For many years I spent my creative time making projects for my students.
I was continuously gathering inspiration at museums, galleries, in books, at classes, online and with other artists. Very little of my energy was devoted to my personal work.
Like many of my fellow art teachers, when I first retired I had zero interest in teaching. I wanted to take the time to be an artist.
My energy poured into my studio.
Being a fulltime artist was my dream job.
My intense focus has paid off for me. I now am beginning to see the fruits of my studio time. I have pieces traveling in shows around the world. The past year I have begun to win recognition. Thanks to my new schedule, I am able to travel to places like Art Quilt Tahoe. where I could study with the master’s in the art quilt world including Jane Dunnewold and Sue Benner.
Today I just scratching the surface of what I want to create in the future.
This creative life is a great privilege.
Recently something odd happened. I started to think about teaching again.
The desire to share what I have learned and to grow the community of art quilters here in Southern Utah has been on my mind over the past year. Lucky for me I belong to a thriving quilt guild that needed a someone to help serve those quilters who were interested in learning about art.
What is great about sharing what I know with other people, is that I learn as much from group members as I (hope!) they learn from me.
Right now there have been two meetings. At the first meeting I pulled out a design problem that I used in middle and high school. By the next meeting I was looking at several little art quilts that went well beyond my simple instructions.
When you share what you know you are forced to take a few steps back and think about how much you had to learn.
I pulled out set of watercolors and began to work on some simple landscapes. Sharing with others helps me look at a process and define each step.
For example you have to start with the background first. The next steps are to lay down each part of the landscape from front to back. This process is as true for painting as it is for an art quilt.
Community helps you grow.
There is nothing like being in a room with creative people to get your mind geared up for studio time.
Until next time.....