Sunday, 16 June 2013

Still wandering, still wondering...

I think this has been the longest I've gone between blog posts for sometime.  Maybe some of us feel we have run out of interesting things to say ... many of my early followers and followees seem to have trailed off too, or maybe we just haven't the motivation to say it. However a move to Facebook and the ease of using the iPad from my armchair has meant I have spent less time at the computer, and writing a blog post from the iPad is not so straightforward. I do intend to write a meandering post today so switch off now if you haven't the inclination. Many of my dear regulars will be familiar with this story, so please bear with me.
I set out  when I retired from teaching to explore my creative style in greater depth, and photography got me started. Studying with OCA enabled me to get to grips with a digital SLR camera and master the basics. However although I love taking photographs I realised my desire to create was not fulfilled by the photographic process.  Textiles called and I determined to teach myself the basics.  Having been on several workshops  I realised I needed a more structured approach and have just completed my City and Guilds, level 2.  So what next? Somehow I feel in just as much of a sea of uncertainty as when I started the course. Have I got to resign myself to the fact that I am just a dabbler with no particular place to go? Just a lucky lady who can indulge her love for acquiring art materials.
So here I shall share with you what I have been indulging myself with in while waiting for something to strike!

First of all this is my desk.  I do keep clearing up, honest!



I have a couple of sketchbooks on the go which I am using for some foliage studies at the moment. Coincidently DMTV has been featuring leaves too, which has been very useful to remind me of some techniques. This is what I think I want to use in some textile work...

 I have also been revisiting the course I did with Ruth Issett on colour, 

Seeing a couple of posts from Gina Ferrari and Angie Hughes who have both recently worked with Ruth, reminded me of how valuable it is to have a day or two dedicated to colour.  I really ought to try to come up with a resolved piece from all these samples. It will make me think.

And finally on Friday I did a one day workshop with Clive Barnett whose work I admired at the FOQ last year. We explored the use of discharge paste and dishwasher liquid to remove dye from different fabrics.  Clive had dozens of pieces of fabric to try, but we all started with a sample of black silk, cotton and linen.  The dishwasher liquid was brilliant, but gave a different result to the discharge paste. We used it in the same way, monoprinting, silk screen, themofax etc. He had a wealth of stuff for us to experiment with. The aim was to end up with a piece to add Kantha stitch to, but there was just not enough time in the day for me to start some. You can see some examples of Clive's work if you Google his name along with 'quilt', however there is not much there.



(this has come out rather yellow in this picture)

Finally I have also started an exploration of mark making  - another ongoing project that can last the rest of my days! Just something I can do when the mood takes me, or I want to do something and I'm not sure what.  I have started off with vertical lines.

Now all these things are loosely linked, as I'm sure you can see, perhaps just letting myself dip into this and that is good therapy after the restrictions of a course. I did speak to someone who said it was months after she had finished a C&G before she could settle on finishing something, and it is less than a month since I finished. Writing this has been good therapy, I realise now that I have been playing a lot, and it has not been as long as it feels since I completed something. Why are we so hard on ourselves?

Make sure you have a good week,
Jill

12 comments:

marigold jam said...

I know the feeling Jill. I seem to latch onto one thing and then get tired of that and go on to something else but I always return to Textiles of some kind. I have decided that I am a jack of all trades and master of none but since I don't need to make a living out of what I do does it matter as long as I am happy dabbling? You certainly do seem to have achieved a lot in the time I've known you anyway and maybe the creativity is in the sampling and not in having something finished to show for it all? You have shown us many lovely things you've made though so don't be too hard on yourself.

ju-north said...

Continue to enjoy playing Jill! I did things the other way round to you - retired from teaching then C and G 1 and 2, then photography where I seem to be 'stuck'(in a positive sense) at the moment. Like you, enjoying the freedom to explore new avenues - or not!

Julie said...

Your work with Clive Barnett is fascinating. I have done a very little bleaching and discgharging and bought all the stuff from Linda and Laura but have not used it yet. It will go off before I get round to it. I'm with Julia, continue playing and let things percolate for a while.

Maggie said...

Like you, I have felt a bit bored with my blog. I continue to do my book review once a month, but the other, a collection of random this and thats which not many people seem interested in, is now dormant. I have nothing of interest to say. My health is dominating my thoughts and nobody wants to read about that. And I don't blame them. I have dabbled with this and that in the creative making sphere, realised and accepted I am not artistic, cannot do a wonderful art journal, can't paint for toffee, and so I stick to what I can do... write, crochet, knit, read, snooze.
We are hard on ourselves, set ourselves targets which are perhaps impossible to reach from the outset, but we like to challenge ourselves. And then feel annoyed that we don't reach the target.
So let's stop with targets, ideas to do something we know we can't really manage, therefore avoiding disappointment and simply enjoy what we do.

Barb Cady said...

You strike a chord. I am past retirement but keep on working then bemoan the fact I don't have enough time! My last intense studying was about five years ago and it left me at sea for ages, perhaps I'm still adrift? I like how you are approaching this, letting it happen to see what occurs. Enjoy the process, I love reading your musings. And seeing what you are up to! X

Maggi said...

Still early days. you have so many lovely things going on there. You have not had too much time to be able to play whist you were doing C&G so make the most of this time because inspiration will strike when you least expect it.

Clare Wassermann said...

Yes I do wonder sometimes what it's all about but please keep blogging... I would miss your posts. I too have lost some early followers and I just think that is because there are sooooo many blogs out there. There are a hard core of us though who have stuck together. I think we have to limit our circle and perhaps remain loyal to those whose process appeals to us.
Finally I think it's ok to keep dabbling because it may mean that you are more of a process person than anything else. Life IS a process, a journey. In fact it should be regarded as a pilgrimage in which the journey is more important than the final destination. X

Printed Material said...

I think you are doing and achieving far more than you're giving yourself credit for Jill. Besides, the only pace you have to work at is the one that suits you. All your efforts look pretty wonderful to me. Know what you mean about blogging and followers etc. I've been on the verge of stopping for a while now and as some of the people I've followed for years have given up, I wonder why I don't too. I think I would miss reading other people's but don't think mine has anything new to say any more. No doubt all of our musings will resolve themselves in due course!

menopausalmusing said...

Another one here who thinks you are being hard on yourself.

Loved the photo of your desk, I thought you had been in and photographed mine! I think playing is the way forward..... it always sparks ideas - eventually.

Gina said...

I'm just adding my voice to say you are being too hard on yourself, but I regonise these feelings in myself. I've also been pondering about blogging recently and wondering if I want to continue. I often wonder where people who used to regularly comment have disappeared to.

vintagerockchick said...

I think the ipad has a lot to answer for. I hardly ever turn my pc on these days, and so blogging seems to be more of an effort. I'm sure you can blog from the ipad, but that's just another thing to learn.
Blog reading is less of an effort though, I'm typing this from my bed! It is only just after 7am though.
On another issue, how about forming a group of your post C&G members? That's what we did, and some have left and others joined, but it keeps us motivated.

Emma said...

Lots of good advice here, I love being a Jack & NOT a master - it's just how my brain works. Altho if you wanted to be a master it would be a little frustrating. I come here beCAUSE of the variety. I think Clare's comment about process is right, lets just keep processing! (I think the ease of facebook has a lot to answer for tho imagine having an involved blogging relationship with 191 peeps!)