I’m in quite a quandary, and I guess I’m trying to work my way through a period of self-doubt. I’m at a point in my “artistic” endeavors that I want to do something different—something more personally meaningful. After many, many years of making quilt tops and machine and hand quilting quilts, I can pretty much make any quilt I want to--from a pattern. (I have a WHOLE LOT more trouble coming up with something on my own.) It is really difficult (and scary) for me to branch out and make something that it truly original. Maybe I'm afraid of what I will find if I'm "quiet" enough to get in touch with that something deeper within myself. Maybe it is that I’m scared I wont find anything I "need" to say—maybe I just don’t have it in me.
Since I’ve started trying to “do my own thing,” I haven’t gotten much done. I have completed only one project. Maybe I’m overthinking it…maybe I’m putting too much pressure on myself to make something “meaningful.” Everyone says, “Just do it.” I AM TRYING! It just seems like it is taking me forever even to get an idea for a project to work on—much less to actually complete a project.
With that said, I feel like I need to grow—to step outside my comfort zone. To that end, I have signed up to work with a group of serious and focused fiber and textile artists in an Independent Study format class with Jane Dunnewold. I’M TERRIFIED! That is all I’ve thought about since I signed up. I let Jane know how I was feeling before I actually signed up for the class. She was kind enough to reassure me with these words, “I think it is mainly about attitude. If you want to move from playing to more thoughtful work, you can do it and I think within the group.” She has been so encouraging…to the point where I feel like I might actually be able to do this. She sent me exercises from her Personal Imagery class to help me get started because I don’t have a “body of work” to critique (which is part of the class). She said “you could share where you were in that process of seeking out the visual language part of your future body of work. And that would be completely in keeping with the tenor of the Independent Study - I don't expect everyone to be in exactly the same place. I just expect everyone to have a commitment to regular working and moving forward.” Thank you Jane!
I am hopeful this independent study work will put me on the road to finding my artistic voice. I’ll be sharing this experience with you all. I’m hoping I don’t find that I’m so far inside the box that I can’t work my way out!