Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Meg's Mushroom, Take 2

Here is the new and improved version of Meg's Mushroom with the background of painted fabric I made in this post .  I added a second oak leaf and attempted to create some depth of field by placing it behind the little grassy sprouts. I also placed some of the pine needles behind the stem and used only 1 strand of a darker thread to try to make it appear as if it is farther in the background.
I worked hard on this one to re-create the little spots on the mushroom cap.  At first, I was only using conventional embroidery stitches, turkey knots and french knots.  But, I became increasingly dissatisfied with them as they did not adequately express the look and feel of the little bumpy spots in the inspiration photo.  So, I began to experiment as I was working - just trying different things.  I let go of the idea that I had to use a conventional, documented embroidery stitch, and I just focused on recreating the 'feeling' of those bumpy little spots. 
I was thrilled with the result.  The elongated, irregular and highly textured 'bumps' were just what I was looking for!  I wish I had starting making them at the beginning instead of close to the end.  I suppose my boredom and frustration drove me to just start experimenting.  I can't describe it, but I feel that I tapped into something.  I wasn't thinking so much as feeling my way to a solution.  Those little white bumps might not look like anything to get excited about, but for me they are.  They represent a step forward for me artistically.  I realized that I had been boxing myself in before by trying to 'stick to the rules', and that this small experience, this little taste of artistic freedom is the beginning of my freedom from the box.  That is my goal - freedom.  Freedom from the fear of failure and the confines of conventional thinking.  There is something inside an artist that is much deeper than thinking.  I tapped into that place for just a tiny moment - just long enough to let me know that it's there.

I continue to be amazed at how much I learn from these little projects.  I had a wonderful teacher that used to say, "We learn by doing."  That is so true.  The best way to learn something is to just jump in there and go for it and not worry about failure.  Every failure is a valuable lesson, and therefore, is nothing to fear! Now that this little guy is finished, I am looking forward to the next project and the lessons it holds for me. 

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