Skating on Thin Ice


So here’s the final drawing, ready to cut into fabric. I always feel so much better when I turn the corner on a project and feel it’s headed in the right direction. You can see how I was working towards this in my sketches in this previous post.

An artistic project is a process, and it’s funny how my ideas can change during the process. I make the art, and the art changes me.

Originally I wanted to do something about how our dependence on technology that at times seems so fragile, how it’s like skating on thin ice and was planning to put words below the ice to demonstrate system glitches and technology failures.

But I was having trouble figuring out how to do words-below-ice imagery. So instead I decided to just use objects, and quilt patterns of skate-tracks into the ice instead of words. Then as I drew, the story came to be more about how with our eye distracted by technology, we sometimes we lose our way. PaMdora is off-balance even though the man in black makes it look easy. The dog with the GPS is trying to point the way. And the snowflakes become stars. As I was drawing the snowflakes, I was thinking about how people used to find their way by the stars.

Sometimes I guess we need to turn it all off and look at the stars.

14 thoughts on “Skating on Thin Ice”

  1. “Sometimes I guess we need to turn it all off and look at the stars.”

    Freakin’ awesome statement. Mind if I gratuitously plaigerize it? As always watching someone else going through the “birthing process” of a project is profoundly comforting. Now, as I work all alone in my little sewing room I reflect on strangers the world over going through the same challenges, frustrations and conquests. Although I work alone, I feel bolstered by other artistic spirits (if you will) and I find more joy in the process.
    BTW- brilliant concept drawing for the new work. You go super fast! Sometimes I takes several weeks to go from concept to finished work.

  2. whoosh. It’s always so interesting to look in on other’s processes, so different from my own, but also sharing the up/down/all around process of circling in on an idea. Thanks, Love the man in black. This one is interesting too because it doesn’t hit you all at once — the message evolves as one looks at it more closely. S

  3. I loved seeing your process and the final drawing is perfect! I can’t tell you how many times, I’ve gotten caught up on something with my computer and I “lose my way” for that day. Great job!

  4. I love this one! I love all your work, but this one can be used to describe a whole host of things Americans have lost their way on. I really love the stars as snowflakes and the way the pup is showing her the way. You are such a brillant artist and I enjoy seeing what you have come up with each time. Your process from sketches to drawings to quilts is amazing. You are such a gifted storyteller.

  5. You are brilliant. I have told you this before, I am sure, but I just love how you come up with these drawings and the detail of not only the drawing but the context.

  6. Hi MaryAnn, I had to put the camera in, because have you ever bent over and tried to get something out of your purse with a big heavy camera around your neck? Really throws you off balance, haha!
    Thanks for noticing.

  7. I really enjoyed seeing your sketches and then the final drawing. Love the hat (I’ve been thinking today about knitting a striped stocking cap) and the spatula trees. Just looked back and noticed the camera around her neck.
    Makes me smile as your work always does.

  8. You know Judy, I used to think of it as a struggle and it felt awful. Then I realized I was trying often to rush things, and that given more time, the struggles could be thought of as explorations, and then I really started to enjoy the whole process, from start to finish.

    thanks for the comments!

  9. From one who really, really struggles developing a thought from my mind onto paper/fabric I totally appreciate your sketches and commentary here! It’s a comfort to see that even YOU ‘struggle’ a little bit during production. Now I will be much more patient when I work/play. I love your final rendering: the snowflake/stars are great and Pamdora’s hat is awesome!!


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