Urban Decay and Finding Meaning

assignment 1 fabric painting assignment 1 WIP

assignment 1 reference material

Thought I’d pop in with an update on my first assignment for Working in a Series class, even though I’ve not quite finished yet. I decided on the theme Urban Decay and the first order of business, as usual, was to create some fabrics. With some reference materials out, I experimented with saran wrap monoprints on muslin which I washed out with water on a large paintbrush and printed a brick wall with a blend of colors. I’m really happy with my first results!

Working on an 11×14″ base of cotton batting, I then began collaging my painted fabrics, adhering bits of tissue paper with watered down wallpaper paste, painting, inking and free motion machine stitching over the top. I plan to add a plant or flower, I have various pages of them in my sketchbook, and lots more stitching, machine and hand. Perhaps some embroidery, but I’ll see how it develops.

As I was working, personal meaning started to creep into this piece that wasn’t part of the plan. It’s one of the greatest things about making art, some part of you comes out in the work. It was the moment I added the yellow floral bit of an old pillowcase, found in a thrift store, but reminiscent of my childhood. Suddenly it felt representative of both the happy and dark times in my past, each layer building upon or tearing down the last, I’m not exactly sure which. I’d decided before beginning that I’d save the addition of bits of nature until after class, but I believe the plants growing into the composition are important to tell my story. There’s a life of happiness to be found, even through hardship. There is always a new beginning.

I’m hoping to wrap up this piece and get on with my second this week. Looks like I’ll be a little behind schedule with class but in the self paces course I suppose it’s not such a big deal as long as keep making progress.

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