Thursday, February 26, 2015

Are You Allowed Do Overs In Art?

     Do you ever look at your art that you made and wish you could have a do over? Sometimes I do. I posted about it here where I redid a couple of my pieces. This past week I worked over another one. When I made this piece, I liked everything about it except the monk never looked quite right to me. Originally, I struggled with choosing a color and a fabric for him. I used a color wheel to choose the color, but he always seemed to stand out too much. This week, I took the quilt to a meeting with some art friends and they agreed. They suggested to change the color of him, perhaps make him smaller, or perhaps make him sitting.
     When I got home, I decided to explore what I wanted the piece to say. I made a mind map. I wrote the title, Contemplation, in the center. Then I wrote words and phrases coming out from the center that came to my mind. These are some of them: meditation, balance, passageway, questions, answers, searching, finding, being open to hidden messages. This process was amazing to me because it made me realize that some of the elements that I had already put into the quilt were telling me a story that I didn't realize was there. All I had to do was make it more clear. Here is the quilt before and how it is now. ( I did a blog post about how I made the sitting man here.)

before

Contemplation (in final form)























I painted veins in the rocks and I couched fibers on the sun to match the patterns in the rocks. They resemble stick figures of creatures and symbolize that nature holds many answers. The patterns of the "bulls eyes" that I put into the ground and sky here and there are the answers that are traveling through the air. The gold "window" in the center symbolizes when a passageway or window opens in the mind when a person is opening up to receiving answers to questions they are seeking. 
     I also redid the shadows. Before, I had embroidered the shadows. While I still like that treatment of the shadows, I think that it didn't work on this quilt. I used Shiva paintstiks to put them on after I painstakingly removed the embroidery.  The last thing I did to modify it was to cut off the yarn edging and put on a pillowcase facing.
     Here's a close up of the sun and the rocks now.
couched with 6 strands of embroidery floss

rocks painted with "creatures"
     So now I'm much happier with Contemplation. I think it delivers its message, the composition is much better, and the symbolism is strong. I'm linking this to Off The Wall Friday where you can find other art quilt blogs. Please make comments on their posts so that the artists know you stopped by. Thanks for visiting.

14 comments:

  1. Well done. A lot of thought went into this.

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    1. Thanks, Judy. I'm hoping the viewer will see a deeper meaning in my art.

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  2. Such a good subject......I seem to be all about do-overs lately. Perhaps my retirement has also brought me indecision!

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    1. It's nice that fiber allows us to the opportunity to redo some of the things in our pieces.

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  3. This is great! You are so brave to re-work pieces that aren't satisfying- and this feels so successful!

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    1. It was a little scary with the first remake. Once I did the first one, I went to town with the others. The problem now is that there are pictures of the older versions floating around on the Internet. Nothing I can do about that.

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  4. Hi!!!! I love it better than I already did!!!! Such a serene feeling to it!!!! Thank You

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    1. I like the serene feeling it gives me, too.

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  5. I like your redo so much better, altho I liked the first one. too.

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    1. Thanks, I'm much happier with the newer version. The older one wasn't quite right for me.

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  6. I am surprised to hear myself saying this, as I don't recommend going back or redoing, but girl.... the changes are good. Really good IMHO. I like the seated (still) man much much better, the piece just feels more still. Very interesting post, thanks!
    LeeAnna at not afraid of color

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    1. This quilt sat for quite awhile (almost 2 years) before I decided to change it. So I was pretty sure I knew I wanted to do it. It took a few months to decide what changes to make, though. The mind map helped a lot.

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