Friday, December 31, 2010

a difficult choice

I’m torn between trying to strengthen older pieces or taking a New Year’s leap right into something new and fresh!  It’s always difficult for me to give up on things..I’m the one with the poinsettia with two green leaves left on it in the middle of summer!

When do you give up on something? what are the options?  I’m talking about pieces that never get into any shows or those that I never even think of entering  because there are other pieces that simply stand out more.  For example, I love a grisaille effect, but there’s no chance a nice grey piece will ever get into a show when the jurors’ eyes are dazzled with orange and red and emerald and sapphire!










I’ve had several pieces I considered so boring or too muddy I’ve despatched them straight to the thrift store…I reckon some deserving moggie is welcome to a bit of layered and stitched fabric.    grid light




Other pieces have really benefited from some judicious surgery -  lopping off an unwanted foreground or background, cropping off unnecessary borders and the like. (as you can see I was even able to flip the one below horizontally! no mean feat!!)

overlook slide overlook230dpi

  Sometimes even complete separation is the only answer as in the  conjoined sextuplets below!

greenhouses72green 1 green 2green 6 green 3 green 5 green 4

Others just don’t seem to have any real focus or structure and will probably be stronger with something added to them.   

emerald city full 300


The one on the right above was similar to the one on the left, but I went back in and gave it a strong vertical structure….I need to figure out the best way to do this to the one on the left.

I love trading work too, whether for paintings, sculptures, or services rendered!

Of course other pieces are okay, just not Amazing Pieces (well, not even semi- amazing, I don’t think I’ve ever achieved what I’d call a true AP!!  but…there’s still time!).  They are well made, well composed and very liveable with but don’t have a tremendous Zing to them.   Those pieces are really good to use when you’re asked to donate work (as we know artists so often are).

And then there’s the Relatives!!!  Yes! I’ve even done that! No shame at all!!

And so I give away, throw away, add to, delete from, donate and disperse however I can whenever I’m not sure that a piece is even part way to what I had hoped to achieve with it.  I have a secondary wall in the study where I put this work up;  I can gaze at it when “on hold” and try to figure out to which of the above categories it belongs.  I have found that if you really think a piece is good, even though it has been rejected over and over, eventually there will be someone who loves it.  Many of the above pieces have (I’m happy to say!) gone to good homes!!

And so …back to pondering I think if I’ve not figure out a good tonic for the anaemic patients by the end of this year, they’ll be off to a back ward!  

So, if you have been, thanks for reading and thank you for all your time and comments in 2010! Onward and upward!   Elizabeth

P.S.      My blog was nominated (December 29th) for a Making a Mark prize!  Thank you so much to the nominator – I do appreciate it.  I wasn’t chosen for the actual prize because my blog was “too wide” – hmm I’ll have to put the poor thing on a diet!  And also because there were “big blocks of text” – I’m guessing that means not enough nontext!  so I shall endeavour to be skinnier and include more nontext this next year!! 


Linda and Michelle said...

Interesting post - I am sometimes faced with the same decisions...I am currently taking out all the quilting on one piece in an attempt to make it look like something good, not just mediocre.....I do like how you broke the one piece into 6 - takes guts!

Anonymous said...

Your work is wonderful. Please don't be discouraged. Not everyone will or should do the same thing. When I look at a quilt that has thousands of pieces and took years to complete, I am awed by the effort but have no desire to follow that path. I was doing bright quilts when country-style was in. This too shall pass. You are an artist. Good luck.

June said...

Somehow the "too much text" boggles my mind -- heaven forfend that we should include content, particularly content that is readable, even necessary to read --snort--

Your reviewing processes are much like mine, although I don't do as much cutting up as you do. But perhaps that's a matter of style rather than process. Thanks for the post. And congrats on the nomination!

Too much text -- harumph! Don't you dare pay attention.

Elizabeth Barton said...

