Thursday, September 20, 2007

Charmed, I'm Sure

Someone recently complimented one of my quilts. I responded by saying thank you and asking them what they liked about it. This is the second or third time I've accepted a compliment on one of my quilts without listing each and everything that was wrong with it. I've decided that it isn't necessary to point out every little flaw and to just let people enjoy the quilts if that's what they want to do. I think it's important to be critical of your work. That way you can identify areas for improvement. Like "Dawn of the Kiwifruit." I don't think the center spike is defined enough. The next time I draft a similar block, I will be sure to make a more defined center spike. Do I need to point that out to everyone who says something nice about it? No. It's like when you meet someone at a party. They say, "nice ta meet cha," and you say, "charmed, I'm sure." You don't list every character flaw and bad habit you have. You let people discover your fine points, quirky behavior and bad disposition in their own time.

It's a big achievement for me. Believe it or not, I wasn't always a slacker. At one time, I was a goodie two shoes, grade grubbing, over achiever. I was always trying to win someone else's approval. It's like trying to make everyone happy. In the process you make no one happy, least of all yourself. When I read the "Bell Jar" and identified a little to closely with the main character, I decided a change was in order, lest I end up hiding out in the crawlspace of my house. One of the things about being a slacker is deciding for yourself what makes you happy and not bothering with the rest, no matter what anybody else thinks. I make art that makes me happy. I don't really care if anyone else likes it. And in a bizarre way, this allows me to be open to sharing my work with others. I can have a critical eye for my own work, and accept the criticism (or praise) of others without needing a dose of EST afterwards.

One of my favorite quilts is Covered In Stardust. I love the fabric, and the beading. I love that the title came to me in a dream. It was the second to last line of a poem I recited about the quilt in a dream, and the only line I remembered when I woke up. I love the colors and the quilting. It was the first quilt I free-motion quilted. It is also full of cut off points, bad quilting and mis aligned beads. I don't care. I still love it.


Anna Banana said...

I like it (Covered in Stardust) too.

You are very lucky/smart to have realized so young in your life to make yourself happy rather than worrying about making others happy and trying to please them. It took me far too long to learn this lesson, but now I have and am much happier for it.

Also, I wonder if dreaming of art is a right brain thing? I find myself dreaming of quilt designs just as I am entering into sleep. Not really a dream actually, but suddenly when my mind relaxes I will get flashes of color and design. My latest was Purple & Periwinkle. Several ladies at the guild remarked how pretty it was, and I was very pleased myself with the color combos. I try to make some color pics of my "dreams" before I forget them. My drawings are not nearly as elaborate as yours, but they get the job done and I am happy with them. Plus, half the battle is coming up with the idea and hey, if it comes to you in a dream - take the freebie -you're ahead of the game, right??!!

City Girl Quilter said...

I think you're right. Jung thought that during your dreams you processed all the stuff that was going on just outside of you view that you were too busy to pay attention to during the day. So he thought it was important to draw and write about your dreams and sort of meditate on them. So I don't discount anything that comes in a dream. And if you get a quilt out of it - so much better. That's why I think of "sleeping on it" as a legitimate problem solving technique. How about this - maybe dreaming of art is not a right brain thing - maybe dreams ARE art.