A breakthrough in the studio yesterday -- that big blue quilt background that has been plaguing me finally had a visitor. I started my morning with dance as usual, and during the floor time and its final short meditation, I used Eric Maisel's 6 breath centering sequence (See Coaching the Artist Within for more information.):
"1.Come to a complete stop.
2. Empty yourself of expectations.
3. Name your work.
4. Trust your resources.
5. Embrace the present moment.
6. Return with strength."
This meditation, which one does with first person affirmations timed with in and out breaths "(I am completely) (stopping)" is becoming a practice for me. I haven't been successful at sticking with meditation techniques that ask for 20 or 30 minutes a day: I'd rather be dancing, which is for me a moving meditation about being present in my body. Maisel's 6-breath focusing technique, more cerebral and left-brained bridging) is do-able for me, and seems to be giving me what I need as I move through my day. I can call on this technique whenever -- not just at a specified "meditation" time, or when I have a spare 20 minutes (hah!).
Yesterday, I knew I needed something specific to work with when I finished the meditation, so I had Linda trace my body on some large brown paper to use for pattern cutting. Then I headed to the studio, spread out the pieced blue background, dumped out some fabrics I had already auditioned during a previous visit to this work, and started fusing and cutting.
The women who inhabit my art quilts don't come to me full blown; they really do appear in the making, somehow communicating their insights and stories as I move through the design process. I've never been one of those artists who had a preset mental image or a schematic or detailed sketch or the final project, though I do sometimes use sketching as one of the stops on the journey. My starting place is generally with color or a color scheme, and with shapes and iconic doodles that are part of my tool box, those things that have come to my work over and over and have become part of my "style."
By the time I left the studio last night (for a really fun evening watching a DVD of Fat Actress) this new woman had found her place, stepping from one reality into the Cosmic swirls, juggling stories and moon spheres, leaving her watery scales to become part of the stars. As I worked I realised that Jill Bolte Taylor's story had worked its way into the piece, and that this was about that step from left to right brain. I'm not going to include a photo yet, I may want to enter this in one of those prestigious exhibits that don't allow prepublication, but I'll stick in a detail to give you a taste.