Lily of the Valley with their shadow and the dictionary in the background - fragrance and delicate beauty all in one. That's why I love the contrast with the sturdy, handmade vase. These little flowers, despite their tender appearance, grow with no fuss or bother almost anywhere and thumb their little noses at molly-coddling.
Then there are the anemones. These little pretty ones are probably not as popular as the lilies of the valley because they're not fragrant. They grow in more of a singular fashion and look like gawky teenagers, but to see them bob in the breeze is such a lovely sight that one finds no fault. Imagine seeing a field of them? Wow. Too bad I cropped the white bleeding-hearts out!
The highlight of today was the joy of sitting with my art group to discuss our past, current, and future works. K started us off with her underwater series.* Now I haven't seen all the pieces of this series, but I have seen enough to be able to comment intelligently on the progress she has made. In each piece she has taken risks by trying new techniques and new materials. That takes such a lot of courage! The piece she is currently in the throes of finishing is headed for a show and the judging will give her some more valuable feedback. She also did something that I really thought was a great idea. She made a"book" with sandwiched pages (batting with fabric on each side) on which she tried out stitches but more importantly made notes on what she had done. How smart is that?! Since we all forget what we did almost as soon as we do it, this idea will be real help.
Next C showed her series of which she brought two pieces to see plus a photo of the third. She talked about the "rules" of art quilting that she supposedly broke by adding a border on the first one although to me, the borders gave the work the appearance of an art nouveau tile, a look I loved. The fact that her focal point was in the middle was a composition faux pas, but it wasn't a hideous problem. Her second piece (photo) was an awesome foray into the art world in black and white. No border, offset focal point, and "engagement of the edges". The third one was a different story. None of us felt it was yet where it could go, but K and I didn't like C's proposed solution of cutting it up into 2" squares, shuffling, and then sewing them back together. I countered with larger tiles of varied sizes, and K offered adding non-patterned fabric in between some tiles to break up the busy-ness. By the end of the discussion C had several ideas including some additional ones of her own that spun off the other new ideas.
The work I had and the ideas I have for it met with approval and so did the drawing I have of my next new project. Until I have some real work done on the ideas, there's not a whole lot of constructive criticism they can give which makes me feel as though I'm wasting their time. To add to that, I really have to complete the several projects that are started, and I can't do that until I get the organizing of the studio completed.
Which gives me incentive to get that finished!
*Actually, she started with her book. I've been deliberately vague about the works we discussed today because I forgot to get permission to be more specific.