Nearing Completion–and moving towards abstraction

19 Sep

I don’t really have any thing much to say but I need to record the changes happening in cloth.  And the changes which may be lurking on the horizon.  This one now named.  “Three Graces.” A cloth to be gifted soon. It’s been silent for quite a few weeks.  Then several days ago it spoke up and here’s where we are.   Subtle changes.  Stitches in black.  A defined horizon.  Stars.  Birds.   Nearing completion.three graces

and Earth Guardian. Also taking its time. Topo lines added. A forever reminder of a beautiful morning hike to waterfalls. Consulting a map. Determining altitude. Distance. But really, the genesis of this cloth was concern for water–and came forth from the nuclear spills in Japan. The impact that it will have on the oceans–on water and critters–two leggeds, four leggeds and fin-beings. And there seemed to be a huge disconnect when I stood in front of a 150′ waterfall, hypnotized by the constant sheets of cascading water. How could two things–this waterfall and the Fujiyama Nuclear Plant coexist in a sane world? And I had to clarify for myself the meaning of “sane.”earthguardian

And in the interim, while waiting on cloth, I’ve been dyeing. Coupling cloth together. No story in mind. Just the wonder of the cloth itself. The transformation. The unexpected.abstract1

There’s some thing about the abstract-ness of these cloth fragments that has me wondering. Can abstractness be a story in itself? I think one of the first lines in the Tao Te Ching says something like “the name that can be named is not the eternal name.” And that helps. Because often I have the need to create–to express–and many times the “thing” wanting expression cannot be said in words, cannot be sketched, cannot even be rendered in cloth.  Can only be felt.  Sensed by self.  And in some very strange way, these little scraps of hand-dyed fabrics seems to satisfy that need.

12 Responses to “Nearing Completion–and moving towards abstraction”

  1. debbie.weaver September 19, 2013 at 12:49 pm #

    The Three Graces is lovely, I love the subtle colours. I am doing more and more dyeing but find it difficult to add pieces to the original dyed cloth that work together.


    • Patricia September 19, 2013 at 5:30 pm #

      hi Debbie. well, i understand what you’re saying here. i have a lot of scraps that haven’t found a table to sit at. but these just happened to work together. thanks for your comment.


  2. Mo Crow September 19, 2013 at 1:50 pm #

    the thing I really like about stitching is the tactile nature of the work and the slowness of the process, adding texture,exploring the edges and gathering the surfaces is like seeing with the heart.


    • Patricia September 19, 2013 at 5:30 pm #

      agreed. and love that image. “seeing with the heart.” yes.


  3. Arlene Schwen September 19, 2013 at 2:15 pm #

    I believe that “abstractness” can be the story more powerful then reality. It is a visual that goes straight to the soul being that it is unencumbered and pure. Once you connect to the arrangement of elements it ignites within you a passionate moment that doesn’t last. In that way it mimics reality. The little scraps of hand-dyed fabric satisfy my need to experience and dream. I feel them.


    • Patricia September 19, 2013 at 5:32 pm #

      great observations you provide here. and you’re so right. after sitting with this cloth today, some of the passion of the moment has faded. and yes, like you also say, mimicking reality. but it was wonderful while it lasted! appreciate your comments.


  4. beth September 19, 2013 at 7:58 pm #

    Abstract, but yet they still feel very much like your other work in some way… I really like the colors in all four of these.


    • Patricia September 19, 2013 at 9:17 pm #

      thank you for that–that you can see a common thread. and happy belated b’day!


  5. Cathie September 20, 2013 at 9:22 am #

    Ohhhhhh Patricia, Patricia, Patricia….
    where do I begin. the three graces – so beautiful. so spiritual. i can’t stop looking at it.
    it really is very, very beautiful. the bird embracing the moon? sun? touches me.
    i have native american roots (way back – blackfoot indian) and this speaks to me.
    and your dyeing experiment – well done! i have been traveling – collecting walnuts,
    seeds, acorns and plant material and can’t wait to get home to start an indigo vat
    and do some eco dyeing. i would love to talk to you in detail about how you achieved
    that lovely sample shown. it just begs for stitching.
    i am very inspired after visiting you today.
    thank you.


    • Patricia September 21, 2013 at 8:15 am #

      oh… back atcha! wow. thank you for such enthusiastic appreciation of Three Graces. originally i had named this cloth something else–women who seek or something like that. but it’s for my daughter. she said she wanted it. and she referred to it as the 3 graces — and i liked the ring of that. keep me posted on how your dyeing goes. imagining lots of journey pieces from your gathering. much love to you.


  6. nadia September 20, 2013 at 4:04 pm #

    Hi, Patricia. All very lovely and your dyed green and blue fabrics in the previous post are very pleasing indeed. I think I have a slight preference for the Earth guardian (brilliant, the addition of the circle on the land) and the last abstract because of the stronger colors that focalize the design in a beautiful way.
    best, nadia


    • Patricia September 21, 2013 at 8:17 am #

      thanks for the support, Nadia. yes, earth guardian is intense. the colors–and they don’t really translate quite accurately in these photos. i’m seeing story now, in this last abstract piece here. and imagining the other as a wonderful background for something else. fall is moving in. today. and i can see the background cloth holding the weather as i write this. hope all is well in your world.


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