Finding your voice

I was taking one of the classes through an Art Quilt Series that Cyndi Souder teaches, and in one of the classes, she discussed our voices.  What distinguishes us, what is our artistic voice.  

I have been brought back to this again and again many times.  I was very thankful while I was taking those classes from Cyndi, that I was able to explore different techniques, and the class exercises gave me an opportunity to expand and spread my art wings a little broader.

But I keep coming back to – what is my voice. When someone looks at my work, could they distinguish all of it as being part of the body of what encompasses my creations thus far?  

I often wonder – what do I want my work to speak on my behalf.  How is it reflective of who I am?  And, truthfully, because of the different techniques I have explored, who I am may be undiscernable at this point through these creations.

I keep trying to dig through what I want my work to show about who I am….  I like to be playful.  I like to have meaning to my work.  I want it to tell some sort of a story.  If there is a theme to my work – I want it to explore perhaps a little deeper into that.  I don’t expect that any of my work will ever be used in a philosophy class to further explore the meaning of life.  But I want it to reflect a part of my life at the time when I created it.

And, in thinking about this, I have realized something else.  That being able to be true to who you are, and have that apparent in your work as an artist is a scary thing.  Maybe I am finding comfort in that anonymyty I have in all sorts of different works masking what I truly want to be apparent as being my creation when someone looks at it. 

 Stay tuned…. time for some shedding of layers….  its going to be scary.  But I have some amazing teachers in front of me who have blazed a trail of authenticity and courage.

If i look at the selection of quilts below, all done for challenges, I don’t know if I would say that all of them were created by one person.  

How did you find your voice?  

IMG_7519
created for Art and Old Lace Challenge
IMG_7518
created for Power Suit Challenge
IMG_7517
created for Art and Old Lace challenge
IMG_7516
created for the Wicked Challenge but did not get sent in time.

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Lament

I found this draft in my blog posts, and thought I would finally get around to posting it  I believe I started writing this several months ago. Most of my purging mentioned below is done, and I’m definitely more “in the moment.  

I am lamenting over the “what used to be”.  I’m reading this very fascinating book called “Turning Point”.  It is talking about change.  And I started waxing nostalgic.  I was thinking about what I miss about what was in my past, and why I missed it – it was because of how it made me feel!

I think about a collection of quilts I have in my basement in a bin – they are quilts that my grandmother made with her mother.  I was helping my grandmother clean up some things out of her home, when she was going to move into town.  (Thankfully, she has enjoyed fairly good health, and at the young age of 95, is still living by herself).  My mom and I were busy with different things, and then we looked over this pile of “old rags” that grandma was going to toss into the pit for burning – some of those were these old well worn quilts that she had worked on with her mother.  Well, my mom and I both said,”we’ll take these”, and we both have a few of these wonderful remnants of those lives past. (I posted a couple of pictures below.)

I am very thankful to be able to have a few things that were made by that woman who was still alive for a couple of years after I was born.  I have something that my grandmother helped work on when she was very young.  

It’s pretty cool to have something so generational.  

My lamenting will continue as I’m doing some more purging. At times I’ve allowed the chaos of my thoughts to engage my physical surroundings in a cloying way that has turned to suffocation.  And in turn constricting the creative process, the moving forward, the completing projects, and the freedom of just being present.