Observation is the my word of the year.
Last year I found myself taking action without thinking. We all have done it, said “Yes” before thinking about how much time you are willing to give. Raising a hand or offering to help before considering how much energy this will take. This is true whether it’s committing to entering (X) number of shows or showing up to volunteer (X) number of hours.
My time and energy are my most valuable assets and I need to guard them. This year I am spending more time in observing before acting.
Observation is critical to my studio practice. In every studio session I take frequent breaks to look at my work in progress on my design wall. More often than not, I am having internal argument. “This composition or color scheme is not working but I don’t know how to fix it.” Artists need other artists to evaluate problems with a set of fresh eyes. It is essential for creative progress.
My critique group in Colorado helped me move from experimentation to competence in art quilting. Luckily I now have an opportunity to start a critique group in my new community.
After I moved here to Saint George, I found out there were two people within walking distance of my home who were art quilters. . Both are creative spirits, but have an aesthetic that is different than mine. We visited each other’s studios. They had so much to offer me and couldn’t wait to get together again.
At my local guild there was definite openness to experimentation that is sometimes missing in a traditional guild. After attending a three day retreat I met other kindred spirits interested in meeting to provide each other feedback. I came home reassured I will be a member of a functioning critique group in the near future.
If you are thinking about forming a critique group take a look at a wonderful resource written by Marjorie Jannotta on the SAQA regional blog for Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. Here’s little taste from Marjorie’s guide.
“Jump Start Guide to Successful Quilt/Fiber Art Critique Groups”
by Marjorie Jannotta
This handout will help you plan and launch an art critique group. (For simplicity I will refer to contemporary quilts, mixed media works with stitch, and fiber art as “art.”)
Critique groups can serve several purposes that a larger, formal quilt guild or association cannot. Critique groups can:
• Provide a “nest” or “incubator” for those wanting to explore art ideas, learn skills informally, and try out new approaches in a supportive climate.
• Give each person a chance to sharpen skills in examining, analyzing, and understanding the work of others.
• Let participants receive specific viewpoints about artworks before, during, and after they are made.
• Create a learning climate that creates affiliation and friendship among participants.
• Be a platform for exhibits, community outreach, teaching, and contributing to associations and other groups.
• Avoid formal bureaucracies that take time away from the art itself.
Until next time…
You can see my work…….
International Quilt Festival – Chicago, Illinois: April 2017
Under The Western Sun
Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum, Golden CO
April 27 – July 25 2017
National Quilt Museum, Paducah Kentucky
June – September 2017
“Quilting Arts” February /March 2017,Turmoil (page 21-27)
“Quilting Arts” June/July 2016 Stories of Migration (page 11 -18)