Tuesday, February 20, 2018

I am the boss of me

On New Year's day, I challenged myself to make stitched collages as a form of daily practice throughout 2018.

I began by cutting plant dyed velvet and flannel fabrics into archetypal first shapes such as circle, cross, square or triangle and stitched them to wool felt pieces.   January 1 is in the center with January 2 (the super moon) stitched to its top edge.  Jan 3, 4, and 5 lined up in a row that fit onto the side of those first two 'days'.  I continued spiraling around the center with Jan 6, 7, 8, 9 on the bottom, Jan 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, on the right side and along the top Jan 15, 16, 17, 18, and (not shown in photo below) Jan 19 and 20.  Thus the collage was built like a quilter constructs a log cabin block.
daily practice number one  January 1 - 20 2018 (shown in progress)

In the second piece, started January 27th, I used previous inspirations now abandonded (UFO's) instead of the flannel shapes.  I am still using the dyed velvet, the wool felt base and the log cabin method of arrangement.
In the photo above, you can see a stitched cross.  When i chose it I felt that it would be a perfect central hearth for the new construction, but as you can see in the photo below, that cross is covered up.
I removed the cross because as I went along, it no longer felt right.  I found some beautiful and moody cyanotypes of clouds from twenty years ago and they changed the atmosphere of the piece.  I went back to the drawers of the unfinished and pinned ten or so different false starts over the cross.  Some of those trials are pictured below.
couched circle
This is not knowing as method 

This is self gathered up

This is trust that I know what I'm doing even though I do not know.
embroidered crosses on curved piecework
Because we do not know what each day will bring. 

Life is an adventure.
a densely stitched light house
Penny Berens and I are in an exhibition together this summer.  The premise of our show,  Cloth of Time is our daily practice and the passage of time.  I will be showing not to know but to go on  and cloud of time and if these stitched collages work out, I will include them.  Penny is showing daily scratchings, criss-crosses and her stone pathwaysPenny is a master of observation, and her work is a record of what she sees and touches.  It connects us to the natural world. 
stitch resisted indigo
Mine is a connection to the inner world
paper pieced star appliqued to wool
My daily practice is about the act of making itself.
People learn about themselves through the things they make (Richard Sennett idea)
reverse shows construction on felt base
Because I am the boss of me I made my own guidelines.

One:  work relatively small in these collages
Two:  the pieces are separate from each other and can vary in length of time depicted, technique and materials.
Three:  once I start I need to be honest and work every day until I feel it is done. 
daily practice number two  January 27 - February 16 2018

My next wall piece will be slightly different than these two.
I'll begin it in a few days.

Art is an adventure, and I am the boss of me.


  1. love seeing the variations, thank you for sharing!

  2. Self gathered up...lovely idea.

  3. This was so inspiring for me. I love seeing your process! I enjoy the organic feel of your work.
    Also, one of my adult children, when he was small, used to tell me, "I am the boss of me."
    So, the title resonates.

  4. Thank you for your generous sharing. I love this.

  5. In this scenario, each of us is the center of our worlds.
    Comfort in that. It gets easier to rest in uncertainty.
    LOVE the colors here.

  6. I am not the boss of me and it has interfered greatly lately.

  7. OH! I sooooo can not do that! Just go without having a plan. I admire you, Judy. On NYeve I was in a panic that I didn't have plan for the year. My year was going to be a disaster. Maybe if I try to work that way I can transfer the satisfaction into my 2018.
    And as you know , I am very much the boss of me.;-)
    Congratulations to you and Penny!

  8. I love this! Thank you for sharing it with us.


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