This is how I have spent much of the week so far. A nasty bug has kept me at home since Monday. When I have been feeling up to it, I have been propped up in bed in a regal fashion working away on these two projects.
I have struggled with both of these pieces. In different ways, each one is quite different to what I normally do. The “Home Sweet Home” one was started on a total whim. I am not convinced I can achieve the look I am aiming for, but I don’t mind because it was started as a bit of a joke anyway.
“Who Killed Pedro?” is another matter altogether. I had wanted to again use the fish scale pattern I had tried in a previous project. There is something about the undulating pattern in shades of blue that I just love. As I think I mentioned before, it got me thinking of fishbowls and then around to the incident where my little brother killed his goldfish, Pedro, with Weetabix. There is quite a lot of “me” in this project, certainly a good dose of family history and I can clearly identify how the idea came to me.
It has been of interest to me to notice that this more experimental approach does not necessarily mean everyone else will like it. I have come to realise that if I am doing this for lots of “likes” on Instagram, for example, then I should just churn out very slight variations on a single theme. I remember talking to friend who makes a living as an artist and asking him if he couldn’t just do experimental work and produce more popular stuff all at the same time. He tried to explain that it simply wasn’t possible. In a way, I do understand that a little now. You have to focus your energies in one direction. For now, I want to experiment and push myself more to see what I can achieve.
With this little piece of work I really feel like I have done just that. I definitely ventured out of my comfort zone and I realised the image in my mind’s eye. I think I call that a job well done.
I would love to hear your thoughts on popularity and creative development. I don’t mean to suggest the two are mutually exclusive but my recent experience has taught me that sometimes they can work against each other. Incidentally, I think of that friend as a “proper” artist and myself as someone who paddles in the creative shallow end – that is probably a topic to expand upon in another post on another day!
I plan to frame this embroidery in a rectangular frame so when I’ve done that I will share another picture.