Time is such a funny thing. I have tons of time and no time at all. I am not employed at the moment, and have limited family responsibilities, so I have many hours that I can spend in my studio engaged in creative activity. And that is exactly what I am doing. However, I need to generate income very soon. So even though I have lots of time, I am nearly out of time. So much of time is our perception. In fact, maybe that is everything that time is…our perception. Yes, there are 24 hours in each day. But what does that really mean? So many factors go into determining our experience of time.
As Jane suggested, I started a stitching project this week. I like anything that involves using my hands with yarn or thread. It was fun at the start. But soon the need to be obsessive in order to complete this competed with my obsession with my other project for the week. I simply did not have the psychological space (perhaps another dimension of time?) to do both. I did start and finish this, my second pet portrait in tapestry. The person who requested the weaving wanted it to be small, so it is only 7x7”.
I have thought a lot about the apparent contrast that Jane suggested, between big and obsessive. I think all tapestry weavers must have a bit of obsessive in their work because it is such a slow art form. Yet, there are definitely major differences between the work of Mary Zicafoose, who uses ikat dyeing and intensive pre-planning to then weave huge, bold, graphic tapestries and Kathe Todd Hooker who uses sewing thread to weave tiny, highly detailed pieces. Historically, small pieces such as these have not even been considered tapestry, thus size (as in large) took precedence over anything else. Rebecca Mezoff weaves larger pieces but could be construed as obsessive about color gradation. Sarah Swett weaves big and small tapestries but in recent years has been focused on (obsessed with?) weaving type among other things. Perhaps this is not the tiny, repetitive element of design such as Jane discussed in her examples but it is helpful for me to think about particular artists and tapestries in this way.
My first reaction is to say that I would be more large than obsessive. I’m limited by the size of loom that I currently have so I haven’t really let myself go big. Then I started thinking about others things that I have created in the past. In knitting, I really prefer a finer look so I typically use a fingering weight yarn, knitting lace or other detailed work. In weaving I tend to use very fine yarns so that I can blend 3-5 strands together for more depth. I don’t know, however, that this would necessarily result in designs that are more obsessive. I really prefer simple clean lines to highly detailed, layered pieces of art (generally speaking). My best creative work comes from my heart, and it seems that this could manifest in various ways. I guess I don’t really know where I will land on this distinction. In a muddle!