I am feeling stuck. I have two looming deadlines for art quilts for two upcoming shows and I have not started either pieces.
I am dealing with feeling stuck in two ways: 1) reading an inspirational book; and 2) sewing some traditional blocks.
At the January meeting of the art quilting group I belong to (Central Oregon SAQA) our group leader shared that she was reading Art & Fear: Observations On The Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking (1993) by David Bayles and Ted Orland.
After the meeting, I immediately reserved the book at my public library and just picked in up from the library on Friday. Diving into this awesome book I discovered a couple great quotes about the reality of creating/making art:
“Making art is dangerous and revealing. Making art precipitates self-doubt, stirring deep waters that lay between what you know you should be, and what you fear you might be.”
“…fears arise in those entirely appropriate (and frequently occurring) moments when vision races ahead of execution. Consider the story of a young student…who began piano studies with a Master. After a few months’ practice (the student) lamented to his teacher ‘but I can hear the music so much better in my head than I can get out of my fingers’. To which the Master replied, ‘What makes you think that ever changes?'”
“The materials of art…seduce us with their potential.”
(This last quote made me think of stumbling upon that incredible textile that you know will be perfect in a future piece)
I am only on page 20 and so far there are many gems in this book. Currently I highly recommend it if you are struggling with creating art or moving forward on your artistic journey.
At the beginning of this post I mentioned I have not started two art quilts with looming deadlines. I have actually designed and mapped out both pieces on paper but have not begun to the process of transferring my vision to fabric. That is where I am stuck (likely because of fear).
Stitching Myself Unstuck
I knew I needed to do something to become “unstuck” but I could not force myself to start working on either art quilt when I am not feeling inspired. I could however get myself in a creating mood by sewing something.
So I pulled out my bag of scraps from working on Farm Girl Vintage blocks (see series of posts Farm Girl Vintage Blocks)
and made a couple more blocks:
These blocks are about as far as you can get from art quilting but they got me sewing again and it was fun to try to be limited by what was in the scrap bag (from Farm Girl Vintage blocks already made).
I will likely make a couple more blocks and then I will do a post showing all my completed Farm Girl Vintage blocks to date.
I will continue reading the Art & Fear book and look at starting my art quilts.
Have you ever felt creatively stuck and what do you do to get “unstuck”?
A follow up to my previous post Spinning the Homespuns with TTQH, Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) has moved into my sewing studio to work on his piece.
We have decided to sell his Baby Lock sewing machine and he is going to use my Bernina. I can better support him on technical issues if he is using the same brand of machine (I can trouble shoot my Bernina in my sleep).
Plus he likes working in my sewing area, it has a better set up with my latest room rearrangement.
Featured image: Dave Dyet, free images.com