Monday, January 25, 2010
Editing an Improvisation
Can an improvisational work be edited? If it is edited, is it still improvisational?
The work in question is my January Bead Journal page, as pictured. Maybe it's done, and maybe it's not done.
It's improvisational bead embroidery--embroidery done without a plan. It develops as it is stitched, until the page is covered. The page is now covered, and the question is whether or not it can be edited and revised--ripped out and re-stitched--and still maintain the character of improvisation.
1. The page does not look balanced to me. I can visualize a couple of changes that would improve the page. After the eighth grade, anything I've learned about art has come from books. I don't have a natural feel for what would be balanced and what wouldn't. So when I improvise, sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn't.
2. The unbalanced page conveys a different impression than what I was feeling and thinking as I stitched it. That leaves me mildly annoyed. It's not a true journal of this month. Or is it? (The meaning of this page will be revealed later.)
3. I am perfectly comfortable ripping stuff out. Lots of stuff. I personally believe that every needleworker should have a seam ripper in every room. I have six seam rippers. That leaves the bathrooms without seam rippers, which I think is probably ok. If I had all the thread I have ripped out rolled into a ball, it would squish quite a number of people when it rolled down a hill.
4. I already ripped out some beads. But that was before the page was covered. Can I rip out more now that it may be finished?
So here's the deal. Nothing is going to happen this morning. Later in the day, maybe. Stay tuned...