|Empty Center: Blue/Brown, hand dyed wool on linen, 9 x 9 inches.|
This small piece is very different from my last textile, Wave, which had a curved volume moving forward and back in space, with light catching its surfaces. My initial impulse to make the hooked wool "ruglets" a few years ago was to explore minimalist abstraction, and this piece returns to that form. Two shapes, which seem cut off by edges, separated by an expanse of texture, push toward each other? converse (maybe shout across)? yearn?
(As I wrote this what amazingly just came to my mind was the old tv show, The Goldbergs, with Molly shouting from her window)
How I came to the idea of an empty center, with shapes hugging edges, is an interesting story. After writing a blog post on Tantric painting, I started to paint on a few scrap pieces of parchment, which I described here, and which helped my painting process. I had many tiny scraps, about one inch square, left from stretching parchment panels; I began to paint on them. The piece on the lower left had a tiny cut in the surface, so I followed it with yellow paint, adding a stroke of blue at the bottom; then I did others with the same idea of leaving the center empty, except for that one stroke of yellow.
Of course it's not empty, really, because the wool has an engaging texture, and a subtle shift of color. I achieved the color by scrunching the wool in a flat pan and dropping very diluted dyes, the two colors of the shapes, onto the wool by the spoonful. There's an austerity in form such as this, but I hope also some interest and some humor.