artful reboot

For a long while, perhaps a year or more, I have been having a hard time artistically. I needed to get a part time job, and I did. Its a good job, I like it. As in most things I do, I jumped fully into the job, started taking more hours, I began volunteering for more work. Until I felt a huge void. I was experiencing a lack of focus on my own art, and it hurt my feelings. I became disconcerted. Grumpy. I made things, but nothing was stirring the well.

So what do you do when making art has become difficult? How do you reconnect with your art and begin engaging with it in a manner that bolsters and supports making? Often, in the past, I have changed media, swapping out dye for watercolor and paper. This time, I have begun cleaning (I am destashing and selling on Etsy, please check it out). Cleaning is magical, it moves energy and makes way for different things to come forward. I love cleaning. Then, a few weeks back, my good man and I went to see the David Wojnarowicz: History Keeps Me Awake at Night. As we walked through the galleries at the Whitney, I was amazed at what we saw and touched to my very core at the depth and veracity of that mans’ work. I felt the spark of the burning creative fire, that I have been longing for. I could see a pathway to my own creative endeavors forming. I listened.

So, when I got home, I soda soaked cloth. Searched out imagery that I have been wanting to work on. Cut some freezer paper masks. I cleaned, and got ready to let the creativity flow. Geez, it feels good to turn a corner.

Please check out my Etsy! I would like to continue to make space for this change. There are artworks, purses, a bolt of fabric, and other supplies and all are priced to move. Help me make more space for change! Thank you.

A year of returning.

Last year I was given a glimpse into identifying too closely with yourself through the making of art. I had not previously been forced to assess the role that making art had in my life or that it was so closely identified with how I think of myself as a person. 

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I lost my ability to connect with and do my art for months at a time, I have never been as blocked as this and I hope never to become blocked like this again. There were a few days when I threw my arms up and asked myself, ‘what and who are you without the ability to make?’ All my normal jogs and pushes didn’t work, trying out new media, going to museums, hanging out with friends, I did these things, but they did not lead me back into the making!

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So, rather than to look at my art as a means to connect to self, I have decided that making is a fun thing I do. One of the many things I like to do. And sometimes, you just have to do those other things.

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Buying Dragon, my Thermofax machine, sure did help. That gave some extra luster to wanting to make the plunge and delve deeply into printing enough cloth to make something with.

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Rather than create new motifs, I looked to my collection of woodblock stamps for inspiration. These motif have the effect of being even more exciting to me because they are nothing like what I would design otherwise.

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This week, I hope to print some semisolids, some cloth that will allow for visual relief, a break from all the colorful clutter and motifs that you see here.

All, while I revel in the fact that my creative drought has broken and I am able to return to doing the creative work that makes me happy. I may yet become blocked again. I may suffer a creative drought, where I wonder who I am without the ability to access my creative center, I hope not. But at least I will know, it does come back! Even if I just have to let it run its course.


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I will be teaching:

You Can’t Resist This, where we will use soy wax as a resist along with paint on cotton fabric.

Small Works, Big Impact, where we will make small works while exploring the use of the sewing machine and some pretty nifty techniques.

Journaling with Embroidery, where we will make a Gather your Sew-plies!! purse, so you can sew, wherever you go!

 

One stitch and one day at a time.

I am happy to say, I have found my creative verve again. This year has been a challenge for me artistically. One where I totally lost my ability to create for a few months. This is not normal for me. Usually, when I become blocked and find myself unable to create, I will stop using the media I am focused on and start using a different media all together. This year, this did not work, at all. Instead, I stopped seriously making anything for a few months and did other work. 

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I did many things to try and lift the block. I Gathered my Sew-plies!! and sewed around the city, I made a quilt after printing all the fabric for the top, I posed for breast cancer awareness articles, and traveled to Germany for an exciting photoshooting. I know it sounds like I was super engaged creatively. And I was.

But what really gets up my gander is challenging myself to try new things. Like printing a series, which I have never done before. And while working with the same image multiples of time might sound boring, I don’t find it that way at all! Actually, quite the opposite. With each printing, I see differences in print quality, different color combinations, with each stitch I see the work individuate from its fellows. I guess sometimes, creative blocks really just need time. 

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I have just uploaded and completed 5 of the embroidered Breastless Beauties. Breastless Beauty 5, Breastless Beauty 6, Breastless Beauty 9, Breastless Beauty 10, Breastless Beauty 11. I hope you might like one! 


 

craftnapa-color1

I will be teaching:

You Can’t Resist This, where we will use soy wax as a resist along with paint on cotton fabric.

Small Works, Big Impact, where we will make small works while exploring the use of the sewing machine and some pretty nifty techniques.

Journaling with Embroidery, where we will make a Gather your Sew-plies!! purse, so you can sew, wherever you go!