Just a little over a week ago, I became a member of the Early Morning Club. The meetings take place in my studio first thing each morning. I am the only attendee, although I have occasional feline guests. The plan is to stumble downstairs immediately upon waking and tap into remnants of the dream state. (In the interest of full honesty, I must admit that I do hop online first to check Liverpool transfer news.)
My goals are to develop a creative habit, to learn to finish what I start, to use and appreciate time better, and to create a fair bit of crap so that I can find my voice. With that in mind, here's how the week went.
Monday, July 14th
I began a week ago Monday. Callie nosed me awake at 6:00 a.m. and I immediately stumbled downstairs and began working. Here is Monday's piece.
It's a very simple composition: four river rocks balanced by a vertical line. The palette is more muted than the colors I normally use. Perhaps that is attributable to early morning grogginess.
Tuesday, July 15th.
This piece is truly deserving of the label "crap." And I mean that with all the kindness in the world! I have been developing on a personal symbology for future work and I had considered using these pieces as an outlet for further exploration. But, I think this looks like a bastardized Olympic logo.
I've since decided that surface design and printing is a better medium for exploring my symbol language. To me, these symbols are about mark making, and as such, I think that the hand of the artist needs to show more than it does with flat fabric cutouts
Wednesday, July 16th.
This piece started similarly to Monday's, with various squares lined up in a row. I started playing and found that overlapping the squares made the composition more interesting. The little copper squares help unify the design. This design idea has lots of potential. I could play with transparency, value gradations, and color shifts.
Thursday, July 17th.
This is a variation of Monday's composition. I like it better because there's a bit more interest with the value changes in the rocks and in the trellis added in the corner. But I think that the basic idea needs to be taken further before it's truly a successful composition.
Friday, July 18th.
This piece was inspired by the standing stones we saw on our trip to England last year. I like the idea of this piece, but it needs a fair bit of work. The standing stones seem to be floating--disconnected from the landscape background. Threadwork could help ground the stones into the landscape.
Saturday, July 19th.
This is my favorite piece from the week. I concentrated on the composition of the negative space as much as I did the foreground. I think the eye moves well around the quilt.
Sunday, July 2oth
I don't know what to think about this piece. I like it. I mean, I look at it and it is pleasing to me. But I'm not sure that it speaks for me--at least the images and visions that I have in my mind now. I used to use flower/flame/teardrop shapes in my work a lot. This reminds me of then. Now my visions are of geology and stones, of geometry and angles, of hard edges and permanence. This looks organic and transitory. It doesn't feel like the stories I want to tell.
I'm really happy with what I have accomplished so far. Just the act of honoring my commitment each morning is an accomplishment. But then I also get to see a little stack of quilts rise on the table as I add each morning's piece to the previous work.
I've already noticed a difference in how I approach the blank background each morning. Last Monday and Tuesday were hard--it took the full half-hour I allow myself for design just to come up with what I did. But as the week has progressed, I've felt more fluid and open to possibilities.
I am starting to see themes arise--preferred shapes and compositions, colors and palettes--that offer me lots of potential for experimentation.
At this stage, I'm not too worried about whether what I am creating is good or not. My main goal is to develop a creative habit and begin to discover my voice. To that end, I believe my first week has been successful.
Since the first week, I've created two more pieces (Monday and Tuesday). I intend to continue posting weekly updates.
If you are interested in starting your own Early Morning Club, I highly encourage you to do so. (And if you do, let me know.) The meetings can be whatever you want. The secret is in actually attending them.