Saturday, February 16, 2013

Getting started is the toughest part!

I currently have three projects with deadlines to work on, a small format art quilt "inspired by a line of poetry or song lyric", a pair of altered shoes for a Heart Health fundraiser, and a fiber art piece for an upcoming exhibit.  I have spent hours pondering what I am going to do for each of them...

Poem after poem has been read and discarded - I like the poetry but can't come up with a visual translation that makes sense to me.  I've wandered lonely as a cloud, given up on the daffodils to find myself on a road less traveled and I've tried to keep my head when all about me were losing theirs.  I know that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree by the shores of the Gitche Gumee - I am now following the advice of Miller, in his poem "Columbus".... "Sail on! sail on! sail on! and on!".  I am sailing on in my search for the right poem... here's hoping I find it soon!

The altered shoe project is a fundraiser for the "Kick Off Your Heels" fundraisr for the Barbra Streisand Women's Heart Center at Cedars-Sinai Hospital.  I've got some ideas but I want to my project to be one that people will want to buy (oh, how sad it would be to be the one project that does NOT sell in an online charity auction...).

And then there is the fiber art piece for an upcoming exhibit.... I've got that figured out in my head and have even gotten the fabric out and sorted.  I need to figure out what my "base" will be and then I can get going on that one.  I do have some surface design things to work out, I guess that would be a good place to start.

Whether it be writing or an art project, I always find that starting is the toughest part.  The first line of an essay or article is, for me, the greatest challenge.  It sometimes takes me longer to write the first line or two than it takes to write the next couple of pages!   Art projects are the same way - the first swipe of paint on a canvas, the first cut into a piece of fabric - the committment to the idea, the hope that I'm on the right path and that it will all come together.....

I'm back to my search for the right line of poetry.... any suggestions?

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Letting go....

I have been making art quilts and collages for  a long time, at least fifteen years.  I have accumulated a very large pile of finished work (we won't talk about the UNfinished pile...).  About forty pieces are on display at my husband/s office - the rest of them (dozens) are stashed in my studio, either in a pile, like these lovelies, or hanging around my studio.  I have 98% of what I've made - mostly because I have a problem "letting go".   
I am often asked if I sell my work, which I suppose I would do, if I ever got my act together and worked up a price list.  I think, however, that one of the reasons I haven't gotten my act together on selling my work is that I really don't want to let go of it!  It is totally crazy, I know.  I mean, how many little qults can one person posiblly hoard?  And, what is the point of creating something beautiful if you're not willing to share it with someone who will enjoy owning it?  Sigh. 
I met a well known painter at a party last week.  We talked about how hard it is to earn a living as an artist and she said she has been supporting herself as an artist from the very start.  Wow.  That is darned impressive!  I often wonder what it would be like to be a full time artist, needing to sell your work to pay the electric bill or make a (gulp) mortgage payment.  It seems to me that I would have to make a mountain of work in order to support myself!  For now, I'm grateful that my husband and I have good day jobs that pay the bills and that I just get to enjoy the process of making art, just for the enjoyment, without the pressure of having to think of whether or not it will sell.

One of my goals for 2013 is to finally finalize my website and put up galleries of my work.  I'm thinking that I will be able to sell some work after it is properly recorded on my website, I'll be able to let it go because I'll be able to visit it from time to time, in pictures.  Which brings me to a second goal for 2013, stocking the Etsy store I established last year.  Part of those processes will be to create a price list for all of my work.  That will mean I will be prepared with an answer when someone asks "Do you sell your work?".  I'll whip out my price list and see what happens. 
Until then, I guess I'll just keep making and hoarding...