Well, that only took about 6 years. When I moved to Sandpoint that long ago, I was looking forward to joining a Fiber Art group, or any art group for that matter, that would provide peer review, networking, information exchange and a social outlet with like minded people. As artsy as Sandpoint is, with art exhibits and galleries galour, it never occurred to me that there would not be such a group; the only thing I could readily find was a traditional quilt guild and a FiberArt Guild focusing primarily on spinning, weaving and knitting - not really what I was looking for. The only time artists seemed to rub shoulders was at the POAC exhibit opening receptions. Even after I joined POAC's Visual Arts Committee, I failed to find the sort of monthly group I had in mind, even though it seemed to be something a lot of the area artists longed to be a part of.
|Meg & her Lightning Creek Exhibit entry|
Then Meg found me a couple of years ago, new to the area and looking for the same sort of thing. The timing wasn't right for us to start such a group then, but we never forgot that this was something we wanted to do. We collected names & bided our time, waiting for our lives to settle and make room for such a commitment. Finally, that time has arrived!
|Donna shares her travel journal sketchbook|
We sent out e-mails inviting a select group of area artists to our first meeting last month. There are only 4 of us at the moment, but it is not numbers that count with a group like this. It is being of like mind in what we want from the group, and a commitment to attend regularly, share, push, and build trust that encourages honesty. Each of us is at a different point in our creative journeys and that makes for exciting and interesting interaction. Three of us live minutes from each other, but our fourth member, Donna, drives fifty-some miles to join us (her artsy town appears to be lacking in such a group as well).
Because we chose the third Monday of the month for our meeting date, it has twice fallen on a holiday observed by the public schools. Meg's daughter, Adelle, has been able to lurk around the edges of our meetings, and she has been a delight. Today, while we were flapping our jaws in "serious" artistic discussion, Adelle was actually getting some art made. Not interested in the working with fiber herself, she draws instead and has started posting some of her work at her own art blog: http://ravensknow.weebly.com/
I meant to take pictures last month, but as so often happens with a group like this, we got so engrossed in showing our work, asking questions and offering suggestions that I totally forgot. This month I had extra incentive to remember as one of our members, Robin, has flown south for a few months and we promised to keep her in the loop as much as we could. I'm already reaping the benefits of such a group - had I not had the meeting today, I don't think I would have pushed myself to get my latest bubble creation to this point. As you can see, the bubbles are showing up much better. My question for the group was about color choice for the arms. In the studio, I thought the fabric used in the narrow border too dark for them, but the group gave me good reasons for going with it, reasons that made sense.
Sketchbooks was a common theme this month. I shared the one I'm doing my Zentangles in, mostly because I wanted to share the tangle that I'll be using as the background quilting for the bubble piece. Donna shared sketchbooks using pen and watercolors and subjects not necessarily related to her quilting (although we all should know by now that drawing and sketching are exercises that make our design work better). Her current in process piece is large and not at a point where it can come off the design wall, so she brought a picture of it instead (on the left in the photo above).
And Meg had recently gotten back this little piece from a POAC exhibit themed "Journeys", the journey being from sketchbook drawing to fabric.
We lingered a long time today, finding so much to talk about. We know this will slow as we get to know each other better, but it is obvious we are savoring this time together to talk about our art.
So, where there is a void, don't whine about the void existing...fill it!