Friday, September 17, 2021

Off the Wall Friday


 So sorry!  I meant to blog today but got carried away cleaning and unpacking my studio!  This whole working full time really cuts into the things that really matter.  I know you understand.  Thank you for all the great comments last week....there is  more to that story which will continue next week.
Nina

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Friday, September 10, 2021

Are Quilts Art???? on Off the Wall Friday


 So this week I got my feelings hurt.  My husband and I heard of a local art show for artists over 55.  Since this year I have officially aged gracefully into that criteria, Paul brought in two of his woodworking pieces and two of my art quilts.  He chose a chest with a marquetry tiger on it as well as this nice concrete/wood table.  (Both of which were just taking up space here!) .  I sent the Lilies and Clapboards and Birdhouses quilts.  He came home with my two wall hangings.  Apparently, my work is not considered art.  It's a craft.  He explained to them that it is original designs but that did not matter.  What's funny is that his work instantly sold.  Paul was even asked to make another table to match the 

first.  Yes, you heard that right.  His table was considered art so much that they want him to produce another one just like it again. OMG!

Now  you'd think that at 55 and being a quilter for 30 years, I would be over people having this prejudice against our art.  Apparently not, since it's been 48 hours and I'm still pissed.  I think the problem lies in the ignorance of some in the art community.  They hear quilt,  they think of  100's of years of a traditional female dominated craft.  They think home, warmth, and security.  All of which are true.

But, as most of you out there know, it is so much more.  In fact, when I started this blog, the title of it came directly from this debate.  It's Art, it's craft...it's whatever.  I do what I do.  I did not want to get hung up on the idea of labeling what I did.  Now, once again someone else has done it for me.  Idiot.


 

This is a good reminder that there are still idiots out there and you can't let them dictate your art.  I mean really they aren't putting this art show on for nothing.  They put it on to sell the art work and get commissions on it.  Not to mention bring exposure to their gallery space.  It's totally their loss if they
are rejecting a whole medium and potential income due to their ignorance.  

Like I said Idiots.  

So now I know exactly how Andy Warhol felt when people told him his work wasn't art.  Hmmmm that didn't stop him and he seemed to have landed on his feet.  

And this one man's ignorance is not going to stop me either.

There I feel better...grin.  Rant over!

 

So What Have You Been Up to Creatively?


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Friday, September 3, 2021

Quilting and Motivation on Off the Wall Friday

 


You know I'm quite sure that most people don't realize how much time and effort goes into a quilt.  That goes double for a quilt that is an original design.  As I've gotten back into the swing of things, I've been thinking over what I want to do next.  I have a few projects started that really do need finishing but it's been hard to get myself back in there.


One of the reasons is  it literally looks like a hurricane went through from me pulling supplies to go to John C. Campbell's Folk School.  Plus then when I got home, I just piled them all back in. So obviously, it will need a good clean before I do anything else.  

During Jennifer Reis's class we talked a bit about motivation.  I mean anybody who takes a look at her work knows that it take hours and hours of hand stitching.  When asked how does she get a piece done, she mentioned she has several going at once.  When she gets sick of one, she grabs another.  

Since I've had an obvious lack of motivation in 2020 that is running right through  2021, I thought it might be nice to come up with some ideas that would help!

 

 HOW TO MOTIVATE YOUR QUILTING


  • Start Small, Finish Big  Yeah, I know it's just common sense.  The smaller the project is, the easier it is to finish right?!   But who wants to spend their time making small quickie projects?  YOU DO!  A small project finished will give you the momentum and the confidence to tackle something a little bigger and bigger still.  It's all about setting a rhythm and knowing what to expect as you work your way through the quilt.  If you start big, you have a bigger chance of losing steam half way through.  How many times have you said to yourself, "OMGosh, I had no

    idea it was going to be this much work!  How did I get myself into this!" 
  • Set Solid Deadlines  What I mean by this is set a deadline where you are being held accountable
    by someone else rather than just yourself.  If I was being honest, this is the only way that I get anything done!  I use art show deadlines, commissioned work deadlines, assignments for class etc etc and magically things finished.  But if I'm just being beholden to myself than myself is a pretty lenient taskmaster.  (Yes, I know...pathetic!)
  • Stop Letting Your Emotions Run Your Actions  Okay, how many times have you said, "I know I set today aside to sew, but I'm just not feelin' it today.  Maybe tomorrow.  I'll go watch a movie instead"  Tomorrow comes and goes and your project is still sitting next to your machine not done.  IF YOU ARE WAITING FOR MOTIVATION TO STRIKE YOU HAVE A LONG WAIT!  It's about you getting up and getting to work no matter how you feel.  My rule is that I have to work for 20 minutes.  If  I'm really - really hating sewing after 20 min I stop, but normally put in at least a couple of hours at this point.  (I do want to say, I'm terribly guilty of this lately.  I blame it on menopause!)

