04 October 2014

Blog hopping, and thinking about creating

You may have come across, in your blog reading, bloggers who are taking part in the current big blog hop. Both Sheila and Kathy invited me, and I declined to take part, for the same reason I don't take part in chain letters, pyramid selling, or tupperware parties. (Briefly: the mathematics involved means that when people several levels down from the originator have to find their quota of participants, it's darn hard going, because their overlapping circles of acquaintance have already been mined by people a level or two up from them. I'm probably not the only one who thinks "by the time they ask me, it's not worth doing.")

However the questions intrigue me, and I've been thinking about them.

What am I working on?

Sorting out the studio (and bits of the rest of my life). This is turning out to be quite a creative pursuit, rather than a dull, frustrating task.
Light and air - room on the shelves, at last
Sorting and purging and reorganising, though far from finished (and not a full-time occupation) is helping bring "light and air" into my creative life. I'm deciding what projects are not worth carrying on with, and am firming up ruthlessness muscles to the point of them being strong enough to throw out all traces of those projects, save photos and materials that are needed for current projects.

(At first I wrote "materials that could be used..." - which is the trap I've been falling into for years, holding on to things "just in case". Now there's been a category shift: they have to have a foreseeable purpose.)
Light and air - the table under the studio window is so important, as is the notebook
While all this reorganisation is going on, I'm drawing. Tuesday morning is currently my Dedicated Drawing Time, chiselled out of the week as a result of signing up for a course that doesn't start till 21 October. Until it starts, its time slot is spoken for. There will be no diddling about with the computer on Tuesday mornings for the foreseeable future.

During that time, so far, the drawing is sometimes, or even largely, diddling about.
Large drawing in progress ... channelling Senufo art
Large sheets of paper appear and I want to make large drawings, so I get started, even though I don't know what the drawing will be OF. Not all drawing is observational drawing!

Also I have a few pieces of "drawing with stitch" on the go - hand stitching, on fabric and on paper.

How does it differ from others in this genre?

My drawing... hmm ... anyone's drawing is so unique, so personal to them. Try copying a drawing by an old master, a contemporary artist, your child ... re-making their marks is educational, empathic.

Why do I create what I do?

One of the Big Questions arising out of the studio purge is ... what do I actually want to be getting on with? At this point, I don't want a lot of STUFF hanging around - meaning, stuff that I've created in a fit of enthusiasm and am not sure what to do with because it's not something I'm all that pleased with, after all. (There's much to be said for the oriental practice of putting work away for some months, and then if you have any doubts about it, burning it.)

BIG calls out ... big bits of fabric can be folded up; storing paper or canvas is less easy. Big books fit on shelves. Little books are nice too.
Little dust catchers, mostly, made in fits of enthusiasm
Storing what you've made is an important consideration. So is displaying it. In deciding on which projects to carry forward, I'm keeping both in mind.

Another reason for creating what I do is the need to have something in my hands, something growing. I usually carry a little pouch with a little project, to pull out when sitting on the tube or in a park, or at coffee with a friend.
Portable project

How does my creative process work?

In the past few years, my starting point is different. No longer does it depend entirely on a chance conjunction of two fabric scraps on the floor, though that may feed in to the process - it's accidental conjunctions of ideas that stir a project into life. Once I'm thinking about a theme and its undercurrents, the next step is to figure out how to show what I want to say.

Thinking about possibilities is an important part of the process. Maybe I've been doing too much thinking, and that's why nothing has been made for a while.

Aesthetically, I'm trying to strip back to the essentials ... those become apparent in the milling about among the undercurrents.

Going to exhibitions and/or reading about artists online - and writing this blog - is an important part of my creative process. During the studio purge I'm finding things from decades ago that still interest me, and now they have a different context to fit into.
Literature collected at art exhibitions, over the past four years
That's helped me sort out a few things in my head ("I know what I think when I hear myself talk") - thanks for reading!

Recent blog hop posts: Sheila, Kathy, Uta, Yasmin ... other links are in their posts ...


Living to work - working to live said...

Margaret - Sheila invited me too and I went for it. I enjoyed finding other blogs on the hop so thought that perhaps others might enjoy finding me. But best if all I answered those questions - and feel quite liberated in the process. So thanks for writing this even if you did go slightly off piste ( as it were!).


Sandy said...

Love the triangle people in the large drawing. These could work in a similar way to the figures (Mimis) in Mirjam Pet Jacobs' work.

The Idaho Beauty said...

Margaret, I'm so glad you decided to consider and answer the questions. I've seen such a shift in your work and your interests in the last few years. It's helpful to hear what you have to say about that, the why's and wherefore's as it were. I think a major purge would be good on my part too, but I haven't built up those ruthlessness muscles yet! It's good to have affirmation also that it's ok to go off on tangents. There's no good reason for the guilt that sits on my shoulder when I want to spend my time exploring other things than actually making quilts, but it's there a lot of the time. You're a great role model and inspiration!

The Inside Stori said...

Well thought out and well said!!