Tuesday, September 22, 2015

I don't blog much anymore.   I enjoyed doing it, but I felt like I was spending way more time writing about art, posting art, pinning and studying art on Pinterest, takaing online art classes, following and commenting on artists on Facebook and Instagram....than I did making art.

All of those activities are valuable to a greater or lesser extent, and can help move my art career forward, but they are meaningless if I don't also MAKE ART!

So I'm trying to change that.  It's slow.  I made a habit of going to the studio in the morning - but then lost it because  I thought I should get to the office on time instead.  But now I don't get to the office any earlier, and I'm back to sitting on the computer every morning, mindlessly clicking, looking for that little seratonin (or is it dopamine?) rush that I get when I feed my addiction.  I was really addicted to Facebook for awhile, couldn't wait to get there and see what friends had posted, see who "liked" my post, and Ohhh - the best!  A friend request!  After awhile I didn't really get that rush from Facebook anymore.


So then there was Pinterest.  Completely obsessed.  Thousands of pins.  Art, recipies, kitchen remodels.  All so useful and motivating!  Right.  Motivating to pin more pins.  Look how many follwers I'm getting!  This is so cool! People notice me.  Wonder if I can get to 5,000 by Saturday...  if I pin more cool stuff that people like....


But then that got kinda boring too.  Major drop off in seratonin.  Or whatever.

Now I sort of sit here, mindlessly clicking things looking for that give me that little hit of  "Yes!"

Here's a succinct statement that I found this morning in one of the blogs I follow on Bloglovin:  "Noise" has four characteristics: it's unusable, untimely, hypothetical, and distracting from your goals. It's worth making an effort to consume less noise so you can spend more of your attention on what's actually meaningful and important.  This comes from the book, Before Happiness, by Shawn Achor.  It's now on my list.  (Did I mention Goodreads?)


So now I'm procrastinating by reading blogs and tagging books about productivity.
Sigh.
Where was I?

I've been lacking direction in the studio lately.  When I feel that way I fall back in two ways - the productive way is to work on quilting something, or facing, binding, sleeving, and labeling.  Sometimes I just can't get into that, so I go back to "non-art" projects.  Currently that's the big honkin' Almond County Beauty Block of the Month that I'm almost done with, or sthe second one that I stupidly started, and am only 4/16ths done with.
There are now 16 white blocks nearly sewn into a top, "only" borders quilting and binding needed.
The gray one with the solids only has 3.75 blocks done, however,  As long as it's there, I'm sure I will continue to screw with it, but I have to get it out of my head that it should come ahead of art.

I think I'm feeling unmotivated because I now realize I have about 50 quilt tops in various stages of  incompletion, and none of them is the "it" the "thing" that is my thing.  My Voice.  There have been a number of paths followed,  each time thinking I had found something I wanted to follow.  First the strip piecing... remember this guy?  There's a lot of fodder with which to practice free motion quilting in that series. 

Then I had the motif thing -my Rockers. They were fun.  I sketched dozens of them.  All the time, work, home, bed....  I built four of them.  I just lost interest in making them.  

Since then, I went down the path of maps as inspriation, something I'd been contemplating for a long time.  I studied aparticular area - near the Mississippi River in Wisconson - for a long time, looking for compositions and shapes that interested me.  I even bought a bunch of interesting green and blue fabrics. 

I thought about how to abstract shapes, how to use color and value how to create a pleasing composition rather than just copy a map.   I tried making one relatively small, single-color piece (with fabric dyed in an online class).  Then I kinda lost interest.

I really need to just find a path, and go down it, instead of standing in the middle of the road with a deer in the headlights feeling.  I was going to write more about other artists, and the decisions they've made, the paths they've followed.  But this is long, I'll save that for another post.