Aah thank you June!! I was afraid I was wittering on too much!! I don't really want to "stick to the facts" - I'd rather cogitate!

Frannie said...

Goodness no! I agree with June. Don't listen to anyone who says you have too much text. Your blog caters to both the spatial/visual learner and the linguistic/reading oriented learner. It particularly helps those of us who use both styles of learning. I think you have just the right balance and I enjoy your blog a lot. It makes me think. Thank you!

Deb Lacativa said...

Yours is one of the few blogs where there's really something to read! I always take the time cause I know it's not going to be about puppy poop or pecan pie. Thanks for keeping on...And seeing your results I am taking another look at hacking one of the bigger pieces into the more interesting elements.

pam in SW Fl said...

Please do not change-this is why someone nominated you.
There is enough fast talk available on many modes of communication
This is a blog that makes me think-too much abbreviation means less cogitating?

Anonymous said...

I love the way that you think! Keep cogitating--your blog is truly meaningful.

Del said...

As I have said several times, I greatly admire that you are so gutsy to cut up your not-quite-got-it pieces to make 'new' quilts. The sextuplet surgery has yielded several very good pieces. Go for it, every time! I'm laughing as I type because my old hands first typed "gusty", but that doesn't mean I think you have too much text! Some of us like to read what you think about, not just look at the pictures!

Patty said...

There is still a lot of variety in what people like (talking about the blog, although applies to quilts as well of course). I don't think you should change your blog just to get a prize--unless it is a prize that you value highly. The people who are reading you clearly like what you are doing. And I would hate for everyone to start conforming and producing a lot of the same kinds of things!

mary beth frezon said...

sometimes you can say - just not working. Sometimes there's nothing wrong with the piece and it just needs to be finished for your sake. I hear you though - I have a big BLACK quilt that has never been accepted into anything juried because as you imagine too, the slides go by ORANGE! BLUE! RED! ummmmm black - is there a quilt there? is the slide/image failed?? what? - RED! GREEN! LOL. Yet the quilt is well received in person and I'm glad to show it when I can. I wouldn't let that idea stop me from making something but I know it's a true thing.

Marilyn said...

Keep on with the text! Examining issues, adding context and identifying problems by writing as you do makes your blog so very worthwhile. I'm sure I'm not alone in welcoming the tracts of words. Without them I wouldn't learn half as much from you. Many thanks.

Linda B. said...

I've nothing new to add but wanted to agree with June and everyone else supporting your writing. There are far too many text-light blogs around, please don't make yours one ofthem!

cyn said...

"Please do not change-this is why someone nominated you."

exactly... just like Pam said.

as far as what to quit... i just gave myself permission to quit a whole bunch of stuff that was lingering around my studio (for like 2-5 years lingering). I packed it up, wrapped it in cloth, rolled it over the extra bar at the top of my closet, and cinched it tight with a belt.

if i get hot on seeing something from the past, i can find it. otherwise, FRESH START. i'm not a quitter, but i believe your mind can't have room to process if it's cluttered with relics from the past.

hopefully, i'll come back in 6 months and tell you how uberproductive that made me!

good luck with your decisions too!

Anna C Warren said...

No diet! Dieting bad.

I am not a quilter but I love reading your blog. I find it applicable even to other arts as often the topics are so broad. It works for my embroidery and I would imagine it works for painters as well. So please don't trim it, and while more photos are always wonderful as you do beautiful work I hope you cut back on the text.

PS Thank you for the continued postcards it is always a wonderful surprise when they arrive.

Anonymous said...

I realized early last year that I'm never going to give a trunk show. Thus, no need to save things I don't love. I moved on 14 pieces in the past year--mainly to people who had admired them. A couple quilts I never wanted to see again raised $500 for a parish in Haiti. I've also said good-bye to several UFOs. My life feels lighter. One decluttering book I read said you should ask yourself if a possession increases or decreases your energy level.
I enjoy your blog a lot. Mary