Sunday, October 19, 2014

Developing an Idea

Pansies and Pensamientos...

I recently enjoyed a blog written by my tapestry friend Rebecca Mezoff about the artist's struggle to bring an idea to fruition. Take time to read it here. She writes about author Ann Patchett's thoughts on a brilliant idea appearing, glowing in your mind, and the effort it takes to bring it to life on the printed page. It caused me to think of an idea I've had simmering for a couple years.

I've been working on a series that came to me in one flash while having a conversation with my daughter. Since that time I've been pushing my way through this idea. The working title of the series is Pensamientos, the spanish word for both "thoughts" and "pansies". That fact has many layers of meaning for me. When I dig into one area it's easy to get lost and confused.

Like Patchett, I initially have no clear vision in my head to lead me through the weaving of this idea, just the strong belief that it needs to be developed.

I remember showing a piece to artist and tapestry designer Yael Lurie in a workshop 25 years ago. I had been thinking about the relativity of time and what makes something take "too long" and produced a piece on the subject that I'm still fond of. I told her, "I don't know what to do next." I'll bet she was amused at that comment. She replied, "But you've only just started."

I'm guessing Pensamientos will be another one of those things. The initial glow will simmer, shift, and change many times before it runs its course.

watercolor study for "Pensar"
border design for "Pensar"
"Pensar", 9" wide warp, 10 ends per inch


  1. Looks like a beautiful new tapestry taking shape Ruth!

  2. Well we'll see Janette, I'll keep you posted.

  3. This is the path, isn't it? And it is wonderful. I met Yael Lurie for the first time ever last night. Timing is odd sometimes. You've only just begun but it is the greatest journey. (I suspect that is true in every moment... we are always beginning.) I love your work and can't wait to see this one!

  4. Thanks everyone....Rebecca, how interesting to hear that as I was thinking of that story of my talk with Yael, you were meeting her. That was a wonderful workshop....we had Susan Maffei and Yael working with us on design.
    Off to go wrangle some more beginnings.