Friday, 13 May 2016

What does a textile artist do all day? Part 1

This is not the first consideration of this question but I thought I would also give it some attention.

To begin with let me share a story from this week. On Monday I got out my graph paper, coloured pencils, paints, rulers and fabrics as I thought I had an idea.Then my mind went completely blank, dead .. and in the end I gave up. All creative thought had just disappeared. I was not happy about this and life in the Donovan home for a short time was...

I did not understand this loss of creative planning as it has never happened to me before – perhaps I am very lucky.  I have made plans, have even cut out and started sewing and then realised it was not working and rejected the work but never before not been able to make a start. I looked for reasons as to why this was happening.

At the end of June I retire from my work for the Open University. Originally I had planned to retire at the end of June 2018. It is my choice to retire now but I realise that I am saying good bye to work with a large organisation which has been part of my life since the late 80s when I became an Open University student.  The Open University has changed in this time and is no longer the same as the one I was a student in – posting hand written assignments, regular tutorials and being part of a group of students, going to residential summer schools. I realise now this next step is coming with more mixed emotion than I had taken on board.  On the plus side there will no longer be the marking deadlines which interfere with creative life, the forums to monitor, the students who need extra support or the few who are unhappy – but there will also not be the lovely colleagues who have shared all this as well as the joys and successes – there have been so many of those. The wonderful times team teaching, the students who had the light bulb moment, seeing their leaps of progress and hearing from a few what their future held. I have got used to planning my creative life around all this – what will happen when these other activities are no longer there?  I am ready to go – it is the right time for me - but I also now know that I need to make more sense of and reflect further on this major stage in my life.

So what did I decide to do? Fortunately I have ongoing projects – Any Dream is nearing completion, Amish Abstraction is turned to from time to time and there is also a piece in the same pattern as Guantanamo but in a totally different colour scheme waiting to be quilted. As I quilt, peace descends and I know that the creative drive is so much part of me – it has not died.

In the meantime I have been really enjoying watching the series of reports on Channel 4 news from Michael Crick as he has exposed the dodgy Conservatives dodgy election expenses!

So what does this textile artist do all day? One answer is she muddles through with the help of trainee perfect quilters companion and reminders of the ball game!

Other answers to follow ... !

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