Sunday, January 08, 2006

Artist Way: week 7 check-in

Artist Way Quilters: link

Like Rian and Jules, I, too, had a hard time getting back to Morning Pages and only did them 2 days this week. I felt like I usually do the week after clocks spring forward or fall back for Daylight savings time--a weird form of jet lag. Plunging back into work was also challenging for me.

I thought I had planned the perfect Artist Date when I decided to make Planet Patchwork's New Year's Day mystery quilt. It was the first mystery quilt for me--in fact the first time I had made an entire quilt, as written, from a pattern. It seemed like a nice bit of synchronicity to discover that I could use a stack of FQs from my stash that I had purchased a year ago without a plan and now thought just weren't my style. Unfortunately, while I did finish the quilt top, the day was not a satisfying one because every step was fraught with errors ...

Looking for a more satisfying experience, I returned to a WIP and started working on letters and words for the border. Everything was done improv-style and it was fun (and satisfying).

Thinking about jealousy (or it's more gentle form, envy) and perfectionism were interesting. As I read the ambitious quilting goals of others, I confess that I envy those without a day job and all the available time they have that I simply do not. I envy them the long list of quilts that they will make that I simply cannot. I remind myself to set realistic goals for me and not feel any less for them.

I saved this quote from Danny Gregory's blog this week:

Art making is not a competitive sport. Being intimidated by what others do, by the clarity of their vision, the steadiness of their line, means thwarting the very thing that will get you to where you want to be. If you don't draw because others, who have done it longer and more often, do it 'better' you are robbing yourself.

With the accessibility that the web gives us, it is so easy to be more intimidated than inspired by the work of the Famous Quilters and not-so-famous artists we admire. I choose to be inspired and to give myself a break when I can't do all I wish I could.

I forgot about exercises 5 and 6, but realized at the end of the week, I'd done them anyway.

This week I wore a pair of hand-knit-by-me socks and felt a ridiculous amount of joy from the experience. It's a little like falling asleep under a quilt of your own design and making, but better because you're fulling awake and walking around with a little smile all day long. The experience inspired me to buy some beautiful hand-dyed yarn from a local yarn shop to make more and to place an order for some Socks that Rock yarn (in Lapis, Pebble Beach and Falcon's eye colorways).

I wore my socks inside another small luxury--my new Dansko loose-back clogs in a NARROW width. I went on a scavenger hunt around town to find a store that had the narrow width that Dansko only offers in one style. The fit is perfect--I may never buy any other style shoe :-)

10 comments:

QuiltingFitzy said...

Thank you for that quote. I almost get artistically paralyzed by other's ability, I KNOW it's quite ridiculous but seeing that other's are effected the same way gives me some solice.

Rian said...

That Danny Gregory is really something! Great quote. And great shoe! I'm in the market for some new shoes and those look like just my style. We have a really good zapataria in SLO, they sell all the Euro brands. I'm allll over it.

Be inspired by other artists and don't let their brilliance stifle you.

Jules said...

I envy your knitting ability. I have promised myself that I will learn how to knit after I lose my weight. It is going to be my reward.

I really like the quote from Danny Gregory.

jenclair said...

While I often despair that I'll never achieve the kind of work I see others doing, it has been through visiting blogs that I developed the initiative to try, to experiment, and hopefully, to improve.

So many really fine quilters and quilt artists are so generous with their hints, techniques, and support. Danny Gregory and other illustrators who have blogs seem to operate with the same principle - support and encourage.

I do, however, have to keep reminding myself that the process is actually more important than the product. And that I'm not competing...

sophie said...

Rian, try on a pair of Danskos and you will either love them or hate them. Don't pay attention to their mapping of euro-to-US sizes. When you can, TRY THEM ON and findout for yourself what size you need.

Debra Spincic said...

Your link worked!

sophie said...

Bizarrely enough, my link DID work . But, if I told you how it was constructed, like me, you'd be wondering WHY ;-)

Suze said...

I like those shoes too...have to see if I can find them around here..
And I still like your Gems quilt...I think it looks very nice (too bad the instructions were stinkers!)
DH got me the second edition of Betty Edwards "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" for Christmas - I loved the first edition - its a bit dog-earred!...I have been trying to get to working on its exercises.. but I have way too much on the plate this month! She has some new tools she wants you to have and so far I haven't forced myself to go to Michaels (I even have a gift card!) to get them...Maybe in March...

sophie said...

I've never read the Betty Edwards books, though they're on my list . In a workshop with Dottie Moore a couple years ago, we did a bunch of fast sketches for landscape designs with our non-dominant hand, then switched back and did a bunch more. I really liked my left-handed designs better--it's one of the techniques I plan to explore in my Journal Quilts this year.

Pat/SWquilter said...

All right -- more shoes that come in NARROW widths!! I'm happy. I also love Born shoes and they tend to run on the narrow side -- I read all the raves for Crocs, but not sure they wouldn't be too wide for me. I'll have to try them on sometime.

I heard the mystery quilt had many errors in the instructions - one of the hostesses for the AZ retreat completed her top though and I got to see it Saturday -- hers had a black background with jewel colors and was very distinct and very pretty -- yours has a very impressionistic feel to it and I really like it too.

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