Sunday, September 20, 2009


STAGE THREE; Beth Carney

Compositional Conversation it is a project involving 13 artists all working to develop one artwork. Each artists has an opportunity to place their mark on the work and then passes it to the next person. The work has now passed through the hands of three artists and this week we are seeing the hand of Beth Carney. To read the first two articles on this project click HERE.

Compositional Conversation: Stage Three

Comments by Beth Carney

I was very excited about being asked to participate in this project, loving the idea of having this conversation between the piece and the artists involved. All too often I struggle with creating a section of work that I love and then get stuck because I love it too much. Once I get rid of the concept of how precious it is, freedom sets in and then the work really begins to take shape. I felt this conversation would be a perfect step on that journey that forces the artist to keep the conversation alive and dancing.

I received the work on Saturday and on Sunday was busy for hours playing and creating. The first laugh was when I looked at the blog of Terry and Rebecca's comments and realized that when I placed the piece on my design wall, it was upside down to what they presented! Who knew??? (Beth received and began working on the project before the first images were posted.)

The shapes presented were large and flowing, but I wanted to connect them trying to create more depth as well as play with the positive and negative space possibilities they created. I did not want to remove anything because they did seem to be taking with each other, they seemed to want to be closer and so the red shape began to move all around the canvas till I found its home, which turned out to be exactly where it started. I rarely work in solids anymore, with the belief that more is out came the hand dyes and I created intersecting lines. Since I usually piece, I used Rebecca's freezer paper idea and attached the long lines with freezer paper so that could be moved around without falling apart.

I stepped back and thought I was done until I woke up this morning and found that I just had to break up the space more by adding the large black shape on the left. Each element seems to connect yet show individual voices.

Can't wait to see what happens next.


I love Beth's revelation concerning the positioning of the "top" of the work. Those of us who work with abstract compositions know that a tried and true way of "testing" a piece to see if it is balanced is to turn it and observe the results. I guess Rebecca and I did alright. I also appreciate the introduction of types of materials Beth loves and works with in her own pieces. They add a new twist and a new layer of complexity. Many thanks to you Beth for your participation and involvement in this project. Read on for more about Beth and her work.


For the past 8 years I have been exploring the fusion of my 2 worlds: visual and performing art, in a series of works called Structured Chaos. My love of color, movement, architecture all combine into these projects as I explore line and shape. They are inspired by the world around me, sometimes based on nature, architecture, places and personal experiences.

For more information please visit Beth's website.

Structured Chaos 26....44"h x 33"w...2008
Hand dyed cotton by artist with commercial cotton and silk

We welcome your comments and hope you will take time and let us hear your thoughts.

Next week we will see the contribution of Ohio artist, Shelley Baird.