Sunday, September 23, 2012

My Maverick Failure

I have a hard time blogging about what didn't work, I don't even like looking at the picture!  Whenever I hear our new challenge,  I usually spend a few days thinking about the possibilities.  I don't like to wait too long because I worry I'll be stuck near the deadline and not be able to come up with anything.  My brain was set on a maverick being a person, not a moment or a thing, despite discussions to the contrary.  I don't usually interpret people in my work, for whatever reason, I'm not comfortable with it.  I should have listened to myself on this one.


My idea was to think of someone I thought of as maverick, and Muhammed Ali came to mind pretty quickly.  The choices he has made through out his life have gone against society's choices for him, and he has stood strong for what he believes in and taken the punishment for it.  Once I settled on Muhammed Ali, I had to decide how to get my ideas across in an abstract way.  This is where I muddled it up.  I thought about his Parkinson's and how tortured he looked at the Olympics and wanted to portray this.  I now think that was a mistake because the Parkinson's is not who he is, it's just something he's got.  I went ahead and made the outside black and blue fabric, using wool felt in the batting to shrink it, trying to portray the gray matter in the brain.  This was ok, but I think I was worried people wouldn't know I was portraying a person, or who it was, so I thought I'd be clever by adding his eyes in a sheer fabric. Big mistake. I liked it at the time I was putting it together, but that didn't have staying power. So I set out to "fix" it, which is usually a mistake. The orange fabric is sheer also, and I stitched on it thinking you could see the remainder of the face subtlety, but it just kept getting worse.  I finally added cheesecloth because doesn't cheesecloth hide a lot of mistakes and tie the whole thing together?  Yuk.
So, Del, I think you were the one who asked us to talk more about our process.  I don't usually make sketches, I usually just think out the whole piece in my brain before I start, making changes as I go along.  I'm usually pretty successful with this method, but once in a while, it just doesn't work out.
In the mean time, I went back to the suggestions Brenda and Terry sent me about medical mavericks and came up with something I like a lot, and is true to my style of work. You will see it October 1st.

4 comments:

Del said...

Thanks for being willing to show your "warts". Sometimes it is more helpful to see how someone goes awry instead of just seeing a finished work. Eager to see what you have created that you "like a lot".

Kristin L said...

Thanks for sharing your failure. I think it is a good learning experience and shows that gorgeous work doesn't just flow from our hands, we have to work at it -- and sometime we work very hard. I look forward to seeing your medical piece. I wonder how very different it will be from this.

Brenda Gael Smith said...

At first I didn't see the full transparency. I just saw the eyes and something like a bright yellow hijab. Now I know Muhammed Ali is Muslim but...

I look forward to seeing your official contribution to the challenge.

Helen Conway said...

Yes, I thought man in an egg shaped burka too!