Remembering, repeating, renewing

Been thinking about what it means to repeat oneself .  When is it an exercise in solidifying knowledge and exploring a deeply-felt theme and when is it a monkey catering to the market (hoping to streamline a labor-intensive process)?

Recent influences:

  • the Slow Cloth idea (delineated on Elaine Lipson’s blog Red Thread Studio);
  • Arlee Barr : “sometimes one needs to look at older work as a refresher course…”
  • Jude Hill moving on from dots and circles to squares;
  • seeing one of my earliest village quilts and loving it (unlike many of the later ones, which I cringe at);
  • reading the quote about Stieglitz shattering a vase given to him by Georgia O’Keefe because he didn’t like it (forget the gender dynamics for a moment), with the idea being that the presence of mediocrity is never a good thing for an artist.

When Jude, at year’s end, said she was moving on from an intensive exploration of circles to squares, I was shocked.  I thought of her, at least in part, as the ‘dot lover’.  And close on the heels of that, I wondered, also with surprise (sorry if this is sooooo remedial) — you mean, I could be DONE WITH HOUSES?!!

  • I want to give away half of my inventory — just get it out of the house.
  • I want to explore poppies again, with renewed verve, not to re-produce something I once deemed successful.
  • I want to be able to lay my hands on what I want to lay my hands on, downstairs (this goes more to REMEMBERING, than renewal) — as in, where is that gardening book with all the great pictures of poppies?
  • Lastly, I am still mulling over how to pay homage to master quilters, here and in my studio, without it being an exercise in pure copying. .. without it feeling like I am constructing roadblocks to the discovery of where MY mastery lies.

PS  This poppy quilt, made in 2004, was one in a series of about ten.  What I like about it, even today, are the layers created by the organza and tulle.  I think the poppy itself is rendered well.  What I hate, are how the words are made.  The words suit me just fine, but I don’t like the look or feel of them.  That could be this week’s challenge.  Maybe it is time to master gel medium transfers (something that has NEVER worked for me), to get away from the inkjet.