The second month of the Book RR I am involved with is coming to a close.
This afternoon, I put the final stitches to the page I have been working on, and on Monday I will set it off on its journey to Chriss in Newcastle in England for her contribution.
This month I have worked on a page with the theme "Openings". This project belongs to Melissa in New Zealand, and the theme offers all sorts of possibilities. For a while I considered featuring the Opening of a Show (with me as the Star), but do you know, although I get great pleasure out of my craft, and working at it makes me really happy, I have never been good at light-hearted subjects or poking fun at things. I think I am worried that it will make my work more ephemeral, trite or kitsch, and that is definitely something I want to avoid....although I admire people who can do it well.
So I went down a more familiar path, and chose two "openings" in the natural world...a hollow log, and an opening in the reef.
For the marine scene, I did something for the first time...I used some paper. The fish came swimming straight towards me from the pages of the current National Geographic. He was the perfect size and colouring for my purposes. So out came the Mixed Media Artist's staple stand-by, the Gel Medium, and he was placed in the cool green waters of my handpainted background.
The hollow log is actually something I have done before, on a larger scale in a wallhanging. It was a fleeting image that I saw on a Natural History programme on TV many years ago. It became imprinted on my mind, and I was not happy until I had interpreted it in fabric. The surrounding log was done in Crazy patchwork style, using a variety of fabrics and dyed laces. I think it was one of my earliest Crazy patch projects. I gave it away as a gift to some friends, and when their marriage broke up, I believe the husband kept it, because it had been given for his birthday. I hope he still enjoys it.
The log page proved a bit more of a challenge, and I ended up doing some unpicking, even after I had joined the two pages together back to back. I am much happier with it now. I always have to work at getting the balance and contrast right before I am happy with a project. Colour is something that comes easily to me...design is something I find it bit more challenging. But taking part in projects such as these puts one on a great learning curve, as they challenge you, and take you out of your comfort zone!