The Fall "I don’t wanna’s", and making decisions

I don’t know quite what it is about Fall that derails me. The abrupt changes in weather, the first colds for us all, the inevitable last-minute sewing for Halloween, when minds get changed. Even though I’m still accomplishing something in the studio most days, it feels much slower and less productive than usual. And my heart just isn’t in it.

For instance, these guys were finished a week ago, and yet I haven’t taken the few minutes to post them.

Life Study #10 (2011) 8″x8″


Once I had these guys all complete, I realized I must have miscalculated when it came to the final trimming and sewing, and they looked very misbalanced (I blame lack of sleep). It gave me the perfect opportunity to add the moon, and to try a technique I had wanted to, for a while. The moon is fusible webbing painted with acrylic paint, which gives it a lacy uneven look which is perfect to give that lunar quality.

As I was finishing up this piece, I got to pondering the sizes of my small works. To date they have been 9″ x 9″. However, this size is often a challenge, given that the natural width of a bolt of fabric gives me initial pieces of 11″ x 11″. When I cut stencils, my source material is 12″ square, but I can’t cut close to the edges. In short, it would make far more sense to work to 8″ square. However doing so leaves me with the first 15 or so works in the series as larger than the rest. I ultimately decided I was ok with that.

It could be that decisions like this are part of what holds me back in the studio. Also the ambiguity lately. It has been very helpful to spend a few weeks focusing more on art principles, and drawing, doodling, sketching, and designing. And while I have assimilated those into my regular studio time easily enough, I feel a lot of uncertainty over the right balance between practice & exploration of ideas (whether on paper or digitally), and turning those ideas into finished quilts.

I generally need to remind myself that I am doing this for me, and me alone. And so what do I want?

• to have fun
• to learn all I can, and never stop learning
• to challenge myself
• to continue making works in this series

One thought on “The Fall "I don’t wanna’s", and making decisions

  1. Lisa

    Dahlia,

    This is a most insightful post. I get tripped up by things like “but what if the first few are different”. I’m going through that right now with my work.

    Great to remind yourself why you are doing this.

    Love the moon!

    Reply

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