Monday, December 12, 2005

Random Monday Thoughts

I'm at my desk, procrastinating the start of a new work project. And what better way to do that than add a blog entry? As always, I've been circling the AQ web ring and thought I'd take this opportunity to respond to a few entries that have struck me.

Gabrielle bravely asked why people make those quilt post cards. Good for you for throwing the question out there, Gabrielle! And I confess that it's not a fad that appeals to me, either. I see the attraction: small format, very fast result, instant gratification. As exercises in fast creative composition, they're probably excellent. I see the fun of sharing them, too. I love the ones I've received from friends. But those things don't make me want to do them. I've done the mail art thing in my book arts phase, and I'm too protective of my creative time now. I want to spend my time on things with more significance to me. (Not that my work is of any significance to anyone else, of course...but they're projects that make me want to invest my time and that's enough for me.) Maybe, for my own process, they'd be useful as small studies for something bigger. Still, I'm just not going to do the 4x6 thing.

I've been reading Melody's blog with some amount of envy at her ability to spend so much time every day developing an idea and applying such intensity to her art and working so quickly to produce such stunning results. (I'm talking about the red and green quilt entries of late.) I react similarly to Pam's and Gabrielle's and Lisa's and Liz's blogs, and those of other professional artists and teachers. Then I remember that art is their full time job and livelihood, and that requires their full-time energy and attention and their lives are structured to provide that. My life just isn't like that. I love my life and my family and even, most of the time, my work. I'm an art quilt dilletante, I guess. But that doesn't stop me from envying the time and ability to focus for days on end on creating something exciting.

I am tempted to jump into the small group of AQ ring members starting to work through Katie Pasquini's Color and Composition exercises. I got excited at seeing what folks posted for their first exercises, and went and pulled out the book and heck, maybe I will even jump in at some point. But I remembered the stuff I have in my mind I want to make, and the unfinished assignments due in January for my Practical Design workshop, and I know I need to focus on those things first. So I'm trying to show some restraint.

I've got an urge to finish some of the unfinished things hanging around my studio. The dotty circles quilt is still up on my design wall, with the pieced border in progress. I have a second Christmas-y top done, yet to be sandwiched and quilted. I have a project I started two years ago in a workshop with Jane Sassaman that has started calling to me again. And it's time to make another donation quilt for the children's center, I think. When Caroline is home for Christmas vacation, we'll work on donation quilts for kids in need.

But none of this will get done unless I finish my work, so I'd best get to it. Thank goodness for these blogs to keep me thinking and feeling inspired!


  1. Diane, thank you for the kind words. To be redundant, yes, this is all we do; it's a job. It just happens to be a job we love and probably couldn't be happy without. That being said, you also have the same creative urges and imagination we have. You just have a different life that moves inbetween creativity and other aspects. We all have the best of both worlds just at different times. Get that Jane Sassaman quilt finished...I know you will have a beauty.

  2. Anonymous11:40 PM

    I don't think Gabrielle was speaking of postcards as much as she was of small art quilts. I don't think those of us doing post cards think of them as great art pieces. For me, they are a way to use my craft, to send greetings of one sort or another to family and friends.

    If you have checked in on some of the fundraiser auctions and sales, there are a lot of small art quilts out there. I think she was questioning whether you can get real visual impact with small works. Melody and I feel that small works are more marketable and so will continue to do them.

  3. Anonymous5:44 PM

    Hi Diane, thanks for the link and nice comments.

    Oh how I wish it were true that I could do my art full time. But I actually work 40+ hours a week as a software engineer also.

    But that does mean I don't have to market my work or spend time teaching like Gabrielle and Melody to pay the mortgage. Some days I think that is good. Some days I think it is bad. It's all a trade off I suppose.

    I think focusing on what we truly want to accomplish, no matter what the size or end goals is really the key. There are a lot of other options out there and putting on the blinders so we aren't pulled off course is important from time to time. Good luck meeting your goals!