Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Reception Postscript

"Three essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love and something to hope for."  John Addison

My thanks to Robin from my art group for getting this picture of me at the Fiber and Quilts Exhibit opening reception on Friday. The turnout wasn't huge, but I did enjoy meeting some of the artists that were new to me as well as reconnecting with those I've exhibited with before. And as always, the viewing public that took the time to check things out showed their understanding of the mediums with their astute questions and observations. I got valuable feedback, blush-inducing compliments and literal thumbs-up from several of the men. They really liked my fountain wall, which both puzzled and pleased me. Most of all, this brief moment with my quilts in the public eye, interacting with both artists and art appreciators, talking about inspiration and process and technique, reminded me why I do this (create art) and why I chose this area to do it in.

Meg Marchiando's Kids & Gulls Quirkies

I apologize for not taking pictures of the other pieces in this show to share with you, but I did get this one of more "quirkies" by Meg, another friend from the art group. Her children still delight, this time chasing seagulls while also hoping to chase winter away.

"In order for people to be happy in their work, these three things are needed: They must be fit for it. They must not do too much of it. And they must have a sense of success in it."  John Ruskin

I'm not sure that I mentioned I've decided to opt out of ArtWalk this year. I have not been very "fit" for a long time, making it difficult to do the work "happily" for lack of both physical energy and mental clarity. Back in February, I finally got a diagnosis to what I've been piecemeal treated for these last 3 years, and could see that it would take time to right this. If I were to be realistic, my chances of getting my three pieces done by the deadline would either force me to work when I shouldn't or produce work I wasn't happy with due to rushing to deadline, or both. When presented the chance to be in this exhibit with its earlier deadline, I said yes because it was more important to me than ArtWalk and thus a reasonable trade, and I only needed to finish up the one new piece for it. It has given me that "sense of success". I am content with my choice.

Deadlines can be good; lord knows they have always pushed me to complete more quilts than I would without them. But they can also hem one in, limit options and push you to make poor decisions. I felt all those things as I worked on the fountain wall, working on days when I should have been off my feet, rushing my thought processes to reach technical solutions, finding myself resentful that I could not pursue an intriguing bit of family information come to light, not until that "stupid" quilt was done. I know I'm in trouble when I start referring to a quilt in progress as that stupid quilt!

So I am making good on my New Year's resolve to give exhibiting a rest this year save for one - I just changed my mind about the one I wanted to work towards. Closing the door on participating in ArtWalk suddenly made me see how many other doors would fly open with opportunities I've been putting on hold for so long, things I can do without stressing my body so much. I'll still work on my quilts when the mood strikes, just not on deadline and "not too much of it". Time to move on (or move back?) to other interests that also bring me joy. And the good news is I'm already feeling progress on the health front as treatment kicks in and am so thankful to recognize a clearing of my mind. What felt overwhelming to do, what my brain just couldn't think through a month or so ago, well - not so much most days now. The "brain fog" has lifted! Time to get happy!


Sherrie Spangler said...

You look very happy and deservedly proud next to your art. Good for you for listening to your body and scaling back.

Chris said...

I think your smile says it all. Sometimes we do have to scale back. I remember you helping me make the decision to pull out of that challenge group that I belonged to. It was a good decision.

Michele Matucheski said...

You got it done! i love the stone work ... the juxtaposition of the light and dark really create a depth there. Nicely done! Feels good to make a decision, and let go of some obligations -- even self-imposed ones.