inspiration in unexpected places…


Yesterday five women came to my studio to see what I do. This idea started over the course of a year when a long time friend from the local quilt guild said she wanted to be a ‘fly on the wall’ in my studio. Then another local friend of 40+ years mentioned that she too wanted to see my work and how I do it. Then a third wanted to see my work, and in turn invited two of her friends. It took the longest thread in the history of email to find a date that worked for all five people, as we of the retired tribe do love our travel!

I had some reservations as I am not big on being observed while working; just ask my husband! Nor do I much like doing Open Studios, which I have done once. I just want to make my work and essentially be left alone while doing so! Why else did my daughter hand-stitch a SCRAM sign for my studio door, years ago?!

The challenge for me was to figure out what parts of my process would be interesting to others, and how much time to allocate before my body would be unwilling to stand any longer. Finally I decided to demo the Thermofax screen-making process, the screen-printing process, stitching on the new love of my life, the Juki mid-arm, talk about digital fabric printing and lastly show some work that incorporated all of the above. I pulled about 8 or 9 pieces from my various series, and talked about each piece. I envisioned the visit lasting about two hours, with no refreshments, only art process.

It was delightful! There were lots of questions and photo taking and more questions.Two hours breezed by and my only physical complaint was minor voice strain. And the most unexpected thing happened. After they left I realized that I was so completely psyched about my own work! What greater inspiration to keep going?

Meanwhile…no. 22 in the Defining Moments series is finished, but not yet photographed. The second layer of paint was laid on the background of no. 23 during yesterday’s studio visit. The text for the overlay design is printed so this week I will get to batting & backing and get this puppy stitched, so that I can then design the piece. No. 24 has been rattling around in my head for weeks, and going through many configurations. After yesterday’s studio visit, it became abundantly clear exactly what I need to do, so this morning I trashed rendition #2 which was essentially creating way too much work for myself, and am now enthused about rendition #3!

I am now six weeks shy of the self-imposed deadline of 25 large pieces before my 70th birthday, but not the least bit worried. Rather I am excited about this huge endeavor I took on and have achieved. Stay tuned…

6 Responses to “inspiration in unexpected places…”

  1. Martha Ginn says:

    I admire your goal-setting (and sticking to it!). Surveying our own work by showing it to others is a marvelous way of becoming aware of just how hard we work and what we have achieved. Not back-patting, just taking an objective look and enjoying what we see.

  2. judy martin says:

    I am so glad that you were given this opportunity to look at and speak about and just enjoy your own work with women who appreciated what you had to say. The kind of positive energy that you both gave out and received is so needed, by everyone. Love. Love. Love. the most important thing. How to do it is the most important question. How to receive it also important. xo

  3. Pravo Carol! Sharing with others (teaching) is the surest way to clarity and inspiration. And the bounce-back is always a wonderful, unexpected surprises. I’m so happy this happened for you. Life is a breeze girlfriend.

    • Carol says:

      Thank you Franki! It is humorous to me that I quit teaching because even though I loved it, I hated the wear and tear on my bod and the never ending traffic. Clearly this was a better alternative!

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