Finished and inspired
As of yesterday “Deborah’s Story” is finished.
I was right- it did need just a little more intensity in the red stitching.
Today I set out with my friend Debbie (whose story inspired the painting) to the DeYoung museum’s Gautier exhibit. It was wonderful to see the show, as fashion is an interest of mine, but all the better for the excellent company. It was great to be able to talk over ideas of identity, gender, race, identity politics etc. (not to mention fashion, art vs. craft, etc). with her. It was also great to sketch out an ideas for coming projects with her input and ear. Talking through ideas with other people is such an important part of my process and I have been spending far too little time doing it lately.
Debbie is excellent museum company. I find it very hard to go to exhibits with most people. Either they breeze through or there is an obligation to stick together for the entire thing. This is the second time we’ve been to a show together and it’s effortless. We leapfrog through. I stop to sketch, she looks at what she likes to, we come together and discuss, part and look at different things… but still largely at a similar pace. She’s similar enough to me that we completely connect at a deeper level and don’t need to explain very much to each other at that level, but we are also different enough to have very different experiences and perspectives on things. She’s awesome.
Better still I took her to the studio afterwards to see the painting she inspired. She told me the story some four years ago, but I thought of the piece fairly recently. I finished it yesterday and I’m pleased. I was thrilled that she liked it so much and got so much out of it.
She had associations with it that had not even occurred to me but which fit beautifully. The halves did fit the coloring of her mother and father as I hoped they would. I loved seeing her hand across the two sides. It so clearly fit. She was also able to see the more subtle layers of color and transparency in person that just don’t translate on the screen. I think I may try to do a version of that shot properly sometime with a serious camera and better lighting. Done right it’s another piece by itself.
I also discovered that when she is tan she is the perfect shade to model coloring on the Pieta piece! Yes! This means I can start back up on that when she gets back from Paris and I finish this iteration of Identity Tapestry for the LA show.
I had a wonderful day. Museums and conversations feed my brain and I got that. I’m also over the moon that everything between her and this piece was so good. It meant a lot to me that she be happy with it. Her only request was that I use her birth name for the title rather than the shortened nickname-version, and so I have.
I love having other people become willing parts of and participants in my work- their thoughts, experiences… even parts of their physicality. It’s wonderful.