Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Ya' got ta have Faith...

Sometimes when I am weaving, I am focusing so hard on the small piece of the image I am weaving, and thinking of what the image "should be," I find myself thinking, 'how I'm doing this can't turn out right!'

On the tapestry I'm working on, the image will be of skiffs (boats, for we land-locked folk). I actually didn't design this piece as a tapestry. I did it as an oil painting first, but as I looked at it more, it demanded to be woven. So, that puts me at a disadvantage to begin with, because when I paint a maquette (which is a painted image to work out colors and design problems and is intended from the start to be woven), I paint with weaving in mind. I did not do that for this piece. So now, I have several things going on: I have Boats, I have a Painting of boats, and now I have a Tapestry in progress that will be of boats.

Often when I teach, I will have a student that just gets frustrated. (It's usually a perfectionist.) She will say, "but it just doesn't LOOK like a mountain (or tree, building, or whatever)." I have to gently remind her, "No, but then it's NOT a mountain, my dear, it's a TAPESTRY of a mountain." Therein truly does lie the solution, if only she can see it.

So, back to me: I also frequently have to remind myself that, 1. I am not weaving a Boat; 2. I am not weaving a Painting of a boat; 3. I am weaving a Tapestry of boats. And, because of the way a tapestry is woven, I can only see a little bit of the tapestry at a time. So I have to remind myself to have Faith in what I see in the maquette, in my skills to weave something in tapestry that approximates the colors and shapes I see in the small area I'm working on, and in my experience that it will all come together to be the image in fiber that I have imagined it to be. Sometimes that does require a LOT of faith! I know a number of weavers who tell me they do a lot of un-weaving and re-weaving in the course of creating a tapestry. When I feel like un-weaving an area, I get up and stand back and look at it from as great a distance as I can; I isolate only that area in the maquette and reconsider it; and I tell myself to "Have a little bit of Faith." I rarely un-weave.

I have had to talk myself into having faith in the area I've been working on the past few days. As it is progressing, I'm getting more confident that the design choices I've made will turn out to be the right ones. I hope I'm right. Faith has a lot of that in it.... Hope, I mean.

"Faith is the substance of things hoped for..."

1 comment:

Amy said...

You are so impressive, Kathy. I can't help but show off your pictures to the people in the lab. Keep posting, I'm reading!

love, a