Saturday, April 20, 2013

A girl can dream, can't she?

"Night Garden"  26"x36"  1988

I have been trying to envision what I will want to weave after the October tapestry is done. As it's past the mid-point, this is when I begin thinking of, and even designing for, the next piece. I want the next one to be the April tapestry. So I already know a few things about it: 1) it will be a square format (as all the Calendar tapestries are), and 2) as April is my birth month, I really want to weave this one just for me!

For some reason, I have been thinking back to some of my very early tapestries. I loved the simplicity of them (especially as I weave complex, fussy shapes on the current piece.)

The tapestry above is the first tapestry that I designed in my sleep! I dreamed that I walked into a gallery that was hosting an exhibit of my work, and this piece (which didn't exist even in my head then) was the first piece I saw. I still remember thinking, "wow, I love that!" in the dream. It is also the only image I remembered from the dream. But I didn't dream it clearly enough to just 'take a photo' of what was in my mind. It took months before I was able to sit down and, in one sitting then, paint out a maquette of the image and have it click in my mind as what I had seen in my dream. I still have a great fondness for this bright piece, mainly because of how it was created. Also, it was included in the Tapestry Now exhibit, and a few other exhibits where it did well, and made me feel like maybe I really was a tapestry designer/weaver.

So, with the memory of this piece in my head, I have been trying to fall asleep and dream the next design. Sigh. I wish it worked that way; that I could just tell myself to dream up my next design. So far, though, no luck. I may just have to hammer a design out of my hard head. Sometimes it works that way. I am often amused by the question, "how do you come up with ideas?" because there is no magic formula. Not that I've found, at any rate. Sometimes you will be gifted with an idea in a dream, and sometimes you have to really fight to get one.

I still have awhile before the October tapestry is off the loom. In the meantime, if you know of a magic dream potion, let me know, OK?


Anonymous said...

Reminds me of an interview I heard with Tom Waits. I googled and didn't find the interview itself, but this has the anecdote that stuck with me:


K Spoering said...

Great link, Ryan. And it led me to this one, with Leonard Cohen talking about songwriting:

“But why shouldn’t my work be hard? Almost everyone’s work is hard. One is distracted by this idea that there is such a thing as inspiration, that it comes fast and easy.” 

Asked how his songs do come, he smiled and softly said, “If I knew where the good songs came from, I’d go there more often. [Songwriting] is much like the life of a Catholic nun. You’re married to a mystery.”