Slow Down

Slow slow slow slow slow slow slow slow slow

I hate slow. I need it fast. I want it now now now now now

Always wanting it now. Instant gratification. When I’m in painting class, I go through three or more canvases per session. I get frustrated. Who wants to paint the same canvas for three hours? I want it done now. I want a masterpiece right now. If it’s not a fifteen minute masterpiece then I toss it aside and start again. I get bored. Art is boring sometimes.

When I discovered embroidery, I was confused. (I’m talking about hand embroidery. The process is this: fabric stretched tight across a wooden hoop. Needle and thread. Thread the needle. Then you sew. Stitch by stitch, an image is created. One stitch. Another stitch. So on for eternity).

I was confused because embroidery is like drawing in slow motion. Imagine if it took fifteen minutes to draw a circle. That’s embroidery. It’s everything that I’m not. My attention span is short. My attention to detail is virtually nonexistent. So why would I participate in an art form that requires massive amounts of time, concentration, dedication, patience, and painstakingly detailed work?

I don’t know.

I have fallen in love with the slowness. The tediousness. My impulsiveness and carelessness can still have its time: I quickly draw images on fabric and then go over the ink with thread. The images are never thought out, they just happen when the pen hits the fabric. But then I slow down. With every stitch, I am spending quality time with a drawing that I would have otherwise tucked away in a notebook and forgotten about. The thread gives the drawing an entirely new life.

As a Studio Art major, I don’t have a concentration. I’m not a painter or a photographer or a sculptor or a designer. People ask me what medium I work in and I don’t really have an answer. I work in many mediums, but I have never felt overwhelmingly connected to one over another. Perhaps this has changed with my discovery of embroidery and fiber work. Perhaps I have finally found something.

 

Above: my current embroidery project

-alicia

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