Willy Nilly

So the good news is that I finished ironing all the pieces down onto fabric on the newest quilt. It’s not a huge piece, maybe 18×26″ or so. It’s from one of my smaller sketchbooks. It’s not FOR anything, no show, no deadline. Although it technically has no nudity in it, so that’s a plus for those weird little shows that want small pieces but can’t show boobies. After the last few demanding pieces, I wanted to do something just for me, something mellow, something easy, something that didn’t have a million hours attached to it. So it took about 5 hours and 45 minutes to pick out fabrics. Next I’ll start trimming them, probably at my quilt class on Thursday. I might work on the drawing tonight, try to get it done, since it’s probably the next one I’ll work on. That perennial debate between working on what I want to work on, and trying to make work that will get into shows. Everything has a theme and this one doesn’t fit many of them. That’s why I’m doing it though. Just a break from the artistic rat race.

So I had all these cactus spikes lined up in order for ironing…

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I had misnumbered some of them (I do this all the time), so there’s double numbers with letters to tell them apart, but in the long run, it’s cactus spikes. It doesn’t matter much. I actually used three different colors of spikes. Kinda crazy there.

Here’s the fabrics I used. Shit. I usually count them.

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64 fabrics for a piece that has about 400 pieces. I needed lots of variety in the greens because she has lots of different types of plants covering her, from cactus to vines to sunflowers.

Here’s the pile, ready to be cut out…

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It’s not a very big pile. I figure cutting them out will take less than 4 hours. I do remember that I’m missing part of her eyeballs. I had the Wonder Under pieces and then they disappeared. Probably on a fluffy cat butt somewhere.

I have two other smallish drawings like this that I copied and numbered. I thought I would work on them next, but I think looking at the time available (and yes, I am already thinking about summer projects…), I need to start on the big one next. I like to have at least one big project planned for summer, since I have more free time for long bouts of standing at an ironing board without having to work the whole day before I do that. I have a job that requires a lot of standing and walking. I hardly ever sit down. So walking all day and then standing all night is pretty tiring.

Last year I did it a little differently though. I had a piece I wanted to work on that I started in May or so and finished in late June…there was a show I wanted to enter. Ironically, it didn’t get in, but another piece did. Then I wanted to enter another show at the end of July, so I finished a smallish piece for that. It’s been gone since September, I think. Some of that was a shipping issue (not mine), but it won’t come back until late October this year, I think. Then I finally worked on the big monster piece for the summer, not starting until the end of July, which honestly, is right before school starts. This year, we have to go back August 15 (oh god, way too early). So the summer is really July. I didn’t finish that big piece until right before it was due, the end of October I think. Or was it September? Can’t remember. End of September. And I forgot the other giant Earth Mother I did last year, which I finished in April. It’s strange for me to finish a big piece during the Spring. It’s so crazy at school this time of year. But I had a deadline for that one as well.

So there’s the question. Do I work better with deadlines? Yeah probably. More efficiently anyway. So I guess I have to accept their existence. If I sucked at it, I might be able to ignore them and wander willy nilly through my artmaking process, but I’m deadline-oriented and it makes me get work done. So there we are. Try to pick deadlines that make sense with my work and not just make it for the theme. Make the stuff I would make anyway.

But instead of making right now (and I would like to be, trust me…know that I leave for work most days with art screeching at me to STAY STAY!), I need to work to pay the bills. Like most of us do…


One Response to Willy Nilly

  1. Rebecca says:

    That shipping problem must be referring to that Oasis and PIQF exhibit. Are they holding them to display this year?

    I was thinking of your “craziness at this time of (school) year when I noticed it’s Teachers Week on Jeopardy, and wondered just how far in advance they tape.


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