Friday, June 29, 2007

Border Crossings

What a week. They've piled so much on me at work that my shoulders ache. This is usually not a problem (at least not too much of one), but for some reason this week I've felt utterly exhausted. I can barely drag myself through the day. Does that mean I haven't worked on arts & crafts? HA. I wouldn't be posting if that were the case, because I would be dead. That's the only thing that will stop me from picking up a paintbrush or flicking on the sewing machine stitch.

I'm traversing a strange border between traditional and art quilting. Or maybe, several borders: sort of a Four Corners of the art world, where traditional quilting, art quilting, painting, and collaging meet. Maybe this will make more sense if I post what I've been working on this week:

1) I found a great book called Creative Embellishments: For Paper, Jewelry, Fabric and More, by Sherrill Kahn. Kahn's work is vibrant and inspiring, and even though I've created many of the embellishments she demonstrates in the book--fabric beads, paper beads, shrink-tags, angelina fibers--the ways she puts them to use in her art are wonderful. I made bead-wrapped beads, yarn-wrapped pipe cleaners, and melted-plastic & thread shapes. Then I was inspired to paint a canvas and add embellishments to it.

2) I'm trying to finish up something practical: placemats for the breakfast-room table. I find it fascinating that my house is completely decorated in these muted earth-tones, yet my art is much more vibrant and contains lots of blues, greens, and purples. The only blue in my house is painted on the walls of my craft room, which is a holdover from when it was my grandson's room. I whine every day about how I should have repainted it before filling the room up with so much stuff.

3) I'm painting fabric. Not just painting as in coloring it with fabric paints, but actually painting on top of that with geometrics, flowers, whatever pops into my head.

4) I've started a miniature art quilt; not really an art quilt, more like a practice art quilt (I'll post a pic soon; battery is dead on the camera). I dislike the design intensely and am debating on whether I should cut the center section (which I like) out and reattach other fabric as borders, or whether I should push along until its done. Sometimes I hate something 1/2-way through, but then end up loving it by the time I've finished futzing with it.

Is this more of my inability to focus on any one thing for too long? I like to think that all these interests will one day converge into something that fits nicely with who I am and what I love; maybe a little border-town of creativity that draws from the best of many worlds (and harbors a few eccentric characters and a couple of crazy outlaws; but what's art without them?). For now, I'm traversing back and forth across the borders of my various interests, but the lines are starting to blur a bit. Sometimes, if you're not paying attention, southern Texas looks just like northern Mexico, and quilting begins to look a little like painting, and vice-versa.

1 comment:

Susan said...

Aw Micki, you struggle with the same issues as I do -- it cannot be an uncommon thing, but at one time I know I thought i was the only one!

I just discovered your blog and am totally enjoying reading back through your previous posts, thats why this one is not "today" (July 19). I will now continue reading previous posts, reading backwards in a life is rather strange though...