Mad In Pursuit Notebook

A Few Thoughts About 2014


1.4.2014. I reviewed 9 years of "opening statements" (aka New Year Resolutions) this morning. It's good to remind myself that expressing my intentions for the year isn't a to-do list. The need to get things done and to exercise self-discipline will always be there.

So after 10 years of entertainment projects and collectibles sales, my task orientation has evolved to this: BE THE ART. The collectibles we have are the ones we want to continue owning. They need lots of research and loving appreciation My entertainment projects seem no longer about "telling a story" but about exploring unknown territory.

As I get older, I get more demanding about comfort and convenience and predictability. I've mastered the art of having everything just-so. But now I'm realizing that old bodies are rarely comfortable, that convenience is an illusion that allows us to pile up gadgets that are never as easy as promised, and that predictability is the last thing we want to rely on.

This thought makes me edgy.

I don't mind being out of my comfort zone, but I don't want to have to leave the house to do it. Okay, I do mind being out of my comfort zone.

Hold that thought.

Let's turn to my fascination with quilting, dollmaking and other fabric arts. A change for me. The change is not that it (working with fabric) is any artsier than other projects I've tackled over these 10 years. The change is that it requires grappling with physical things, not computer software and keyboards, not clever words and well-wrought sentences. It is slow. It makes one thing at a time. It can't be shared over the internet, except by photo. There are long artistic and folk art traditions to be inspired by. It suits my mood. I can sit at the kitchen table while I work and talk with Jim or enlist him to help. It is trendy only insofar as young people are noticing the "maker movement" (although Googling this term today brings up too many articles about 3-D printers).

So, a draft statement -- a first instruction -- for 2014:

Dive into these new crafts without knowing why or what for. Celebrate my ignorance. That's definitely outside my comfort zone because not-knowing makes me anxious. And yet not-knowing drives me on to learn. I will quit worrying about "organizing my thoughts." Organizing my thoughts will not make a quilt.

GRAPHIC at top: I like this diagram as a reminder of what I think my current creative process is.

Photo: Doll #4... a mystery in the making, Saturday, Jan 4, 2014