One of the ways I work involves "letting the piece tell me what it wants". Or to be a bit more specific, often I have an idea in my head. I start thinking about what I have that might work to come up with the picture or concept. Then when I find a suitable background or what I might need to make the background I lay it out on my table.
Then I start looking for what I have that might go on the background to make up the idea. I pull bits out of cupboards or boxes and Audition them or to put it another way, Introduce them to the work. Some I really want, but they end up being a spring board to a better idea. Or, I realise I want them because I like them, not because they will work.
Sometimes things come into place straight away, but usually I leave them in the open so I can discover if it really does work or if it needs changes.
The new Fast Friday year is started with new sets of challenges based on Themes from Nature. The new challenge went up last Friday.
Nature Theme: Outer Space
Techniques: Different materials and embellishments
So I have been thinking about it and started the process above this morning.
Here are the pieces that seem to want to play in this work. At this point the actual position and sizes are not determined. And here are the pieces that were rejected.
Having said that, the piece in the very top of this photo might manage to make it's way back in somehow. The other pieces are silk and that one is cotton, so it doesn't play well. But the colours are great. Maybe it will be small pieces scattered somehow.
I want to explain something funny. You must have noticed all the large bits of card laying all over the table. Well, sometime ago, I realised I was designing all these things by laying them out on my cutting mats. and because I was auditioning items on a background which was laying on the teal green mat...everything seemed to get a bit of that colour in it! or at least, the combinations which were chosen were influenced by the mat, which acted like a teal green border! Often, then when the design was sorted, and sometimes even when I had got it nearly finished, I would put the piece on a skirt hanger and hang it on a cupboard door (innovative design wall!) to see what else it needed to finish. And somehow I would find the piece had lost life in some way.
At last it clicked that I was designing with the cutting mat surround! So, now I lay paper or large card down so I am not influenced.
By the way, I am a bit sad not to be trying to fit dragons into these challenges again. Last year's challenges , running from Sept '08 to Aug '09 were to be a theme, and the dragons were mine. However, because I was also using them for the Contemporary Quilt Journal Quilts, which runs from Jan '09 to Dec '09, I think I will still make dragons for those. I really only need to do 3 more. Because the size is 6x12 in, I might be able to do a dragon from similar items to the current Fast Friday challenge.
Can't you just see a Deep Space Dragon?