Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Back to work & Getting Ideas

After a bit of foot dragging, I'm back in the studio. Well, I justified the foot dragging as necessary clean-up of both house and studio, and catch-up with my documentation. But as fabric got put away, the work tabletop reappeared and photos got printed and attached to files, I felt that hesitation that sets in after a major project has been completed and it is unclear what direction to head next. There's a miniature exhibit coming up, so I'd been considering making some fabric postcards to frame and enter. I've been wanting to make more based on my photo of the moon reflecting off the lake as well as some with birch trees, so why was I hesitating - nothing scarily new here. Once I got my sketchbook out with my "pattern" and the fabrics, something clicked, and all hesitation vanished. Here I have started the "accidental landscape" layering of sky then mountain over my decor bond and batting base (click on the picture for a larger view). I don't know why I didn't think of it before, using the black batting - it solves the problem I had before of too much white showing around the edge, potentially peaking through the satin stitching around the outside. Fortuitous that while searching through the rubble still covering part of the work table, I ran across some strips trimmed off another quilt.

That afternoon, I picked up my August/September issue of Quilting Arts and read the interview with artist Jeanette Gilks. I was a little surprised, but greatly encouraged by what she said in response to the question "Tell us about your approach."

"There is a moment at the beginning of every new work when you feel inexperienced and terrified, like a child on its first day at school. You wonder if you know enough and whether or not the work will be good enough."

Oh, yeah - that is exactly how I'd felt earlier in the day, how I often feel when starting up a new work. She goes on:

"As the work evolves, though, and you begin to chat together, you make suggestions as the work tells you what it needs...Your intention and the intention of the artwork don't always synchronize; you need to negotiate all the time."

Again, this is what I experience. It's nice to know it's not just because I'm not as experienced or well-trained or educated as artists who have made a name for themselves.

I usually don't like repeating myself, duplicating previous designs. I've done variations, but even then, they are usually quite different from the original idea. But I love this image so much, love it when the time of year arrives when I can see this out my bedroom window, that making more little pieces of art nearly identical hasn't bothered me. It has been very enjoyable. In the process, it has reminded me of another moon picture I took for reference - a harvest moon rising over the trees. So once these moon-over-the-lake ones get satin stitched, I'll be trying out a harvest moon design as just sketched (again, you can click the picture for a larger view). And after that, I may revisit my strawberry moon idea. Oh, the joy of creative flow...


June said...

Lovely way to think about the process. Thanks.

Margaret Cooter said...

On using the same image again - I've just come across a nice little quote from the blog of one of my long-ago (and enduring) art heroes, Tom Phillips, that it's good for an artist to go back to the same subjects, to dig deeper. Which is what you're doing!

The Idaho Beauty said...

Margaret, I've been thinking about this, ready to admit that I've returned but am not really digging deeper so don't pat me on the back. Today, I got to your blog entry where you have the full quotation and finally moved off my tunnel vision about this to realize that indeed, I do keep returning to the subject of the lake and the moon, sometimes combined, because I AM thinking there's more and I will find it. Others have stressed that repetition of a subject is good because when we get very familiar with it, that is when we suddenly see something new and exciting. I guess I will keep plugging away!