Each artwork I make is a journey. Some bring to mind the Chinese proverb, a journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step. This is certainly what the last 5 months felt like as I brought Out of the Ashes to fruition. My next journey won’t be so long. It does begin with a single step.
Perhaps one of the most difficult challenges for me, as I transformed from a traditional quilter, who followed other people’s patterns to designing and executing my own work, is learning to identify that first step. What if I take a misstep? Will I need to start over? One of the advantages of having creating more than 100 self-designed works is confidence it gives me to start and to let go of the outcome. Both are crucial.
Taking the First Step
This week I took the first step on the journey to making Blue Dinghy. Actually, one more advantage of living a creative life for 30 plus years, the first step had been floating in my brain for at least a month and maybe much longer. I have been collecting pictures, taken by my husband during our early morning walks, for years. One in particular has been tugging at me for some time. Selecting it as the inspiration for my SAQA Benefit Auction piece feels like the right first step.
A Journey in Process
Even a simple 12″ x 12″ quilt takes many steps. No matter how many quilts I make, every one is an opportunity to build on what I have observed from past journeys. My favorite, comfortable way of working is piece work. Blue Dinghy, I decided, needs to be appliquéd. I have, and to continue to, struggle with appliqué. Yet, I am having fun choosing various appliqué techniques from my tool box and inventing new ones. This is one of the joys of creativity and what makes those 1,000 mile journeys so compelling, there is always something new to experience.
I am linking up with Nina Marie’s Off the Wall Fridays.