Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Thing with Feathers....

There is a piece of a poem that has been circulating through my mind for some time now and because of that I wanted to use it in one of my creations. The poem goes like this....

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all....

By Emily Dickenson

Maybe it's the bird connection, maybe it's just the magnificence of Emily's poetry... I don't know why this poem has become a jingle that lingers and pesters and sings to me at times but it has. Because I love this poem and because it has been right at the surface for so long now I've been wanting to explore it and own it by using it in my art. But like the thing with feathers it's been ever present but illusive and I've not found the right place for it. Last week it became the text of a mixed media piece I've been working on.

The art work itself has been lingering for quite a while as well. I did the background months ago during one of those slop it on paint sessions and the stitching followed about a week later. The wire nest was next and although I knew I wanted a bird for the piece I was stalled out for a while trying to imagine the right medium to use for that bird. I wanted the look of an old illustration but didn't want to draw or paint it myself. So a photocopy seemed the best answer but I didn't fancy the look of a piece of paper glued on. It seemed too one dimensional in comparison to all the 3d work that I had wired or glued on. But I didn't want another sculptural element either. It would upset the balance between 2d and 3d to add another 3d piece. SO I let the entire work alone for a couple of weeks and let my subconscious work on the solution without me. :) Finally I decided to print out the image on fabric and then stitch it on.

After that I added the text. I wrote it on with a watersoluble pencil and then added a bit of water. Unfortunately or fortunately it blurred my lettering. So I have to address that yet. Do I want it legible? Or is it fine if only I know what it says and the text becomes a blurry design element? What do you think? Leave it or make it readable? I could do another print out of the poem and stitch that over the handwritten text..... that would accentuate the contrast between the printed and the painted elements of the piece further...... I also want to add some eggs to the nest. I'm thinking paper mache but maybe clay....Maybe I should make some feathers and add those to the nest instead of the eggs. I've too many ideas! HELP ME PLEASE!!!! Maybe one of you wants to just tell me what to do....;)



4 comments:

Plain Jane said...

hmmm. tough questions. The collage is looking really great, but you're right about not being able to read the poem (which I also love). here's what I'd try. With paint or sheer collage paper, I'd blurr the writing even more, so that it just becomes a texture in the background. Then I think I'd stamp the poem. love that you printed the bird on fabric and sewed it on--great solution! I think another piece of fabric might be too much.
and yes to the eggs!

Single Stone Studios said...
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Single Stone Studios said...

I like Plain Jane's solution to the poem. And yes to the eggs but I would also add some fabric scraps to the nest kind of woven in - but I'm kind of on a kick lately with the fabric scrap nests and I just haven't gotten it to work right yet. So consider your source before taking that suggestion ;)

Also - LOVE LOVE LOVE the branch and leaves at the top of this piece. The fabric with the stiching over the text which lay flat next to the beefy limb - seriously!! My eyes just like looking at the lovliness of it.

Jen said...

Thank you thank you thank YOU!!!I love both of your ideas! I will get to work and post this piece in the next couple of days!!!!