Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Spell check for sewing?

In exactly two months from today PERSONAL GROUNDS, my solo exhibition at The City Gallery at Waterfront Park in Charleston, will be installed.  It will feature the Decision Portrait Series, several mixed media works, and a collection of two-story chiffon banners with free motion machined "decisions".  I plan on have forty-eight of them.  Currently, 26 are done!  Above is a dictionary.....my new studio assistant!  It has become invaluable because my Bernina didn't come with "spell check"! (All photos in this post can be enlarged.)

The "decisions" range from "Should I wear the red shirt or the blue shirt?" to "Should I tell him I'm pregnant?" to "Is a mastectomy my best option for fighting breast cancer?" to "Can I deduct lunch as a business expense?"  Since the chiffon is very transparent, I switch from on side and then the other for each statement.  I stitch on a water soluble stabilizer that is adhesive coated.  Once a banner is stitched, I rinse away the stabilizer.

Almost everything is going very, very well....except that I frequently forget a word, misspell another word, and the grammar is sometimes wrong!  I hate to have things "wrong".....so I edit as I find errors.....just the way one would correct a handwritten document....with a little arrow up to the correction!

I've had to call my husband at home in order to get the proper spelling of several words.  He finally brought a dictionary to the studio.  I used it for dozens of words, including "counseling"....which I had as "counciling" but thought it "looked funny!"  Fortunately, I caught the error before stitching it in place.  Picking out the threads on such sheer fabric is very, very difficult.

I really enjoy stitching these banners....thinking about other ways to relate both the split second decisions that we all make on a daily basis and those over which we must agonize.  I've thought of decisions I made as a girl, some good and some bad.  I've thought about all the Decision Portraits and the mental dialogues that undoubtedly went through the heads of those depicted.  I'm hoping that the installed banners capture the sense of the human mind with many, many thoughts floating inside.

I carefully picked out the apostrophe in the "decision" above!  I didn't photograph one of my other errors.....I used the word "passed" instead of "past".  That one is just going to stay wrong!

I'm sure the "error" above was the result of my own wandering mind as I thought of my younger son, Alex, who did quit high-school.  It's been nearly two and a half years since he's been estranged from us.  Steve and I, of course, did care....do care....and will always care about Alex and his decisions.  We just couldn't do anything about them.  I, however, can put all these emotions into my artistic output.  The Decision Portrait Series and this upcoming exhibition is my reaction to Alex's decisions.  In the meantime.....more banners to stitch!

1 comment:

Tomer said...

> my Bernina didn't come with "spell
> check"

Funny. By the way, on the subject of spell check, there is a good software (SpellCheckAnywhere.Com) that adds spell checking to all programs, including blogs.