"Art does not reproduce the visible, it makes things visible in the first place."

Paul Klee, 1879-1940

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year! And non-resolutions for 2009...

Image from The English Association at University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester LE1 7RH

I am going to continue my mother’s years-long practice of resolving not to make any resolutions for the new year. I am not good at keeping resolutions, and I can make myself feel guilty and stressed out over enough things without adding anything more to feel guilty about doing or not doing in the new year…That said, I do have some ideas and feelings I would like to incorporate into my life and my outlook, so I guess this is as good a time as any to give them a good brushing off and have a new go at some of them…but these are not resolutions…
On the creative front: After 31+ years of quilting I have such an overabundance of UFOs that I can’t possible put them all to a list or a schedule…I really can’t. But, I can give myself the gift of accepting that the pile will always exist. I would like to remove the "Quilt-guilt" from my brain and work on these things when the whim strikes, not as a strict, demanding chore that I make for myself. I want to delight in finding long lost projects and immersing myself in them once again …when and if the mood strikes. And I want to free myself to take on new projects, fabric/textile related or otherwise, as the mood also strikes for that. It is self-defeating not to allow myself to make anything new as long as there are piles of old things sitting around…since there always will be…I need to grow and learn and let myself find the joy once again in my creative life without putting barriers in my own way...
Roma Journal Medium, Image from My Scribe, UK

I have always wanted to keep a sketch-type or illustrated/mixed media journal, a la SkybelleArts’ Kim, and various other journal makers and artists. I have long admired Kim’s dedication to her art and creativity, and always love to see her illustrated pages. I would like to try my hand at one of these…I think it would help me overcome my sense that “I can’t draw” by letting me practice (something adults are loath to do) in a non-threatening venue—my own private journal. I know that the only way to become better at drawing is to draw every day…practice, practice, practice...so I would like to try to do that…Now, whether I start off the new year doing it or start it at some later point in the year is immaterial…I just want to do it and plan to in 2009…

After reading JenClair’s blog post yesterday I ordered The Vigorous Mind: Cross-train Your Brain to Break Through Mental, Emotional, and Professional Boundaries by Ingrid Cummings. It sure sounds like a book and set of ideas that would help me out of the artistic funk that has gripped me for so long now. I’m looking forward to its delivery, along with Danny Gregory’s An Illustrated Life: Drawing Inspiration from the Private Sketchbooks of Artists, Illustrators and Designers. Thanks, Sis, for the Amazon gift card! =-)

Off the coast of Albania, October 2008, dnmc

I am interested in getting some of my photographs ready to display at an artist’s co-op gallery sometime in the next year. I have been told that I have an eye for taking photos, by several different, unrelated people, and I would like to explore that a lot more, perhaps even trying to sell some of them in some form or another at some point. In January, I want to sign up for a photography class to expand my knowledge more into the technical side of photography, as well as to add to my artistic sense of it.

On the personal front: I want to get outside of myself more. I want to be more gracious, more forgiving, and to be more tolerant, less critical of, and less irritable to the people I come in contact with on a more or less regular basis. I’ve become somewhat of a “my way or no way” type lately, and I have also mired myself in a depressing lack of enthusiasm for most things that have been meaningful to me in the past…and it’s hard for me to take, so I’d like to come to some good place in dealing with those issues. I know that it would make me a happier person, to say nothing of the people I interact with… Though these sound sort of like resolutions, I have been thinking a lot about it for awhile now and, really, wanting to act on it has nothing to do with the new year…these are just things I feel the need to address and change and I’d want to work on them at whatever time of year it happened to be right now…

So, there you have it…my non-resolutions for the new year. I guess the main gist is this: I want to become a freer, more creative, less restrictive maker of art, and a more gracious and more accepting student of life…not too much to ask for…I just need to leave my bubble and get to it!

Well, the ball has dropped, Bill and Hillary have gone home from the festivities, so it’s time to say: Happy New Year, everyone! The best to you all in a great, creative 2009!



jenclair said...

Wonderful non-resolutions! Isn't it a shame that we sometimes let UFO's prevent new projects? While there are some to which I'd still like to return, admitting that there are many that I don't care about is a great idea.

I, too, love Kim's journals and hope to see your efforts in that department.

Oh, I'm so glad you ordered the book! The first couple of chapters are a bit repetitive, but then there is such a wealth of inspiration in reading about Renaissance Men--including Steve Martin and Ben Stein. :) It sounds as if you are already taking steps in that direction with your photography goals!

And yes! to more gracious, more forgiving, more tolerant, less critical! Me, too! I want all of those things.

Happy New Year, Debby!

Debra said...

Did I write this or you? I can see we are struggling with some of the same issues.

Box up the UFOs (again) and send them to me. I am hellbent to make 20 quilts for homeless teens in my school district and they will be used (along with the other ones). I am embarking on this adventure this spring.

We'll all get there. It just takes a little reminder through the year that we have the ability to make our own happiness.

Kim said...

Happy New Year!

Love your non-resolution and and thanks for the kind words. Years ago I was inspire by Elizabeth Perry's Woolgathering and I told myself that I should start drawing more. It didn't happen. During the last half of 2008, I think 'how' I look at what I do shifted - I found a groove and rituals that work for me. I don't know where any of this will lead me but I'm willing to put in the time, energy and discipline to find out.

Off to Amazon now the check out the book, The Vigorous Mind - great title.

Isn't life a wonderful adventure!