Sunday, May 19, 2013

Because You Ask ~

Artists are often asked to explain how they create, what their process is and if they have a 'road map' in their heads before they begin?  Today I reread a statement I'd written in reply to a similar inquiry and thought I'd share it here.

"For me, working without a 'recipe' whether in the kitchen or in my studio, invigorates my experimental side. Using the cooking analogy ~ when you have cooked enough to be comfortable in the kitchen, you can read a recipe and tell if it will be bland or could use some spicing up. Eventually, what you know leads to 'original recipes' rather than following a cookbook. The same applies to my art.

I've tried to analyze my creative approach at various times in my life but see no recognizable 'formula' for how I work, which is most likely due to the wide range of media I use and the absence of a personal repeatable style. From youth I've tinkered artistically with any accessible materials ~ often discards. I remember Dad sharing his colored electrical wiring and showing me how to braid a 5-strand length of wire, or giving me his wood scraps and use of his jigsaw, hammer and nails. My top childhood gift requests were always art oriented. You get the idea... I mention this because for me, expanding my skills and knowledge through experimentation and education, have filled my 'toolbox' with multiple abilities and the confidence to use them.

The ability to create something from nothing is actually more inspirational for me than starting from a blank piece of paper and pencil, although I've done both as need and mood dictate. If one method of kick starting me doesn't work, I try another. Sometimes my ideas begin from doodles, or photos, or a word and sometimes I just peruse my art quilt books or get online for ideas. I seldom toss failures or scraps away and if you keep like items organized and handy you are more likely to use them. (skip hiding them in the sock and pj drawer) lol
"Interwoven Through The Ages" by Judy Wedemeyer (12" square)
With my Interwoven piece I invested 90% of my time in the cogitative state. I do feel it's significant to ask yourself what you want to achieve before you begin and from there, what materials and colors might work that will reinforce your ideas. Most importantly, I've discovered that I must remain flexible in my approach, letting each step dictate what the next could be to improve the piece, and asking myself if I am adhering to the basic art 'rules' of successful design ~ contrast, line, color, balance, etc.

When creative constipation occurs I deliberately step away from my studio and get my brain entirely off the project. A fresh view may speak volumes and open a floodgate of ideas."

I hope I've answered your question to some degree and would love to hear how the rest of you navigate your art quilt design process.

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