Saturday, January 3, 2009

Fiber Art: The Divine Marilyn

This piece, though sold and gone, is without a doubt, one of my favorites. I miss Marilyn. The title "Cursum Perficio" was the name of her home in Hollywood, as I recall. (the research I did at the time is mingled with the dust bunnies of my grey matter...)
I broke barriers with the construction of this piece. There were portions of the hair that were my actual hair--saved from going short after years of letting it grow out-- I had wefted and then gently pulled through the fabric. The front of the dress has, ummmm, *breasts*---i.e. padding to give it dimension. I remember showing this at quilt guild and the lady helping to show it all of a sudden blurts out, "Oh my God! She has BOOBS!"
Well, she did... ;) The face is fabric I very lightly printed, then took Prismacolor pencils and totally redrew the portrait. It was so delicate in color, but it needed the punch of the lipstick to make it work with the monochrome fabrics surrounding. I used small images from when she was *Norma Jean* (at the beginning of her modeling career) and ironed them on to silk organza, then used a blank film strip image to frame each out. They had the slick look and feel of a piece of 35 mm film.
You really need to click on the image to see all the detail. It is subtle, subtle.
But of course Marilyn isn't. She's dimensional and sexual and ready to step out and sigh and wink and giggle. That was what I wanted.
And do you for one minute think this quilt won anything?

Nope, the one's people love/buy are NEVER the ones the judges choose.
Which is a lesson to all:

Make art your heart loves, that you are passionate about and that you can fall in love with again later, long after it is gone. Otherwise, you're just fooling yourself and selling out to people you don't know and will never see again.

Making art means building backbone and a tough skin, but when it works, it is so very much worth it!


mizbee said...

ok, lemme give this blogging thing another try. i love love love your post with marilyn about your take on art-making. i like marilyn a lot as well. oh my how i wish we could get together more often, for one thing, i would love to pick your brain, dust bunnies and all! would like to learn more about printing on fabric for one thing.

this weekend was a great work weekend for me and it happened almost by accident. seems that when i took down my old calendar i realized that i had gained one (and only one) space bigger than about a 4" square, which i could use to hang yet another piece of art. inspired, i began to gather odds and ends, including some lovely paperclay pins i had made but never sold. the idea was just to enjoy myself and make a piece just for me and my little empty spot. what happened was something that i have paid lip service to, and sometimes even acted upon, but in this case, sometimes is just not enough.

i discovered that because i was creating a piece just for myself, i didn't much give a damn about all of the intelligent art rules. . . after all, there was only myself to please. the project also had the fun challenge of using only what i had on hand. it was exactly like when the cupboard is bare is when i really enjoy cooking...almost the only time, because it calls upon resourcefulness and imagination.

so today i have a new piece that i love, and the clear as crystal realization that to create for oneself every time one can, is the way to go. i don't usually enjoy doing commissioned work, except for those few blessed patrons with the heart and wisdom to let this horse have her own head, but too often, even when doing "my own" work, i am curtseying to some invisible patron. what a fine, sacred even, new year's gift this experience was!

speaking of sacred, so delighted to hear that you too keep your christmas celebration going by leaving up your tree, etc., and keeping the spirit warm in your heart. this, by the way, is very slavic and in keeping with orthodox christianity, with christmas beginning very early in dec and continuing until jan 14, (jan 7 being orthodox christmas.)

love the blog and miss anne!

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

I envy you the art-time Mizz B! Mines just been *sort and pirch* time bt that has to happen to.
Yes, that moment when everything goes together just right and there is no one to tell you yea or nay, when you're in the zone---it is so wonderful! I don't do well with commissions with picky people; luckily the church banners are whatever I want to do, so I take those jobs. They are few and far between.
As to my holiday cycle---it has always been sort of programmed in me. Always thought the taking down of the tree the day after was awful and could not say why. I suppose we are all anciently and genetically programmed to our likes and dislikes and actions and reactions. Sort of a Jung theory, but it best describes me and how I function....for the most part. Or maybe why there is this thread amongst artists as a whole on similiarities in design, process, product. Hmmmmmmm....deep thoughts....the dust bunnies are fighting back!

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