The latest in my Feelings work was difficult to create. An interesting side effect of making a piece named “Powerless” was the actual feeling of powerlessness that entered into the design and completion.
I name my art pieces before I actually start to make them, which is probably the opposite of what a majority of artists do, but it’s how I work — the name gives me the art. To name the abstract shapes used in my Feelings series, I hold a drawing of the shape in one hand and a list of both positive and negative feelings in the other. I look at the shape, then skim the feelings list. At some point, never too long into it, one of the feelings on the list will sort of pop out at me and resonate as the proper feeling for that particular shape. This is what happened with Powerless.
I rarely feel powerless. Ever. It’s just not how I see myself. So to create an unfamiliar feeling in fiber was a challenge and an education. When I was making the other pieces – Inflamed, Inquisitive, Frisky – I was unaware the feeling OF the piece informed the feeling FOR the piece but with Powerless, that was quite evident from the beginning.
The final piece bears little resemblance to the original sketch. I went through a variety of templates and design ideas before I settled on the figure trapped in a web. I considered ditching the piece and moving on to the next (one doesn’t always have to finish what one starts), but the experiment was too interesting. It took quite a lot of effort to finally “see” Powerless in fiber. At that point, it finally came together.
I will leave it to the viewer to decide if this piece evokes an image or impression of powerlessness. All I know is I’m happy to have my power back.
Constructive criticism and comments are always welcome. Please share your thoughts!
Powerless (link to poem)
Next up: Back to the positive feelings with the next piece! And in direct contrast to Powerless, I can already see this next feeling finished in fiber. I can’t wait to get started!
Info about my Feelings series: I interpret my random abstract doodles as emotions. The guiding point is the outer boundary of the doodle. The boundary evokes the feeling. From there, I contemplate how to bring that particular feeling alive in fiber.