01 January 2008

Closing up shop & some promises...

This has been the scene at Chez Fibra Artysta this past week. This is the kitchen table, where I've been working. (And yes, the irony that I chose to work downstairs when I've gone to such extents to make my studio a creative paradise is not lost on me. The truth is that the kitchen counter is at the perfect height for ironing and the kitchen table is at the perfect height for cutting. These are things I hope to incorporate in my next studio when I buy a house.)

Its been a productive week. Much to the Dooley dog's chagrin, who has chosen to stand in the middle of the kitchen and chirp at me endlessly. (He is a bit of an attention whore.) Its a good thing I'm going back to work tomorrow because the endless supply of cookies tossed his way to shut him up would undoubtedly make him very round if it continued.

So let's take a look at what I got done:

  • Five new pieces for the Fragile art quilt series. (Actually, thirteen if I decide not to assemble the one that I cut up into nine small squares. My intention with that one was to make little squares that I could sell since I've had several requests to buy the other two that are already done. Still not sure how I feel about selling those pieces, they are really personal and it just feels...well...dirty. We'll see if that changes as time goes on.)
  • 43 leaves for some botany quilts. (I sketched out the design for the quilt today. With the size that I plan to do the quilt on, I can get five quilts created to use up all those leaves.)
  • laid the foundation for two political quilts, both of which need an extensive amount of surface design to get them to where I want them to be but the basis is done and they are ready to go
  • designed a means to incorporate each photo from my Where I Stand Sunday posts into artwork (I had to order supplies but as soon as I have one done, I'll post it)
  • experimented with a new series focusing on wool and an organic theme. (Sorry, I'm not showing you that one because the first one is beyond rough and needs much more work. Leann and Joan have been subjected to it for feedback, we'll see if they are horrified by it or not.)
This is a phenominal amount of work for me. They are all beginnings but I think that working in stages will help keep me moving. Meaning spending blocks of time laying foundations for work and then completing them as I go along. All in all, I'm pretty pleased with what I got done, hopefully it keeps going.

Spending all this time doing pretty much nothing else but creating things has thrown into sharp relief what a disservice I have done to myself by not doing work for work's sake. I've spent far too much time over the past couple of years creating artwork solely for the purpose of shows. Conforming to their themes, their size requirements, their time lines....its often left me wondering what my work could be with all that pressure stripped away.

I believe I'm well on my way to finding out the answer to that question. I'm not really much into making resolutions for the year. I find it somewhat odd that so many people corner themselves into ideas for improving themselves or their lives simply because the date rolls over on the calendar. But I have decided that I want to make some Promises to myself concerning my artwork. Here they are:

  • Continue with weekly Where I Stand Sunday photo essay/art series
  • Do not enter any shows this year in which I have to create new work just for it. If I already have something completed that qualifies and I want to submit it, that's acceptable. (There are two exceptions to this: Michigan Quilt Artist Invitational and American Sewing Expo. I'll be making pieces specifically for those.)
  • Make ATCs to trade each month with paper art group
  • Complete 25 art quilts by the end of the year.
  • Be proactive about learning new topics. (This means signing up for classes, reading up on subjects and actually doing them.)

My design wall contains the beginnings of 10 art quilts, and I have designs in my noggin for five more. So I'm hoping to exceed the 25 art quilt goal for the year. Its ambitious and all seems doable now. But I know that going back to work tomorrow will torture these Promises to the limit. I guess that's what makes them worth accomplishing -- they won't be easy.

And just to keep things light and happy, I'm continuing on with Dotty. I actually finished him up yesterday and sewed him together. Here's how he looks:

He is still lacking a face. I contemplated stitching his eyes on but I think he will look better with the plastic googley eyes like the pattern shows. (Yes, I'm actually following the pattern. Have you checked to see if the sky is falling?? Watch your head...) Which means another trip to Joann's and since it looked like this outside today, I opted to stay in.

I'm going to create his pumpkin house tonight. Its the last peaceful night at the end of a very pleasant, much needed, quiet vacation. Dooley is snoring next to me on the sofa, its a nice day.

1 comment:

Leann said...

Man, you got a ton done! Excellent!!