We have decided that this year for the challenges, that we will have a central theme and base all the challenges on that theme. The theme for 2014 will be famous artists. This does not necessarily mean that we will be picking our favorite artist but perhaps an artist that we would like to learn more about. Or maybe one that we think will be able to be interpreted fairly easily in fiber. So each quarter, we will name the artist and the challenge will be to create something in the spirit of that artist. You don’t have to “copy” one piece exactly but the feel of whatever you create should be in that artist’s style. You are free to interpret that artist’s work however you would like. It also might be fun to take a few minutes and learn a little about that artist’s life, history and what they have contributed to the art world.
I have chosen Jackson Pollock for the first quarter challenge. Jackson Pollock was an American painter, and is possibly the leading force behind the abstract expressionist movement in the art world. The photos used here and the information about Jackson are from http://www.jackson-pollock.org. There are several other websites about Jackson Pollock as well as lots of photos of his work when you search images.
When I was growing up, my mother always got us a jigsaw puzzle at Christmas time to put together as a family. One year, we got a puzzle of one of Jackson Pollock’s “poured” paintings. I don’t remember how many pieces it had but it was over 500 pieces. It was probably the hardest jigsaw puzzle we ever put together. So hard, that after it was together, my mom covered it with some type of glue and hung it on the wall. I think the puzzle was based on ‘Convergence’. If you check out the Jackson Pollock site, there is a puzzle that you can try out. It took me 7 minutes and 41 seconds to do (with a few interruptions) so see if you can do better.
I didn’t know much about Pollock before I decided to pick him for the challenge. It sounds like he had a hard life, struggling with alcoholism and dyeing at the age of 44 in a drunk driving accident. His most well-known work is in an abstract style and used a ‘drip and splash’ technique. Pollock said “It is only when I lose contact with the painting that the result is a mess. Otherwise there is pure harmony, an easy give and take, and the painting comes out well.” And also, “On the floor I am more at ease. I feel nearer, more part of the painting, since this way I can walk around it, work from the four sides and literally be in the painting.”
One of the reasons that I picked Pollock was because I thought that he could be interpreted well in felt. Of course, you don’t have to make a felt piece to enter the challenge. You can use any media that you would like. If you do create a piece for the challenge, you can either post it on the forum, Flickr or contact us and we will feature your entry here on the blog. We would really love to see what you come up with and I hope you’ll enjoy challenge.