Wednesday, February 15, 2006

My friend Rachel has an artist's challenge going called Daily Devotions. At least I think she created it, if I've miscredited her, sorry. In any case, you can go to her Daily Devotions website and see her work, as well as links to other Daily Devotions blogs. Perhaps it's more specifically called Daily Devotions 2006, because the point of it is to create some art every single day for a year.

I didn't even THINK of joining! Okay, maybe I did. For a split second, before remembering who I was and what my life is like. Another friend asked me about it around the beginning of year - was I going to do it? Silly friend, she knows me too well to think I could accomplish something like that! When I pointed that out she said something like "Yeah, but if you attempt it, and you only get something done a quarter of the time, that's still probably more often then you do now, right?" True.

So, I haven't joined the challenge, but I do think of myself as being "unofficially" aiming towards the possibility, however slight, of creating art every single day. And it's working. I think what it's done mostly is keep the goal up near the surface of my consciousness, where I can see it, but in a non-guilt provoking manner, so I'm not trying my best to ignore it. I'm just "aware of the possibilities".

Now, every thing I do, I ask myself "Is this creative?" I think I'm making more art not so much because I am really, truly making more art (stay with me, this might eventually make sense), as much as I'm more often defining what I'm doing as artistic. Or, if not, finding ways to turn on my artist's thinking and make an otherwise mundane task become more artistic.

Long ago, when I was taking art classes in college, I remember how I never saw "things" anymore. I saw light and dark. My eye was trained to pay as much attention to the negative spaces around an object as to the object itself. I also remember that suddenly, nothing was the color I expected it to me. Tree trunks weren't brown - they were white and gold and rust and gray and green and..... Shadows weren't black - they were purple and blue and deep brick red and.... During my photography stage, I saw the world as if I was constantly looking through a lens. I noticed not the meadow, but how the sky filled up at least two thirds of my minds eye and how the round clouds contrasted with the jagged clumps of grass and how the dark rim of trees separated the two.

So now, I've become more conscious of seeing things through creative eyes. If I'm cooking, the ingredients are my palette, the pot of soup the finished art. If I'm cleaning, I'm looking not only to get the dirt up and the clutter gone, but to find the peace and symmetry that the space is calling out for. Of course, I AM working more in my studio. That's one of my goals, I am trying to do more "real" art.

Yesterday I was quite busy. I spent the afternoon making online Valentine cards for my family. It took all afternoon. Remember, I have a rather large family. That, and I got sucked into this really fun dollmaking site. Okay, go ahead, make fun of me. I know, it's the online equivalent of making paint-by-number art or maybe paint-on-velvet. But HEY! It was FUN! Phbbbt! I made dolls of numerous members of my family and then e-mailed them to their real life counterparts, who enjoyed them thoroughly.

In the evening I actually went IN the studio and worked on a new project I've been gearing up to start for several days now. A color challenge piece. The color I was given - purple. Purple just happens to be the color I have the least of in my stash. What a surprise. Not. I can hear the muses laughing.

Anyhoo, I had already taken some photographs a few nights ago, to work from, and I had also pulled out fabric I thought might work for the project. Last night I narrowed the fabrics down to specific pieces for probable use as specific parts of the design. Ironed. Got a few pieces fused onto wonder under. At this point I went online to check some more images, make sure I got the look I wanted. Google - images - tree branches. Then Google - images - twilight. Found some likely photos to use as inspiration. Then, about the 6th or 7th page, I stumbled upon an image that, while it had nothing to with my project, drew me in. The feel of it. The intimacy of it. The unexpectedness of it.

Suddenly my original project seemed boring, mundane. Instead I could recreate something like this image, not the same, but with this same type of mood. Yes! I convinced William to be a model for me and I spent the next half hour setting up scenes and posing my son to get a body in the right spot and the lighting the way I wanted it. Digital camera. Click. Click. Click..... Upload. Hmmmm. I got a few possibilites, although I might take some more pictures tonight.

So, nothing to show for it yet, unless you want me to snap a few photos of the fabrics I fused or the pile of purple fabrics on the edge of my ironing board. And of course I woke up this morning indecisive - Should I go with this new idea, or finish the first idea? Or now will I want to do both? Somehow I think this isn't one of those "more is better" situations, as it makes it more difficult to move forward with either project until I can pick which one to work on first. Methinks this is just another way of procrastinating?

Speaking of fusing, this is always something I've hated to do, particularly when I needed to fuse a really large piece of fabric in order to get a smaller but odd, gangly shaped piece cut out of it. I'd end up with all that WASTED fabric, fused, not usable for other projects. That is, until I read Debr's wonderful tutorial on how to make fabric postcards, in which she mentions how time saving it is to have all those bits and pieces of already fused fabrics ready to use to make them. Wow! Cool! Now all those fused scraps are treasures, not trash. YAH!

So, today I'm being creative with words, blogs to be written and posted. I'm hoping that by the time I'm done on the computer, I'll have figured out which purple project to pursue. Oooh, do you like that alliteration?

I'll leave you with a lovely old purple poem:

I never saw a purple cow
I never hope to see one
But I can tell you anyhow
I'd rather see then be one!

Damn! Maybe I should make a purple cow quilt.

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