Lesson Three - Terri I.

My committee is small and I know my mom has been chairing the committee forever. For as cavalier as I try to be, I have not been able to suppress her voice in my head. She is the most critical person I know and I’ve spent/wasted so much time trying to please her when in fact it is futile. It’s not going to happen. So thank you, Mother, for participating in my committee, but your service is no longer required. (Wish me luck here.)

Recently most of my work has been functional. The quilts that I make have a sleeve and are meant to be hung on the wall or used traditionally. I’m not sure if this means that I don’t think they are good enough to be “art” or if the practical side of me just loves usable things. I did a series of 18 quilts based on the log cabin pattern. Last year I printed household linens - spent more time on that than anything else. The other committee members are some of my fellow fibre artists. There are often dismissive remarks made about my work that have to do with functionality. They also tend to describe my quilts as “just log cabin”. The committee seems to think that “art” cannot have a function besides being “art”. Well committee members - I disagree. For this reason, you are no longer invited to be in my head. Bugger off.

And for those people who question my free form art projects with questions of “what’s that for? or what are you going to do with them?” - give me a break. I’m making art! Oh wait - those voices aren’t in my head. I’m still tired of hearing them. Talk about mixed messages.

I am surrounded by art every day and I understand how much it enriches our lives. I find joy in creating beautiful things that can be enjoyed by others, and sometimes they are functional. When creating work to exhibit, I’m challenged to reach outside my comfort zone. I guess part of me is looking for a reason to do the work when it isn’t “useful”. I believe acknowledging  this will be helpful.  I’m still searching for my focus so for now I’ll just keep working.