06 January 2015

A new project, perhaps

"Show up on time, smile, and do the work" - those are Grayson Perry's "rules" for productivity. He's right....

1. Show up on time - be in the studio at a certain time every day, or spend a certain amount of time in the studio every day.

2. Smile - enjoy it!

3. Do the work - well, this is the sticking point ... for me anyway ... what is "the work"? I've been rather tormenting myself with this over the past few weeks or months, to a paralysing extent.

So for the first "studio date" - which I hope will become a daily occurrence, gallivanting notwithstanding, I got out an old bit of work - "The Journey to the Studio" - and spent an hour adding to it.

For the second, it was mending - black darns on a favourite black wool top. Subtly knobbly.

During the mending session I was listening to catchup radio - specifically, a programme on The Supernatural North on "The Sunday Feature". The presenter had been to northernmost Norway, and one of the  participants was Philip Pullman (author of Northern Lights etc), who mentioned:

"...the kind of excitement you get when you know there's a book there, but you don't know what the book is yet"

I paused in the mending and wrote it down...

... and that must have planted an idea in my subsconscious (was it the mention of "book"?) ...

Suddenly I wanted to experience that excitement; the way to approach (or perhaps generate) it arrived via a bout of creative insomnia.

So for the third "studio date", I started sewing paper - mixing the rag-paper pages from the 1738 Sermons book with tracing paper -
Each line has been rolled over by the pricking wheel, so it's easy to stitch and the stitching can look regularly spaced. The curly bits on the blank paper are the result of twisting the thread and letting it lie as it fell after each stitch (the back is smooth).

I don't like the look of this particular insert, and I don't know what this is going to be "about" - but simply stitching on the paper, and watching what happens, is producing one or two ideas that will lead to further sampling after this page is finished. The Sermons book has several hundred pages. There could be a book here ... or something like a book ...

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