Saturday, November 26, 2005

Working toward a goal

Dear __________(fill in name of Famous Art Quilter here),
As you may remember I am a gushing big fan of your quilts. I am also a raging fiend of envy at your output. I want to be able to produce tons of work as you do, but this pesky job of teaching/traveling gets in the way. Whine whine whine.

Anyway, I wanted to say that I finally readjusted to being home and found the time to read your past posts/website additions, magazine articles, tv appearances, show catalogs, and got to see your beautiful new work that is now killing me . Yummamente.
All your work holds together so well as a BODY OF WORK, whereas my work is bouncing all over the place, artwise, stylewise and contentwise. I have this dichotomy of purpose, MAKING A LIVING, and making art, and making quilts that will sell. While I am successful enough (what is that?) I am desperately wanting to be more of an artist and less commercial, without giving up the big bucks.
I am now about to get started making a series of stuff since I have a goal of getting into Visions for the 6th time, entering something new in Paducah and filling my NJ Quilt Fest
one person show with new work.
My goal is also, now get this, doing something over and over again in new colorways each time. For this I look to you. I think that you do this really really well. I hope that doesn’t sound like a left-handed compliment, because it turns out that it actually works in your case, so maybe it will also work for me.
I have chosen the circle as my theme. It has been done to death, but so have the square, the strip and the arc. So I must bring my artistic ingenuity to the work. Argh, where did I leave it?

I am telling you this, (and you may want to ignore my ravings, no problem) as part of the humbling process. I feel that I must become the student again in order to accomplish this feat. I can’t explain it, I just feel it.
You need not answer this post. You need not enter into a dialog with me. You may want to keep your distance from my raving lunacy, but nevertheless I will be throwing my work your way as soon as I can get something made and then if you see me veering off the path of enlightenment, I have hopes that you will stick out your foot and correct my trajectory.

11 comments:

  1. Hhhmm...I don't see your work as "bouncing all over the place" at all. Even with different content, your work all looks Melody-ish to me! I find your style very distinctive.

    My opinion, FWIW. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'd like to know who the h-e- double toothpicks YOU have the NERVE to be jealous of. PULEEEEEEZ. I know that you want to do a series (you are already doing one if I recall correctly), so you must mean ANOTHER series. I will admonish you in a private email.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm going to be constantly questioning who is producing tons of work...with that siad, I fear I must agree with Sonji....just what is it that you are seeking. How much more famous can you be? And certainly that is not your goal since you have already accomplished it.
    On the dectective trail of someone who is producing lots of work that is all successful.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Now I know I'm not the one you're jealous of..hahahhahahaha...oh lord woman! I wish, I only wish I could pump it out the way you do...but then I'm into too many things....me thinks you are a bit too energised like the bunny lol...

    Rosy

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hmmmm, isn't it so interesting that others see things in our works that we don't see. All that "our own worst critic" mumbo jumbo. No advice from me. I'm just looking forward to seeing art work that is wonderful and makes you pleased and proud.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am suffering from Melody envy... I have no idea what you are talking about. And I am not just envious of your quilting... put the knitting and cooking in there, too. You are the total package, Melody... besides which you are so much fun. Everyone at those quilting shows was thrilled because they got to meet you! don't change... we like the multi talented you!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Melody, you go girl! Just because you are already famous and produce, IMHO, plenty of work, and it's all fabulous (OK, my favorite quilt is one of your least faves, so what do I know?), why shouldn't you continue to explore and push yourself artisticly? (Did you check out Gabrielle's post on just that today?) And since most of us can't work in a vaccuum, of course you should seek out a mentor! AND, because you are famous, I bet any other famous art quilter would LOVE to open a dialog. I hope, hope hope, that this famous art quilter is willing and able to shed light on your path to enlightenment :-)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh yeah, and I also hope that the rest of us can vicariously, through your blog, bask in some of that light too.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Melody, I totally understand where you are coming from. And I think that it is only through self-doubt that we can push ourselves to grow and explore.

    The local art-quilt group in Denver (frcq) has show-n-tell during the meetings. Artists aren't allowed to make self deprecating remarks. It's supposed to be positive and happy. I find that to be ridiculous - as I believe it's only when questioning and pushing and being honest with ourselves that we really learn.

    When I was a graduate student I remember a professor asking a PhD student "did you do this work because it was interesting and relevant - or because it was easy?" At the time I thought the professor was a jerk - but honestly - it is an extremely valid question that I think artists need to ask themselves after each and every piece.

    And I absolutely agree - it's about being a student. In fact I made some very similar comments last month at the Nancy Crow workshop in Idaho when I gave a little blah blah blah about my work to the class. Nancy had asked me why I work the way I work and I talked about viewing each piece as a learning piece and knowing I am a student as it keeps me grounded and focused.

    But I also believe my work is good - otherwise I would just give up in frustration, because it can be really hard sometimes.

    So it is a rather paradoxical situation that I think I have to live in to do my artwork - to totally believe in myself - but to also think I am just a student. It's hard to explain to many people what I mean by this.

    Anyway - I wish you luck in your new endeavor. I think balancing the art you are striving for and the teaching/selling will be tricky and I look forward to hearing about how you go about achieving that dichotomy.

    ReplyDelete
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Hello,
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