As I look at my poster "Commit Time, Space, Focus, Money," it occurred to me that I could explore each of these words in a few posts -- and look for what others (a few others) have said about each of those words and concepts, what might prove helpful to me, and helpful to others.
And because I came across a wonderful post from Jane Dunnewold on her blog about focus, I'm going to start there. (It certainly resonates with "commit,"as well!)
We all (fiber, mixed media artists) know the seduction of materials and tools. Unlike the painter, who pretty much gets to choose between oil and acrylic and watercolor, we fiber/mixed media artists, like performance artists among others, see the world as our tool box, the hardware store, the art store, the grocery store, the Dollar Store, all opportunities for tools, colors, embellishments and attachments. Not to mention the myriad of techniques, new stuff and new approaches that arrive each month in the mail, and each morning on the web.
The solution for me: Choose. Stop trying ANYTHING NEW for a set space of time (Despite my intention to try something new each day, it won't be in the studio on a piece of fabric). I am easily seduced by the idea of trying a new resist, a new paint, a new approach and it often pays off with good work. But until that tool/medium/pigment/approach has at least a hundred hours behind it, it's probably not going to be GREAT work. I have enough in my tool box and on my shelves and in my bins right now for hundreds of pieces of art cloth and art quilts. Not to mention the two big bins of thermofax designs, sketches for work, ideas for stamps. SO choose.
Focus is also about coming into the studio with intent and, for me, with a one word or two word idea of what I will achieve in the next 4 hours; maybe it is just cleaning and sorting, or working on marketing, or it's getting the design of a new art quilt onto the design table. But when I don't make a focus, I tend to bounce around doing a bit of this and that and then hearing the siren call of laundry or putting on a slow cooker meal or digging around in the garden. Focus, focus, focus.
Today's Focus is completing a blog, first (done), then getting my calendar complete through March. Two words: BLOG, CALENDAR. After that, I'll be headed out for four days of teaching Central American Youth (and their Texas hosts) though the CAYA program, with a couple of days spent at the wonderful, restorative and internet free zone of Selah, the Bamberger Ranch and Environmental Education Center. Pictures coming, soon!