Nellie"s Needles

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Dottie Moore Workshop

I had the pleasure of "playing" with Dottie Moore during a workshop in Athens, Tennessee on Saturday. The objective of the class was ways to get to the point of making intuitive designs, which is how I already work. I just wanted to have a day in the presense of this wonderful woman and her creative energy and enthusiasm.

She led us through numerous exercises to aid making design decisions ... breathing, physical movement, self exploration, gestures with pencil on paper, as well as actually stitching on fabric. One assignment was to make a tree.

I searched through my fabrics and found what I thought would be a good background on which to applique a tree. I was looking for something with horizontal ground lines and some upright shaded areas that would add depth to a stand of trees. In the process of cutting that piece, I noticed that my tree was already there ... hiding in what I had intended to be the foreground. Rotate the picture a 1/4 turn and you'll see what I thought I was after. I outlined this ghost of a tree and filled it with bark-like stitches with one of the few variegated threads I had taken to the workshop. Then I saw a stand of cyprus trees in the background.

When I showed it to my husband that evening he observed that it looked like the tree we had been fascinated with in Hawaii earlier in the year. The Mindango Gum tree looks like an artist has colored it with oil pastels. So intuitively I had begun working on a piece about that tree which I thought was a project way far into my future. I plan to finish it this summer using my ortwork technique to make a tropical garden.

A bit more about Dottie. I had first met her three years ago at a quilt symposium, "Wild by Design", at the University of Nebraska. She presented a paper about her compact disc book, Lives in Process: Creativity in the Second Fifty Years. She had traveled across the country interviewing women who were 50 and older who testified that life and creativity intensifies with age. I saw her again a year later at her solo exhibition and lecture at the university in Crossville, Tennessee.

I'm so pleased to have gotten to spend a whole day plus the dinner hour with her. Tomorrow I'll post about the other piece begun in that workshop.

1 comment:

Finn said...

It's a great piece Nellie, off to a really remarkable start. I look forward to seeing it "ort-ed". I've been thinking about you and your quilts, as I do necessary tasks around here, or just sit and quilt. I've begun to toss odd bits (that I hang onto for no reason I can understand) into a drawer. I suspect something might be going to grow out of those "seeds". Thanks for stirring the sleeping muse..*VBS*