Friday, July 18, 2008
Jeepers, the Spot on Peepers ( or Ram Rug)
Yay! I finally finished my Spotted Ram Rug !! This rug took me a long time. Not because the work was hard. The rug was pretty much finished in a week, but something was just not quite right. I hung it on my loom in the upstairs hall so I could look at it for awhile, and it was just not right. Oh, I see, the eyes . The eyes were not right. They looked like eyes, actually, they looked as if they were really seeing me...kind of creepy. Definitely NOT the look I wanted for my rug, and not the look I see in my sheep's eyes. Yes, technically they were fine, but they weren't! I pulled out most of the wool and re-did the face and eyes. Again, not quite right. Finally I put the rug out of the way, on one of my work tables and tried to ignore it. The cat thought I had made her a comfy wool bed atop the table. And that is where the rug has been for 2 months. Yes, it was covered in cat hair.
Wool creations are fun to craft because no matter what you determine to do, often the wool takes on a character of it's own. Most of the time this is great. I also have the opportunity to use the fleeces of 12 very different sheep , each with his or her own special crimp, texture, feel and color. (Did you know the white wool of 2 sheep the same breed and age will usually not match when placed side by side?) In spite of my careful planning and work, my wool creations almost always turn out different than originally planned because the wool wants to go a different way and most of the time the creation turns out the better for it. But this rug was frustrating me to no end. I hate unfinished projects but this one was going to remain unfinished or live out it's life as a cat bed at this rate.
I really put off on this rug. Every time I tried to get around to it I would procrastinate. I finally made 2 more rugs and spun up a fleece or two into yarn...and then I just HAD to finish it. I studied my sheep's eyes. I looked at artist renderings of sheep, then I just did it. I ripped out the face wool again and re did it. There, it is done , I am finished. It's fine. O.K. It will do.
Have you noticed how very important the eyes are in a portrait, painting, or even a live being ? I can draw O.K. A long time ago I used to do a lot of sketches and watercolors. I can get human proportions down O.K. I can draw hands and feet, fingers and toes, shade the person ..but the eyes ! Yes, I can draw eyes, even put the speck or gleam in, but they are not alive! I believe that is the mark of a real artist, a gifted photographer or sculptor. I have observed a lot of very popular contemporary 'art', some of which is in gift shops all over the country and in the homes of a lot of people, so the artists work is well liked. I just can't appreciate his work even though there is so much to commend it. Why ? The eyes of his people. They're not right.
We have all met people who give us the creeps because of their eyes. Or people who look like they SHOULD give us the creeps, but looking into their eyes makes everything O.K. Even my dogs and sheep pay close attention to eyes. Sheep dogs herd using their eyes more than anything else, you better believe those sheep pay attention.
"The lamp of the body is the eye; if therefore your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!" Matthew 6:22,23