Saturday, December 18, 2004

Trying to Work

Just getting up the courage to go into the studio is my task this morning. I avoided it yesterday very well. Instead of making art, I cleaned up the library/TV room, including vacuuming and tossing tons of accumulated papers. Not like me. Desperate for distraction.

It's that familiar Studio Dance...fritzing around til something happens.

Why does it take courage some days to enter that room, that mindset, that creative space?
Sometimes after having a row of successes, an artist then has to live up to the last good piece she has made. Is this a problem for me? YES.

This year I have been in search of the elusive series concept. Intellectually I know that this would have to be an idea that would be expandable into many variations on the original theme. In order to accomplish this, the idea must be simple and enjoyable for me to construct.
The variables would be layout, color and something else. I have no idea what that something else is. Perhaps it is an idea that works as a catalyst to get me into the creative state.

I am not usually a hesitant artist. I have maintained that the way to make art is not to wait for the muse but instead to get into the studio and just play. This is how I have managed to make a great deal of work this year. I have monthly deadlines of the PAQA meeting, or the next teaching job, which gave me an allotment of time to make new work. I very busily attacked fabric, using my "formula" of strip fused constructed fabrics, plus a simple repeated block, combined with large chunks of plain color. I can make a top a day, and by the fourth or fifth day I am ready to quilt them all. This isn't a boast, but actually the way I worked most of this year. The result was quantity over quality. Accidentally several nice works were created and the rest, well, they are just the rest.

When that was all over and the really nice Quilt National piece ( unrelated to that series work) was rejected (A Triumph of Tulips), I let go of the push, push, push of the year and just relaxed for a while.

Then we watched the Andy Goldsworthy DVD and I got inspired to make Matchstick Moons. Surprisingly good work and it was also fun to construct. I could have finally discovered something that would work as series potential.

I could be feeling satisfied. But no, that isn't the deal. I should be wanting to build on that new good foundation.
Icky word. Connotes obligation. Eeoooww.

On the other hand, I do have a sketch that I could use as a jumping off point. If I sketched for an hour or so, there might appear several more possibilities. The thing about sketching, is that the mind brings forth stuff almost automatically. I could do that. In the warmth of an upstairs room, listening to good Saturday radio.

There is a good block of time for me now. Dave has to work Sunday, everyone else is off doing
Christmas stuff or leaving town, so there will be no distractions, no social life to speak of, and it's not like I have to think about any deadlines...nothing to say I can't have a few false starts before something good happens. It's only fabric for heaven's sake...


  1. Melody, i stumbled upon your blog and website through a blog that stumbled onto mine! I love your work and the colours and the exuberance! I too have a difficult time sometimes just getting *into* my studio to work---the first step, though i've taken it a million times, is so hard somedays. Fortunately, i find people like you who inspire me again! I realized recently that my work has become dark and heavy so it's lovely to see some life and vivid colours and images in your work. Thank you!!!

  2. Anonymous11:42 AM

    Excellent, love it!

  3. Anonymous8:29 AM

    You have an outstanding good and well structured site. I enjoyed browsing through it film editing classes

  4. I am so glad l can come clean Melody about sometimes l can't go in my studio, just thought it was me . Some times l force myself and start doing a art quilt and thats all it takes and am well away but why does it happen if l have a few days of and l stil have a battle with myself,
    Jill Smith


So nice of you to drop by. I love your comments, and if you would really like a reply, please email me at fibermania at g mail dot com