Cynthia Wenslow’s artwork is in public and private collections across the globe. She has been active in art organizations over the years all the while creating art, jurying art exhibits and writing about art. Cynthia is also an avid photographer. For this months enews she talks about working in a series and shares her thought process.…
“I started working in series nearly 10 years ago, although I didn’t realize it at the time. It wasn’t a conscious decision; I simply made a piece and it led to another that was a variation on the theme. Before I knew it, I had created five of them and I had to acknowledge that it was indeed a series.
Since that first experience, most of my creative output has been in series. It was a revelation to me that working in this way could be simultaneously satisfying and creatively educational, and not at all the boring and repetitive pursuit I had previously imagined.
My most recent textile series began with a longing. I had relocated to the Upper Midwest and found myself pining for my former home in beautiful Santa Fe, New Mexico. Feeling that I wasn’t giving my new home county a fair chance, I set out to notice and record the many facets of the area. On July 9, I wrote in my journal about the many commuter and freight trains that rumbled past the nature preserve adjacent to my backyard.
Trying to represent this visually in my “essentialist” style proved difficult. The resulting piece – July 9th (Lake County Series) – has been traveling in a multi-state exhibition, even garnering a spot on a museum’s exhibition signage; yet, it felt “overdone” to me.
Examining what bothered me about the first artwork – too small, too many variations in stitching, too many colors – I imposed several rules for the series while designing the next two pieces.
1 Size limitation of 36″ x 30″, portrait orientation
2 Palette limited to no more than three colors
3 Straight stitching
The rules definitely helped me stick closer to my essentialist leanings. August 8th (Lake County Series) was a little closer to my vision and is currently on exhibit at New Visions Gallery as part of a traveling exhibition. However, it was still not quite there.
After creating a small study to explore the next idea, April 22nd (Lake County Series) was “just right.” This piece hit exactly what I was going for, and was juried into Tranquility, a touring exhibition by Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA), and was featured in Quilting Arts magazine on the front page of an article about the exhibition.
By the time they come home again, all three of these first pieces in this series will have been exhibited in museums, galleries, and art quilt venues across many states.”