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About Creativity and Working in Series

Let me write about the last topic first. Why do artists create series? - According to a recent group discussion:

a) as individual artist because you get more deeply into a topic by exploring it from multiple aspects;

b) as a member of an artist group because your joint results can be fairly precisely marketed as an exhibition. (Orient Express)

These two viewpoints don’t contradict each other. In fact, often both are true.

A personal example: In my mini-series “Women and Water”, I explored the same topic over a decade showing a variety of relationships that women may have with water and their life. (Each piece is 60" or 152 cm square.)

Bubble Bath - an young girl enjoying a bubblebath (adding soap also helps with sanitation)

Venus - a symbol of passionate love, not really a person but an icon

Ocean of Motherly Love - the great miracle that allowed each of us to be born and be here now

A Glass of Water - a mature woman with pain but without any complaints

The series “Roman Horses” came about due to a different factor: Time pressure. Towards the end of 2016, I had a possibility of a solo show in March 2017 in Kassel, Germany. I didn’t want to miss this opportunity and created 17 art quilts by reducing variables. All are 14” or 35 cm wide and 30” or 76 cm long. First, I sewed front and back together, adding vertical and horizontal ribbons like a frame or passepartout. This left the central area for artistic exploration.

To have the show or series hang together I used my own watercolors from my book “Roman Horses, Cavalli Romani” (published in 2014, still available on Amazon). Printing with heat transfer papers on cotton was the starting point of each art quilt. A variety of techniques followed to enrich each topic, for example, the crouching of a veil gives Apollo clouds through which he drives his horse chariot. Have a look at each one.

How does all of this relate to creativity? - To quote Elizabeth Gilbert: Big Magic “The work wants to be made, and it wants to be made through you.”

In a series of five short YouTube videos, I share the voyage from inspiration Roman Horses to art quilts. This video series in English and Italian was done for the Chico State University where I shared these art quilts during a presentation about the inclusive value of multi-cultural experiences.

The videos share a fairly linear exploration from inspiration to art quilt. However, I usually work on multiple projects at the same time. They cross-fertilize. This is part of my creativity which defies description.

Usually, traveling provides many inspirations. During the pandemic I tried to broaden my view and look at what else inspires me. Here are some blog posts about the inspirations and the resulting textile art:

Thanks for reading all the way to the end.



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