Things are getting more and more eccentric at Casa de la Swain. Changing styles in my textile work, falling in love again with painting and photography...and then there is the ever illusive quest for continuing creativity through working with Eric Maisel. Still on the road teaching, posting now at the Ragged Cloth Cafe and taking the pledge to keep handmaiden up to date.

Friday, April 14, 2006

News from La Casa Swain

It dawned on me today that the reason I haven't been posting daily is that I have absolutely nothing to report. You cannot imagine what a boring life I lead when I am not traveling....and I like it that way. I get to spend hours sketching, journaling, painting and sewing. I don't even go to the grocery store but instead have albertsons.com deliver our weekly sustanance. What a slug!
However, this does not mean the wheels aren't turning. Since you all know that I overthink or better said examine constantly my artistic life, the past few weeks off have been like a personal retreat for me.
First, I took some ideas from Twyla Tharp's Creative Habit....such a great book...and shut myself off from external stimuli for a few days. Then I did the guilty pleasure of watching all the bad tv that I love. Tonight is one of my personal favorites with Ghost Whisperer, Close to Home and Numb3ers. I don't even have to change the channel.....don't forget the wheels are still turning.
I have made some decisions.....assistant interview Tuesday...know this will go well. Turning over all DVD decisions to extremely talented son, Chris. We are going to form a production company...and hopefully offer our services to other quiltmakers that are interested in moving into this 21st century media. I will be the producer, basically the face of the business, since I know many of the quiltmakers that this might be a valuable service for but he will do all the directing, filming and editing. From there we will create masters that you can have produced anywhere or print and burn for you at a per unit cost and deliver on spindles for you to package. Definately don't want to get into the packaging business......so see I have been thinking.
The success of my class at Asilomar this year sparked the idea that I should film this class so future plans are in the works. We will be going to market again in the fall and possibly to festival but not so sure about teaching and working in a booth. Know I could get great help from my wonderful daughter in law, Christy, who attended market with me last year. However she is a stock broker and to ask her to stay for festival....well, you can only ask so much.
During the past couple of months, I have been dealing with some health issues. Nothing to worry about yet but getting sick coming home from Asilomar really put me away for at least a week. That didn't help with blogging....hard to blog when you have to keep a barf bag by the computer...more information than you needed.
But again, during this time, remember the wheels are still turning. After re-reading Mel's post of a week or so ago on design. I started thinking about what is important to me in these areas. Answer: composition....for me that is the most important aspect of design. If you have a solid composition, whether abstract or realistic, you can't go wrong. I am on the fence with the less is more concept but agree simplicity is elegance. However, I see fiber as an opulent medium due to it's very nature.....pattern, stitching..etc. In other words, for me mininal and quilting are mutually exclusive. Having said that nor do I believe that you need to do every technique you know on a single piece or use every beautiful fabric in your stash. It all starts with the composition.
For me this is the road map to working with intention...know what you want to say and say it well. So while I have been absent, I have been reading your blogs with great delight and totally re-considering where I am going. The breakthrough is close but this was a much needed vacation. I realized I can't do everything myself and so paring away external duties, whether trival or important is next on the calendar.
Exploration with Eric still continues but what I realized is that I don't want to turn this into another business. I want to keep this as a respite from business.....a place where I can explore and get results slightly faster than in fiber. A place to feed the changes that I am striving for in the textile work. This will be our next conversation. I know he wants me to make these available to galleries and maybe if my assistant is open to doing all that work it will happen.....but it is not somewhere I want to go. Simply having this place of painting is a refuge for me....creativity that is not a business. Sigh....ah!
Sorry to blather on so long....hopefully next time I get back with you I will have more to say. Soon, I hope to have all the internal issues resolved and back in the swing. Keep me in your thoughts.

10 comments:

Deborah said...

Wow! Did you say there was nothing going on? And then you went on to report on all these huge breakthroughs and ideas? The dvd production, the concept of painting as a "hobby," the traveling, the sickness, etc etc etc. Seems to me that there is a lot going on!

Karoda said...

Dang, just what Deborah said...more of an incubation period for all the wheel turning going on inside!

Debra said...

I don't know, Gabrielle, I think you were just bottling it up all and let it ferment to perfection.

A question, though.. are your CDs stamped or burned? With the stories out that burned CDs last only a short time (1-5 years), I'd be concerned...

Gerrie said...

HI Gabrielle:

I missed you. I like hearing about your boring life - if what you said is boring!

mary m. said...

Wow....hiring an assistant and having meals sent in...you're bound to be successful. As the little things we have to do that seem to bog us down. You are definately one smart lady!

teri springer said...

Hmmmmm.....MY life should be so boring. We all need to remember to take some time off from *stuff* to recharge AND let new ideas form and ferment.....

teri

Valeri said...

Yes! Brilliant ideas...keep swimming! I could really identify here but you are getting there quicker. How about popping over to little ol' England with your crew and doing me a DVD? Grin!

Shirley Goodwin said...

Doing absolutely nothing - just sketching, journaling, painting and sewing? That's what most of us call doing SOMETHING! Please feel free to show us photos of the nothings that you're doing.

Rayna said...

For somebody with nothing to say, you said a bundle. Composition. Aarrgggh. Wanna teach me?

Please, Gabrielle, take care of your health. Marty sends a hug.

cfent said...

gabrielle....now YOU are the inspiration. i have to say thank you for sharing your process. narrowing down what i REALLY want and need to be doing is somethign that has been on my mind a lot lately. actually Doing Somethign about it is a whole different story.....