Thursday, June 19, 2008

Unfinished Business

I am awash in uncompleted projects, unfinished tasks and unresolved ideas. My bulletin boards are layered in sketches and design notes. Although the computer looks benign in fact it is the digital equivalent of an OCD recluse's home overflowing with scraps of paper dating back 30 years. My studio closet is vomiting its load of supplies and fabrics into the room. All available surfaces have been employed to hold half finished projects. OK I exaggerate slightly but only slightly. The feng shui around these parts isn't very good.

I could look at this as the physical manifestation of a mind that doesn't quite know what it wants to do next... so many bright and shiny objects...and that would be a version of the truth. I do want to do it all and I haven't wanted to settle down or make any firm decisions.

Lately I feel smothered by it all ... this I think is a signal that I am entering a new stage in my artistic recovery. I grow weary of all this dithering and crave some closure, a firm direction to follow.

It has only been recently that I have felt confident enough to refer to my artists block in the past tense. This little milestone crept into my life without my notice. These days the ideas come fast and furious and I often catch hold of one or two and do something with them. Sometimes it develops sometimes it don't but the "don'ts" don't keep me from trying again.

For a long period of time I could function well in a class but I was unable to set my own goals. I honestly didn't have a clue what I wanted to do, I needed someone else to set assignments for me or I just didn't function. It got so bad at one point that I noticed I had even stopped doodling I was so afraid I'd get it wrong somehow.

I finally committed to going back to school at night for computer skills. Enrolled in a Visual Communications program I did well but once again when the classes ended I floundered unsure of my direction. Completing a full course of study did give me some confidence though because this time I resolved to put my efforts into figuring out what I wanted to do with the old creative impulse. I've spent some years now relearning how to play, how to value what I can do, and how to start connecting with others in the great big world. I've also developed some trust in my ability to nurture my artistic self. I am by no means done. I figure I am functioning at about 15% of my potential*

So I'm looking at this mess with new eyes. It is there to help me sort out the question"what do you want to do?" I have an inkling and as I sort physically I will sort mentally and see what I find when I'm done

* estimate based upon number of hours spent killing brain cells with video games and TV

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Cyber Fyber Trade

While away I got a chance to do some stitching. This is my first fabric postcard trade. I was invited by Susan Lenz to participate in Cyber Fyber and I leapt at the chance, after all could it be anymore convenient? I had an entire week at my leisure to play and somewhere for it to go when it was finished. All too often my completed projects go into the closet because there is nowhere to display them.
I decided to bring a small project pack of embroidery floss, metallic thread, woven fabric scraps and some little bits of heat set poly that I made when I tested the method (too cool to toss but just gathering dust in the closet, it was time they found a home).
I appliqued the little freeform makiage bits to the woven fabric then went back in with metallic thread couched with floss, to emphasize the forms set into the fabric with the heat setting. I also added some stitching to bring the two textures (woven, shiny) together a bit more. The result is reminiscent of flowers or coral or sea creatures of some sort.
I find three things about this kind of interesting
The first is that I’m using metallics and liking it, I’m not generally much of a bling person (more like hemp) but I’m really liking that pop of glisten with the gloss of the fabrics, and I am a texture person in a big way… The second thing I noticed is that some of the embellishment stitching’s texture is reminding me of Van Gough’s brush strokes The third came to me in the mail. Susan sent along a postcard with her fabric trade, I just started to laugh when I saw the similarity of the circular motif between our work!
I will post mine tomorrow. This was fun, I think I will look for some more trades to do, anyone know of any?

Vacation Booty

Our vacation went wonderfully, very indulgent to say the least. This is our second trip to Provincetown. Its perfect for a low key family getaway for us because it only requires 3 hours total travel time and we can bring the dog. We managed to fit in the perfect balance of activity and inactivity. We have a sort of system:
Get up, bring the dog to daycare, and pick up coffee
Spend the morning in some sort of family activity
Eat a big lunch
Split up for individual activity or siesta time
Pick up the dog and a light dinner
Relax as a family at the motel or the beach
Our first two days were very hot so we did some ocean related stuff. On one we went ocean kayaking on the bay and the on the other we went on a whale watch. I haven’t been on a whale watch since I was a kid so that was a real treat.
We saw 25 whales! Including one that was breaching (jumping right out of the water), as per usual my whale watch pictures convey nearly none of the excitement of seeing those huge creatures up close and personal. Rats. Another water related activity is bringing the dog to the beach after hours for a swim, she is nuts for the ocean.

We spent the next 2 cooler days doing some sightseeing and shopping in town. The motel we stay at is only 4 miles from town so we rode our bikes in for that making lunch a bit more guilt free. We even climbed the tower!
I got to do my morning pages, read and do some stitching on a porch with a view of the bay each day too.
Its fun to take this kind of a break, I don’t get much vacation time (14 days total for vacation and sick days after 20+ years… it just isn’t right), my family lives all over the country so a great deal of the time I do get is for visiting which is wonderful but different. I truly want to do some traveling but I have never managed to make it a priority in my life and somehow I am determined to change this dynamic…
Not quite sure how I will but there are a number of things about how I spend my days that I really want to change. I deeply desire more unconstructed time in my life to be used in accordance with my own personal priorities, too much of my time seems to be at someone else’s beck and call. The vacation gave me a taste of what I desire for myself now I just have to figure out how to manifest it.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

What to Bring

Yay! Vacation!

I'm off for a week by the sea. Just in time for the first heat wave of the year, perfect timing. Here is the entertainment pack of pure indulgence I will be bringing along in no particular order

1. scetch book, pencils sharpening tools and eraser
2. journal and nice pen for morning pages
3. 4 count em 4 art related magazines to mull over
4. One silly book of pure vampire/witch related fun
5. assorted bits of shibori, floss, fabric, thread, beads and tools all packed into a gorgeous kimono fabric bag
6. the camera which is taking the picture
7. all the clothes, swimsuits ect
8. the dog and all of her assorted paraphenalia (she doesn't pack light!)
9. bikes
10. snacks
that should do it!