When I begin a new project I always have to start with the question What am I making? The debate between functional and decorative is of prime importance for native artists. Often the styles and techniques are rooted in traditional forms and the forms dictate the content or style. So when we deviate from functional objects and begin making decorative art we cross a line into a new place as artists. Recently I began to experiment with creating pieces that are not in a way functional objects. In the past when I wanted to tell a visual story I felt I had to at least give the impression of function, hence the many boxes, sewing kits, etc. Now I am choosing to, at times, make pieces that are in essence, painting. Wall mounted decorative art pieces. You wouldn’t think it would be that difficult to cross that line, but I still feel the compulsion to make my efforts function.
Both new pieces, and several still in the works, have been made available through Lovetts Gallery in Tulsa, OK.
This is a canvas mounted image, beaded on hand-dyed wool.
The horse imagery was for me about the sound and energy that horses radiate when they run together. I was thinking of the horses this spring when thunderstorms rolled through, wondering if the horses ran and ran during the storms.
This view shows the side and back of the piece and how it is mounted on the canvas and wood frame.
A width of velvet ribbon trims out the edge and has a clean finish.
This small piece was an experiment to prepare for a much more ambitious piece.
Because once you have tried an 8″ by 8″ prototype, what is to stop you from going 4 feet by two feet? Piece of cake.
Images of finished piece next time.