The Red Dress

This week has brought pleasant surprises.

With an exhibit coming up in February (at Katalyast in Old Town), I’ve been working at a pace to be ready on time. But, the red dress series, as I had originally envisioned it, was eluding me. It wasn’t that I disliked the work that was emerging, and I will probably include the pieces in the show, but I had begun the whole process with something else in mind…

simple, fresh, focusing on the power of gesture.

I wanted to explore a woman’s relationship with herself and the world around her through her simple interaction with a dress.

What goes through our heads as we stand in a dressing room—do we feel sexy or repugnant? As we don an item of clothing are we girding ourselves for battle, opening ourselves up to intimacy, or putting on a costume? What do others see that we don’t, won’t, or can’t?

In talking with another friend who is prepping for a show, I realized I wanted and needed to get back to the original plan. Suddenly sketches started pouring out. It was like they were just waiting for me to open the door. The finished art since then feels like I wanted it to feel at the outset.

I think I was trying too hard. Now I’m having fun just making the marks and I’m very excited to see this body of work all come together to tell its story.

Best Laid Plans_sm

I started work on the show with this piece. Since it’s about preparation for creation it seemed an apt image for a beginning. It’s entitled “The Best Laid Plans”. My relationship with sewing machines has traditionally been adversarial. When I used to sew clothes I would always put something in backwards and have to rip it out. Usually that was because I was pushing beyond exhaustion to finish something in a single sitting. I’ve rarely sewed as much as a seam without the bobbin clogging or running out of thread. It all seems so exciting at the beginning, but I’ve learned this is not my area of creation. Still, I wanted to acknowledge this process. I love the tools and the fabrics, searching for just the right pattern…and how patterns are constructed.