Saturday, August 15, 2009

Working Small

Grey Day, fabrics, 7.5x4.75 inches by Jude Spacks '09
Available for purchase.

I'm back into the fabric collage, working small, from small noticings.

Making little pictures seems to be creating an opening for witnessing more of the humble instants when a vision stills the talkative mind, leaving speechless awareness, aliveness, presence.

Trying to show that, however palely and inadequately, becomes worship. It doesn't have to be intense or hyped up with swooning string orchestras and godlight streaming from the sky.

There's something exciting and comforting happening, a cuddling up with how ordinary stuff is shot through and through with love.

This one is a riff on how light organizes everything, how everything visible is made of light.

Streetlight, fabrics, 7.5x6.5 inches by Jude Spacks
Available for purchase

A friend stopped by with a lively new grandbaby.
I sketched very briefly, didn't get much of a likeness, but maybe just having a pencil in hand allowed the scene to imprint in some heartspace for retrieval later.

I frolicked in fabric with it for days, having a blessed run of that kind of concentration when you can't detach enough to take a sip of water, much less stop for dinner before midnight.

Though I lost some proportions from the drawing, on the other side, a sweet-comic rendition had emerged that I swear looks just like both of them. (Another friend who was there agrees. The grandma hasn't seen it yet, and perhaps will not recognize herself with blue face and pants a color like none in her possession....)

What felt so freeing was to start with a faint sketch of reality and zoom off from it into pure fiction, somehow winding up with something that felt true, maybe truer than a literal photographic version could have shown.

Meet the Grandbaby, fabrics, 9.5x12 in by Jude Spacks 09
Available for purchase

Detail Meet the Grandbaby

Some years ago, this same friend had commissioned me to make a portrait in oils of her mother and a great-grandbaby. The memory of that project gave another layer of association to working on this little one.

My friend didn't want a quite literal rendition of the photograph she gave me to work from, wanting to see her mother in a different colored shirt, among other things. So there had been a challenge of jumping off from reality into a bit of make-believe to find a deeper truth in that piece, too....

Portrait in oils, 24x32in, by Jude Spacks, '02