Sunday, July 1, 2007

The Orchard

I've decided to stick with something for a while, to really focus and concentrate on improving my skills. I have a new-found sense of purpose and direction, and the self-discipline to complete a series. Ok, that's a lie. I have a new book.

I ordered Jane Davila's & Elin Waterston's Art Quilt Workbook, and it came in the mail a few days ago. I like this book because it not only presents information related to art quilt design, it also has exercises to follow. One of those is to make miniature art quilts to practice the lessons in each chapter.

The book suggests that all of the practice quilts follow a theme, and I thought this would be a good idea. I can focus on technique and design without having to also figure out what the theme of the piece will be. At first I thought I would focus on flowers, but a little voice in my head whined, "you ALWAYS do flowers. Do something different!" Ok, I thought, how about trees? I LOVE trees. I feel an affinity with trees. I'm glad I'm not a tree, because they seem so content to be rooted in one spot for years--decades, even. I, on the other hand, can hardly sit still for 5 minutes.

Anyway, as I was flipping through the book, I happened upon a lesson revolving around pears, and I thought, "hey! pears! I have pears (plastic ones), I can practice my drawing-class skills and actually draw pears" (we're drawing fruit next week in our last class session; I'm thinking of it as a sort of final exam, which is frightening and not very productive, but I tend to do that to myself).

So I jumped in and created a miniature art quilt around pears. It was fun, but I'm not sure how much more I have to "say" about pears. I'm going to try to stick with it though, no matter how much I wish I had selected trees as my theme.

Besides, I have a bigger struggle: all those back issues of Somerset Studio that were on sale for $2 have arrived, and I'm gorging myself on them and swooning over the ideas in them. I feel a sudden compulsion to create a travel-themed art journal about a trip I took two years ago. I really need to stamp something. I'm sure I'll expire if I don't immediately attach some embellishments to a painted surface.

But NO. I have to practice that self-discipline thing and continue with the workbook and with creating my practice, pear-themed miniature quilts. I want to see the evolution of my miniature quilts from something I don't particularly like (this one) to something I'm proud of and actually consider artistic, or at least well-designed.

Besides, I'm gaining a new respect for pears. It may be nice to just hang out in this orchard for a while.

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