Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I decided to start a blog. I’ve been toying with the idea for some time to keep me on track, I hope, and more motivated. I’ve been having difficulties organizing my thoughts properly recently and thought that maybe, just maybe, a blog might help.
Among the many things that need help organizing is my sewing agenda. I get too many ideas and end up rushing into many projects either too quickly or not fast enough, getting bored and starting many at one time. This often leads to the feeling of “I’ll never get anything finished” and “why did I bother”.

The goal is to get organized, motivated and finishing projects left for way to long. The other goal would be to have some minor coherent thought and plans executed for once.
The items at hand would be the massive stash of fabric I have unfortunately accumulated over the past three and a half years I’ve been sewing. I bought a brand new machine back in April in the hopes that I could finally get something done. While the machine has no problems, has been used more frequently than the old Kenmore I previously owned, things are still not getting done. I just have to high of expectations for myself and never seem to meet them. I have a mound of UFO’s (un-finished objects) stacked up next to my machine and a pile I WANT to get too desperately but never have. I can plan till I turn blue at what I want to sew, tell myself that I will sew once I get home from work, but fall through, end up on the computer chatting or playing “The Sims 2.” So it’s obvious that this is a major problem. There is nearly 2000 metres of fabric in the basement, all of which are mine. I’m not even counting what my mother has.

The second problem is trying to go back to school. I dropped out of ACAD in 2006 due to illness and it’s something that I’ve regretted since. I’m dying to finish my last two years there. This means I need a portfolio. I have one, but ACAD from what I know requires pieces to be no older than 2-3 years old. That leaves me with virtually nothing in my portfolio other than a few minor vectors and what is currently in my sketchbook. For a third year entrance I would need 20-25 pieces done and delivered to them by March 15, 2010 leaving with about six months to do a lot of work. I’ll probably work on extra to make sure its solid enough. The biggest problem though is the space. Being at home in my parents basement leaves me no room to leave paints, canvas, paper and crayons out. If I was to plan out a portfolio right now in terms of media choice and what I would include, it would sort of follow this pattern.

3 Digital works, vectors, designs, photography
3-5 tonal studies, greyscale (charcoal, graphite, ink)
3-5 pastel paintings
5-10 paintings, acrylic and watercolour
3-5 Mixed media; collage
3-5 silkscreen and textiles

Subject matter is something that would follow. As someone who prefers photo-realism over anything else I’d like to try and branch out, experiment a bit. In my second year I was very, occupied with ancient societies, their designs, culture and art along with mechanical things like cars. Mixed media and collage are my weak points; I’ve never been very strong at incorporating extra elements into a painting or drawing. It’s something that I need to improve on. My declared major is painting, which is why the vast majority of any new portfolio would have a large chunk dedicated to just painting. As for the sketchbook, well, it would allow the judges to see the process, colour palettes, failed compositions, doodles, progression and information that they would otherwise see in the class but can’t with a completed portfolio. I find it quite important to include for them, I was often told that I included a tonne of information and thought behind each piece I did, colour samples and the like.

Ultimately I would like to incorporate the use of fibres into my paintings either via embellishing or direct subject matter. I keep scraps from the garments I make which could add interesting texture to canvas or paper and maybe even supply an alternative ground.
That’s where I’m going with all this. Trying working things out, finding a direction and recording what does and doesn’t work. It would enable me to have quick access to what I was thinking at certain times. I could write down a progression of new techniques tried, update with photos and keep it for my future reference. This blog isn’t going to just be dedicated to painting and art. As mentioned above I sew and that too will be featured here when new items are started and finished.

I’d like to try and keep a list of pattern numbers recorded and the progress of the portfolio on the side as well as a tally as to how many metres I have used up to date. I keep a chart on my sewing room white board so adding it to this blog shouldn’t’ be too difficult.

Onto other things. I am currently working on a wardrobe contest at

The goal of the contest is to by the end of November have 10 pieces that co-ordinate with each other. We were given extra time to think about and start planning the wardrobe and co-ordinating fabrics and pieces and many did storyboards which showed their choices. There are some great plans being displayed. For myself I chose a theme of “The Pink Panther” which are colours of Rose/Pink, grey, ivory and black accented with gold. The colours came from the interior and exterior of my father’s 1959 Rambler Ambassador. This car has been an inspiration for many projects in the past; it is such a unique vehicle.

That was the storyboard I worked on at the beginning with a few patterns tossed around matched to fabrics. I can easily say that it is changing and quite a bit. There are a few pieces that are still the same but the fabric linked to them has changed. I’m debating right now whether or not to add a corset into the mix which would be worn over the blouses much like a vest. It is still to be decided.

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