September 18, 2011

Brain Freeze

Not the kind you get when you eat something really cold (which I've never actually experienced myself), but the kind of brain freeze one gets mid-project that brings the work to a grinding halt.  Am I fussing again?  About the same issue? The suggestion of "whimsical" and mention of fairies has still got me thrown for a loop and thinking I'm headed the wrong direction.  I actually started cruising the internet for images of stupid fairies that would prompt my imagination, and my husband stopped behind me and said, "No, no, no!  Do what you were going to do!"  Clearly, thick skin continues to elude me and I am too easily and thoroughly influenced by the comments of others with respect to my art.

This is the dumbest thing ever.  Maybe it's time to just get the sketchbook and doodle with nothing particular in mind.  That, or go harass my son until I'm thoroughly amused and distracted from this task.

Right now the chair is coloured with the safest paint choices for a traditionally girlie chair.  I may break out in hives.  This project is feeling too far off from what I would normally produce.  Tomorrow I'll have the house to myself.  I'll crank my music (emphasis on "my") and get to work doing it my way!

Perhaps I should put down the glass of wine before I get started on Phase II.

We'll see what happens.

September 13, 2011

Guerilla Art

An article on guerilla art appeared in one of my artsy craftsy magazines a while ago, encouraging readers to create their own and share their story about what they created and where they left the art.  It might be a little challenging for me to leave an art doll lying around to be discovered without being noticed :-)

I was on a plane recently, flipping through the magazine of silly, overpriced items for sale that is in the pocket of every seat on the plane.  Well into the magazine, I stumbled on my first ever bit of "guerilla art," a funky sketch of some kind of beastie.  Passengers were encouraged to take the catalog, but I only took this one page and had to share.  I really like it and had to share.

September 4, 2011

The Mind Wanders

Today I took my husband to see the Tim Burton exhibit in Los Angeles.  This is a photo of a banner featuring "Stainboy" on the posts outside the museum.  I saw the exhibit earlier in the summer, but enjoyed it again just as much as the first time.  The sheer volume of his sketches and doodles are enough to make me think about how much better my art would be and how many more ideas I'd remember if I sketched and doodled every day.  Clearly I need to follow through on the notion of carrying a small sketch pad in my purse.

The skies have suddenly and unexpectedly turned gloomy and grey, making it too dark for me to work on painting the rocking chair.  Instead, I turned to blog surfing.  Once again, my mind zips from one thought to another, inspired by the mass of prolific bloggers willing to share what they do, with the sheer volume of work produced filling my head with ideas about new things I want to try.  I'm back at having too many ideas in my head, my brain wandering so much that I get nothing accomplished.  Time to drag out the sketch book, jot down the ideas, doodle some visual reminders of new ideas and actually move ahead with making art.

In the meantime, our charming adult daughter has some new challenges in life that will have my studio functioning as a guest room a few days a week for quite a while.  Planning my work time is going to become even more crucial now that I will be sharing the space.  The trade off is worth it; I will have more time with my daughter.  Our little family is back to four in the house these few days a week, and we're enjoying having fun family dinners at the actual dinner table in the actual dining room instead of the usual three of us lumping around the coffee table in front of a television during dinner.  Silver linings abound.

Time to doodle.

September 3, 2011

I Stink at Math!

This quilt project has turned into the biggest headache ever, either because I just can't do math or because my cutting and measuring skills simply blow.  I'm donating this quilt, buying materials while paying enormous graduate school tuition for my daughter.  The fabric is relatively expensive ($10/yd at most suppliers), so I decided to reduce the size of the squares, reducing the total size of a quilt to that of a lap quilt vs. one for a bed.  I thought I did a good job of the math, and even ran it past my math whiz of a husband and all seemed well and good.

It took quite a while to map out all of the cuts of the dozen different fabrics.  I sketched out a plan, double checked the numbers, triple checked the measurements and newly re-sized pieces, then started cutting and assembling.  As I started to square up each assembled piece, I discovered to my horror that they just didn't add up.  The "squares" aren't all squares, and the amount some of them are off is just inexplicable.  Each strip is the right size, the seams are the right size, I used a walking foot and marked the foot plate so that I wouldn't forget and slip to a standard sewing seam allowance (having spent more years making garments than anything else).  I measured carefully, cut carefully with my quilting rules and fresh rotary cutter.  What in the world did I do wrong?!?  Arghhhh!  I've made other quilts that required so much more precision (the first one ever was one of those kaleidoscope whack-and-stacks and it turned out beautiful!), and this one is just a bunch of stupid rectangles.  Seriously, what an epic failure of a job.

This big pile of lemon squares has got to become lemonade.  If I cut the squares smaller, the finished quilt will have a more modern and asymmetrical look and I think it'll work really well.  This is what the quilt was supposed to look like before I messed with the pattern.  This is NOT what it will look like when I'm finished tweaking the "squares."  I may be too humiliated to post the finished project.  I'm glad the folks at the auction will never know what it was originally to look like.  What the heck, I've never been a fan of symmetry.  It might come out even more fun.  That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

Note to self:  Just spend the money and make the full sized quilt until math skills improve!