Tuesday, March 18, 2014

"Two"

Occasionally some of the multicolored pieces of my life come together...once in awhile. For example, I introduced my first-year university students to Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot, a play that reflects the human being's inability to control or do anything in an absurd world. However, what particularly caught my attention this time around (it's one of those masterpieces that should be reread every few years...or decades) was the number "two." Each character appears with one other character, linked by invisible bonds. And then, Becket wrote two acts, not the usual one, three or five that make us feel comfortable. Why two? 

Besides making us feel uneasy, two acts are all that is required to show the repetitive nature of the waiting...a third act would be redundant. We are caught in a loop or running on a treadmill. So I have been reflecting on "two."

In the meantime, I began playing with watercolors in a "Rainbow" instruction manual, which I fished out of the trash basket when a brilliant flash of recycling ingenuity hit me. 







One design over two pages appears whole.













One design repeated on each of two pages gives the "eye" look. Two elements that contribute to a whole, like eyes, ears, and eyebrows that give symmetry to our faces.

         




The vertical version appeals to me more.  I'm breaking that old composition rule about 2/3 and 1/3. After all, Beckett thought "two" had interest.











The construction of a page in my textile sketchbook/journal demonstrates that there is no method to my madness. 




I thought my trusty glue stick would make the job easier, but pins worked much better. An oddball logcabin developed. As the work progressed the fabrics became more and more frayed.







Now, I do realize that easier ways exist to create similar images. You might say, "Well, Nadia, why didn't you just paint onto fabric? Better yet, you could photocopy the watercolor onto fabric." Yes, good points. 




















However, the satisfaction of doing this does not depend on the look of the finished work, but on the exploration of what the fabric can do, or what I can do to the fabric. I am not looking for a painterly effect, as such. Rather, looking at the green watercolor paint makes me wonder how far one can push green fabrics and threads.


Another art quilt serves as a frame for this page.

My conclusion? A third element would have balanced the composition. Two elements make me a bit uncomfortable, it's a bit edgy--I think I'll do "two" again to explore the possibilities of edginess. 

And, of course, (need you ask?) I much prefer the textile version.

Linked to Nina Marie's "Off the Wall Friday."

18 comments:

Silvana Vituriano said...

I love your color combinations.

Connie Rose said...

I love what you've done here. How very cool using fabric scraps to replicate watercolor painting!

patricia said...

and using Beckett as a springboard--very cool--I'll bet you're a great teacher!

Magpie's Mumblings said...

I like the concept of two! There is a so-called 'rule' that everything should be in uneven numbers. Well, who sez? I don't think the artistic police are going to lock us up if we go against the 'rules'.

Susan Christensen said...

Fascinating post, Nadia. Now you've got me thinking about two...
and yes, these blues and greens are marvelous.
Rainbow book - WOW what fun!
-sus

The Idaho Beauty said...

What fascinating observations. And to me our whole love affair with fabric negates any question about finding easier ways to create similar images. And any of us who follow your blog know that easy seldom figures into your fiber explorations... ;-)

No way to get to where you got with your fabric log cabins any other way - they are rich and wonderful.

Carole Reid said...

Hi Nadia. I wouldn't have expected anything else! You love working with fabric and I love what you do with it. I hope you are well. xo Carole
oh yes.... the cat hat tickles!

Martha said...

Interesting concept to break the rule of odd numbers. I had not thought that even numbers feel uneasy or even edgy. But they do! Great exercise.

Kristen Donegan said...

I like this investigation Nadia and what you did with it- you are so at home with the fabric it really shows!
and I think I like two- not thinking about it- it's relational and cozy to me...but thinking about it why is this odd number rule so predominant
a good question :)

Anneliese said...

Nadia, I love what you are writing about Becket - your thoughts about two acts.....and of course I LOVE the two green fabric compositions. It couldn't be better for my eyes.
Thanks for visiting my blog

Mo Crow said...

love the spontaneity of these cloth and thread colour sketches!

deemallon said...

to stitch fabric scraps, raw edged to a surface is good fun... and to make a sketch exercise of it to explore color - great idea!

Kathleen Loomis said...

Interesting to note that instead of the traditional sewed log cabin, which starts at the center and moves out, you are starting at the margins and moving in. I wonder if that makes a difference in the essential character of the composition. Probably would take a lot of blocks to test this hypothesis.

Regina B Dunn said...

Very interesting how one thing leads to another and to a very nice composition.

Nellie's Needles said...

luv, luv, luv how your mind works!

luv, luv, luv the power and emotion you can evoke with a few brush strokes as well as few scraps of cloth.

luv how you can make my day!

knitnkwilt said...

A most interesting process. Isn't it amazing what changing the orientation does for a piece? And the fabric version is quite appealing.

Rachaeldaisy said...

It's so interesting that you're exploring the idea of 2 when often in our creative endeavours we use 3 or more. It's been a long time since I read Waiting for Godot, might be time I read it again.

O'Quilts said...

I love this...and I love the cat hat and I love all your support..hugs