Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Gathering We Will Go

These two small canvas pieces are from two separate works on my flickr photo stream. They are examples of my collage/paint process I created last year. I put together several layers of material, papers and created circles ....denoting divine circles within. I added paint, silver and gold leafing, wire and stones. Now I'm captivated by squares and all the symbols connected to the square. I don't want to repeat my process from before but am willing to combine fabrics and things in a new and different way and let the squares find a way to "fit" with canvas, paper and paint. I like this gathering business...I was at the fabric store buying bits and pieces of fabric, trims and I'll take my search to my grandmother's trim box and then maybe a trip to the thrift store. This is a time of little discoveries, anticipation, hope and mystery...I like this!
My sewing skills are pretty basic...cushions, pillows, curtains and quilts. Once I took a class in clothing construction at an adult education center in Los Angeles. The teacher had worked in the film industry and she was very helpful in teaching how to sew and fit properly...that was 100 years ago and I've forgotten everything so again my sewing skills are basic. I have my new machine threaded and I feel confident for now.I will slowly add stitches but what matters is I can work the darn thing!ha
click to enlarge for some details.


  1. these are quite evocative. I love the wires wrapped around the whole painting. What you intend to do, go on a searching mission for materials, sounds fun. Have a good time doing this!

  2. Mary Ann, I really like these two painting and the way you work is really intriguing...has me thinking a lot here about a lot of things. I can appreciate your need to gather...a woman's right, don't you think? Now what I am waiting for is what you do with these lovely bits and pieces.

    As for that sewing, I have a feeling all you learned will come back very quickly. I have been sewing off and on since I was 9 (for anyone counting that is 42 years ago)...during my slack periods, I did not loose what I had learned before. You will be just fine!

    This is an exciting time for you and for me, since I get to read all about your progress and process, right?

    Have a Lovely Day!

  3. Nice bright, happy squares! I used to sew way back in high school and made almost all my clothes. I had the best time choosing patterns, fabric and constructing the finished product. It, like many other things, fell by the wayside while I was busy raising my family.

  4. There's something complete about a circle in a square. Is it a balance thing? And these two paintings seem to balance one another--cool against warm.

    Happy piece-gathering. Happy pulling together. Happy balancing.

  5. Happy adventures are wished for this new project! You have done amazing things in my life in the area of home dec. When my husband came to my home for the first time when we were dating he exclaimed - Wow! Your apartment looks like it belongs in 'Apartment Life' Magazine! Of course your sewing abilites combined with your artistic eye when it came to fabric selection made it all come together! Great memories.

  6. Suki, Thank you, I have one more day of shopping...on my list is stencil paper, compressed craft sponges and temporary spray adhesive or maybe a surprise or two.

    Kim, I think the gathering time is one of the most exciting times in the creative process...all hopes, no disasters...there comes a time when getting to work is the next step!

    Willow, I was amazed at how few pattern books are available.My mother had a cedar chest filled with fabrics that she had bought on sale!

    San, How good to have your words of encouragement!

  7. Karen, I remember those rattan chairs and the cushions I covered...we turned that little apartment into a cozy spot. I also remember the couch and chairs were not so comfortable...oh well, they looked good!

  8. My niece, Jack, thought they were a fruit and a vegetable - an orange and an avocado (I didn't correct her about the avocado).

    Good luck with the sewing machine:)

    ID Chris

  9. So unique, creative!
    Love enlarging and seeing the tiny bits of gold and silver, all sparkly.
    Oh, the 'gathering' aspect. Just this week I used some objects in collage that I'd gathered many years ago. You just never know when you'll use something,,,,so it's great being a pack rat!
    Hunting and gathering is good.
    HAve fun with that new machine!

  10. I had a close look at these two paintings, I love how the wire wraps around both in different ways, it makes you eye want to go round and round the canvas! The gold leaf adds a lovely sparkle, no one could walk straight past without looking at these.
    I also used to sew, making wall hangings, toys etc and I had a huge collection of bits and pieces, which had to go in a move. I wish I had them now, I would love to incorporate them into a painting .... mmm ... lots of possibilities, thanks for the nudge, Mary Ann!

  11. Mary Ann - these are really lovely - I know I've said this before, but your color sense is so yummy!

  12. Babs, I know just what you mean, I have found saved items from years and years ago...anazing isn't it!

    Diane, I don't think we ever lose our desire from another time...sewing was an important part of my childhood and young adulthood.

    Jeane, I love that you like these little pieces and I think I'll show them altogether just for the fun of it...a look back at something I did a year or so ago.

  13. I love these canvases and the 9 assembled above - are they on stretched canvases? - love squared circles and grids - beautiful and rich

    xox - eb.

  14. oh, i like these very much, mary ann... the possibilities seem endless to me. i think i could see circles inside squares forever and not tire of them...