Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Read Less, Exercise More

After a couple months of debate (with myself, of course), I finally purchased Jane Dunnewold's book Finding Your Own Visual Language. It ain't cheap, yet it is one of the most used books in my collection of art making books. I felt is was time.

For years, I felt that I did not have an artistic style. I now realize that I have been refining my style for years. The process of refining is not done. It never should be. But I have now come to a place where I feel comfortable with my "style", and instead of growing out of this style, I wish to dig even deeper.

There are other fiber artists out there whose work I love. I have tried to emulate them, but have discovered that 1) I am nowhere near as good as them, 2) I do not wish to do the same things that they do. I want to do my thing. I want to do more of my thing.

What is my thing. Well, it's squares. And rectangles. And abstract.

I have tried to do realistic work after seeing art quilters work in realism. I have to laugh. I cannot do it. But what I had to realize is that I did not WANT to do it.

The book consists of numerous visual and writing exercies. Let it be known that I am not an exercise person. I have purchased many books on the subject of art making, and I have yet to follow an exercise in any of them. I have been inspired by many, including the Art Quilt Workbook. Yet, I am beginning to become an exercise person.

In the Getting Started section of the book, the reason that I have gotten little constructive inspiration from most other books is brought to light. I will quote (and hopefully not get into trouble):

How many times have you bought an instructional book and absolutely loved it? Looking endlessly at the beautiful pictures? Reading and re-reading the text? Hmmm. But you never got off the mark in the studio. Reading and looking became the activity rather than the making the book was written to inspire? It happens.

I don't know about the rest of you, but that paragraph was all about me.

Shown here is my attempt at Visual Exercise I, Splitting Shapes. Yes, the square person chose a circle. I enjoyed this exercise & will do it again using a rectangle.

Visual Exercise 2 consists of carving 30 stamps. I have done a bit of experimenting with that & will have more info. on a later post.

So, yes, right now I will try to read less and exercise more.


paula said...

i like your splitting shapes alot
its mathmatical and complex in a very satisfying way.

Elis Cooke said...

Hi Kim
I am way behind on emails etc... but I am so glad you found me so I could find you! I don't get it... but my fav magazine is QuiltingArts... and I can't sew..and Now I find more inspiration here! I think I might need that book too! lol! namaste Elis. [btw, your journal is enroute]