Wednesday, June 06, 2012

The Un Doing

Over the years, in my practice as an artist, I find myself un-doing.
I'll make something beautiful, then cut it up, take stitches out
start again
It’s a real communication with the work

At first, I add
I look, I think
I add another thing. I try to imagine what the piece will look like.
I add another thing

I look ,I think
I re consider

Then I undo


  1. communication with the work, yes, I like this ... I have always felt that way... and rework ... reconsider...

  2. Wow, that is really a brave thing to do...I have added to art pieces before, last years sunflower art quilt got petals in golds and yellows (seen on my sidebar) and it won a first prize after that!
    So it can be a really good thing.
    I like how yours turned out!

  3. you always learn something more by handling the cloth

  4. I can relate - only I call what I do unmaking ("I make and unmake") .... its as though there is a dialogue - and traces of that unmaking is essentially evidence of the conversation (if you like)

  5. a metaphor, indeed--I am moved

  6. Undoing, ah yes. I have a handknit scarf of handdyed handspun yarn. The first time I made it it was too long and too narrow. So I completely ripped it out and started over. I've done this on a couple of things, actually.

  7. It doesn't happen with every piece, but often enough for me to notice.

    I start out with great love and hope and expectation and work with inspiration.

    Then, when I am nearly finished, something seems not right. Absolutely terrible. And I need to destroy it or rip it out.

    Once this rite of passage has happened, the piece seems to grow up, become more separate from me and I am forced to listen to it.

    When I work with the piece again, paying more attention to the materials themselves, we are both happier.

    It sounds like parenting, doesn't it?

  8. absolutely (like parenting I mean)

    and it happens a lot in my work, almost it would seem I have to follow the 'wrong' path to get onto the right one (but could not have gotten there without being lost)

  9. when I first started reading your blog, you wrote something like "I un-stitched my stars today" and something in me went "how gorgeous"

  10. Love this! I am always destroying, sometimes a corner, sometimes a whole piece. It's actually a good feeling, starting again.

    There's a sly, sexy line in Twelfth Night (we just went to a high school production). Sir Andrew says to Maria "Wherefore, sweetheart, what's your metaphor?" (I, iii).

    It's all metaphor, right?

  11. Doing and undoing....what would we otherwise be doing? and you do it so beautyfully!


Thank you for taking the time to connect. Much appreciated.xx