On another afternoon, Pat D and I decided to paint together, so we set off in search of a good site -- every view is a good site, really. But it was quite windy, so we went into the ranch house and sat inside to paint the view out of the living room window, which looks out at the wisteria arbor.
So even though this didn't come about via a ritual, perhaps having an impending deadline serves a similar purpose! I was very pleased to learn that this piece (which is big -- 24 by 60 inches) has been accepted into a juried exhibit called "An Exquisite Moment," which will travel to the International Quilt Festivals in Long Beach, California and Houston, Texas later this year. And I was very touched by the reaction when I showed this at the ranch's show and tell. I told them about struggling to decide on what would represent my "exquisite moment," and then I unfurled the quilt and several of the quilters actually got teary-eyed. I don't think I could ask for a better reaction than that.
(Speaking of exhibits, I wanted to say that I love your shack. Will it just stay there? Or will it ever come back to you so you can install it in your garden? It looks FABULOUS set up and in a natural setting.)
Remember when we talked sometime ago about identifying words to define what we wanted in our work? Your methodical analysis of the work you've made over the past year or so reminds me of that a bit. Did it surprise you to see the results of your examination of your work like that? I mean, you obviously knew you were incorporating those elements in your work as you chose them consciously -- but did compiling the information that way surprise you? You said that there was more in common in your work than you thought. That surprised me, as you plan things out so carefully and it has seemed to me that you were well aware of continuing to work with various elements.
I am intrigued by your decision to abandon working with african fabrics. I'm not criticizing or disagreeing, mind you. Not at all. I'm just struck by how differently you and I approach these sorts of things, which is partly why these conversations fascinate me. May I make a suggestion? Even while you are recognizing all that you want to do with surface design and creating your own fabric, I know how much the patterns and colors and textures of african fabric call to you and make your heart sing. My suggestion is that you not decide on an "all or nothing" choice, when that's not at all necessary. Focus your time and energy on your own surface design stuff. But recognize that sometimes sewing with the Magie fabric you love gives you pleasure and produces beautiful work, too. You might find a certain relief in working with it from time to time, too. Lots of artists have different series of work going at one time, without having all of them going full-tilt at the same pace all of the time.
So that's my suggestion. Go forward with the surface design and use that beautiful new wet studio! But don't prohibit yourself from working with the Magie fabric if you feel like it once in a while. If you love it and it makes you happy, it will fit. And I have seen how you are inspired by those patterns and colors -- they'll inform the surface design work you do, I'm sure of it.
I will go now to put the last bits and bobs away from the retreat, and then feed the dog who is staring at me with great intensity. Oh, and OF COURSE I want a video tour of the studio!