Thursday, December 23, 2010

Mixed-Media Abstract Piece

I've been suffering terrible neurological headaches for weeks VP shunt is not working properly. Instead of wallowing in my pain I've decided to try to express it the only way I know how...through fabric art. This is my first abstract piece and I put a lot of thought/design into the stages. If anyone sees this, please let me know how you interpret it, as with all abstract art, people see different things. Here's the entire work of art:

"Emerging From Pain"
Techniques used:
- deliberate use of color from no color (black and blackened copper) to bright colors in a golden embossed batik on the right.
- deliberate use of stitching lines: the first has squiggly verticals because the pain cannot let me draw or stitch a straightline, the second has diagonal lines, the third has horizontal stitching and the last has soothing waves of horizontals.
- Metalwork, all copper. Straight squares textured in vertical lines and painted black; then more rounded/oval pieces of copper still obscured by darkish paint; then embossed paisleys with a sparse amount of paint, and lastly intricate shapes unobscured by paint (two hands in the center, three oak leaves in bottom right).
- Abstract to literal. It is also tactile with shredded edges here and there. The elements in the first panel don't quite fit on the panel and extend into nowhere.
- Embroidery, quilling, thread painting (the flowers on the right panel) charms with words on them and little clocks showing the passing of time, and the special fiber trim grid in the first two panels -- one painted black and one in light brown -- showing how hard it is to emerge from the cage of pain.





Forgive my poor picture-taking. I hope you like it anyway!


  1. Im so sorry that you are so unwell.
    Im not experiencing your pain. I dont feel right reading your work up front because I dont want to undervalue your experience. But I can understand from an artistic point of view you wonder about another's view. So only in that context I will say... and forgive me if Im clumsy... I see some kind of fence or cage in the first two locking you into a situation that you cannot escape from. The second two dont seem to have this containment. They are much more colorful and suggest more happy and peaceful feelings. The last one with the purple / blue splodge reminds me of granny bonnet flowers that my dear mother loved. It says to me... I have no limits, Im bright and beautiful and taking on shape. Wishing you better health right now! Maretta

  2. Hi Kim: I'm very sorry to hear about your physical condition and hoping the worst will be over soon, if not already. I saw your question on another forum asking what show/class, etc., anyone would recommend for 2011. As you can see, people are not very responsive on that forum. So, let me suggest this. I have found that some of my greatest inspirations came while attending John Campbell Folk School (they have an online site). Not only are you in total immersion for the class you have chosen (for a full week or weekend class) but you also have access to see the work of other classes and interact with lots of fabulous teachers and students in a setting that is sure to appeal to your creative desires.

  3. I am a crossover responder from the Cloth,Paper, Scissors site. I canot respond to your question which fiber art conference would I attend because I work with canvas, objects and paints; BUT if I were a fiber artist--and as an artist- I always appreciate a conference that SHOWS HOW and includes people in the process--DOES NOT SHOW their work and discuss their process...I don't know if that helps.
    This dehabilatating condition you have is a GIFT. Look at the beautiful energy you are weaving, savor this TIME you have to use your creativity in a way that brings you peace and beauty to the world...I love your stuff, I'm going to follow your blog, and I do hope you'll follow mine, please leave a comment:
    Your stuff is inspiring in its depth and coloration...keep giving, keep creating!!

  4. Kim, These are just beautiful..... love your choice in color and textures! Very inspiring!!

    Do hope you are feeling better.... will keep you in my prayers.

  5. I see the grid that traps you.
    Pain - barbed wire digging into the white limbs struggling to get out, but held down with heavy solid blocks. A one track mind - nothing else matters.
    Misery - trying to rise above the grid of wire but failing, has to try to communicate. But the wire doesn't look quite so evil, and could possibly break - don't know if this is just an effect of the photo as seen on my computer though. It is definitely not quite so spikey as in pain - smoothed out a bit, and decoratively gold rather than metallic agression Outward looking.
    Healing - the grid is still there but only just, and normality is breaking out all over, all at the same time. Time to stop and look outside yourself - the natural world seems like a miracle when you first see it after trauma.
    Peace - the grid has gone, and the only reminder of the pain is the small hanging spheres - but they are much smaller than the blocks in Pain, and they are floating up above.
    Amazing how much healthier you feel once pain has receeded, even if physically you are no better.

  6. Great pieces! I interpreted it as:
    - Light pastel piece as youth (playful, open)
    - Flowery autumn piece as young adult (maturing mentally)
    - Brown piece as middle age (more maturing and letting go of things not really important)
    -Darkest one older still (acceptance and at peace with yourself, others, and the cycle of life).
    The subject content of each one as well as the color also influenced my interpretation.
    Then i moved on and read your interpretation. We went the opposite way with most peace was the darkest and yours was the lightest.
    Of course pain is a big influence in your life and aging is big in mine. I hope you spend most of your time in your lightest piece.
    I'm in the brown piece stage, but feeling a lot of the black piece stage too. Happy with it.
    Good job girl. Like it a LOT!!