Monday, August 9, 2010

Lying Fallow

I just walked past the rented sewing machine I hoped to use while here in California. Alas, it's sitting alone and forlorn, under its dust cover. Maybe I'll get to it tomorrow. If not, I'm going to be heartened by a statement by Lyric Kinard at the start of her book, Art + Quilt, about a period in her life: "My progress was slow because my priorities needed to lie elsewhere." Yep, that's me right now.

But, like Lyric, I'm using this downtime to store up thoughts, ideas, and to learn. I've just started to read through Lyric's book. Her first chapter is interspersed with quotes and short excerpts from lots of creative folk, from writers, to fiber artists, to painters. It's inspiring to read about creativity and the personal path to reach it.

I've also been reading, Finding your Own Visual Language, by Jane Dunnewold, Claire Benn and Leslie Morgan. What a great idea to make all the illustrations related to the exercises in black and white to make it easier to focus on composition and not "... the seduction of color". The intent of the book is to facilitate each artist's journey to discover the compositional style that best suits his/her artistic voice. This book is rife with exercises I've never seen before. Like Dunnewold's book, Complex Cloth, I find myself getting antsy as I read -- how can anyone read these books cover to cover without leaping up, absolutely overflowing with ideas? While I haven't been able to snip a thread or put paintbrush to fabric, my head and heart are bursting with excitement nonetheless. I can't wait to try out some of these exercises.

For now, I am content with my camera. There aren't lots of photo opportunities on the drive to and from the physical therapist's office, but we have gone on a few driving explorations when my daughter's knee can tolerate it. The other day we decided to discover what lay in "that" direction. When we'd had enough, we turned around in a parking lot, only to discover a rusty old pick up truck. It was gorgeous in its decay. My pictures don't do it justice, but here's one photo I do still like.

I hope all's well with you.


my croft said...

I loved Point Lobos the one time I was there. It felt oddly famaliar -- then I realized it was the setting I had imagined for a story I was working on at the time. I believe in magic.

Think of this time as what Julia Cameron calls "filling the well."

I hope to see you soon,

Natalya Aikens said...

great pic of truck! i know what you mean about being filled and ready to burst.. gotta get Lyrics book, sounds good. Hope your trip is going well, can't wait to catch up over sushi!

norma said...

Leave it to you to find beauty in that old rusted truck. Great picture! I know that you will be producing wonderful things when you get home.

Susan Schrott, Artist said...

Hi VIvien
I love your photo! You have the "eye"...keep that camera shutter going.

Kristin L said...

I have the Visual Language book and keep wanting to go through all the exercises. Other things with higher priority have been getting in the way though. One of these days I just have to say screw it and do the exercises anyway!