Friday, January 01, 2010

The beginning of a new year

The two art quilts on either side of the center one are the last art quilts I made in 2009 as they hung in the last exhibit of the year. I picked all three of them up just a few days ago, frankly a bit eager to have them hanging here at home. A lot of artists are busy assessing 2009, recapping the highlights, listing the accomplishments, tallying up works completed, setting elaborate goals for the new year. I usually do that too, but find I have no compulsion to do so this year. I don't have the sense that I need to double check what transpired, prove to myself that I didn't fritter away the year, find empirical evidence of my worth. I am oddly content. My thoughts keep going back to how I felt after hanging my work for the ArtWalk exhibit. I remember working hard to have a lot of pieces ready, and I remember how the Azalea Mosaic idea blossomed naturally into a series. I remember how proud I felt at what I'd accomplished, and more importantly, how I'd fallen in love with my work again after a long spell of lukewarm emotion and only seeing weaknesses. I think I found myself in 2009, and along with it a freeing confidence I'd previously lacked.

This is not to say there weren't bumps in the road, moments of frustration, all out panic, times when I threatened to throw in the towel and go pursue some other filler of time. There certainly were those, and there will be more in the future, I'm sure. But somehow they are not what I remember of 2009 as the year wound down into the holidays. I'm remembering the times of satisfaction, the work I'm proud of. Rather than worriedly wondering what I will or should do in 2010, I'm looking forward to new explorations on my mind that I will allow to lead me where they will. I'm looking forward to wrapping up more "unfinished business" I no longer what to push to the bottom of the list. I plan to focus less on creating for exhibits, more on the work and the process itself. I'm thinking of ways to shake up my daily routine so that my outlook remains fresh and I don't get bogged down in details or unwise commitments, in or out of the studio. I'm hoping to be more efficient overall so that I'll have time for more of my interests, and the luxury to focus on handwork.

Focus. Yes, I do believe focus needs to be my resolution word this year. I've decided that part of being efficient has to do with focus. I need to get back to written lists - another aid to focus that works well for me. When I make daily lists, I get an amazing amount accomplished, I feel efficient, and seeing those items ticking off energizes me. If the lists are only in my head, I tend to sit around feeling overwhelmed, go into avoidance mode, then chastise myself for not doing more. I don't know what magic the written word has over me, I just know that it does. I've purchased an engagement calendar expressly for holding those lists, for mapping out goals, a week at a glance.

Tomorrow, it all begins. With the holiday over, I feel the first itch in weeks to return to the studio and get down to work. It was like a switch being flipped - yesterday no desire or thought of it, today a natural readiness and anticipation of the next project. The break did me good, I think. I'm ready to go.

Here's a closer look at that wonderful sculpture that sat below my quilts at the exhibit "That Thing You Do." I definitely got the impression many people's eyes never made it up to my quilts at the opening reception, and I couldn't blame them. It is called "Salmon Chasing Bear," and is by local artist David Baranski.

1 comment:

Deborah said...

Focus is a great resolution word and it appears that you are going about it calmly. (Mine is Intent.) I really like the art quilts you displayed!