Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Percolating, part 1

Our move in April from Georgia to New Mexico came at a natural break point in my tapestry work; I had just finished up two series of work for a show in Atlanta.  Since we moved, I've kept up with my tapestry diary, taken a wonderful workshop with Rowen Schussheim-Anderson, and shot loads of photos, but I haven't been weaving new tapestries until quite recently. 

I've been feeling so gobsmacked by the incredible landscape we're in that I feel I have to figure out how to respond to it somehow before I can do anything else.  As I said to a friend here, a potter and New Mexico native, "I feel like I need to get the landscape out of my system before I can do anything else."  She replied, "You never will."  

I have a feeling she's right.  I've identified several themes or subjects on my walks and hikes so far that seem to have staying power, and I want to explore them all in tapestry.  Right now, all at once. 

The first is the amazing, huge, ever-changing sky.  There's a saying that in the West the sky starts at your ankles.  

I'm already depicting the sky in a limited way in my tapestry diary, weaving a stripe that represents the color of the sky each morning.  When we moved, I made the tapestry wider (taller) to indicate the magnitude of the move and the "bigger" sky out here.  

Molly Elkind, Tapestry Diary 2018, January-March

Molly Elkind, Tapestry Diary 2018, April-August
But I want to do more with the sky.  I've got some sketches for a wedge weave piece that I envision fairly small, at 10 epi or so, in DMC cotton floss.  

I think I can probably just dive into one of these wedge weave designs fairly easily.  (Famous last words!)  I'm hoping to use the diagonal movement of the wedge weave to suggest the movement of the air and clouds somehow. 

I'm also thinking of using images of the clouds and sky in combination with other images.  Here's a photograph with a chalk drawing of a yucca seed pod superimposed.  This needs a lot more development, obviously, but it might have potential.  

Percolating, percolating. . . collaging, sketching, photographing. . . Next week I'll share another of the themes I'm pondering.  As always, comments and feedback are welcome!  Tell me what's percolating for you!


Deb Thomas said...

Yes, the sky out there is endless and amazing! Your drawing over the sky photo reminds me of a technique I've used in watercolor in which you apply color almost at random and then go back and pull a design out of it, maybe emphasizing one color over others, or just incorporating it into the subject. It's fun and inspiring, deciding how to use the under layer in the main design. I look forward to seeing more of your New Mexico Experience!

Molly Elkind said...

Hi Deb! Thanks for the comment. That sounds like a fun technique to play with too. Don’t worry, I’ll be sharing more of NM. 😉 thanks for reading.

Lynn said...

Oh Molly, you're killing me with those sky photos!!! Talk about glorious...and those Tapestry Diary pieces are just wonderful!!! I can't wait to see what comes next!

Molly Elkind said...

You are too kind! I’ve started picking out colors for one of the wedge weave designs. Stay tuned...and thanks for reading!