I surprised myself and easily did my morning pages this week: 7-out-of-7 days. For me it was a feeling of returning to a morning ritual that has always been a positive and supportive one.
For my artist date, I went to the Michigan State University campus, last Sunday, to see an exhibit of Pewabic pottery from the Arts and Crafts era at the Kresge Museum and, afterward, walked around campus looking for the examples of Pewabic tiles on many of the buildings on campus, including a couple buildings where I spent a lot of time as a freshman, 30 years ago. Mary Chase Perry is best known for the beautiful irridescent finishes she was able to achieve. Reading all the carefully written notes describing how various effects were achieved, I was impressed by the experimentation that was a large part of her art.
I'm fond of asserting that "everything's connected" and my artist seemed to embrace that concept this week. I started the week writing about monsters and subtle negative messages, and encountered some very specific judgement from some who insisted that there was only one way to approach knitting or to be a quilter . . . as they had, on a very narrow and well defined path without deviation or distraction by other media. My approach to choosing yarn was loudly ridiculed by a yarn shop owner, as he entertained some of his other customers by making a joke at my expense. I was told that I am not a quilter because I knit and have made hats and have interests beyond the quilt. Despite the awareness of this negative judgment (from other artists), I opened the gates wide to the possibilities for making art: I played and tried new things. I learned some Shibori techniques at a workshop with a local fiber artist. I signed up for a clay class, went without expectations, and threw my first pot. I bought art supplies--Shiva paint sticks and canvas for floor cloths--that will take me in two new directions. It felt like play and it was wonderful and I found myself making connections and leaps, from a colorful tile to a quilt design, from a knitted panel to an idea for a clay vessel.
My love affair with knitting continues and while I knit, creative ideas flow, for clay objects, for knit projects, for quilts. For me, it is definitely artist brain activity. I'm not sure I've consciously made that connection before; in the future, if I am stuck, I may consider some mindless, meditative knitting . . .