Lesson Two - Anita B.

Cultivate Your Inner Rebel

It's Tuesday and I seem to have spent a lot of time this week avoiding starting the exercise, or thinking about how I would work on the square. The exercise seemed irrelevant to me - I really don't enjoy cutting, paper or anything, the black paper seems relentlessly flat and glue - ugh! I have no use for the designs so even if I created something wonderful, I can't relate it to my practice. It's not the sort of exercise that would get me going in the morning in the studio - would put me off going in there in the first place! 

On another level, I feel I know the answer to the question - I am a rebel, always try to find another way of doing things (my way). From a very early age I followed my own rule that a pattern was a starting point and not to be followed too religiously. I'm not good at being told what to do. Clearly that's what I'm doing now!

Having just listened to Jane's audio message - I realise I am not alone! Coming up with a pleasing design was not the point and that it's the way I react to the exercise is what's important. I've already identified that I've spent too long a time thinking about the exercise - why, when it turns me off? I could have just done it by now! I've put obstacles in the way - my knife isn't sharp enough, don't want to ruin my sharp scissors on paper, that I'm useless at cutting paper and a disaster with glue. This is what I do, talk myself into failure before I start, think of alternative ways of doing something before I've even proved that the first way won't work. Quite surprised to realise this, as I feel confident about my own work - but I guess this exercise, and more importantly, developing any new work, is necessarily outside my comfort zone. Journaling this has sparked the recognition - the need for additional materials, new tools, another walk in the woods for inspiration - all blocks to actually starting the work.

However, I also know that I learn by doing - so am going to get on with it! Not a great surprise, but I actually rather enjoyed the exercise when I finally got going. My third best embroidery scissors were fine at cutting the paper, the glue didn't get everywhere and working each square led me to ideas for the next one. I haven't achieved perfection, I didn't need to achieve perfection. The paper cuts show the influence of my current work on bare trees and tree marks, not a deliberate move, but not a great surprise, and the 5th image got me into the studio this morning, to get it out of my head.

I haven't really analysed how well I broke the rules, I don't think I thought about them very much!