I feel guilty for not posting more often, but there seems to be this giant vacuum cleaner hanging over my head that sucks up all my time and I'm not being very productive right now. It's very frustrating to have the days and weeks fly by and I seem to be spinning my wheels. Enough complaining.
Since I last posted, I did a trunk show for the Common Threads Quilt Guild in Newnan, GA at the end of January. That was a fun night. My good friend, Linda Camp, volunteered to go with me and play the role of Vanna White, acting as my assistant. I couldn't have done it without her--thanks, Linda.
You make some great connections when you share your work and one of the members from the Newnan guild came down and spent an afternoon with me in my studio, bringing some of her terrific work. It's always a treat to see what other creative people are doing.
I attended another regional SAQA meeting earlier this Month at the Sewing and Quilt Expo in Gwinett County. We had about 10-12 members at the meeting and everyone brought some of their work--wow!--what a talented and diverse group. My "Cowgirls Just Wanna Have Fun" was on display and will be traveling to other Expo show locations around the country until June, when I plan on entering her in the East Cobb Quilt Show.
I will have three pieces in an art show in Perry, GA called Arts in the Armory April 12-14th. They will include "Bonsai", "Summer's Gold", and "Where the Pavement Ends".
June will be super-busy. My solo exhibit at the Southeastern Quilt and Textile Museum in Carrollton, GA will open June 1 and run through the end of July. I'm totally thrilled to have that opportunity.
The Columbus Artists Guild Member Show will take place June 8-22nd. I'll have one piece in that show and I'm entering two pieces in the East Cobb Quilt Guild Show, June 14-16th. I have to make lists and have my calendar handy to keep up. My mind is not as sharp as it once was.
I mentioned the class I was taking online with Lesley Riley in a previous post. I'm all done with it now and just last week got the critique from Lesley of my final piece for the class. I had made a real effort during the class to work in the style that most of the other class members used. Our class examples and other students' work leaned heavily on collage, abstract, and other than realistic work. I was pretty much out of my comfort zone, but that was one of my goals in taking the class--to explore another way of expressing myself.
When I submitted my final class piece to Lesley, I also sent a photo of another piece I had just finished, which was much more my usual work. She gave me the critique on the class piece, but she also told me something that has made a big impression. I had heard the same thing from another teacher (Marilyn Belford), who I'd taken another online class with years ago. I guess I just needed to hear it again.
The lesson that I will try very hard to remember is that I need to work in my own style and trust my own instincts--not try to do what other people might expect or try to fit into the style of a class or teacher.
I have always been very insecure about my abilities as an artist. I have only recently been able to attach the word artist to my name without feeling apologetic about it. I thought that since I had no formal art education and my work was made of fabric and thread, it didn't really count as art. I assumed the compliments on my work were just people being nice to a sweet little old lady--"bless her heart". But, I have decided to hold my head up and stop apologizing that my art is realistic, not abstract, that I don't have an art degree, and that, yes, I use fabric and thread instead of oils or acrylics to express my art. It's who I am and if you don't like it, that's fine. There are those who do.