Thursday, September 25, 2014

Stitched Journal Project - September

The Stitched Journal Project is: Makers from around the world creating one "page" or piece of work per month and sharing. It is a project to get the ideas flowing, to process the days in a creative way, to try new techniques and to push past fears that keep us from making something.  It isn't about perfection, or getting it "just right," it is about process and perspective.

Fabric, Thread, Old Jeans, Cotton, Printing, Embroidery

I don't really know what to say about this piece. It's part practice, part evolution of process. Inspired by a recent dream of odd dolls, wanting to add a bit of dimension to a piece, and the real life feeling that I am always forgetting something. 

This was a first attempt, a little clumsy and a long winding road away from my original concept.  

Long time ago, I saw a film on Picasso. There was footage of him painting. I will never forget watching him paint in grainy black and white; just when I thought he had painted the best thing ever, he kept going. As he added brush strokes and swapped out eyeballs and noses, I remember clasping my hands in anxiety while sitting in my theater seat. I kept thinking in my head, almost begging him, "Ok, stop now, it's perfect, no stop now! It's still good! No! Stop please!" In the end the painting was a mess and he blanked it out in entirety with gesso - to begin all over again on another day. He said something to the effect of, "Sometimes, you need to let it go, to stop before you ruin it completely" Actually, I have no memory of the actual words he spoke, but that's the gist I took with me.  

If you over think it to death, you become your own worst enemy. So, when I was working on this, I thought of that Picasso scene. I kept trying to add too much, I kept trying to tell the story, I was trying to be understood. But then I remembered - leave it alone, keep it simple, stop going. The truth is, it doesn't matter if anyone gets it. It's an odd piece. It was a huge lesson for me in making. Sometimes you just have to stop and let it go.

Below you will find links to the wonderful makers and their Stitched Journal Project pieces for August. Please keep your eyes on this spot in the next couple of days as more add their links. Be sure to visit them and leave comments!

If you think you would like to join in as well, it's not too late!  We will be sharing our pieces the last Friday of every month at least until the end of the year. We'd love to have you.

All of you wonderful Stitched Journal Project participants please link up below! Remember to add your photos to The Stitched Journal Flickr Group! and be sure to share with Facebook, Twitter, etc!


june at noon said...

Ok, yes. It is odd. But appealingly so. :)

chriswreckage said...

Excellent work, as always!

Anonymous said...

Lovely work and I love the idea behind it too.

Anonymous said...

Love this piece. so hard to know when to stop. By sheer coincidence I feature a doll I am making this time.

Fledgling said...

Hello Alex! Amazing post! When I saw this piece on my wee phone screen, I squealed audibly. Reading the post here, makes it all the more poignant. I read so much into this piece, so, to me, this is art. I may have seen the same documentary...or probably a different one (there's probably more than one Pablomentary out there). I think we forget how punk-rock Picasso was/is. For classically-trained Picasso, everything still had to be so very deliberate. And yet, he strove for the rebellion and the serendipity of the entire piece. I think Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Martyr Patricio Clito Ruíz y Picasso would approve (Picasso had 23 names...that's what I took away from the documentary...).

Fledgling said... comment didn't post? If this posts twice, shoot me.
Anyway, when I saw your piece on me wee little phone screen, I squealed audibly. I read SO MUCH into this, that, to me, it is art. I think I saw the same Pablomentary (or a different one). What I remember is that the classically-trained Picasso was so deliberate in everything he did. And yet, he was trying to nail that rebellion, that serendipity each time. I think, when we see his work on coffee cups, that we forget what a punk-rocker he was. Of your piece here, I think Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Martyr Patricio Clito Ruíz y Picasso would approve (dude had 23 names...that's what I took away from the documentary...).

XO -N.

Annie Cholewa said...

I find it intriguing ... challenging even, but in a goof way ... as you say, sometimes you just have to trust the journey will take you to where you need to be and not over think your destination.

I often feel like I'm forgetting something important ... a piece of stitching for this project every month ... how many did I manage before I ground to a halt, two? Please keep this running Alex ... I am still hoping to get back to taking part.