Slowly but surely the brain is emerging

After a brief hiatus earlier this year, I am back at my art table. I am not sure what was going on with me over the past couple of months, but I just couldn’t bring myself to start a new project. I have been marinating a few ideas and deciding on the best technical approach. But as much as I like to plan, some things only become evident when I actually start working.

One thing I have been thinking a lot about is what defines abstract art. Does it have to be completely detached from reality? How about when you take a couple perfectly recognizable objects and juxtapose them against each other in an unpredictable combination?

For this project, I started with the easy part and made a morning glory using traditional French beading techniques. I have made Morning Glory in the past, when all of my beadwork was focused on flowers.  In this case, I was debating whether or not to add the stamens, but given the fact that I would fold it, it wouldn’t have made much of a difference.  You would not be able to see the middle in the finished piece anyway.

So this part is recognizable, right? On to the next:

Just like in “Brilliant Mind”, I started making the brain portion of this work based on an image of a human brain coronal section from the Allen Brain Atlas.  As a matter of fact, I used exactly the same cutout. But this time, I used it to only create the perimeter of the cortex.  You might notice a thick black wire in the third image.  Initially, I tried making the perimeter out of thick wire and sewing it to the fabric, but it was too much of a pain. The wire wouldn’t fold properly and would not come out flat.  So I ended up threading the clear silver-lined seed beads onto thin silver wire and sewing it directly to the fabric.

But what is all of that stuff sticking out? 

This problem is precisely what has kept me from starting this project earlier.  I needed to figure out how to make the brain perimeter stick out from the fabric.  After considering several options, I decided to use many thin wires to connect the layers to each other. 

It looks just as frazzled as it made me feel!  Quite fitting.

Now here comes the juxtaposition.

I sewed the flower into the center of the brain! What could that possibly mean? Any ideas?

At this point, I stopped working on this project and abandoned it for a few weeks. I don’t even remember why. Maybe I was out of wire and had to order more? Everything is blurred these days…

This is what happens – if I take a short break from my project, I lose momentum and then have to force myself to get back into it again. Plus, while working, I always feel like I know exactly what I am doing (technique-wise) and that it’s just common sense.  But then after I come back from a break, I think – how did I do this again? This is especially true for when I come up with little tricks to make it easier. I end up forgetting them.

Anyway, now I am back and making progress again! Stay tuned for my next blog post, where I will show the finished piece and get into the meaning behind it.

Art is my emotional outlet and my oasis.  I use art to express my feelings and work through life issues.  Come join me on this journey of letting go of control and letting the creative process take over.  You will get access to all of the behind the scenes footage and see the major breakthroughs that translate into new artwork.

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