Yesterday I received a package in the mail. It was a piece of artcloth I created in 2007 for the Surface Design Association exhibition. It's been on the road in a traveling exhibit since then. I didn't take a photo of the piece before I sent it off, so I had forgotten what it looked like. It was interesting to have this piece of my past suddenly enter my life.
In some ways it seems so different from what I am doing now, yet I see some similarities, too. It is from my "screenprinting period". For about 2-3 years I did no immersion, I only screenprinted with dye. I really enjoy that technique and created some of my favorite pieces during that period.
What I hadn't really noticed before were the vertical lines in the piece. The vertical lines are not as strong of a design element as in some of my current work, but I do see a vertical component. That made me think that my current focus on vertical lines isn't really new - it's just more of a conscious effort. And that thought leads to the whole idea of artistic style. I've given a lot of thought to that issue over the past two years. What is it that defines an artist's work? What is it that connects two works of art so we know they are created by the same artist? How do we create a balance between creating fresh, exciting work, yet still maintaining a distinctive style? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.