My creative endeavours are related to my desire to pursue lifelong learning. It’s one way to stay engaged and interested in the world around me as well as learning more about myself through my work. It’s not the only way I do this, but it’s an important part of it. I also recognize that I need positive feedback, and some of this comes from my creative work as well.
So, having put that in perspective, these are the strategies and specific intentions that I have for the coming year or two.
- List and track my creative projects. I have a number of these on the go at any one time which I think is a good way for me to work. Sometimes things need to “sit” for a while and this gives me other things to work on while a project goes through a rest period. At the moment I have the following projects.
- I’m writing a book of fiction - while not related to textile art, this is a pretty big project so I can’t ignore it. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for many years and I’ve finally made a start. My immediate goal is to just get that first draft out of my head and down on paper. I spend about one or two hours a day on this. I’ll worry about whether or not it’s any good later!
- The leaf project - in assignment 5, I decided to make 60 leaves - it may turn out to be more. Assignment 7 talked about a new series. I tried and discarded several ideas for a series (they may come back but they’re definitely not ready yet) and then saw that I had 60 leaves lying around. Now I have a series planned that will use these leaves. The photos below show two pieces I’ve worked on - more to come. Once this is complete I will start another project.
- Patterns - this project came about when we were thinking about alignment. I realized that I like making patterns for my work - I often draw them several times and I enjoy the process, making small refinements each time. I also make copious notes on how to do things and I often make notes on what I would do differently if I made this again. I plan to create a pattern and a set of instructions that others can use to create something. I’d like to include several variations that people can try. This would mean actually creating the variations which will help to refine the process and the notes and it would also be a series of work based on the same idea. I also realized that I am much more comfortable with the idea of sending a pattern (of which there can be multiple copies) out into the unknown than I am with my actual, one-off textile work (this is something I need to work on - see # 5). I haven’t started this project yet although I did inventory all the patterns I have created and made notes on those I could use as a starting point for this project.
- Continue to take classes and workshops with my local branch of the Canadian Embroiderers Guild (CEG). I joined last year and this has been a great way to try new techniques and to engage with a wonderful group of textile artists. It’s not all about embroidery, I’ve done fabric collage, felting, dyeing and needle weaving with this group so far.
- Daily sketching and writing about creative ideas. I do lots of this when I am away from the studio - seems I’m always thinking about a creative project when I’m waiting for an appointment or away from home, but I’d like to make it more of a habit, and possibly keep all those notes and sketches in one place so I can find them again.
- Use what I have - this includes supplies and UFOs. I have them all listed now. The UFOs could be another project but I see this as a way to keep working when a major project might be stuck. They will go into book covers or gift bags. Fabric I don’t like much will go into liners for these. These are useful to give as gifts and enable me practice my skills in a stress free way.
- Put my work out there. We haven’t talked about this much in this course other than to recognize that we need to make what means something to us rather than others, and I wholeheartedly agree with that. But I do have a problem letting it go out there, for critique or judging or sale. I’ve entered a piece into a juried textile art show for the first time (I’ll find out this week if they accept it), CEG has a show that I’ll exhibit some of my class work in, and I’ll look for other opportunities to get feedback outside of friends and family. I have a blog about my textile art journey that I share with various online groups. I will continue to do this as well.
Work in progress
I started making leaves in week 5. This one is in a quilted frame so the wall shows behind it. The top layer of the frame is bits and pieces of scrap fabric behind a layer of polyester sheer. The middle layer uses a layer of synthetic felt with some medium weight fusible interfacing on both sides to make the frame stiff and not floppy. It has a batik backing. The leaves are partly stitched to the frame and to each other.
My original plan was to suspend the leaves in front of a window where they could catch a breeze but they were too big and too many to do this. This is a scaled down hanging that lets the light shine through the leaves. I’m still working on a hanger for it.