Jan 292015
 

I often tell people that I truly do not know what my constructions are going to look like until they are done. Though I am not a painter, I imagine that an artist in chalk, watercolors, or oil, etc. can, as they work on a piece, change things as they go, change the expression of a face, the placement of a line or figure. That is not the case with my work. I may think I know what it will be when I begin the design, I may aim towards a particular effect, but as I lay down the threads, it is a continuing time of discovery.  Admittedly, it can also be a time of disappointment.

Rose - $2200

A disappointing Center

For instance, in The Rose I imagined the lighter centers of each petal to be closer to the center circle.  But I did not know that until the placement of the supporting screws was decided, the backing was drilled, crews placed and painted and I had already completed several layers of thread.  If I am commissioned to do it again, I will certainly discuss a redesign.

How the colors will play out, how each layering and their proximity will affect the perceived color is always a surprise.  But my continued amazement comes from the curves and three dimensional forms that appear from a simple layering of straight lines.  There are no curves in my art, yet the eye creates them.  The mind creates the patterns.  That process is often one I can not anticipate.

Penetrating Flesh - $1000

Aggrivation

In the first post after I redesigned my website, I included several photos constructing my latest work, Aggravation.  The name should convey some of the emotional attitude of the process.  It took longer than I expected.  But the finished project is very compelling to me.

CloseUp on Blue

Aggravation – Detail blue

In the blue area the lines form a rounded triangular pyramid going from light to a darker blue.  But the red area is the one that has inspired me.  It is actually two constructions of seven threads, each one uses only two sides of the triangle.  On one side, the progression of colors goes from dark red to orange, on the other, it is reversed.  But the most interesting thing to me is the shape it creates, almost a teardrop in reverse.  This is, unfortunately, very hard to see in a two dimensional photograph.

CloseUp on Red

Aggravation – Detail Red

The process can be a frustrating one.  I suppose I should post once on the frustration of knots, or missing a the right screw, or finding an error in a layer you have completed, or dropping the spool and trying to undo the tangle that results while half way through a layer.  Dental tools are useful for that.

But my joy comes from the visual surprises and discovery that ensues.  Hopefully each project will give me inspiration anew.

RSM

Jan 262015
 
IMG_0216 for web

First Circle

When  I first began this exploration, it was important to me to begin to understand how the shape of the posts or screws affected the creation of curves within the thread structure.  So I began, sitting in a coffee shop in Santa Barbara with a cork board, pins, thread and cups of coffee.

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First Square

Circles began the exploration, which were pretty obvious, mandala’s came to mind.  Triangles came  next and squares, which turned out very interesting.

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First Triangle

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An exploration in overlapping

But these all had focus points primarily in the center.  They were also all generally regular shapes.

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Looking into the possibility of a Yin Yang. I was not happy with the result. The problem is in the spacing necessary for the posts between the two shapes.

So more days of coffee, pins and thread, exploring different shapes that came to mind and seeing how color affected the images.

Strangely, the greatest problem in the beginning was not the patterns, the threads, the colors, or the screws.

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Cutting a circle created the Fishtail

It was the framing.

RSM

Jan 252015
 
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My latest, with some of the 45 colors required.

Thank you for staying with me through this time of transition.  I am reworking my site so as to more easily communicate with you all the new art and events that come my way.  Here I will also try to convey some of my thoughts as to images that come to mind and ways I struggle to bring them to fruition.

While the original design begins in the computer, this is the final process, that of stringing out the layers of color in each of the shapes.

It is time consuming, but rewarding as I see the patterns take shape.  The placement on screws of some layers are easy to see.  Others are impossible, and require counting each screw to set the placement correctly.

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Tying the knots

I am still discovering how each placement of screws changes the ultimate pattern, or as in the small triangle in this pattern or in tree, threading over only a smaller selection of screws changes patterns profoundly.

I hope you enjoy the changes in my website, and can gain some insight into the processes I use.

RSM

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Taping down the errant ends