Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Good news

The news this morning confirming the election results from last night started my day off very well, thank you very much. For the first time in years, I'm feeling hopeful about this country's future again.

And with that happy feeling, I headed off to my art mini-group with Pat, Rita, Ann and Cathy. Today we talked about our individual goals, which was a helpful and inspiring discussion. Each of us has pretty different goals, but we agreed that articulating them and discussing them from time to time will help each of us stay on track.

My goals? I came away with a newly revised list:

** Eliminate negative thinking about "unfinished projects" and regard those things as "works in progress." I know that I always work on a bunch of different things at a time, and if I am going to do my best work, I sometimes need to stop and let something sit before pushing forward just for the sake of finishing.

** Continue to make progress on the works in progress I have, and weed out the things that don't require any more energy from me. I have some "wips" that have taught me what I set out to learn and won't be improved from more time on them. It's time to let them go and move on.

** Play more. I tend to make everything a big project, rather than just letting myself experiment and try out new ideas and techniques. Maybe experimentation will lead to a bigger work, but maybe not. And that's okay.

** Explore my series topic with playfulness and adventure. When we started getting together, we all wanted to try to work in a series format, whatever that meant for each of us. I decided to explore my fascination with circles. I've been keeping a notebook with ideas and sketches, and I've done a few smaller things or have "wips" on the topic.

** Recognize what I *do* accomplish. Frequently I decide that on a particular project, I'm going to work on something (whether it's trying a new binding, or try some different quilting patterns, or experiment with fabric combinations). I'd like to be better about documenting what I've done with photos and notes so I can remember to recognize what I did manage to accomplish in my quilting.

** Let go of ambivalence at sometimes making quilts from patterns. Considering how certain I am that the quilt process is for me and me alone, I still manage to react to (and absorb) some quilt artists' view that it's not valid if it's not constant, original work. From time to time, I have to mentally step back and think about what I'm doing this for. I don't want to be known as a great artist. I don't want to have people seek me out to teach. I simply want to create quilts and quilt art and enjoy the process. Sometimes that means I'm creating something wholly new and original. Sometimes it means that I'm having fun by putting my fabric choices and taste and personality into traditional quilt shapes and patterns. Both are satisfying to me, that that's okay.

I came home to learn the news about Donald Rumsfeld's resignation and the increased likelihood that the Democrats have won the majority in the Senate as well as the House.

It has been a very good day.

2 comments:

Debra said...

Those are excellent goals for you!! Funny, but in reading your blog I had the impression that you had moved past several of these already.

So what is your next step?

Shelina said...

These are incredibly awesome goals. Things that all of us need to remember from time to time. I am going to put a link to this post in my blog, because I think more people need to see this.

By the way, blogging will help you keep track of your progress. I have a blog page which I update everytime I finish a quilt. Sometimes it is hard to remember the quilts that were finished and given away or put away earlier in the year. I also keep a spreadsheet which shows not only finished quilts, but the progress that has been made on the WIPs. My number is around 60% completed, which doesn't make me very happy, but it is a lot better than I expected.