memory and how a memory can be shaped by later events and can become a false memory. And as I add layers of paint, stitch, sand and mend the memories can change and become more or less hurtful. "Sticks and Stones" was a very common response in my family.
And the pieces take more thinking and effort than doing something someone else has done before. Each piece is 4" X 4" square and is made from pieces ripped from a cotton sheet after it was painted with bituminous paint.
And I have learned that people, mostly women, darned and mended fine fabrics etc with human hair.
I haven't decided yet how to stop "a rush of blood to the head". I still have my bin of solid fabrics and my stitched stripes, I still have some of my books that led me off on a tangent, I still have times when I think what I am doing is not good and, maybe, this is always going to happen.
I would love to know how you avoid "a rush of blood to the head". Or do you just let it happen? For now I want to keep working on this series and ignore distractions.
"I paint flowers so they do not die." Frida Kahlo