Saturday, April 30, 2011

Living for . . . Tomorrow

That's what I've been doing for months now. Putting things off to a future date when all my deadlines are passed and I'll have time. I've been working on a book for the past 6 months and it is finally finished and off to the publisher. I've been telling myself, "If I can just get by until May, then I'll have some free time." This is a familiar story for me.  I get crazy with deadlines and look forward to a future date when I have fewer commitments.  But the funny thing is, somehow that future date never comes. New commitments appear to fill in the "free" time.

How do I let myself get caught up in this cycle?  You might say that I should say "no" more often or give up some things.  Well I have been much better about doing that.  But I've realized that I am a workaholic.  I love what I do and I thrive on deadlines (for the most part!)  Yet I also believe in living in the present. And when I'm focused on "getting by", I'm not living in the present.   I suppose it's all about balance.  Finding a way to keep that sense of presence in my daily life while still working toward my commitments.  That is what I strive for, and it's clear that I will be walking this path for awhile longer.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Irony or Synchronicity?

They say that you teach what you most need to learn.  I experienced this first-hand yesterday.  Last weekend, I spoke on creativity to a local quilt guild. My presentation focused on some of the things that can block creativity and some strategies to get ideas flowing. Only 7 days later, I was in a creative block. 

I haven't had much studio time for the past six months, between teaching commitments and book projects.  The only time spent in the studio was creating samples. With most of those deadines behind me, I decided to take a studio day. But, I had absolutely no inspiration  or enthusiasm. I followed my own advice to "do something".  I blocked off the entire morning and pulled out some cloth I had started months earlier.  I took little steps, doing one small thing, then another, then another. I really had to fight the urge to check my email (the computer is my distraction of choice.)

"So, did it work?", you ask. Yes, it did.  Not only did I accomplish a lot, I have a lot of ideas and am excited to finish what I started. Maybe I would have gotten out of my slump anyway, but I think that having spoken about creativity only a week earlier made me more aware of how to get over it. I guess even when we know something intellectually, we still need a reminder now and then.

May you experience the flow of creativity today!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Endings . . . and Beginnings

Last week was the ending of the 2 1/2 year ArtCloth Mastery Program in which I have been participating.  It is a rigorous study in surface design techniques, color theory, design principles and professionalism that meets for 6 days, twice a year.  In addition to the work done during class, participants are responsible for several assignments and for creating a body of work in between each session.

It has been sometimes delightful, sometimes frustrating, sometimes difficult, but always worthwhile.  I have learned so much, not only from Jane Dunnewold, the instructor, but also from each of my classmates. The class culminated in an exhibition in San Antonio.  Details on the exhibit are below for those who are interested in stopping by.

As with any ending, there is the question, "what now?"  Most of my "free" time has been spent on class assignments. During the past five months I have also been busy writing a surface design book, to be published next spring. That schedule has meant that I have had no time in the studio since last September. Now I have the rest of the year stretching before me with the promise of lots of studio time. While this ending is bittersweet, I am looking forward to beginning a new body of work. 

 Nine other artists are also represented in the exhibition: Edie Brown, Gay Kemmis, Catherine Kirsch, Joy Lavrencik, Lynn Luukinen, Liz Napier, Jeanne Sisson, Priscilla Smith and Barbara Schneider. Radius Center is located at 106 Auditorium Circle, San Antonio, TX.  A book with artist statements and a representative photo of each artist's work can be viewed at .
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