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.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Random Thoughts on this Whole Art Thang

After whining in my last post, I spent the day with an amazing group of women....full of energy...eager to experiment and just darn funny, warm and open. Mea culpea....what do I have to complain about, I am living my dream....being my own boss and making art. So shut my mouth, I made a list of pro and cons because I guess I constantly need to remind myself to "Be Here Now."
Here goes:
1. Admit you aren't working because you are still working out where this transition is leading.

2. You aren't lazy....you are exhausted....I love the teaching but the traveling is hell. Solution: come up with a plan to correct this problem. At a round table discussion with the incredible women who run Quilting Adventures, I gleaned some workable ideas that I will announce within the week.

3. I have touched on this before but I am no longer focused on working for exhibitions. I just can't follow all the rules and at this point in my career, I am driven to work but don't feel the need to build a career. I already have paid my dues and was glad to do so. That does not mean I am going to rest on fictious laurels but instead push to explore new worlds.

4. Disconnect more from the world at large and get back to the internal core where all creativity resides. Take my own advice that creatively time is the only thing we can't replace.

5. As much as I love books about art and creativity, stop reading for awhile. Incorporate some of the ideas....throw out the ones that don't work for me..but be brave and fly on the trapeze without a net.

6. Lock the door, turn off the phone, layer up all the new pieces and get to work. If necessary become an art recluse until I push through all the sludge that I feel I am stuck in.

7. Every day that I am home do something, anything even if it is only for a hour.....before you know it something will get finished. Carve out that piece of time at the expense of all other events in daily life.

Driving home tomorrow will give me plenty of time to plant these seeds in my pea brain and to work on the new teaching schedule concept. Nothing like being alone in a car with some great cd's to change the direction of your life. Be back in a day or so with the results.

7 comments:

Valeri said...

Yes no 7 works for me too! Like you I've been in limbo but have continued to teach which has kept the brain working! Big Grin! You'll be fine ...at least you're writing in the blog which is more than I am at the moment!

Deborah said...

I feel you're on the verge of a swell of new creation! Exciting. I hope you're still working on the DVD idea. It's brilliant.

PaMdora said...

Here's my additions -- veg out and get a massage!

Carol said...

I found the doing something for an hour everyday worked for me, I hope your new direction takes you on an exciting journey

Sonji Hunt said...

You are fine. We all go through it. Have a nice pity party then move on. I feel better if I make something everyday. I didn't know a couple of years ago, but I do now because I made myself learn it. I am one for grandious ideas about being an artist in my head, because that's how we were trained in college. It isn't practical and doesn't help sustain the creative soul. You'll be fine. Make your work and continue to not worry about if it's good or bad because that is relative.

Alison Schwabe said...

I really like the sound of #5 - a reader simply has to read, but there's masses of other stuff besides works on art and creativity - try some escapist strategy like reading all the latest best sellers, or catching up on whatever has been written by your fav. authors, or read several works by some currently hot crime or travel author... The good ideas from all the art books and such have probably stuck and will bubble up when needed, anyway, if you allow yourself to develop a sense of flying on the trapeze without a net.

Several quilters I know have have found taking a year or two off from entering any kind of exhibition is helpful, removing that pressure gives a clear space to explore freely.I think you'll know that when you are again feeling good about what they are doing, then that's a good time to carefully explore appropriate exhibition opportunities for what you have done, not round the other way of making your work somehow fit their rules/themes.

Geri Barr said...

I just found your blog and enjoyed reading what I had time for before heading up to my studio! (I structure non negotiable times in my studio.) Travelling to Australia (my homeland) would sap anyone's creative energy.
I saw your lecture at QC in Boston last year and really enjoyed your exquisite art and wonderful entertaining delivery. I look forward to the next chapter in the "Gabrielle Swain - Textile artist" story.
Thanks!