Friday, February 03, 2006

The Teaching Sessions Begin
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Tomorrow I will be in the Milwaukee environs doing a morning lecture, and evening workshop and a daylong workshop on Sunday. I am prepared with a brand new lecture on my new laptop, still wishing my old laptop would return to me soon. I have new work to show, woowoo, and I get to visit with Sonji while I am up there as she lives kinda just down the street from the hotel where I will stay.
So I make this announcement by way of stating that this ends the major quilting time for me for several months. Yes I still have to quilt #4 Ellipses , but that can be done in spurts in between teaching gigs. And really for me, the quilting part can hardly be called creative.
In the past I tried to make small quilts in the small spaces of time that I had, and perhaps I will do that again, but I thought I might do something different this year. I might use my creative energies to draw designs in the sketchbook instead.
While I was preparing my new slide lecture I went back to the original drawings of several of my quilts to show the process, and realized how many of my best works actually did come from drawings. The light bulb went on. Duh!
Here I was believing that great stuff was just improvised, right on the spot. Well, I do a lot of improvising but when you examine the pile of great improvised stuff next to the pile of great designed stuff, the designed stuff wins. By a long shot.
I used to think that if I designed a quilt the surprises would be removed from the making, but that was only true of the designs that were obviously simple at the start. When I began the last piece, I had knots in my stomach for the first three days. Surprise was not a necessary ingredient, believe me. So my plan is to try and keep drawing regularly, as regularly as I blog anyway, and somehow to connect the two, since making public committments seem to work better than just saying it to myself.
My last round of drawings will be the starting point and I have no clue where they will lead. There is a great deal of improvising in the drawing, so it still will provide that necessary rush of surprise.

5 comments:

  1. I know for myself, I don't work as well improvising. I prefer to work improvisationally on things like altered books (something my sister does), collages, smaller things with paints and paper. I guess its from all those years of design classes where the teacher insisted you had to do 50 logo design thubnails before you could pick 10 to work up in more detail and then choose the best three to finalize and then choose one to present for the critique.

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  2. Thank you! Thank you! for the blow by blow shots!! I can't tell you how nice it is to peek into your studio and creative processes!I've made a promise to myself to initiate the steps it may take to start focusing on making the quilting/creative/teaching thing happen this year.You have been extremely instrumental in helping me believe that it can be possible!
    I've needed a mentor for quite a long time! Thanks for being mine online!

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  3. Melody, I read your blog daily, and it is a treat! I admire the way you have created this cruciform series and each day was inspired by the beauty of your work. You are a fast worker! And the results are spectacular!! I hope to be able to take a class with you one day. I am curious how you machine quilt. Could we get some visuals on that process too?

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  4. #4 Ellipses is GREAT! I love the scale, the complexity and the palette. (sp?) You do such beautiful work. It helps sometimes to analayze your work as you were for your slide show. It's interesting to read that's where you had the realization about the connection between your drawing and best work. Hope you get to draw a lot between your next teaching gigs. I need to draw more to...

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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