21 August 2007

Its all in the details...

Like so many of us, a lot of my work is produced as a result of deadlines. Deadlines for shows I want to enter, deadlines for shows I want to curate, deadlines for guild challenges, deadlines deadlines deadlines.

And I'm not complaining about this. Well, okay, maybe I am a little. I've decided that next year I am going to concentrate on building a body of work and lay off entering shows. I have some interesting prospects for curating that I want to pursue but I need to actually work.

So what prompted my examination of my obsession with deadlines? Well, I got back some work from a show the other day. I had two quilts in PAQA-South's show ARTQUILTSimages. I had sent them out shortly after finishing them and they were on tour with the show for two years. I spent a long time looking at those quilts. And I realized with a start that I think they are pretty good.

That my sound stupid but I tend to go through the whole "My work is poop. I don't know why I make art. Why do I bother?" You know, the whole tortured angsty artist thing that annoyingly gets in the way of making work. Because if you really think about it, it doesn't matter if your work is the best or the greatest, what matters is that you need to make it and do.

So after getting those quilts back and feeling like I was seeing my work with a new eye, I went and started poking around my own website. I just posted a new version and that has lots of extreme close up photos this time. Those close up photos are making me actually see the work rather then just concentrating on finishing and getting it to wherever it needs to be.

I'm realizing that its about the details. Its about stopping and realizing that what you make is a part of you and that it really matters that you just work. Not everything has to be the best thing ever produced.

For me its really important to get emotion into the piece. And when I look at these photos, I feel like I'm seeing things for the first time.

So if you are feeling like I do, like your artwork is speeding by you on its way out into the world, take a photo and really stop and look at it. What you see in that photo is what people see when they look at it for the first time and I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

12 August 2007

I take it back...

The quilt above is what I made for Balancing Act (see my last post). Its a little different for me and it makes me nervous and excited all at the same time. And now I have to take back what I said a few posts back about not being able to get into the idea of a series.

I guess the problem was that I hadn't discovered an idea that I was enthralled with enough to carry through a few pieces. My hope is to make five for this series. The one above is called "Fragile."

Here's a detail shot. I really like the cheesecloth and I am a complete Misty Fuse convert. I can hand stitch through it so much easier then I can through Wonder Under. I seem to really struggle with doing machine work. Not in the sense that I can't use the machine but more because I've been doing everything by hand for so long. There's something about it that just seems so much more personal. But my wrist is getting sore easily now and lack of time is a factor so I need to quit being mopey about it and just do it.

Hopefully "Fragile" will have some friends soon. :)

08 August 2007

SAQA Balancing Act Exhibit

Here is one of the things that I have been busily working on over the past couple months. Its an exhibit that I am co-curating with Susan Sanborn North for SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates). The photo above is the postcard that the gallery created after the jury results were final.

Its called "Balancing Act" and it is a small format art quilt exhibit that will hang at
The Lawrence Street Gallery in Ferndale, MI from August 28-September 28. The opening reception for the exhibit is on Friday September 7 from 6pm-9pm.

There are a total of 41 quilts in the exhibit and its going to be a great one! There is such a wide variety of techniques and styles. I'm working on the catalog for this now and soon the quilts will begin arriving at my house. This is going to be such a treat to be able to see all this work up close and personal!

I'll post more about it after it is hung. I'm hoping to get a couple quick shots with everything up for my own personal use. I have to admit that I really do enjoy curating shows, its just feels so rewarding.

So stay tuned! There is more to come! :)

02 August 2007

Emancipet charity quilt

The fiber art group I belong to, Running with Scissors, decided to do a chairty quilt for Emancipet. Johanna's daughter works for them and they are having a chairty auction coming up soon. So the group decided, under the direction of Johanna and Gena, to put together what turned out to be one gigantic quilt! Each member did four blocks, Gena and Johanna assembled the quilt and then it was quilted by a longarm machine quilter.

I have to say that this has turned out beautifully! It will be sent out shortly and then we will just have to wait and see how much money it raises.

On a side note, I've managed to give myself a brainache again. I don't know what my deal is but I'm not sleeping well lately so I'm dragging myself around doing all the work I need to on very little energy. This weekend ought to help me sleep well - I'll be removing wallpaper with a steamer in 90 degree heat. Oh what joy.

I ended up dropping out of the MIQAI, just couldn't get it done in time. I tried my hardest and groveled to Mary about it and although she understands, I still feel like poo about it. I will do better next year!

August and September are filled with exhibit activity for me. I am co-curating an SAQA exhibit with Susan Sanborn North called "Balancing Act." It will hang at the Lawrence Street Gallery in Ferndale, MI beginning at the end of August. (More on that in another post.) Its been a lot of work so far but fun.

Plus the quilts are coming in for the exhibit I hang at the American Sewing Expo, "Breaking Traditions." What I have received so far is stunning and I think this year is going to be fantastic! (More on that in another post too.)

Maybe this is why I have a brainache. Too much stuff going on as usual. Its funny, I always think how nice it will be to just kick back and relax with nothing to do and then when it happens, I'm bored silly. I guess busy is the way to go! :)