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When Life Gives you Scraps

piecing together sections cut from larger painted images

piecing together sections cut from larger painted images

Make a quilt!

My Mother is a fine quilter who persists in her craft, even as her eyes fail.  She just finished a quilt for Maeve; one which is not meant to be an heirloom, but for keeping warm on cold nights in her Palo Alto dorm room.  Mom used scraps  and left over pieces of fabric from her sewing room, and the quilt is sure to be a hit with her granddaughter. I too have dabbled in quilting, and am actually quite good (according to my Mother) at the fine hand-stitching part. However, being so consumed by my passion for drawing, calligraphy and painting, I never pursued the craft in a serious way.  Today  I found myself rummaging through my flat files and picking out scraps I had cut from larger pieces of art and connecting them.  Like my Mother in her quest for using the scraps she had to make Maeve’s quilt, I became obsessed with collaging  these bits that on their own seemed lacking, but pieced  together made something organic, harmonious and pleasing.  This is not the first time I have dabbled with piecing  old scraps together.   Several years ago I was visiting  a wonderful local artist (Judy Paul) and was captivated by her collaged paintings.  Inspired, I came home and started pulling bits and pieces of practice calligraphy out, gluing them onto canvas with Matte Medium. What did I know? What did I care? Having never done this before, it was exhilarating to plunge in with uninhibited child-like enthusiasm. Was this collage? I think so. The process was also reminiscent of my brush with quilting. However, with no training in collage–with no idea of a set of rules to temper or guide my effort, I was free to do as I pleased.  Interestingly,the result was a collaged painting that has been accepted in two juried art shows and was recently purchased by a student and friend.

If there is a moral to this story, it is this: !  You have all you need right now to make a piece of art.   You don’t have to know what you are doing or where you are going. “When Life Gives You Scraps, Make A Quilt!”

Having trusted my own intuition and dabbling, doodling. tinkering instinct, my new piece “the Wild Life of Radishes” was birthed.  And  it just got sold!

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