We all have pet peeves. I have several and have just recently been able to let some of my old ones go but that's another blog theme at another time.
One that irks me no end is fiber artists who just spew forth art with no thought; no intention; no theme; no idea where they are going or what they are trying to say. Now don't misunderstand me- I myself still do the very same thing at times. I just blindly go along with no brain work at all and out something comes that is...well...pretty- or not. Pretty has its place. Pretty sells. Pretty can inflate your bank account so there certainly is merit in creating pretty art.
What I am talking about takes fiber art to the next level of sophistication which is communication. A very famous art educator once said, "Art is entertainment, so entertain the hell out of the viewer!" I've never forgotten that because the vast majority of fiber artists have no regard for the fact that they have an opportunity to actually say something. I often wonder what the point of a piece is that I am making or looking at in a gallery or pondering at critique group or anywhere I happen to wander.
Do you create with intention or purpose? I am trying, as a professional fiber artist to keep this thought paramount in my mind as I plan out a new work or as I revisit an old one that needs to be reexamined.
So maybe you are curious about themes that I visit and revisit? I love the theme of layers and am not finished with it. I have produced about 6 pieces so far exploring this theme and there's more to come. You can see examples of layers all over this blog. The fish still are not finished as I need to do another one using glass as a topper with holes where the Coi mouths stick up and out of the glass.
Another theme has been "Absence of Color". Many artists, myself included, lean so heavily on color that everything else falls by the wayside. I challenged myself to eliminate color by doing five very small pieces that were, as the final stroke, spray painted silver to eliminate all color to see if they could stand on their own as art pieces once color was taken away. It was a powerful exercise. A picture of one of them is at the top of the page.
From there I explored the theme of "Sharp". That lasted for about four pieces.
Another theme has been "Friends". One of my batiks is pictured above before it was finished. This was done for the Prym/Dritz company that manufactures Dylon Dyes. I did major testing for them and they commissioned me to do this batik which uses Dylon Permanent Dyes. The theme progressed into multiple other projects using my pals and our relationships as the theme. I was a bit unsure about what I was going to be trying to say about these three friends and I believe it shows, unfortunately, in the composition.
Other topics that have been themes through the years include: Tormented Emotion, Hiroshima, Depression, Large Scale, Optimism, Fire, Unbridled Joy, God as Life Force, and of course-Inability to Contain Myself.
Theme I am working on now- Wicking and Pooling. You will see my progress on this piece later.
I hope that you will consider what the heck you are doing when you make art. It's time to grow up as artists. It's really not okay to just plow your way through what you are doing hoping that at the end something nice results from your efforts. If you want to grow up and be a mature artist, its time to start thinking it through and getting a focus for your work.