Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Love the new machine

The last two days have been spent in free motion work. wow! I'm doing things I've never done before. At the same time I'm getting used to the new machine, and I have to confess that it seems to be going much better than the same process with the old Pfaff. There are a lot of other techniques that I still have to try, but all in goood itme. So far I'm pleased.

Monday, June 21, 2010


I now believe that I have enough stock for the four sales between now and Christmas. The emerging problem is storage until I actually need it! Finally,-- my DH understands that I need to have something new for every sale, so yesterday we went through everything and culled out some of the stuff that has been around for awhile, especially stuff for which I have replacements. So what do I do with that stuff? For now it's in a trunk in the basement. Knowing me, it will probably be forgotten and stay there.

But now I can spend time working on things I want to work on without worrying about being able to sell them. I can take classes. And I can participate in some of the challenges that arise through my internet groups. During the "cull", it was interesting looking at some of my earlier work. IMHO it is better than the more recent stuff where I've been driven by maketability. So one of my goals is to step back and re-visit some of the concepts and ideas from 3-4 years ago, to see if they can be developed further or in a different direction. And I've already signed up for classes in using oil pastels and lino block printing.

A second goal is to learn to use my new sewing machine. The little bit I've done tells me that I am going to have to forget a lot of my old habits and learn new ways of dealing with things. This is going to take time--no question--and I think the first thing will be the free motion work. A whole different methodology with this machine, although I hope my FMQ'g skill set will still be valuable. My first actual lesson is next Saturday, but unless I get some practise in before then, I won't be able to ask the right questions.

Can't take any pictures. At some point the flash has been turned off in my camera, and I'm going to have to spend some time going through the manual to figure out how to turn it back on again. lol

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Reconsideration, and new direction

I attended a lecture last Tuesday evening. A successful local artist described the marketing of her work. She stressed that you have to have a clear sense of direction, and a clear definition of what you want out of your work, as the very first step in your journey. Arg-h-h! Not the things to say to a navel-gazer and procrstinator like myself. So--what do I want out of my art? Do I want to make scads of money? Hell yes! Do I want to work as hard as I would have to to make that sort of money? No Way!!

So what do I want out of my art? I need to make enough money to buy the supplies that I need to keep doing the things I want to do. So--this is a hobby-not a vocation. Is this realization a good thing? Mixed. I now have the freedom to do what I want without having to consider the sale-ability of what I produce. That is a tremendous epiphany! But I still need to be able to sell. Downer! Where does my membership in artists' organizations fit into all of this? I htink it fits well. Being around other artists is a gratifying way to model your thought processes. It's an essential step in the development of any artist's mind-set.

So, for now, I will carry on with the sales I have committed to. This means more production work over the next couple of months. Not signing up for any further sales means that what I produce over the next couple of months will just have to be enough for the four sales I have scheduled between now and Christams. So, in the long run, I will have much more time for play. And I think I need to start today.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Eternal search for self

The work I spoke of in the last post--the collage with the watercolour paper and the make-up wipes--is sitting in the studio where I can see it every day. From an artistic viewpoint, it's not very good, lacking a focal point, but the colours and concept work--for me. I said I had been working on it for two years, and maybe it needs more work. But sitting and looking at it appears to be giving me a message that there are many, many more media than fibre for expressing yourself. Other ideas for collages are coming to the surface.

I confess that lately I've been more often identifying myself as a mixed media artist than a fibre artist. I wonder if I've stuck with the fibre over the years because I'm confident in my skill in that area, whereas any skill or talent I might have in other areas is yet to be developed. As a teen ager, I studied oil painting with a private tutor for several years, only stopping when I made the decision to go to university. A couple of years ago I took some classes in sketching and watercolour painting, with the idea that the sketching would help in any design development that I attempted and that the watercolour painting would help in my use of water-based textile paints--and both have worked-to a certain extent.

So--while I have no intention of leaving the fibres behind, my intent for right now is to explore other expressive media. I wonder if the answers I'm looking for might not be in an amalgam of various techniques.