Things remain a bit quiet in the studio, now that the few gifts are made, wrapped and in the mail. The work table became the wrapping/shipping center, with bits of gift wrap, ribbon and labels still scatter upon it. Clothesline lies pooled under my sewing table, leftover strips huddle in small piles on the table - the odds and ends of the basket project which tantalize me since they are just enough for some small lipped plates. But the Christmas preparation is only partly complete. Any sewing will have to wait for cards to be written and the rest of the decorations to be put out. There may even be some cookie baking before I'm done!
It's a good time to let one's mind wander, to reflect on the past year, especially the fruits of one's artistic labors. Will it be simply "carry on" when the holidays conclude or is a major overhaul in order? With two projects in process, I'll be carrying on at least until they are done. At the moment, I can't really see much past them. I may revisit some ufo's, especially one that is not all that far from being done. I got a little stuck on it, then unexpectedly spent 3 months away from home, and upon returning moved on to other things. But it is worth figuring out the last bits, and I'm hoping to find the frame of mind to do that.
I will leave you with a couple of thoughts to ponder as you wrap up the year and contemplate the next. First is from an interview with artist Mary Whyte who had this to say about what she tells students they need to have to become accomplished artists - these three things (with my own thoughts in parentheses):
- Something to say (I've always referred to this as having a vision)
- The ability to say it (I'm thinking probably not just via skill and technique)
- The courage to do it (I've seen how easily we can talk ourselves out of believing in our vision and skill)
I think this sums it up pretty well. Personally, after years of producing both traditional and art quilts, I still know I have things to say and usually the skills I need to say them (and if not, the persistence to learn the skill I need). But that last one can trip me up, even with all the confidence I've gained through doing and exhibiting (leading me to think I should consider "fearless" as my resolution word for 2015). Perhaps that's why this quotation attributed to art critic Robert Hughes is so comforting to one who often doubts.
"The greater the artist, the greater the doubt; perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize."
And with that, I must get back to my holiday preparations. Since actual quilting has been sparsely represented lately, I will leave you with the only Christmas quilt picture I could find - one I made for my mother-in-law from a pattern & fabric she'd bought, then decided she didn't have the oomph to put together. You can see detail shots on this blog post.