Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Themes, words and challenges

Anyone thinking about New Year's resolutions? I like the idea many of the members of the QuiltArt list use, choosing a word as theme for the year.

Last year I chose "Dance." First, it was a reminder to be more physically active (I feel so much better when I work out). Second, there was a song a few years ago "I hope you dance." The lyrics include "And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance/ I hope you dance.... I hope you dance."

That's such a great reminder to me to go out and do things I know I will enjoy, and not just sit back in my comfort zone.

I'll keep "Dance" as an overall word, but for my professional and artistic life I chose a set of three words. Focus, Balance and Stretch.

Focus because I often try to multi-task, stopping to check emails, or jumping up to do things around the house. That's one of the drawbacks of working at home. So I need to focus on work, or focus on my art, finish what I need to do, then move on to the other stuff.

Balance because when I get really involved in something I tend to focus on it and forget about other things. So even though I want to focus on several things, I need to balance and not forget the rest.

Stretch because I want to try new things and learn new things in my art, and to remind myself that I need to  make a little more effort to do necessary things that I don't always enjoy.

As a reminder of these ideas, I made a little sign, which I'll post at my desk and in my studio.

And speaking of stretching. I used to love to draw. When I was growing up I was always drawing and was pretty good, though untrained. As an adult I've tended to doodle and recently have started doing Zentangles. Such fun.

So my first stretch of the year is to re-learn the fun of drawing. I signed up a couple of weeks ago for the Sketchbook Challenge. The challenge theme for January is "Highly Prized," and this is my second effort on that theme. I'm sure I'll be doing more versions before the month is over.

And yesterday I heard about an online class called The Art of Silliness, which started today. With a name like that I had to check it out. There's a daily, fun exercise in drawing that you can do in a few minutes (or as long as you want, I guess). I signed up for it and have the first exercise. Registration is still open, if anyone is interested.

Back to fabric. I made more progress on my little painted quilt last night. Now I just need to decide how to finish it. And more progress on the organizing. I pulled out a box of vintage fabric I got a couple of years ago and packed it with the new scraps I got before Christmas, so that's all in one place. And I started sorting through fabric and deciding how I'm going to rearrange it. And I decided to put up shelves on the last section of bare wall in the room. It may look like a warehouse when I'm done, but at least I'll be able to get to things!

More later.