Tuesday, 23 February 2010

..switching continents...

Thus far I've gathered my inspiration mostly from the Indian Sub-Continent - northern India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan......in fact....a lot of the "stans"!

This is continuing...but in the background for now...

...and this piece....




..will be the last of it's kind (for a while).


My little trip to Morocco was an absolute joy! So much to take in...so little time...

...but I'm going back there now - via the studio anyway :-)


The necessary winter task of shifting tonnes of firewood took it's toll over the last couple of weekends. And a long-standing affliction - carpal-tunnel-syndrome - reared it's ugly head and dictated that no-way could I do any stitching for about 4 days! Flaming nuisance!...

..but...

...it spurred me on to get up to my elbows in the dye pot....with the following results....












...inspired by some of the colours I encountered in Morocco.


And where am I going with it....?

...well, here's a clue.....





I'm also thinking of switching other things...

...by trying to work "less fussy".

Most of what I've done up to now has been very labour intensive, with LOADS of surface decoration....stitches upon stitches, and hundreds of beads....

I can't continue with this....mainly because my eyesight isn't what it used to be, and I'm finding that I can't focus for too long without discomfort.

The carpal-tunnel is also becoming a more persistent problem - maybe it's time to get it sorted - finally. So much of what I do relies on my hands - not just stitching, but drawing, painting and playing music - all of which give me such immense joy that I cannot bear to think what life would be like if I couldn't do them.

A blog-friend sent me some links the other day...

...which made me think that it might just be possible for me to change to a more "understated" way of working...

..that might also allow me to produce much larger pieces....

...without the pain.

I have to give it a go, but I'm not expecting it to be easy....

...old habits die hard.

12 comments:

Mermaid's Purse said...

Hi Chris, I really do sympathise with the eyes (I am really struggling with the stitching on the rainbow piece) and it probably scares me more than anything else. I am noticing the difference year by year despite regular eye tests and new glasses. Large scale isn't really my thing either but it looks like you've been having fun with the dyeing! x

Chris Gray said...

I've had great fun in the dyepot!...did a batch of indigo as well...

Yes, the eyesight IS worrying..so I'm trying to ease the pressure on them. I'd rather be able to stitch SOME than have to stop altogether!

Diane said...

Can't wait to see what you do with all those yummi pieces! You and I suffer from much the same afflictionsit seems. I use the hand-eze gloves when mine flair up and they seriously help to ease the problem.I strongly urge you to try them out. I was an unbeliever until my hands became so painful I was desperate to try anything! The eyes...well I tend to look over my glasses when i work but thankfully the eye doc says Im not ready for bifocals. I dont think my vanity could handle it (LOL)
I think that since I decided to bring dyeing into my life it has helped alot with those problems also. I will go on week long stints of dyeing everything and not have time to touch my stitching. By the time I get back to it my hands have rested. I envy you the indigo pot. I have such a great wish to have one but no place to do so! Maybe in my new place....

Chris Gray said...

...it doesn't come by itself does it!...(old age that is:-)...I have a special strap to wear when it gets painful, and after a couple of days it eases off...thankfully.

I already have varifocals and find that they've been a boon. Difficult at first...especially on the stairs in school, where you end up looking through the reading part of the glasses when going down....everything's blurred and I found I had to lift the glasses off of my nose to avoid serious injury!

Hope I can have a sustained period without any more pain-problems...I've got so much to do...

Jasmine said...

Good luck with the switch over. Can they operate on your wrists? I met a crafts person at the Shambala Festival some years ago. She had carpal tunnel but was awaiting surgery. I'm not sure what the results were. Lets hope it gets easier for you.

I love your dye patterns. Did you paint the dye on?

jude said...

love the focus on edges.

Eva said...

Your new work is very appealing and fresh! -- I can well understand the tantalizing situation, having renounced on stitching for weeks! It helped me a lot to change techniques. I remember the late work of Henri Matisse when he was lying in bed, he made paper cuttings and had them put together into the most beautiful collages the world has ever seen, and they still enchant the world. The creative intention of an artist is visible in every technique. And if I had nothing but packing paper and charcoal, I would still try to work. I wish you the very best for hand and eye!

Chris Gray said...

All the fabrics have been dip-dyed...one colour first, then another dip to give the lovely browns...

...and edges will be quite important in this work I think...

I could see myself like Matisse!...struggling to continue creating...no matter what!

As long as I take it slow and easy, it'll be fine, I'm sure.

Thanks for all your thoughts and good wishes.

x x x

MargaretR said...

I really sympathise with your carpal tunnel problem. Our hands are so important to us and a friend was wearing some of those hand-eze gloves at the weekend and said how much they helped. I too wear varifocals and found them so difficult to get used to, but wouldn't be without them now.

Gloria said...

Hi Chri, Each of these dyed pieces is very lovely. Looking forward to seeing what you will do with them!

ArtPropelled said...

Yum! Love all the images!!!
I sympathise with the eyesight and carpal tunnel. Both afflictions have been dogging me too, which is so frustrating. I want to do what I've always been able to do! Your philosophical attitude is encouraging.

I have a strong feeling that a change to bigger and understated, will result in amazing new work that will open a door to something completely unexpected.

JP said...

sorry to hear about your hands but I'm sure that like matisse you will find new ways of working that will just as satisfying altho' I do love your very detailed work