Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Five Projects: Review

On March 26, I wrote a blogpost about the "five projects" I wanted to complete before June 6. It felt like a large undertaking and I thought sharing it on my blog would keep me focused and push me toward success. 

It did! I am thrilled to say that all five projects are done! (Kind of. I did opt not to complete one, but replaced it with another.) What did I learn in the process?

I enjoy writing about my process. I ended up writing an additional 18 posts about my efforts. (You can read them all by clicking on the "five projects" tag from the list in the sidebar on the right.)

But, I only enjoy writing about the process when it's going well. When my Festival of Quilt Art piece stagnated, I didn't post about it for almost three weeks. 

Neighborhood, 35x30
Entered into Tactile Architecture special exhibit, rejected

It's ok to be rejected. I really like this quilt. I can think of lots of reasons why it wasn't accepted into this particular exhibit. I'm disappointed. I try not to feel defeated, rather I strive to continue to try to create quilts that fully express my vision. I'll enter it someplace else in the future. In the meantime, it's hanging in our dining room for us to enjoy.

Radiocarbon Dating: Oldest Living Tree, 48x24
Radiation Exhibit at European IRPA Congress

When I started the five projects endeavor, I thought I could teach myself to work on more than one project at a time. I can't. I work almost exclusively on one piece from start to finish before moving on to another. I guess I just have to be ok with that. It's good to settle into the reality of the creative process which is different for everyone.

Waning Crescent Mantra, 60x24
entered in the Dinner at Eight special exhibit Reflections, accepted

I have a pretty clear set of steps that I follow in creating my art quilts. After focusing on these five project so intently over the past several weeks, I think I can articulate that process pretty well. (I'll share that in another blog post.) Going forward, I may be able to identify (and avoid) problems in the creative process, but thinking about which steps might not have received the attention they needed.

Nightfall, 12x12
SAQA Auction 2014

I learned it's difficult create work to fit a theme. I struggled to find inspiration for the Radiation exhibit. I had intended to enter "Coming Up Roses." I decided not to enter mostly because of the time constraints, but also because I was not feeling particularly inspired by "roses." On the other hand, I think it's almost always possible to find some nugget of inspiration and I think it's ok to just go with that. In fact, I think it's good to be unpredictable and unexpected.

Festival of Quilt Art, detail
full image cannot be published

I learned -- or re-learned -- that creating art is work. There are times when it goes well and times when it's a struggle. It's important to feel comfortable with the struggle. Comfort within the discomfort. The more I create, the more familiar I am with the bumps and I'm learning how to avoid them. I'm also more familiar with the moments when everything works and I'm making note of how to recreate them in future works.

I think Waning Crescent Mediation is my favorite of the five projects. Which is yours?

8 comments:

Sarah Ann Smith said...

Mine too, Deborah. But I really like many elements (pun intended!) of Radiocarbon...the tree, the clouds. The graph and quilting in the sky area... I would love to see you re-visit these in another piece.

TammyJo Eckhart said...

These are so beautiful!

ILikeSpoons said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lisa Chin said...

Beautiful! Thanks for sharing the quilts and what you learned in the process.

Natalya Aikens said...

Great work Deborah!! Looking forward to seeing it all in person one day. and we missed you this weekend....

Anonymous said...

These are all great but my favourite is Radiocarbon Dating?

Vivien Zepf said...

Tough call; Waning Crescent seems most "you", but I'm a sucker for trees...

We missed you this weekend!

2ne said...

Great quilts you make - thanks for all the inspiration. Lots of teknics i would love to try our. Have a great summer :-)