Thursday, January 30, 2014

Book Club with Blue Twig Studio

Deb Prewitt of Blue Twig Studio started on online book club this month. The book we read was  Art & Fear by David Bayles & Ted Orland.  Its about our fears about art - both with ourselves and others. Deb has a nice summary on her blog. 
I really enjoyed the book. It was very thought-provoking – making me think about: Why I create art? What are my fears about my art? Is it the process or the end product I’m concerned about? – as well as all the questions Deb mentioned in her blog. I agree with Deb – you have to make art for yourself – you have to forgot about others and what they think of your work and just do it!!
I took a few art classes many years ago in oil painting, colored pencil, and watercolor. I loved them. They made me get out of myself and do something that I grew to love and work on it every week. I participated in a few exhibits with the group I was involved with and even sold a few paintings and received a couple of commissions. Then the group started getting clique-ish and I was no longer welcomed because I didn’t live close enough.  (Looking back, I really think it was because I was one of only a couple people that actually sold anything or got commissions from the exhibits.)  I allowed myself to quit painting and drawing because of their attitude towards me. 
I started quilting, as I had always enjoyed sewing. I love quilting, too, but it took me awhile to get to where I felt comfortable making art quilts. This past year, I took a workshop in painting wholecloth quilts. This combines my drawing and painting background with quilting. Wow!! Who would've thought I could do that? 
But I still missed painting and drawing. A couple years ago, I discovered  Zentangles, They inspired me first as I thought they would be great to use for quilting designs. Once I started creating Zentangles or ZenDoodles, I wanted to get back to painting and drawing. However, now I want to do acrylics, watercolors, colored pencils, pastels, and mixed-media. I enjoyed oil painting, but the fumes are pretty strong.  So I think, for now anyway, that I'll stick with mediums that are more chemical friendly.
I've learned that I love making art because it’s part of me – I have to paint or draw or make an art quilt. I’ve finally gotten over my fears (most of the time! they still haunt me at times! LOL!) and make it for myself. I'm also learning to loosen up and not be so obsessed with perfection or details.  I want to enjoy the process more, not just get the finished product done. I do enter shows (not always accepted, but that’s okay – it’s a learning experience). I'm actually trying to enter more shows or exhibits on a national level, not just the local field. Like having four of my Zentangles accepted into a book - Zen Doodle Tons of Tangles. (see my blog posted Sept 9, 2013).  
All of this, is to let you know where I’m coming from and why this book, Art and Fear, really spoke to me. I had to read sections 2-3 times. I know now, from experience, what the book is trying to get across – just create because you want to and enjoy the process. If people like my work, fine, but if they don’t – that’s okay, too.  Art (and creativity) is a part of me.

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