Making A Memory – My Musings on the Origins of Creativity, Part One

Last fall I started working on this piece. My initial half-baked plan was to create a larger mixed media artwork that incorporated embroidery thread and beads on an acrylic skin. An acrylic skin is just dried layers of acrylic paint or medium. If you paint on a surface that the acrylic doesn’t like to adhere to you can carefully pull the skin up off the support after it’s dry. It’s sort of like the weird flexible film you’d get when peeling dried glue off your hands in elementary school. (I loved doing that!) At any rate, I didn’t have a story or concept of meaning tied to the artwork when I started. I was mainly just curious about taking my earlier, tentative experiments with these materials further, and using them in a more ambitious project.

Stitching and beadwork are labor intensive and pretty slow-paced, especially considering my clever decision to begin by stitching large groups of concentric circles all over the background. To hold back the tedium I would turn on some good music, try to relax into the repetitive rhythm of stitching, and let my mind wander around. I found myself meditating on several questions. Where does the impulse to create come from? Why am I drawn to creating art? Where there any artists in my family tree? Why am I so interested in using these materials in particular?

Over the coming weeks I’ll tell you more about where my thoughts took me.

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