Saturday, November 13, 2010

Ramblings of a quilter...

My quilts are representational. Quite deliberately so, of course. I have no interest in making photorealistic quilts, or reproducing a photo as closely as possible, which can appear stiff or contrived in fabric. I work from my sketches to make my quilt designs, with reference stacks of photos. I would like my quilts to have a feeling of ‘freedom’ or energy despite the meticulous piecing techniques used. I’m not always happy that I have achieved this, but each new quilt is another step along the learning journey.

This week I finished a quilt top which I am not happy with. I may elaborate on that another day. Simultaneously, I have been closely following an interesting discussion amongst art quilters which included ‘being different’, ‘finding one’s voice’, derivative art, and abstract versus representational quilts. As a result, I have spent more time than usual pondering my artwork and where I want to go with it. This is a good thing of course. It means I spend time thinking about which aspects of my quilts I consider to be strong points, and also facing up to those aspects which need to be improved on. I find that some time spent feeling gloomy about quilts which haven't worked soon leads to a whole host of new ideas swirling around in my head, so that I can't wait to start sketching them.

I spend time considering that strong voice from the quilt art community which disdains representational quilts. I, too, do not like every representational artwork out there, but am also quietly confident that this is the style of artwork that I am called to do right now. The Great Artist created a most beautiful work when He made this world, and I want my artwork to remind myself and others of that beauty.

I won’t deny at the same time that I like to rebel (even if I’m the only one who knows about it) against some of the trends I see– yes, the art quilt world also has trends - natural dyeing, fusing, digital printing (each of these has its place, but I won’t start using these techniques just because they are the latest great thing).

Anyway, thank you for letting me ramble on - I don't expect that you particularly needed to know all that, but I want this blog to record my quiltmaking journey, so I noted it all down anyway. Now that that's out of the way, here's Caleb and some of the activities he has been doing.

Caleb has been devoting a lot of energy to being a general Grump, so these activities were a concerted effort to focus that energy else where. He gave the Fruit Loop necklace a really good attempt for 10 minutes. Then he realised they were edible, and the first one went in his mouth. His eyes popped wide open, he grinned, discarded the necklace and ate the bowl full of Fruit Loops.

The buttons have been more effective in keeping him occupied, although he soon discarded the colour sorting efforts for the simple pleasure of feeling hands full of buttons fall between his fingers.

1 comment:

Erica Spinks said...

Ruth, I truly believe that following one's own path is the most satisfying creative journey to take. There are so many techniques and styles of quilt making out there that there is something for everyone. Do what makes your heart sing!