last night, actually it was more like early morning since it was a little after three AM just as I was closing my eyes for the night. This thought that I thought was very insightful at the time had me thinking for a instant that I should turn the light back on and write it down in my journal/sketch book that lives on the right hand side of my bed, but I didn't. This thought I thought in error was so wonderful I didn't need to write it down because as wonderful as it was, surely I would remember it in the morning. BUT NO>.
When I woke this morning no matter how hard I tried to remember what I was thinking as I fell asleep I couldn't. Which as the day has gone on I have denyingly concluded that possibly the thought really wasn't all that great after all. But then what if it is a case of a great thought/idea that was so great that since I didn't take advantage of it it went elsewhere to inspire someone else. Oh well, I'll never know because I simply cannot remember. TIP: If a great thought pops into your head, write it down, it just might be the one I fobbed off.
I think what probably precipitated this moment of insight was me journaling last night for over an hour about what I want to do for the next year. I haven't journaled for a long time. I once did religiously every morning before I started my day. My journaling served as a way of clearing my mind, dumping my woes, planning my day and studio time. But since I moved here my morning routine is not the same. My life has changed and for the longest time I haven't felt the need to vent privately or plan. I am trying to get a handle on why that is. But last night I remembered how much self knowledge I gain from journaling, that I missed it and I believe for my art sake I need to get back to doing it as faithfully as I did for years. I'm thinking, the night time, just before lights out might be a better time to journal at this point in my life. Maybe instead of planning the day, I need to rehash the day, evaluate the day and my work. Maybe journaling can take the place of and fill the void of not having a critque group here like the one I had in Louisville. Maybe that is at the heart of my need to journal again.
My friend Marti's solo show of 33 pieces is up in the two galley spaces that my work will occupy this time next year. So there is nothing like a looming deadline. I must get busy.
I started journaling by asking myself several questions about what it is about making quilts that excite me. What inspires me. What I like as well as what I dislike about the work I've done the past 5 years. What I find interesting in the current works by other artist and does any of the approaches and techniques fit with my way of thinking or working. I asked myself should I continue in the same style or try something new. I've followed along with and asked questions about gelatin plates and wondered how and if this is relevant to my work and concluded that it isn't. I've never been able to express my self with surface design. I came to realize that most of what I've done in the past through the years I have been happy with. My large scale flowers and my more recent round flower series. I tried going in a different direction the latter part of last year and some months into this year when it was suggested that I expand my thinking and approach to include non-representational abstraction. ButI find that no matter how exciting the line drawings I come up with the construction process to create compositons with repeat motifs bore me. I also find, repetitive strips and straight lines too regimented and everything I did for months with these elements is still un-quilted with the exception of one piece.
I think color, I feel color. I think literal. I see holistically. I can not compose improvisationally although I admire those who do. I see finished pieces in my head. I work from scale drawings and I know from the start each steps required to get to the finished piece. This is how I work although I know my way does not work for everyone, but it does for me and I am all that matters when it comes to my art.
When I journaled more about the one piece I did finish I realized why I liked it. It's uncomplicated. It is what it is: color based and I enjoyed every minute of constructing it. It is not unlike an Amish quilts especially the Pennsylvania Amish variety that I so admire and ones that drew me to quilt making in the first place. I'll journal some more tonight, possibly into the early morning hours, but I think this renewal of journaling is going to be a good thing and relavent to discovering what I will be doing next.