Saturday, June 22, 2013

A Little About Quilts and A Lot About Art and Being an Artist

I have a few pictures to share because - truthfully - I get pretty bored when there are no pretty pictures to look at...and I'm just going to assume that you do too (despite what my 7th grade science teacher said about about ass -u - me).  Then I'm going to ramble a little about art and creativity.

Monday I volunteered to demonstrate how to make the 3-Hour Gift Tote, from the Winter 2012 issue of Quilts and More magazine for my quilt guild.  I was super excited at the whole prospect of having one of my designs published and it's been wonderful to discover - so are those around me!  I've been given much support locally on the whole thing and I'm thrilled to share this with my guild.  I hope to have more patterns published in the future though my focus has been a bit all over the place.  Below are the totes I'm working up for demonstration - they will be available for purchase in my Etsy Shop sometime next week!

Notice anything about those totes?  They are LOUD.  They are screaming loud loud loud and that's what I'm feeling lately.  During the free motion quilting class from last week I spoke a little about the Modern Quilt Movement.  I sort of have this notion in my mind that modern quilting involves solid fabrics, bright colors, and lots and lots of gray!  Well - that is some of what modern quilting is about.  I've been a little bit ... resistant of modern quilting?  I don't know if that's the right word...but I get kind of icked out by trends.  I have this ingrained hippie tendency to want to run the other direction when things start to take hold of large groups of people.  I don't know why I do that - but I've decided I want to fully allow modern quilting to influence my quilts - if the mood should strike me.  I don't want to be someone who closes their mind to something I'm expanding my quilting a bit and allowing myself to be influenced and even fall in love with - quilts that are different.

I'm sure some of this seems like an irrelevant thing to think about or agonize over - not that I truly agonize - but I do think about it.  Often.  Which leads me to the next thing that's been on my mind...

Art and artists and being creative and how that relates to quilting...and pondering that art and creativity.

Do you consider yourself an artist?  Or are you just somebody who makes quilts?  Do you ever notice that we put this sort of limit on what is considered art?  There are those quilt artists out there that everyone recognizes as bonafied and true ARTISTS.

Well what makes them different from me?  What makes them different from you?

Art is about being creative and expressing that creativity.  I choose to focus and funnel my creativity through quilts...but there was a time when I did a lot of painting.  Drawing, sketching, sculpting, singing, writing...I have worn many many creative hats.

Why I choose to express my creativity through quilting - I have no idea.

I think it has something to do with the fact that fabric and sewing are very comfortable for me.  I grew up with a Mother who sewed at every opportunity - and a Father who was very creative and artistic in his own right and usually was trying to think up ways to earn a living from his art!  I find myself doing the same things and at times ask myself why.

Why do I put so much into trying to earn a living from what I do?  I can only answer that question by is to perpetuate doing and give purpose to what I am compelled to do.

To validate that there is meaning in art, and it is felt by many.

Because  I am compelled to create.

I am compelled to be artistic in some way.

I am an artist - and so are you.

I don't know why these thoughts matter so much to me, why I think them - do you ever ponder your creativity?  I do feel sometimes like I need to, put my finger on it in a sense.  Is this why I feel a need to label myself a traditional quilter or a modern quilter?  An art quilter - or simply a mother?  Am I a writer?  A designer?  A pattern writer?  A long arm quilter?  Peg myself - box myself up - put a label on it so that I can present myself to the world and say - THIS IS WHAT I AM!

If I'm going to peg it and label it then I suppose artist fits the bill.  I believe that too - that we are artists - we quilters.  No matter what kind of quilts you are making.  We are compelled to create for whatever reason - and fabric is our medium.

These are my thoughts for whatever they are worth.  I feel like creativity has a tendency to flow in cycles and at times in your life completely change directions.  I feel like I'm at one of those points in my life where this thing that is so very important to me, this thing that is such a huge part of my personality - is shifting and changing shape and I'm sort of on a path to figure out what that is.  This entire blog, learning to long arm, learning to be a better quilter - it has been a journey and many of you have been on it with me over the years.  I'm grateful for that and anxious to delve into the next new aspect of my chosen art - and share that with all of you!

Oh yes, and as promised, a little about quilts.  :)

The whole cloth quilt was hung up in the front window just to ensure that the neighbors think I'm weird.  Lol*

It is all traced in blue water soluble pen and ready to quilt - I'm just tied up with other things so it'll be a minute before I can quilt this.  My dyes are coming from Dharma Trading but taking FOREVER.  Hopefully I'll be stained and dye covered next post - fingers crossed!  :)


Vroomans' Quilts said...

A heavy thinking day for you. I think a lot of us have drifted from one art form to another. Its about expression, love of color, love of design, love of creating, but always about what makes us happy.

Sewing Junkie said...

I have garment sewn for decades. Knitted and embroidered. I did clay items on a potters wheel, but the quilting is the most satisfying to me. I think we all have a creative side. Some cook others bake and yet there is always another craft out their to master. Chris

Nina Marie said...

I'm struck that we connected just at the right time in your quilt journey - since I'm a Christian I'm going to go with the theory that its a God thing - LOL - you are definitely right about the whole Artist label - you're an artist because you proclaim it. If you wait till someone calls you it - you might have a long wait!