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Following The Trail | Texture Maps

Posted on: Thursday, January 16, 2014


2014 has no doubt left us confronting new surfaces and shifting terrain. One aspect of this review for me has been the re-examination of the role that blogging plays. Given the more immediate ways that we now have for 'sharing' and 'connecting' via photographic social media platforms, the artist blog often seems like a slow turtle by comparison. It takes time to compose and craft a post – time that one might spend doing the actual studio work.

Outside of the diaristic aspect of keeping a blog, an online journal is often a way to leave a bread crumb trail of sorts when work is in progress. Sometimes you do not want to give away too much, but you also want to provide small hints of how things have been developing, where ideas come from, or even confess a major overhaul of everything you purported to be on track in a previous post.


Peeling texture map photographed in Sofia by Abigail Doan | January 2013

Blogging also still reveals some of the unexpected edges and a virtual texture map of how your world fits together. You cannot always illustrate this with other media platforms, and the suggestive nature of your process might not be evident or even properly appreciated when 'likes' are the form of exchange.



I definitely blog less than I used to, and this might be because I am trying to regain a bit of mystery with my work. I also like to make small leaps between ideas (i.e. not over-explain) and this method might seem confusing when one is encouraged to 'share' all of the time.

I have been thinking a lot about how simple texture maps are a great way to suggest the sensation of what I am after (creatively) without having to reveal too much until things are further resolved. I keep this pinboard, 'Resurfacing/Surfacing' as a visual record of some of these ideas. I also like the micro/macro aspect of what texture maps do and do not reveal.



I think that the most important thing is to use your blog so that it works for you, helps you to connect, but does not become a chore or distraction from what is essential to the core of your work or process. Everyone knows what this balance entails, and no statistics can distract you from the truth of what it means to really carve out a meaningful and complex repository of  your efforts.

Artist | Maker Profile: Caroline Dear

Posted on: Monday, January 06, 2014

Entwined/suainte project by Caroline Dear | featuring 100 ropes from 50 (local) plants

I have been doing a bit of research lately on braiding, rope-making, and twining techniques, and during this process came across the work of Isle of Skye based artist, Caroline Dear.

"Displayed on the gallery wall, the seasonal progression of this work reads like a large scale three dimensional drawing, with variations of texture, hue and line allowing the unique qualities of each plant to be contemplated. The range and subtlety of colour, affected by natural processes of growth and decay and the progression of light across the Northern landscape, positions the work in terms of geography, while the tagging of each piece classified scientifically presents vital elements within a unique ecosystem." – Northings.com

There is also an inspiring video on the artist's process viewable here.

Another find includes this timeline overview of the history of rope-making featured on Low Tech Magazine.

Top image courtesy of the artist.

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