Explaining the 25 Day Series

I must not be explaining my 25 Day series very well. Here's why I think this may be true. For over 15 years, we have been getting our coffee from a local coffee shop, Newport Coffee House that roasts their own coffee onsite. I gave the manager one of my cards with my website information and said I would be happy to add some color to his walls with some of my art. The manager emailed later and asked if I was interested in displaying my art in his shop.  After looking at my website, he said the squares are small so we would need quite a few to display. When I read this, I decided I have not been explaining the 25 Day series very well. So I will try to do a better job in this article.

 First hundred days, 2015.  Four 25 Day pieces all hung together.

I started creating a six-inch daily square back in the 100 Day Project in April 2015. I thought I would stop after making 100 daily squares. My original idea was to sew all 100 squares together. Since I use my home sewing machine that was just an unwieldy large piece of fabric for me to work with. I decided I would break it up into four sections. That means each piece I would make would have 25 daily squares in it. This was the perfect size for me to work with.  I wanted a cohesive theme to still hang all 4 pieces together in a larger square. My only cohesive theme was the use of the same color palette throughout. 

I liked the idea of having a creative practice of making something every day and planned to continue.  However, after that first 100 days I was creatively exhausted because I had to come up with a new design every day. So I decided I needed a cohesive theme for each 25 days. Hence the birth of the 25 Day series.  Each daily square within the 25 days is based on a cohesive color palette and design parameters. This helped ease the creative exhaustion feeling of staring at a blank canvas every day. I have been working on maintaining a good balance of some constraints with in the series and some freedom. For me, a successful series is all about the balance and/or tension between Constraint and Freedom. Click to read the original article.

I try not to think too far in advance and decide on the next series theme in the moment based on what I feel like making. I refer to my design and color ideas folder in Evernote which I know I've mentioned many times before, like in this article from last year, Capturing your Ideas and Evernote to the Rescue.

So I go along each day making a six-inch daily square. I call this my Every Day Project. I just keep creating every day and have since April 2015. The Every Day Project is made up of the 25 Day series with a new theme each 25 days. At the end of the 25 days, I sew day 1 to day 5 together in consecutive order for the first row.  Then I sew day 6 to day 10 for the second row and day 11 to day 15 for the third row, etc. til all 5 rows are done. Then I sew all 5 rows of 5 squares together.  So it is five rows of five squares. Hence, the title 25 Day series. 

Part of the confusion is that I haven't put a lot of these 25 Day series pieces up on my website or even on Instagram. Due to sewing machine difficulties, I've had a backlog on the actual quilting the three layers of the pieced top, batting and backing fabric layers. As my long-term readers know, I like the design phase and not so much the construction phase. So my resistance is always about the construction phase. Throw in technical difficulties and it is a mess for me. 

My daughter Maggie and I have an art show coming up in April entitled Abstract Ecology. This looming deadline is really getting me to complete more of my 25 Day series pieces. Based on the title Abstract Ecology, I decided to show my Four Elements series from the 100 Day Project last year in 2016. The Four Elements correspond to four 25 Day series pieces: Earth, Water, Sky and Fire. I'm also adding my most recent Birch Forest piece from the beginning of this year, as well as my Mountain piece from 2015. 

Perhaps I should come up with another name besides 25 Day series.  It may be a little boring. But given my love of math and since it is also a very accurate description, I'm going to keep it.  If this is still confusing to you readers, please send me a question.  It's so hard to explain something that you've been so close to for several years.

For you local readers in the Chicago, Illinois area, we have a final date for the Abstract Ecology Open House. Hope to see you there.


Abstract Ecology Show Open House

Date: Thursday, April 13, 2017

Time: 6:00-7:30 pm

Location:  Patty Turner Center, 375 Elm St, Deerfield, IL

Come visit with the artists.

Food, beverages and prizes.