Friday, December 31, 2010

What's up for 2011 - EXPERIMENTS!

Once again, I've decided to select a word that will represent the spirit of my goals for the new year.  Last year's word was Create; unfortunately, life intervened with a lot of my artistic time.   When I did find time in my studio, I often felt pressured to create something meaningful and fabulous, so that the time spent was "worthwhile".  Well, let me just say this now -- that kind of self-imposed pressure takes away some of the pleasure of creating.

With that in mind, I've decided to change my focus.  One of my laments over the last few years is that I'm not yet sure what my voice is and how it is best expressed.  I think the only way to figure that out is to allow myself the opportunity to explore new things and see where they take me, to experiment.    I don't think I've done a good enough job letting myself loose on my art.   I'm hoping the spirit of "what if?" will enable me to do that.

What are the repercussion of experimenting?

-- I'm guessing I'll make some mistakes and create some lousy art.  Hopefully, though, I'll remember everything in the spirit I intended: as a lesson learned, not as a failure or a waste of time.  And maybe, just maybe, some of these experiments will result in art I'm proud of.  I'll also have to keep in mind that this is an important step to being a more serious artist.  While I'm fairly certain I won't be as disciplined as Jeanne Williamson has been with her journaling, she has stated she's used her weekly journal investigations as jumping off points other works.

-- I'm planning to explore new venues for expression.  To that end, I've signed up for the Sketchbook Challenge.  This challenge will enable me to continue to explore drawing .... but in a format I'm not at all comfortable with.  I'm hoping to discover whether journaling in a sketchbook will be a boon for me and, in an ideal world, help me generate an idea or two I want to explore in fiber.   Natalya Aikens has certainly inspired me in this regard.

-- I'm hoping to experiment more with my photography and integrate it better with my textile art.  I need to play with PhotoShop more in order to do that (oops, that's been on my "to do" list for a while) and, perhaps, take a photography class.  If I can't take a class, I'll try to find time to really read the camera manual.  I should also read, and become comfortable with, all the good information in Gloria Hansen's, Digital Essentials.

-- I'm going to pull out the cool things I've purchased over the last year and give them a test run.  This includes playing with a screen for screen printing and working through some of the exercises in Jane Dunnewold's book, Finding Your Own Visual Language.

I think it's hard to just to flip a switch and have a new mindset at the start of the new year.  With that in mind,  I gave myself a little head start.  The sketchbook for the "Sketchbook Project" has been sitting unattended on my desk for months.  Quite frankly, I've been intimidated by it.  For the last few days, I've been trying to fill some pages.  It's been hard.  Last night, I tore out the pages I'd made; they were awful and forced.  I decided to start over and just relax .. and, though not brilliant, I think the few pages I made turned out a lot better.    I played with a brush pen and watercolors.  What a fun combination!  I think I'm going to continue with this.

And, on that happy note, I wish you all a Happy New Year.  And, by the way, does anyone know how many pages of the Sketchbook we need to fill?


Karen L R said...

doesn't a clean slate feel good? looking forward to seeing what you are up to in 2011!

Cindy said...

Wow, Vivien, you sound like you're heading in the right direction! I completely understand about the time and pressure issue, and your attitude about experimenting is great! I love the sketchbook idea too... maybe I'll try it... it's also out of my comfort zone. Happy New Year!

norma said...

You have set yourself some lofty goals and I'm sure you'll achieve a lot of them. "Experiment" is a good word for you and as far as I can see, you've been doing that all along.
As an artist friend of mine once said, "If you're not having fun, don't do it". So have some fun and have a wonderful New Year.

shades said...

I love these fanciful drawings Vivien, they express such a nice happy feeling.

Natalya Aikens said...

excellent start! go Vivien go!

Linda Cline said...

I'm looking forward to seeing your experiments this year.

Judy Alexander said...

Sounds like you have a plan. I just hope I can get back into getting things done.....