  • Build A Routine  I truly feel that in routine we will find comfort and security.  I also feel like half the reason I can't find motivation to go into my studio is the fear of failure.  So it makes sense to set up a routine that give me the structure  and the security to get my butt in motion!  For instance, maybe set  up a day you sew every week or time every day. Make it concrete not just sometime this weekend.  Then walk into your studio, set up your favorite playlist which you already have in mind, and start working on the project that was left ready to begin the last time you were in there.  THEN when you finish set up your studio so that you are ready to begin right at the place you left off.  If you are comforted by a clean studio, pick up.  If you like to create in chaos leave it.  Whatever works for you, but do it over and over.
  • Share Your Process  If you are sharing your process, rather than just the finish piece you're more likely to keep going.  Nobody likes to create in a bubble.  Okay well some people do, but not most of us.  When you can share what you are doing...the ups and the downs....you'll keep on working so you can share some more.  Also listen to other people's process.  This will remind you that you aren't the only one that is working hard for your art.  Social Media and blogging makes this easier than ever.  So sharing with a lot or just a few trusted friends should help motivate you to continue!

Now I don't want to give the impression that I think these are easy, because obviously if they were I would have gotten a lot more done.  BUT it's a start and a start is all anybody can ask for!

 So What Have You've Been Up to Creatively?


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Friday, August 27, 2021

Embellishing @ John C. Campbell on Off the Wall Friday

 


Jennifer Reis stitching her latest piece

First of all, I want to apologize for taking a break from blogging.  I've have been having some health issues this summer which I think are finally behind me!  Still they didn't stop me from making the 11 hour trip to John C. Campbell Folk School.  After getting cancelled out of two - YES TWO! - classes in 2020, I wasn't going to miss this year.

This time, I was lucky enough to snag a spot in Jennifer Reis' Embellishment class.  We spent the week first learning (or refreshing) all sorts of hand stitched embroidery skills and embellishments.  In fact, we learned so much that first day, my head was spinning!  After that we could work on our piece.  Luckily I had brought a piece I had made in Emily Richardson's class in 2019 which was perfect to embellish and stitch down.  Little did I know that I would only get about 20% of it done in 3 days!  Handwork is inherently slow, but me feeling not my best made it even slower.


Not to mention, I spent the week whiny, which is NOT my norm.  Normally, John C. Campbell is my happy spot.  This year...not so much.  Due to on-going blight on our life, we had to wear masks in all buildings including class.  Our class was limited to 7 people, all of which  had to social distance at least 6-10 ft apart behind ... plexiglass!  So here we are hand stitching all week in this big beautiful studio masked up, behind plexiglass and too far to talk comfortably.  It led to a week of silence.

 

 

You thought I was exaggerating right?!?

Meal times which normally are a time to socialize and get to know your fellow artisans were also socially distanced behind plexi glass.   People were scattered across campus to eat.  The food was great
though but it wasn't nearly as good as it would be  with some good company.  

See I'm whining again just thinking of it.  Jennifer's class was great and I would highly recommend it if you would like to learn a new twist on hand work.  She's a great teacher but really one of the few highlights of the week  is that she's a great lady.  She always brightened my day.  

 

Also the campus was as beautiful as ever.  In August, it wasn't unbearably hot with plenty of seats in the shade.  We stayed at the Rock House which was treat!  Our room was spacious and really, really comfy.  

Detail of Jennifer Reis work in progress
Maybe it's because I work from home but I wasn't used to wearing my mask for such long periods of time.  Nor was I ready for Covid to dominate so many conversations.  As we left for the week, you could see how hard North Carolina had been hit with restaurants closed for Covid cleanings.  Sad.

Anyways, I am feeling better everyday and ready to get back after my piece.  Jenn managed to spark my love of handwork.  But the biggest thing I learned from the experience is that although I go to John C. Campbell's to learn, the real draw for me is the socialization.  I mean I can work in silence at home as well as eat dinner every night with my husband.  I go there to be with people who understand what I do and why I do it.  That was really what I was missing this trip.  Hopefully next time we'll be back to normal!


So What Have You've Been Up to Creatively?

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Friday, August 20, 2021

Off the Wall Friday


 

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Friday, August 13, 2021

Off the Wall Friday


 Greetings from John C. Campbell Folk School. Having a great week! I promise to tell you all about it when I get home.



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Friday, August 6, 2021

Off the Wall Friday

 


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