Friday, January 10, 2014

Weekly Report 2014 - 01/10

Warding off the inner critic
Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

If you follow my blog, then you know I signed up to do Life Book 2014, a series of mixed media lessons taught by a slate of talented practitioners of this art form. The classes cover more than mixed media, they are designed to silence the inner critic, to let go of perfectionism and to let one play. Since I have zero formal art training and have only taken one mini drawing class several decades back I am truly a neophyte. I find it both humbling and freeing to be a beginner. I expect a learning curve. I don't expect to create a museum worthy master piece. So, why am I so hard on myself when it comes to making art quilts? Why does every piece have to exceed the previous one? I really don't have an answer. Just an unreasonable belief that if I have done it (doesn't matter what the it is) before than I ought to be able to do it again or even exceed my bench mark the next time round.

1) Take Three - Decide whether the piece is finished or if it needs something else to bring it to life. - I am still deliberating about this piece. My latest thought is I might be able to crop out a portion that I like and scrap the rest.

2) Express Your Love II - Leah Day project.

a) Start piecing the arms from hexagons. - Done!
b) Baste the face and body to the quilt. - I am waiting to finish the arms before attaching the three assembled hexagon pieces to the quilt.

3) Life Book 2014 - Do this week's assignment. - Done!

This was a fascinating process. It began with a guided meditation via video to find our inner guardian, color and word for the year. I was pretty skeptical, with a caviler what is the worst that can happen attitude, figured I would give it a try. I kept my eyes closed for the full 15 minutes and let Tamara Laporte's words wash over me. I was surprised to find myself staring at single cat's eye in a misty, pulsating wash of rich honey colored atmosphere. My word wasn't quite as clear. However, the ebb and flow and pulsating nature of the atmosphere lead me to the word - undulate. This is the pace of my life, a steady rhythm of energy and relaxation. 

The second part of the lesson was to watch Tam create her personal inner guardian, a charming, sweet girl with long locks and butterfly wings. My inner guardian, by comparison, is more fierce and all knowing. I think of it like the Greek version of the evil eye, where you wear an evil eye to ward off the evil eye. Frankly, I was shocked to see that 99% of the people who posted their mixed media inner guardian angels did some version of Tam's. There were one or two animals, but mine was the biggest departure. 

My inner guardian angel whose job it is
to protect me from dismissing, belittling
or in away disparaging my work.

We had a second mini lesson this week. This focused on creating a mixed media piece with the guide "What I want most of in 2014 is… I realized I wanted understanding. I want to understand others, I want to understand myself and I want to get a better understanding of all these new supplies and materials I am working with doing mixed media journaling. 

4) Tumbling Blocks I - Cut out more of the blocks. - Done!

When I wasn't messing around with smearing and layering paint, I was cutting out my tumbling blocks. I did sew a few together just to prove that I am cutting them correctly. I still have another 33% or so to cut of the tumbling blocks. I have been playing with different layout ideas on my design wall. It is impossible to light the design wall well for photography, but the pictures should give you some idea of the work involved.

The gradations between the three
tumbling blocks are very, very subtle.
However, in good light they are visible
from six feet away. Once I have the black
and white blocks laid out to my satisfaction,
I will add a few red blocks.
This image shows the three variations of black
and white tumbling blocks.

Next week is a short week for me due to other commitments. This is where I hope to focus my attention over the next two weeks.

1) Take Three - Decide whether the piece is finished, if it needs something else to bring it to life or whether I should scrap it and start over.

2) Express Your Love II - Leah Day project.

a) Continue piecing the arms from hexagons.
b) Baste the face, torso and arms to the quilt.

3) LifeBook 2014 - Do the assignments.

4) Tumbling Blocks I 

a) Finish cutting out the blocks.
b) Work out the final layout of the blocks.
c) Cut out the background pieces.

I am now linking up to two blogs on Friday's. The first is Leah Day's Free Motion Quilting Project and the second is Nina Marie's Off the Wall Fridays.


  1. Tx's for your nice note to my blog.....couldn't reply directly as you are still listed as a 'no reply' blogger....don't know if you mean to be.....but I wanted to thank you! Also....I'm duly impressed by your dedication to expand your skills by taking classes......maybe if I did more of that, I would struggle less....grinning......

  2. ohhh, I like your guardian piece/imagery. On my way to the link to see what the woman has to say. What a lot of growth! And I am also working on a tumbling block, hand pieced. Hope you keep posting on OFF the wall!
    LeeAnna Paylor

    1. Thank you, LeeAnna. I was a fearful/dubious about signing up. Would I have enough time? Would I be heading out every week for more supplies? Would I be able to go easy on myself? So far I can answer every question with a yes.

      Aren't tumbling blocks fun? I love the 3D effect.

  3. Your year-long class sounds wonderful. Interesting conept. I hope you have a lot of fun with it!