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Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Speed of Life

I have frequently said that I chose the wrong medium for instant gratification. I said it when watching my friend Pascale weave a blanket in an hour and a half (not counting the dressing of the loom, of course). I said it when watching my mother whip out a painting during a watercolor class she was teaching. I said it when doing my own work in paint, and especially I said it after reading about an artist that does the hermit thing in a cabin every winter and emerges with 75-100 new paintings a couple of months later.

However, I love my medium.

So, after years of trying to make it work faster, I finally came to the conclusion that quilting, at least as I do it, is a sculptural medium and that I can compare it to the guy in the Berkshires who carves large wooden characters over the course of a few months, or the bronze artist who first makes the model, then the mold, then the bronze.

My medium requires a process. First I begin designing, which sometimes includes one or more studies, then I dye fabric and piece, nuno, wet felt, and/or applique, perhaps dyeing again if needed. Then I'm about a third of the way done, for the design and execution of the quilting scheme follow, as does the binding and mounting.

So if I can't crank out 25 meaningful works in a month that's O.K.

However, I could definitely learn to make design decisions a little faster--sometimes I'm a little too precious. So that's one of my resolutions for 2009: More quality work. More work = more opportunity.

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