Friday, May 30, 2008

Just in Time

What do I call myself? I still don't know. I know I'm creative, passionate and energetic. I love to push my own boundaries. The last couple of months, I've been extremely bored. During that time, I made a wedding dress for my daughter. The dress itself is beautiful, and took alterations from the pattern, but no originality. Hence, I think, the boredom. Everything I made looked ugly to me. The reality--I was bored. Bored, bored, bored.

I get cranky when I'm bored. Yeah, I know you noticed. Some of those blog posts were brutal. I also find the line between creation and obligation thins and what I'm creating no longer has that personal love behind it. I think that at times like these, the much maligned word craft is very important here. Craft (I'm not meaning toilet paper covers here, but honing of skills) speaks to me of love, intensity, stretching our abilities to perfection. It speaks of time, and labour.

I decided out of my boredom, just to make something that didn't necessarily fit inside any rules or boundaries. It doesn't really fit the May TIF as it doesn't define who I am (not that I can any way), and doesn't quite fit the colour scheme. But it does fit the idea of taking things further. I used an art theory textbook from my art school days. The problem given was: "...create four interesting line patterns. One should be composed of vertical and horizontal lines only, one of diagonal lines, one of curved lines, and one of a combination of lines in all direction. Vary the length, thickness, spacing, and colour of the lines so as to make the pattern interesting." (Art Fundamentals Theory and Practice by Ocvirk, Bone, Stinson and Wigg Third Edition)

As you can see, I didn't do three of the four patterns, and in mine, didn't add any vertical or horizontal lines, but it got me creating something again, and I enjoyed every minute of it. I've also started my piece for the Breaking Tradition challenge, signed up for a round robin group, joined a group to work through an art quilt book, signed up with stitching fingers and have been working like crazy on editing my NaNo. All the way up to chapter five in my editing, not that that is very far in the grand scheme of things, but it is progress.

I'm not feeling quite so bored now. More oh shit, what have I done? Can I do all this? But hey I always did like a challenge. As my granddaughter would say "bring it on."

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

An idea

I can't seem to figure out anything for the May TIF challenge. I started a piece, but don't like it at all. I haven't worked on anything since. There was the whole wedding thing this weekend, so that took up time. But I haven't felt very focused lately, so haven't had any luck with the creative process.

I took out my March TIF and changed a few things (but not enough to make me happy with it yet), but that still wasn't what it. So I went back to the drawing board, so to speak.

I have this art theory book (Art Fundaments--Theory and Practice by Ocvik, Bone, Stinson and Wigg). There are exercises in form, line, shape etc. This book has given me the impetus to try experimenting with things with no obligation to make 'art'.

The exercise I chose was one where you were to use horizontal, vertical, diagonal and circular lines. The intention was to create four different pieces, but I only did one, and chose not to use horizontal lines as they didn't seem to work (although I'll probably add them yet--maybe when I quilt it.)

So here is a potential start on the May TIF (almost the right colours too).

Of Weddings

Well, what a beautiful wedding. Here it is in photos.

The Grooms party:

The Bridesmaids (youngest daughter on the far right):

The flower girls (granddaughter is on the right):

The Bride (sorry about the ex in the picture, but what are you going to do):

And exchanging vows:

And dancing:

At the end, we were all pretty tired (but happy).

Now back to regularly scheduled programing. Hopefully I still have time to put something together for the May TIF challenge. I can use the dress, after all I am a seamstress too.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

What Do I Call Myself?

This month, the challenge question is "what do you call yourself and why?" Hum, good question. Thinking back, I've never used labels to define myself. I have grown kids, was once a wife, create stuff that might be termed art (but might not) write and tango. But those aren't terms I use to define myself. At one time, I did cross stitch, I've knit and crocheted, sewed and I quilt. I read copious amounts of books across multiple genres depending on my mood and what strikes my fancy. I guess if I had to use any term to define myself, it would be multi-faceted or maybe diverse.

Ruminating on this more, I would tend to think of what I do more at the craft end of things than the art end. Craft speaks of intense labour, honing of skills, time and love. Art is often lofty, holier somehow, what I work toward. Craft is the step toward art (in any form). In my writing, I hone words to create a certain lyricism. In quilting, I've spent hours in free motion quilting honing skills that I wouldn't otherwise have. Writers have it easier. We are told to spend the hours necessary to hone our craft, and there is no shame in doing so; to be published, this is necessary. An author is just a published writer. At one time, would this same have held true for artists? If you create, spend time labour or love on any project, that is craft. If you have cash in the pocket, you are an artist.

I have unfinished cross stitch projects, left over yarn from my knitting days, paints and pastels, and fabric in my stash of stuff, and I also have a novel in the process of editing. I like the term diverse, so this month I would like to find a way to incorporate everything I've tried and where it has brought me.