Firstly, I am incredibly lucky in that I’m now retired and can work, within reason, whenever I want (or when I get passed the block). My husband has his man shed at the bottom of the garden, and after we finish any ‘housework’ we both go off to our own spaces, meeting for meals.
I would disagree ABOUT EITHER/OR Big/Obsessive. This may be a quilter’s thing, I don’t know, I’m a mixed media artist who enjoys working in a chaotic way. I work from small, maybe 6 x 6 inch although I did once make several books 2 x 1½ inch, and I have done work up to 40 x 60 inch. Most work is somewhere in the middle, but I vary the sizes according to the style, materials subject matter and eventual site location.
The Mona Lisa is only around 20 x 30 inch, although as Leonardo worked on it for 30 years, you could call it obsessive. Damien Hurst’s ‘For the love of God’, the diamond encrusted skull, was on a real skull, so human size you could say. He did the work in a very short time apparently.
Jan Beaney, a well-known UK machine embroiderer works from around 12 x 12 inch to 20 x 30 inch. These are often intimate glimpses of places she has visited. If worked on a large scale the intimate feeling would be lost, not to mention that it would take months to make one piece. http://doubletrouble-ent.com/gallery/#jp-carousel-346
Dan Essig, an amazing book/sculpture artist, creates pieces of work that can be held in the hand or set on a small table. These have a feeling of sacred relics; again this intimate feeling would be lost of made on a large scale. http://danielessig.com/product/sacred-geometry-relic-3500/
And talking about sacred items, Russian Icons are small, but beautiful, although they are perhaps obsessive in their very beauty. And what about art jewellery, tiny but beautifully formed. Both of these examples would look trashy OTT if enlarged.
I work very quickly, with long pauses in between for contemplation. I usually work on four or five pieces of work at one time, so that I can move from one to another without losing the excitement of creating. Some pieces may be worked on for days, whilst others, often the best, are completed quickly, in one or two sessions, before they become overworked.
If I worked in a slow manner, the work would be laboured, and wouldn’t have the expressive emotion I want to see in my work. I can see that a quilter would work slowly and carefully, so I take the point. But I don’t think there are only TWO choices for everyone. I think you have to go with what feels right for you, to be authentic to yourself. I have found it difficult to get to this place, being honest with myself, whatever others think. I put my heart and my soulinto my work, but I wouldn’t consider that my work is Big, Obsessive or Thoughtfully rendered either. I do take that time to look at the work after the initial ‘letting everything go’, so maybe this would be classed as obsessive and then thoughtful.
I’ve already done 100 paintings in 10 weeks with Jane Davies, which was awesome and well worth the massive effort needed. I’m really into my work at the moment, so not going to start something else. I do have a plan for when the weather gets better, and that’s daily walks, Observing, absorbing, mark-making, collecting. I would really like to do this from the Spring to the Autumn equinox, but that’s 185 days and I don’t know if I can keep it up. I love the landscape and the coast where I live, and want to do a project that studies it, using all the senses.