Friday, November 20, 2009

talking to myself

There's a conversation that has gone on for the past few days over at d'arteboard about making art - including what it takes out of a person and the sometimes never-ending processes involved.

Personally I often find myself very frustrated with some of the craft artisans I know - particularly the jewellers that can whip up a pair of earrings or a bracelet between the workday and bedtime.

I know things are not always so easy for them, and that sometimes a pair of earrings can take an entire weekend as a result of the madness the wire, the beading, or some element of construction can bring about.

I find the current darteboard discussion appealing because a) I don't know how to do anything quickly and b) misery loves company and c) it's reassuring to be reminded that the artists I often stare at in wonder are people too.

This conversation has been timely for me because I realized/accepted recently that I have always been drawn to tedium and drawn-out productions:

I only know how to use oil paints, and the only style I like (so far) is grisaille - I've tried a few others but they either dry too quickly or they seem flat, or it doesn't seem like I could possibly have accomplished much if I was only there for twenty minutes.

I only know how to quilt (not tailor) although I am ridiculously intriguied by the way pleats come together and know that one day I will try that, too. Wholecloth quilting is simple, straightforward and does reasonably well at the seasonal craft fairs that pay for part of this internet connection, but it doesn't feed my soul. The quilting I love is either the ridiculously involved threadpainting of a wholecloth piece or the pattern-directed stitching of a pieced quilt that involves rigid division, well-placed gaps or ornate color contrasts.

When I try to sketch with ink I wind up doing something involved and celtic or something floral that could have been victorian wallpaper with its excess of symmetrical ivy.

When I try to collage I wind up with great heaving masses of paper, glue, paint and fabric that either threaten to curl up like an armadillo or could be used to reinforce a Dutch levy.

So, do I have a point as I sit here mumbling to myself in written form? Probably not, except that perhaps now that I have realized that for me it is (and probably always has been) more about the process, maybe I will relax and enjoy it more and worry less about how much I finish this week. but probably not.

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