I Was Born
I wanted to talk about my collage that melts into Nina’s painting on the Home page of this blog. When Nina sent me a photo of her painting, I was startled: it was so close to a vivid dream I had just had that she might have been painting directly from my mind. So I definitely thought we should use it on our Home page, and it seemed to fit with a collage I had done that I titled “I Was Born”.
This is another of my comments on an artist’s work, the artist here being Yayoi Kusama. I knew the book I had worked from, but didn’t remember the name of the painting, so I took the book out of the library again, along with another about Kusama. Turns out the watercolor I referred to doesn’t have a title, but it still looks inspirational to me.
I added embroidery to this collage, which I thought was appropriate to the quality of Kusama’s lines. Which will make me digress again (always layers of thought with me).
I began stitching on paper after taking an embroidery class at the Textile Arts Center in Manhattan taught by Joetta Maue. Joetta did teach us a few different stitches–I already knew and used chain stitch and blanket stitch–but mostly what I learned from her class was to expand my ideas of what stitching could mean and where it could go. I had never considered embroidering on paper, but it certainly works well with collage. For one class project I also did embroidery on a plastic bag; looking at it now, it seems to work so well beside Kusama’s painting that I feel I must try another one soon.
Yayoi Kusama was a child in Japan during World War II; she came to the United States in the 1950’s and then returned to Japan in the 1970’s. She has suffered from hallucinatory visions since childhood, and voluntarily lives in a psychiatric hospital in Japan, with a studio for working nearby. Her art can be seen as a way to keep her inner and outer selves from losing their hold on the world. She has always worked obsessively, sometimes doing 50+ watercolors in one day: “I make them and make them and keep on making them, until I bury myself in the process.”
I especially love not only her watercolors but also the Joseph Cornell-inspired painting/collages. This one reminds me of Nina’s work.
Joetta Maue’s blog: http://littleyellowbirds.blogspot.com/
Textile Arts Center: http://www.textileartscenter.com/