Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Thoughts on things - Comments please?

I have made a few tweaks here and there with colour and added and took away a few more squiggles. I was priviledges to have a bit of encouragement from A Certain Young Man (who was a bit more open to communication today because things are starting to look like he might get a job). He has always had a good eye for colour even when he was small. Something I would be leaning towards, but hadn't worked up the confidence to choose. Or something I was pretty sure wasn't the answer, but was still dithering on tossing. He could see straight away. a simple yes. a simple no. and you knew in your gut (or whereever those feeling live) that he was right.

This time he helped me refine the colour choices and asked questions which helped me vocalise what I meant to do. Thanks!
Same fabrics as yesterday with a few variations in the colour

So I feel like I can proceed with confidence and not keep second guessing myself.

Which leads me to talk about something else that has been on my mind.

When we were brainstorming ideas for what might fit into the ambiguous theme of "Halfway Between", I was in the group who decided they were comfortable with using words to develop concepts. Someone came up with a word which really connected with me. I realised I already have a series, way of working that would be perfect and go really well with that concept, so I said (quite excitedly) something to that effect. Another lady said something along the lines of: 'You can't do that. You have done enough of those.'

I was rather deflated. I had actually finally got good enough at the small pieces to feel I could actually do a large one. In effect, the previous ones were studies for something I had been wanting to do for absolute ages. Rather than having overdone the subject, I felt I had only just begun to touch it.

So, this has been weighing heavily on me. I respect the lady's opinion, who seems to be someone who is experienced. 'Seems to be' because I really don't know what she is actually known for and I have only ever really seen one of her pieces. It was Contemporary, but leaning heavily on Traditional. Which basically, I don't do. I never had that personal quilting background or the actual inclination.

It has taken me a while to reflate. (Is that a word?) The alternate view seems to be around every corner, but it took me a while to realise it. SAQA Journal and various other wise textile artists (like Elizabeth Barton) frequently stress the need to work in a series. Develop your voice, etc. So really, I have so much more of this topic to explore it would quench a lot of my creativity to stop where I am. If I am known (or to be known) for those works, what difference is it to the stripes and chunks of plain fabrics of Nancy Crow and her groupies? The small bits sewn in a grid and thin inserted strips of Kathy Loomis? What difference compared to the mark making of Pauline Burbidge? the intense quilting of Sandie Lush or of Ferret. You see it, you know it is their work, and you consider the difference between this one and the previous one.

So, as I said, I think all that has gone before has only been my explorations and now I am ready to do the real thing...things. and so I am! and I am very excited about it! I haven't totally tossed the comment. I did consider it, and am trying to find a way of using it to help me produce work other people wouldn't. To make something in a genre others may have touched, but none have got to this point in touching the subject.
I think I can do it!

Okay... when it comes to it, I don't have to please this lady. She may not even remember she said it. and I may have a crisis of confidence when it is revealed, but this will be from deep inside of me, and I think it will bring joy to a lot of people because it will bring joy to me. and I won't have to try to produce a work that I don't feel I have done enough towards development.

So, any comments? You may have guessed the theme/genre from what I have shown here on the blog. But I think this topic is worth discussing without it being specifically about my subject matter.
How do you deal with comments from people who seem to think you ought to have a different vision/direction? or that you over done something?

Off to do something exciting with my own twist of imagination. ;-p


Kathleen Loomis said...

Sandy -- first off, thanks for the shout-out! I too was having a crisis just this morning and talking it over with some art friends, as to what I should be doing next. You can't know how reassuring it is to find my name cited as somebody with a recognizable style!

But to your question -- there are a vast number of people out there who are willing to provide advice. There are a small number who are worth listening to. Before you let anybody's comments have an effect on you, you should first decide if you respect the person and her expertise. I have decided that my respect list is pretty damn short.

From what little you have told us about this person and her comments, I suggest you ignore her advice.

good luck!!

Celia said...

You didn't ask for her advice, and even if you had you don't have to take it. If what you want to do will help you grow as an artist, it can't be a waste of time.

Sandy said...

Oh thank you both. How nice to go away to do dinner and come back to find someone was willing to reply to your plea for discussion.
and thanks too both from whom I would value opinions.

I think this particular person thinks she is good at giving advice. and no, I don't usually agree with much of her other advice either! So, I need to realise the advice directed to/at me is no different. Sift it for any value and go on and do what I was going to anyway.

Linda M said...

Hi Sandy, I agree with Kathy and Celia, ignore the unsolicited advice, do what you feel is right for you and continue to learn and grow.