January 2016 was not a good month. In some ways. I’ve been sick. We’re having new carpets fitted (an enormous upheaval ). I’m working surrounded by chaos.
I wound my way up to my little attic studio today, squeezing my way through the skyscraper-high piles of books balanced precariously on every stair. And then there is the junk that I seem to have to lug from place to place. It’s not even mine, some of it. I feel like Jacob Marley, doomed to wander the earth eternally, dragging his mass of chains with him. I am going to dump the junk. Not restore it to its home at the back of cupboards.
I have a lot of unfinished art and stories. Songs to be learnt properly. Half-walked walks. I suppose my Resolution for 2016 is to finish things. Do them till they are done.
And so I found myself picking up to finish some little Plaster of Paris encaustics – Forces and Energies – I started before Christmas. Adding stitching in fact, to some recycled sari silk yarn. The yarn is going down the middle of what I’m calling double-page spreads, like a bookmark set in a book at a place of special significance.
I’m not a stitcher. But, here I am, stitching. I decided to do little horizontal lines across the sari silk. I used embroidery silk – white, but that I dyed with tea.
I could have measured and drawn lines where the stitches were to go but decided to do it freehand. So the lines aren’t evenly spaced and some are shorter than others. I had to pull it out a couple of times where I went wrong.
It was like I was stitching ladder rungs, so I could climb into 2016.
I decided to stitch lines to echo the lines in the images on the pages. Lines of force.
When I finished I adhered the silk to the artwork with encaustic medium. It became translucent so instead of just the straight lines across the front, the diagonal lines on the back show through, making the stitching more dynamic. Lines of energy.
I’m a bit tired. I am stitching for myself the force and energy I need to climb into 2016. To begin all my endings. To become more substantial. I feel quite ghostly, formless, at the moment.
So I will climb the ladder stitch by stitch. And emerge. I hope so, anyway.
How has it been for you, 2016, so far? I’d like to know.