Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Studio Series: black & white collage II

Black & White collage II © Karen Thiessen, 2016
The studio is a happening place these days: I seem to have cultivated a new rhythm, a new sense of being alive in my work process. It is all thanks to the six weeks of classes that I took at my local indie fabric shop where I learned how to sew a dress, a flowering snowball pillow, and a pair of leggings. These were all personal projects that took time away from my regular studio work, but this investment of time has paid off in spades. First of all, I am now hyper-aware of clothing construction: of seams, lines, darts, shapes. As a result, I now see that my work could eventually move into three-dimensions. Second: I have returned to my stitching and collage practice with new energy and awareness.

I just finished reading The Art of Slow Writing (2014) by Louise DeSalvo, a book I highly recommend for any creative, whether or not you are a writer. In one chapter about supporting the work, she shares how Vita Sackville-West encouraged her friend, Virginia Woolf, to take time from her writing practice. "From Sackville-West, Woolf learned to be less obsessive about her art and to take more time for relaxation, travel, and excursions to enrich her work. She subsequently spent time bowling, doing needlepoint, knitting, bread baking, and listening to music (DeSalvo, 108-109)." So, I encourage my dear work-obsessed readers (you know who you are) to try something new and see how this enlivens the work. 

Source: DeSalvo, Louise. The Art of Slow Writing: Reflections on Time, Craft, and Creativity. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2014.

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