Saturday, January 10, 2009

Continuing Collages and a Time of Joy

There is nothing better than getting a phone call on Saturday morning from a 4 year old grandson saying "Grammie come over right away so we can paint!" So, what did I do? I gathered up the big sheets of paper, grabbed by tempura paint box and got over there. Of course, Jacob was still in his pj's so he had to get dressed in painting clothes. I moved his easel outside to the grass as it was a beautiful day. And why outside? Because to paint one needs to incorporate their entire body in the process. Creating art is a process and I have to stay out of the way of a four year olds process!

So he came out and painted at his easel having a great time mixing all the colors togther on the paper. A page or two of this and then grammie stepped in and showed him the joys of flinging paint. That was a hit! And then, dancing around and painting. That was another hit. By the end of our session together he would run around the easel, jab with the brush as the paper and make his mark, grab some more paint and run around again to repeat this...many, many times. What joy!

But, I thought I would show you some of my collages I have been doing. They are great fun and because they are just for me I put in things that mean something to me but probably aren't evident to anyone else. Then I just try to make a pleasing composition. I am having fun exploring different ways...none of which are anything like the current collages seen in the craft magazines!

Collage 010509

Collage 010609

Collage 010709

Collage 010809

Collage 010909

Well, I am off to finish todays...bye

Monday, January 05, 2009

Plans in the Making

First I will show you my collage for yesterday. I used some beautifully colored solid paper for the orange and dark purple and worked on gesso covered mat board and then painted in the background with a lighter purple paint. What fun I am having!

And, now I will share my big exciting news! Arrangements are being made for me to teach in Switzerland and France in 2010! I can hardly wait! This has come about because I had two Swiss women in my Better Art by Design Class last year and they passed the information about my class on to someone who makes arrangements for teachers in Switzerland.

I now have to come back down to earth and do the mock-ups for the three pieces that I will do for the commission for the county and get those sent in. Then I can start painting and dyeing fabric.

Meanwhile, I just keep making these little collages. Oh yeah, and finishing the facing on the quilt I just quilted and the facing on another that I quilted a while back...getting things done, including the write up for a class in 2010 down in Cambria with Sandy Turner's retreat.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Collages and George

In order to keep myself interested, I am posting two more collages. I am doing these just for myself. Just to please myself. Just for the fun for myself.

Collage 010209

Collage 010309

Yesterday I got down to my studio for the first time since I last cut out pretend clothes for my grandson. During the entire month of December I had not done any of my own work except for work for two magazine articles. One was on fabric and resulted in a number of small fabric quiltlets and the other was in papers and resulted in quite a few collages...these will show up in the next issue of Quilting Arts and then Cloth, Paper, Scissors.

But I had not been able to just do what I wanted to do. I find that any time I am not sure what direction to take, I can always jump start things by making fabric...either by dyeing it or painting it. However, during the winter my studio is almost too cold, even with a heater, to work with wet things.

So, George and I met and had a delicious couple of hours together isolated in the studio with new age music playing. I decided it was time to get the quilting done on a piece that had hung on the wall for some time but I was not happy with it so I cropped it, and then it sat while all the other projects had to get done. So, on with a backing, threaded up George and off we merrily sewed together, making some good quilting. Did that ever feel good.

I also realized that my depression has been lifting...sleeping well at night is really making a big difference, doing my own collages just for myself helps, and then working back with George just made it all the better.

I spent today getting things ready for my Advanced Better Art by Design class...tomorrow it is time to get the class description, supply list and images together for a surface design class I will be teaching at Sandy Turner's retreat in 2010. And then to get some images off to EBHQ where I will be doing a lecture and two classes in a couple of months. Things are looking up...because then I start on the mock ups for the Commission for the county...

Friday, January 02, 2009

Starting the New Year

I am introducing the first piece of art I have created in the new year, 2009, on Jan 1. It is a 7 x 5 collage on mat board. It came about as some friends were over on New Year's eve and close to midnight we were trying to figure out the correct time which raised the question of: "Where does time start?" The obvious answer is Greenwich, England.

But if you think about this some more, just where does time start? Can we actually start time any time we want? We count time for cooking, or doing something, or getting paid. How about starting a new time when we decide to do something new?

I feel as if I have been chasing glory (well, not really glory but really recognition), a hold over from my childhood. Praise was hard to gain in my family. I have tried during my life to be the kind of person my mother wanted me to be, to prove myself to my father, to prove that I was good at my job, to be a good mother, etc., etc.

So, really, what do I have to prove?

When I lost all of my art work and most of my quilts in our house fire in 1995, I realized that things are things. It was the response of friends, and even people I didn't really know, that mattered. And the friends responding more freely than family. Interesting....

There has been discussion on the QuiltArt list about creativity etc. There has always be, at least in the quilting world, those who are process orientated and those who are product oriented. For some, getting the thing done is the most important part...something to show for their time. For others, it is the doing, the creating, that is most important, and once completed, the finished object holds little interest.

I find myself falling into the process side of this equation. I really enjoy the processing, the thought processing, the problem solving, the creating part of art...once done I would like to be done with it.

I think this is why I have been having problems sticking to a plan for my marketing. It is not the joy of creating. I do gain some recognition and I feel that I probably have enough. Good things are happening when my art gets out there and I know that I need to develop some ways to improve that. But the constant marketing is hard, very hard, for me and something I tend to procrastinate over. But the pile of work is really piling up...that is why I would like to sell it and get it out of the house into some one else's abode.

The process of finding someone who responds to my work is hard. It is so gratifying when it happens. But it needs to happen more often...or at least those who respond need to buy more often....that's it! I just need more buyers!

Oh well, today I send in my contract to Alameda County to create three pieces. I have been thinking about these and am looking forward to creating them. I start teaching my Advanced Better Art by Design class this weekend with several students who completed the beginning class this past year. By teaching at home I am able to do this with a much smaller group than would be profitable within a retreat type setting. I do miss the face to face but the students I have had are great. I have an idea for an article floating out there waiting for approval and I have been contacted by a book publisher...maybe I will write a book. I have new work to create for a show in May and also in October and am looking forward to that.

And, I am sleeping better and am much more rested during the day! Wow! What a change that is!