Saturday, January 29, 2011

I did it my way -- Kim

Every time I thought about sitting down to write this post, I found myself humming Frank Sinatra's My Way:

Regrets, I've had a few
But then again, too few to mention
I did what I had to do and saw it through without exemption
I planned each charted course, each careful step along the byway
And more, much more than this, I did it my way 

I struggled to choose the one piece that best exemplified my work this last year. My favorite piece is not necessarily the piece that challenged me but rather one that I have an emotional attachment with. I enjoyed the challenge of creating another piece that demanded more technical competence but I wasn’t as happy with the end result. Yet another piece resulted in a quilt that I will most likely hang in my house – pretty wall art, but doesn’t pass the omg-look-what-I-created test. Which made me wonder, was I trying to create pieces that would pass that test?  

As cliché as it is, it wasn’t about what got done but more about the doing for me. I’m addicted to the process of exercising my creativity - fed by my inner motivation to create for my own personal enjoyment, satisfaction and challenge. Hmm, that makes it sound like it’s all about me. Well, duh, of course it is.

So, the piece to pick would have to be that very first self-portrait quilt, in large part because of my commitment to the sketchbook I used throughout the yearlong challenge. I had had a vision of what I thought I wanted to do with this quilt that changed as I worked with ideas in the sketchbook.



I learned, and am learning that I like to research and document my progress. To have a place to record and annotate my ideas, and later, to go back and trace where my inspiration came from. I believe that this habit of keeping a sketchbook will strengthen my skills in thinking both inside and out of the box, help me to develop new perspectives, and find challenging ways to express myself.  

I don’t remember which month it was but there was one moment when I looked at the photograph and just didn’t feel anything. As soon as I sat down with my sketchbook and started the process of connecting with the photograph things would start to change.  I think the activity of putting something on an empty page helped me to manufacture my own “breakthrough” and begin work.

I really enjoyed the challenge each and every month.  I’m going continue using a sketchbook with my projects. In addition, this year, I'm going to focus on developing my technical skills: keeping notes/plans in the sketchbook and building a portfolio of samples using a range of mediums and techniques.

It was good year. Cheers!

7 comments:

  1. Kim, I found your sketch books fascinating to the point of enlarging and studying your line of thinking each month. It was interesting to see how you thought about and saw the same subject that I had pondered and worried over and worked out during the same time period. I enjoyed getting to know you and your art.

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  2. I think this challenge is/was just the beginning of a bigger challenge/picture that I plan to explore with you during 2011. I've always admired your work and your work style and was very eager to invite you into the group when Kay recommended you. Thanks for making the committment and for taking us into your studio through your sketchbook.

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  3. Your pieces were always interesting, often unexpected, a real treat to see. I always enjoyed the way your research helped to pull out a new way of looking at the photo. Beautiful work!
    I also kept a notebook/sketch book for this project all year, and like you found that it helped tremendously with ideas.

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  4. Part of the fun with your pieces was that I never could guess what you would come up with. Predictable isn't always as fun. I would just add that your sketchbooks documenting your process, are part of the finished piece I think. I see your ideas and drawings as part of the whole work. Very thoughtful.

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  5. I remain in awe of your sketchbooks- I agree, they were always a fascinating part of each month's reveal. I enjoyed your unique take each month- I'm glad I'll get to see more in the coming year.

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  6. Well all my feelings have been expressed by the other members. I too am so inspired with your sketchbook and am happy you plan to continue with it. I think it will be a wondrous legacy to leave behind someday for some artist to ponder over and wonder what type of woman you were.

    I truly enjoyed and looked forward to your interpretations each month.

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  7. your preparations for each month were a real inspiration to me! This quilt is so You! I will continue to watch everyones work via the blogs. It has been a wonderful experience!

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