Saturday, February 26, 2011
So I'm in this funny phase. It's one I go through from time to time. You'd think I'd figure it out eventually. But it's about this: What am I doing with this quilting stuff? I feel like I am all over the place, doing a bit of everything, without ever focusing on any one technique or style or direction.
Do I have a style? I can't see that I do, in any definite way. I so admire some of my friends whose pieces have a strong voice and style and a distinctive cohesion. They do what they do, and they do it beautifully, and they push themselves into new places, but their work looks like it belongs to them. And it looks like they have a path that they know they are on, and they are moving purposefully on that path.
I don't seem to have a path. I feel more like Gemma at the dog park, rushing in all directions at once and running in circles until her tongue is hanging out. And I feel like my work looks like a collection of random stuff. And I'm often dissatisfied at how stiff it seems to me. I have this idea of what I WANT my work to be -- looser, freer, more spontaneous and joyful ... but how to get there eludes me.
So, you're thinking: "JUST DO IT." Yeah, I think that's right. I need to just let myself play.
One of my favorite artists wrote in a book that she posted a list of seven words on the wall in her studio, to remind her of what she wants her work to be. She has her list of adjectives, like "serene." "Clear." That sort of thing. And with each piece, she runs down her list to see if she has met each of her seven words, and if not, why not.
It's a great idea, isn't it? But me, I can't even decide on the seven words.
I think this is the mood that drives me to piecing. Just letting fabric slide through my fingers, pulled along by the feed dogs, allows me to meditate on all of this. Piecing, at least what I'm doing these days, requires very little brain power or decision making. It feels good to assemble pieces of fabric and create blocks of color and pattern. It makes me feel like I'm DOING something and, in fact, I'm getting things made and finished and that feels good.
So I need to choose a path. For now, not forever. And maybe think about some adjectives to help me stay on that path. And I need to give myself time to play.
If you had to pick 5-7 adjectives that describe the work you do, what would your list be?