Friday, March 13, 2015

Passions and Matting

Creativity is one of the cardinal aspects of my life.  I am a creative person and am so wrapped up h it and am so tuned in to my own creativity that it is hard for me to follow other people's rules of art, needlework and, yes, behavior.  I don't think of myself as willfully eccentric or willfully disobedient to my group's rules.  It's just that I must work the edges, test the boundaries, and find my own way.  There is really no other way for me to work.

It disturbs me to hear people tell me that they are not creative.  This, of course, is not true.  One of the definitions of a human is its creativity.  This latest encounter was with a framer who has been cutting mats for me for several years.  His name is Rey.  He is not an artist, he has told me, and therefore not creative.  As I have said before in this blog, creativity exists in every form of human endeavor.  (But my long lecture on this topic would have been out of place at the framing desk.) 

What was interesting about this trip to the framer was the security guard who was standing behind the framing desk keeping an eye on customers up and down the aisles of the big craft store.  His name plate said Honsecker on it.  As I was waiting for Rey to finish with another customer, I was going through the mat samples trying to find just the right color for my newest project.  I do my own framing, but I get mats cut to order.  Mr. Honsecker after a few minutes of my shuffling from blue to green to violet mats, started to be interested in what I was doing and giving his opinion.  The truth is that I had already settled on a dark blue mat, but I was entertained by his comments.  He liked the dark green mat, so I got out some other greens and shuffled them around.  After another ten minutes (the other customer was dithering something terrible) , Mr. Honsecker said that if  couldn't decide I should just go with a white mat and a black frame.  I guess I looked at him strangely because,all of a sudden he needed to walk the aisles.    I guess that white mats and black frames are really what sell the most.  A safe choice.  Not a choice I would make unless it were absolutely the best choice for my piece.  I appreciated Mr. Honeysecker's help and comments.  I liked his green choice, it did highlight certain areas of the work.  I just liked my choice more.  The other customer's business was finally concluded--white mats and black frames for her two pieces--and Rey came over and then we had the conversation about non-creativity.  Rey is creative in handling people, a skill I am sadly lacking.  By the way, the piece I had matted was the  "Barrett" sample in my previous blog entry.  This happened last week.

And then this week I get an email from a good friend of mine who sent on greetings from a mutual acquaintance who is a needlework judge.  The greeting "Hi!   Hope to see a Bobbie Pilling entry from you just not framed in purple."  Yes, my 2014 entry has a purple mat and frame.  White and black is a much safer choice for judged events even if it does nothing for the overall look of the work.  Traditionally judges like to see black and white even if it dulls down the piece.  They are trained that way.  Well, I guess I just won't win the Bobbie Pilling Award again if it means a black and white frame and mat.  I do what I do with passion and with all of my being.  My pieces talk to me and tell me what they want.  They shine out with purple, blue, turquoise, and pink mats.  I must remain what I am and what I feel.

Mxied media with paint, embroidery, colored varnish, geranium leaves and blossoms.  !4" X 14".  A purple canvas mat.

Mixed media with copper sheeting, alcohol stain, embroidery, and paint.
13" X 16".  A painted silk mat in rust color to enhance the copper. 
Castlerig is an ancient stone circle in the Lake District
 of England. I have been there three times and each time an offering of flowers has been left at the base of the largest standing stone.  This image is how the stone circle affects me
and how it makes me feel and is not a true representation
of that lovely circle with its spectacular views.

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