Everything in the essay this week really resonated with me. My husband always accuses me of ‘overkill’ when I come home with another bag of yarns or other supplies. He’s right! I don’t think of myself as a hoarder but I clearly am. One of the problems is that I’ve always wanted to try everything as far as textiles go and act as if life will go on forever. However, even if I’m really lucky, there aren’t enough years left to do all I’d like to do. I keep thinking of the Japanese film director Akira Kurosawa who was an equally fine painter as film maker. When asked why he didn’t continue to draw and paint, he quoted an old Japanese proverb: “He who chases after two hares catches neither”.
Time to Focus.
First I started sorting out the studio. This will take me many weeks, but I’ve made a start and there are three bags ready to go out this week. I’m determined to keep this up until everything I want to release is gone. The first part of this is easy. I think as I dig deeper into the ‘stuff’ I’ll have to be really strict with myself or I’ll keep too much, the ‘seduction of possibility’ is a very real threat. However I agree that a secondary benefit will be that I will eventually be able to stay in touch with my holdings. A lot of mine have definitely fallen off the mental radar. Secondly I got out some unfinished curved strip piecing so that I could try to cut it up and do something else with it, but I ended up chucking that out too because I didn’t like the colours when I first did them and still don’t like them now!
I’m now going to Limit Variables. I’ve been thinking for weeks about starting a series with a particular colour palette and have decided that this will be my new starting point. Regarding the Scavenger Hunt, I have two ideas that I want to work on and did the 2 minute free association list for both of them and it’s a great start and has got me going. I have done so much work on ‘technique’ over the last few years without thinking enough about subject matter. Now I need to rethink and work with content first.
With regard to limitations, I remember when I was at college my husband (who is an artist and animator) telling me to work with limitations. He said it often produces more interesting work because you have to start using your head and your ingenuity and imagination to exploit what privations can produce. Eventually you’re glad to have those limitations because you know what you can gain from it. The stupid thing is that I realised he was right at the time but had sort of forgotten about it.
And finally, writing is so amazingly powerful and productive. This is something I haven’t done for a very long time and I will definitely keep on doing it.