20 January 2008

WithW: week 2 check-in

Morning Pages: I'm embarrassed to report that I only managed one day (today!) of morning pages, and even they were spare. I even remember my first waking thought as the alarm clock went of at 6am on Tuesday: morning pages suck! Don't get me wrong, I don't mean to criticize the activity, I just can't seem to get my arse out of bed on weekdays. I realized that there is a strategical problem that is working against me. We recently painted our bedroom, and rearranged some of the furniture, namely moving the dresser to my side of the bed, placing the alarm clock (atop the dresser) within my reach while I am still in bed. So instead of getting up to turn off the alarm clock, I have been listening (and snoozing) to NPR for an extra 30 minutes every morning. So the alarm clock has got to move.... maybe to the kitchen.

Artist's Date: I went with some dear friends of ours to the Seattle Art Museum. My first visit, and a lovely creative date. I spent sufficient time wandering by myself, often in rooms alone. I sat on a bench in one of the European Art galleries, closed my eyes and grounded myself a bit, then listened to the sounds of the museum... murmuring voices in the next gallery, the soft shuffle of the museum staff member making her rounds, muffled construction noise from First Avenue. I tried to absorb.... I don't know, an aura? of these long-dead artists, whose works I have studied before. While the museum was very enjoyable, afterwards, over lunch, my friends and I recounted what we saw and what we liked. We even ended up talking about what it is to be an artist... are any of the three of us artists? Mukwa Ogimaa reminded me that in order to achieve the sorts of art I want to, I have to show up. There's a quilt that I have designed in my head. I have tried to sketch it out a couple of times, and sometimes I really like what I see, but sometimes I just get frustrated when I sit down with fabrics and really think about how to make this quilt. Mukwa Ogimaa asked me if I was afraid of starting. Without hesitation, I said "yes." I then recanted, because while I am extremely hesitant, it doesn't feel like fear. I just know (and accept) that the pieces, when I do begin, won't be what I want at first. I've been good at quilting so far, so now I expect instant gratification, but this design will push my skills as an intermediate quilter and I fear that I've bit off more than I can chew. Mukwa Ogimaa gave me some good words and reminded me that I just need to show up in order to get my bearings, and to not expect a perfect piece o f work right away. I really need to remember that. Even though I know and understand that from a logical point of view, my inner artist still expects perfection the first time... and if I don't try, I won't fail. I know the Artist's Date is supposed to be a solitary activity, but this time, the encouraging words of my friends were the real inspiration.

As a bonus artist date, after seeing my friends off, I went to a nearby quilt store that I hadn't yet been to. I bought some lovely batiks for a different quilt, which are now tumbling around in the dryer.

Weekly Walk: I walked to my carpool on Friday morning, about a mile. It was hard to not be thinking about work or the weekend, but I managed to center myself a little and enjoy the crisp morning air and the sounds of the waking city. Maybe too short or too purposeful a walk to really make any self-discovery. I'll try to stick to my more leisurely lake walks or similar from now on.

8 comments:

Pat/SWquilter said...

When we did a group reading of The Artist's Way on about.com, I had a similar experience with a quilt I had been asked by my boss to make for his son - Brett spent his junior semester abroad in Cuba and wanted a Cuban flag quilt to put on his (queen-size?!) bed. I bought the fabric right away and hemmed and hawed around about starting the quilt - I had to draft my pattern - although I had found very explicit directions on the internet so it shouldn't have been that hard. But I kept putting off starting the quilt because I was afraid it wouldn't turn out right. I finally pushed myself to get started and planned to draft the huge triangle pattern on a weekend when I would be with a friend who loves math much more than I do so I could fall back on her expertise. Turned out the drafting wasn't nearly as scary as I was afraid it would be - and I actually corrected a math mistake that Becky was making as we were drafting the triangle pattern - so I could have done it all by myself. Though all I can say is thank God the Cuban flag is simple! Only has one 5 pointed star, I give Betsy Ross a lot of credit! LOL!

Pat H.

froghair said...

wow -- that sounds like quite a project, even if the flag design *is* simple. I'm doing WitW with a group from about.com too -- I know they did The Artist's Way before this... maybe the same folks! I feel like I have writer's block, but for quilting! But I think I've made some progress, and will be back on it soon!

Pamela said...

I have a quilt that I am doing the same thing with. I think I am worried that the quilt in my head won't translate properly to fabric!

I am envious of all of you in larger towns with more access to art museums, etc! Small town life is a little more peaceful, but I do miss some of the things that you can get out and enjoy.

Marianne said...

I understand the hard part of getting started and how to translate what is in your head into reality. A couple of years ago we did an art quilt challenge and I liked to be pushed a little like this to venture in the unknown and come up with something new (I kind of need the commitment). I've learned that with the quilts I made up (traditional or not) there will always be this "What-was-I-thinking-I-don't-like this at all-in-fact I hate-this" phase. My two lesser virtues mostly help me through. I have little patience so will do little ripping or redoing as possible, plus I'm stubborn so I'll stick to the first thing I intended to do. And in the end I'm generally quite pleased and even when it doesn't turn out I at least know I tried and can chalk it off as an experience. So what kind of ideas are perculating in your head? Do you have some quilters you can explore this with?

Debbie said...

I totally get the 'can't start' issue. And I can't say I've mastered starting either. But I try to remember something one of my grade school art teachers said, "Even great artists erase". Now I take that to mean 2 different things. All artists can dislike what is happening with their piece and they edit. And sometimes they get to the end of their piece and realize there is something they should have done differently. But learning from your art is probably more important than making perfect art. Because there is no perfect art.

donna said...
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