Lesson Two - Rita H.

I am a rebel like Minnie Mouse is a terrorist. Pleaser, wanting nothing more than to fit in, agreeable, never argumentative (except with my husband, and doctors). I spent my life wanting to be invisible. It has not really served me in the past, except make me feel comfortable, but it brings about greater unease later on about everything. Being raised Irish Catholic explains a lot, and I catch myself over and over coming from that belief about myself.  You would think that by my age, I would be over this, but for some reason, this year, and recently too, this has come up again and again, and I don’t want to live the rest of my life this way.

So the concept of Rebel Artist is new to me and it is resonating now. I see now why my background of traditional quilting was so comfortable for me, rules, patterns, knowing the end result before you even begin.  But, I did recognize years ago that I was bored, wanted more, and began throwing out the patterns.  I discovered art quilts about 6 years ago, and love them, but I have not been able to break my old patterns to find my own, original voice in this field.  I seem to operate on the rules that if it isn’t HARD, COMPLICATED, NEW, or PAINFUL, then it isn’t good.  If others don’t tell me how much they like it, then it isn’t good. PLAY is not ART.

Have been examining my rules, and writing about this, and it is showing me how I can change, and flip my day in order to get into my studio earlier, prioritize it better.  This is just a beginning, as I am in the process of moving my studio into my very wonky attic, and this is another frustration, not having things sorted out yet.  Not an excuse any more.

Notan exercises

I was very scared and skeptical of this, especially as I had seen some of these expanded squares that a friend had done for this very class, and didn’t “get” them, or like them.  So, the first practice one (not shown) was safe, although not done “right”.  The second one was also safe and done “right”. The third, wow I went out on a limb and didn’t do the same in each side, and it was fun, and looks pretty (sort of). I love doing this, and would be doing more if I had started last week.

Now today I did #4, after reading the lesson over again, and listening to Jane’s additional comments several times.  NOW I get it, about the rebel artist, letting go just allowing stuff to happen without so much thinking.  This made me realize that my art keeps coming from my HEAD, with all the judgments, deadlines, wanting it to look pretty.  I now understand that I would rather create from inside, to trust myself, use my intuition, and allow the creative energy to flow through.  Ah, there’s the challenge, Believing that I DO have something inside.  What if I try this and nothing happens?  That is the depths of my fear.  I have always been a pleaser, a victim, and I’m sick of it.  What if I don’t like what I find?

So #4 had a mind of it’s own.  What if I didn’t fit all the pieces exactly back where they “should” be.  I didn’t think, and all of a sudden the squares were getting messy, and I saw they sort of were escaping.  Messy, not pretty, but way more interesting. Then the “arms” instead of being a mirror, I put them into which ever one I picked up and wherever there was a space, again no thinking, and I see that the square looks like its moving (well to me it looks that way.)  What a rebel!  Will I survive the great critic?

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I hope this light bulb that went off today stays lit.