Sunday, January 17, 2010

Then and now

When I was a little girl my soft spoken but feisty Puerto Rican grandmother taught me the fine arts of needlework. She was a seamstress in a factory of the garment district of New York and she knew all of them. She taught me to crochet, knit, embroider, sew and even though it didn't stick with me - she knew tatting, lace making, and anything else you could do with a needle, thread, yarn and pieces of fabric. She even made cashmere coats with silk linings and fur collars for my Barbie dolls from scraps in the factory! How in the world she managed to make a set-in sleeve that small for my dolls is beyond me. As I was growing up I continued to sew - making my own clothes - but what really tugged at me was crocheting. I kept at it, I crocheted all sorts of things including outfits for my Barbies.

Fast forward to today..... I'm a painter. But, crochet, even after all these years, still calls to me. I miss it and I miss her. So the other day I'm sitting in my studio trying to think of a way to incorporate crochet into my work as a painter. I love texture. I've been using fiber in some of my collage and mixed media work for a while now so I thought why not add some free form crochet to my very organic feeling work. I started with some nubby yarn in a free form style, added some twine and then I'm looking at an acrylic on wood panel that just wasn't working the way it was so I played with it. Now what I have is what you see above. It's not done yet but I'm happy to be playing with the texture and incorporating pieces of my childhood through the crochet. It may not be what grandma had in mind but that's ok. I'm bringing a piece of my life with her into the life I live now.

Keep playing and never forget where you came from,


Anonymous said...

great idea. love mixed media

Carlynne said...

Thanks to whoever you are....