Maria S.

A large problem for me, this alignment.  Not a question of how much time I spend in my studio, but using that time in the best possible way.

I feel like the proverbial Jack of all Trades!  I am constantly on the search for "my thing".  I sew, embroider, draw, paint watercolor, oil and acrylic, I dye and print fabric, I collage all kinds of things, I bind books and create vessels.  I do love it all but have tried to make some kind of priority list, knowing that this will change from time to time.  So I guess this list of loves will be good for now. 

Although I know that we each have a personal style as unique as our own signature, I find myself always searching for mine.  Maybe I'm searching too hard and should just let it happen.

About perfection:  I wrote a paragraph about what my dream art life would be like if I could have whatever I wanted and had no one to please but myself.  It was a fun exercise indeed!  I won't write all the details here but it made me set a few goals for myself.  It also let me see that these goals are not impossible.

And finally, I did a critique of a piece I made this past summer.  I applied for acceptance in an important exhibition and was refused.  Perfect moment for self analysis.  It is called "The Unseen Women" and is 2x1.2 meters large.  After reviewing this piece, I know exactly why it wasn't accepted.

1.  I didn't start with a written plan.  I usually do, but for some reason skipped this step.  A recipe for disaster.

2.  I worked with a kind of nervousness that was self destructive.  The less time I have in the studio, the faster I think I need to work.  This can be a waste of time in the end.

3.  I did not engage the principle elements of design.  No focal point, no contrast, no balance, no obvious story follow through.

And here is what I like about it:

1.  The drawings.  They show the emotion I wanted to portray. 

2.  The fact that it looks like a brick wall until you walk up close and the various women are revealed. (They are the real support of the structure!) This is in direct contrast to having a focal point, but it creates a moment of surprise.

3.  The texture created by the use of rice paper and paint in the wall.

From now on I will write a short critique of each piece I make.  I found it very helpful.