Friday, September 30, 2011

Laurie Brainerd's new quilt series

Laurie Brainerd is an exceptionally talented artist and maker of contemporary quilts who has just recently begun her journey into surface design on textiles.  Laurie and I were formerly partners in the short-lived Fiber Artspace venture at the Blue Star Contemporary Art Complex in San Antonio.
In her recent newsletter (which I encourage you to subscribe to!) she wrote something that truly resonated with me.  Because I feel so strongly that this is important I asked if I could share it here.

Laurie is a planner.  She is one of the most (if not THE most) organized people I know!  Her words are compelling because, in our artistic lives, we are often surprised at where the journey can lead us, if we remain open to the possibilities.  Asking "What if?" is often the first step into a great adventure with new possibilities in your work.  Read on..

Following the Energy
This summer, I have been working with new materials and new techniquues--new to me that is.  I had a crisp idea that was so strong that I was naturally compelled to follow it.

The idea was about representing happiness.  It seems that I have figured out the formula for my own happiness, and since that is where I am at right now, naturally that is showing up in my artwork.

The finished, but unmounted piece below, is my first happiness quilt.  The blocks represent the different aspects of our lives that we learn to balance and adjust for maximum well-being.  From personal experience, I know that sometimes a block has to be removed altogether, others are perfect just the way they are, and the rest need to be adjusted.  And this process never ends!

So, while I was dye-painting the fabric that was eventually going to end up  as happiness blocks, I noticed the interesting patterns left on the sheets that I used as drop cloths.  I found it so interesting, that I added a layer of cotton fabric to capture the dye that drips through the silk/cotton blend fabric that I'm painting on.

I even had to start a new top piece in order to finish a lower piece.  Now I'm not so sure which fabric is the product and which is the by-product.  I have definitely found my happy place--the land of happy accidents.

It is amazing what you will find when you follow your energy or intuition or inner guide--whatever you call that special knowing.  One simple idea for me has exploded into more ideas than I can count.  I have had to start writing them down.

I just find it really fascinating how one starts in one direction thinking that it is somewhat of a destination, but ends up being just a mile marker on the journey.  And just a corner around the last destination is an even richer view.  

Please visit Laurie's website and blog for more inspiration!


I love to hear from my readers! Please drop me a line!