26 Apr

Facing Reality

It’s been a while since I’ve posted here. Rather than bemoan my sporadic writing and promise to do better, I’m going be honest with myself and admit that I’m just not that into it. Blogging is great for longer stories than Facebook or Instagram, but it’s not as immediate or accessible. And to be truthful, I don’t have longer stories these days. I don’t think that I actually need a blog anymore.

When I started working part time at The Pine Needle Quilt Shop it was a job that I figured I’d be good at, it would be convenient, and if I practiced self restraint it could help pay for the home improvement projects I wanted to do. Being part time, I could still work on my studio practice, and hopefully even learn to utilize my time better and become a better artist. In the last year and a half I have come to the realization that I get so much more satisfaction working at the quilt shop than I do trying to make connections with my art. Every day, I am utilizing my love of color, my 20+ years of sewing and quilting experience, and my enthusiasm for the craft.

Back on the artistic front, I realize that I just don’t have the drive to do the marketing and proposal writing that it takes to promote one’s work. Sure, some people can put their craft or their artwork on social media and it will practically sell itself, but that’s work that is demonstrably brilliant, or scratches the right itch at the right time. Merely adequate work like mine requires far more effort to get out into the world, and I’ve come to the realization that I’m just not hungry enough to work that hard. A week or two ago, I made a “who wore it better” list, comparing three of my favorite art quilts with similarly themed but more widely recognized quilts. Some I’m not too proud to say are better executed than my ideas. Others have something magical that I just don’t have. Earlier in the month I had several instances where I felt passed over or ignored and it drove home the feeling that my artwork is good, but not great, and just doesn’t connect outside my small circle of friends and peers. When I’ve felt this previously, I’ve told myself to just get off the pot and do the work, but with a “real” job that gives me such satisfaction, I figure I should go where the joy (or at least competence) is.

Of course, makers gonna make, and I’m going to create things when the urge hits. But, I’m not going to worry about getting them exhibited, or if my bouncing back and forth between more traditional quilts and mixed media textile art is confusing to potential followers. It’s OK for me to be a hobbyist and I realize my limitations. I don’t need to try to be a studio artist. So, I’ll post stuff on Facebook and Instagram because they’re convenient and it’s fun to share what I’m working on, but I’m letting go of the idea that I should be any sort of serious artist. This website and blog will remain as a journal I can refer to, and maybe I’ll occasionally add new works if it seems appropriate. But I can safely say I’m done with regular posting and trying to provide interesting content to grow followers.

05 Apr

Journeys Onward

The Other Woman

The Other Woman, McGuffey Art Center, Charlottesville, VA, 2014

Last year, my Army Wife apron, Home Fires was part of Support and Defend, an exhibit at the VETS gallery in Rhode Island devoted to art by military service members and their families. That show went well and much of the artwork went to a follow-on exhibit There and Back Again. I am excited to announce that thanks to the tireless efforts of curator Paul Murray, the show has been expanded as Journeys Onward and will be on view at Hygienic Art Gallery in New London, CT from April 29 through May 27th, 2017. My apron will be joined by The Other Woman, shown above, Suck It Up, Absence II, and Unravelling (all of which can be found under The Army Wife within the Galleries tab above). It’s an honor to represent the spousal side of the military family, and I’m especially thrilled that these artworks get the opportunity to go out into the world again and speak for me — hopefully sparking conversations.