Earlier I posted about Matisse and the exhibit at the Met–something I would really like to see. This exhibition clearly demonstrates Matisse’s series work. I recently completed a Working in a Series workshop with Lisa Call. You can go to her website and see my comments and a few of the designs I came up with. I am not through with the design process by any means, but it’s a start. Matisse was one of the artists that Lisa wrote about as part of our education.
I started out thinking I would do a series about layers, something I’ve been thinking about for a few years. (A trip through the mountains will do that to you.) The piece above was woven with that in mind, so I took the bones of that piece and started to expand on it. I didn’t like anything I did. Nothing! Finally I just took that wedge shape and expanded on it.
This is what I came up with. Still not loving it, but it’s acceptable. And this is what I used to get myself weaving again. At least it’s something! What I have found is that as I sit there weaving, more ideas are coming. Funny how that works, isn’t it? More on wedges next time.
Who weaves in a series?
Have you seen this? If not the actual exhibit, but articles about the exhibit? This Matisse exhibition is right up my alley, and I would LOVE to see it. Below is a quote from the NYTimes.
“…this exhibition …sheds new light on Matisse’s penchant for copying and working in series.”
The exhibition at the Met will be up until March 17, 2013. Not only do these painting show his series work, but also glimpses of the process. The review likens these paintings as an “excavation.” How interesting! Also interesting is this bit:
In the 1930s Matisse began having black-and-white photographs taken of his paintings at regular intervals as he worked on them.
Maybe some wisdom for the weavers among us. Take pictures before it rolls past the breast beam! Because tapestry is slow, and I weave on a horizontal loom, I do write down date and how I began the piece, so that when I finally get to the end, I can do the same thing in the finishing. But I love reading about his process (seeing the works would be even better, right?). As I’ve mentioned before, having the artist’s sketchbooks or some other depiction of process, well, that’s what fascinates me.
Going back to the first quote above, the copying part—and I took that partly as copying “masters” but also his own work–maybe that would be useful to improve one’s own weaving and carrying forth the design into new territory. What do you think?
In the meantime, I may need to buy the catalogue for this exhibit. At least it’s cheaper than a trip to NYC!