work in progress: ordinary intensity

May 27, 2014

This piece need to be tied together even more. The color palette was all neutrals and I wanted to keep that, but I wanted to bring out the texture more. The actual texture of all those different fibers on the surface is something I really love but the visual patterns didn’t mesh until I did some serious stitching with embroidery threads. I love the mostly controlled and very delicate lines contrasted with the heavier and more chaotic seed stitches.


Now to deal with the words. The black wasn’t working for me. By the way, if you haven’t tried the Pentel Gel Roller for Fabric pens yet – they are WONDERFUL! They go on super smooth and dark and so far appear to be nice and permanent. It’s just that they were too much for this piece.ordinary_intensity5

With this much time and effort invested in the piece I didn’t want to start over. I have found that with many pieces if something stands out or is bothering you, sometimes the way to make it work is to add repetition. In this case, even more stitching. Varying the weight and intensity of the stitches felt right here. ah. Intensity. I get it.

ordinary_intensity7“Do not try to do extraordinary things, but do ordinary things with intensity.”  That makes sense. There is some fairly intense stitching happening here. Adding in a little more value contrast and then the red adds a focal point – and also feels intense. I think I’m good with what has happened here. In fact, I really like it. At some point I’ll probably mount this on Canvas. I really like the presentation although I’m finding that those thick canvases take up a LOT of storage space. Perhaps what is happening is that I’m getting ready for my one woman show, right? In that case I’d better get busy.

You know how the colors yellow and orange can behave like Divas in a work of art if the whole color cast is not well balanced? Red can lean in that direction but for me, it has a certain intensity to it that keeps it from simply being brash. It’s all subjective, I know. This is simply how it worked out for me with this piece.



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  • Reply
    Ellen Lindner
    May 30, 2014 at 10:47 pm

    Love the addition of the red!

  • Reply
    Judi Kirk
    May 29, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    A fascinating insight into your design process – thank you so much!

  • Reply
    May 29, 2014 at 3:20 am

    Thanks for sharing this extraordinary process with us. I love the finished piece.

  • Reply
    May 28, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    I agree that the black wasn’t going it. The red adds just that little hit of colour and emphasizes the message beautifully. Lovely piece!

  • Reply
    Jenny K. Lyon
    May 28, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    Thank you for letting us hear your brain at work! I love love the finished piece. I would not have thought to do the red/gray but it works so well. The little french knots at the bottom-charming!

  • Reply
    May 28, 2014 at 10:47 am

    I love this piece for so many reasons! Also, thank you for sharing your thought process. I’m always interested in how people ultimately decide what to do or try next as their pieces of art progress toward completion.

  • Reply
    May 27, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    Great post! I like how you use a rubber finger instead of the thimble when hand stitching. I’ll give that a try. The neutral palette is beautiful. Adding the red seems to be the right amount of color. You have inspired me to try a more neutral palette.

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