Just wrapped up a yearlong adventure with nine other quilt artist over at Interpret This! I enjoyed the challenge and will miss the monthly reveals. While I still don't think I've developed a distinctive style or voice in what I make, I have become more committed to using my sketchbook to work out ideas for projects and keep notes on my progress. This year, I planning on building on what I learned while working on the challenges. As part of that I joined a critique group with four other quilt artist. We have agreed to encourage, critique and help each other as we work produce four piece each over the year. I decided on my theme for the year and have begun working on the first piece. Part of the work involves developing a library of symbols that are related to specific memories of mine. I'm going to continue my weeklies for 2011 by featuring some of those symbols in 8 x 10 inch (landscape) quilts. I'm finishing up the first four of those this week.
In addition, this year, I'm taking the doodle calendar in a new direction. For each day, I'm coming up with a single symbol that captures an event that happened that day. On the back of the page, I've written a few words about the event (These symbols are not the same as the memory symbols -- Yup, I've committed myself to symbol purgatory, clearly I will be crazy by the end of the year!!!). Doing the doodle calendar has become a ritual that gets me to the studio and which leads to making studio time a habit. Although it is a really simple activity, it helps me to make that transition to a creative mindset.
I was talking to a friend a couple of weeks ago about "mark making" and her struggle to practice it on a consistent basis. Because I know how much she hates to write, I suggested that she either practices making marks OR writes a paragraph about why she didn't/couldn't make the time to do it. She says she's making marks, yay! (because she really doesn't want to write!!) At the time I called it aversion therapy, I think it's probably a type of adaptive behavior therapy. It got me thinking.
When I started this blog, I wanted to use it to keep track and share my creative progress. But, like my friend, I hate to write. I usually slap an image up and jot a note and call it done. But, truthfully, I wish I could write with more ease. I know in order to become more comfortable with it I need to practice - keep my mind exercised in the craft of writing. I'm not sure what carrot or stick is going to work for me. But to start, at least for this month, I'm going to try and post every day.