Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Different Kind of Summer

Still Life With Orange, 2011, H. Hunter, 28" x 32," quilted fabric
It's been a different kind of summer so far. Though
it's been many years since the summer was mine to fashion as I wish, the illusion that I can do so stays with me.

Part of what makes this summer different was a decision I made to focus my energies on an art quilt show taking place in October at our local art center.  Accepting the invitation was big; prior to this, my forays into the quilting world have been few. I've taken inspiration from quilt patterns, but to put pins into cloth and stitch one piece of fabric to another--now that is another feat altogether.

All of the normal fears and then some attended me (and I know that you know them well enough from your own work that I don't have to detail them here) but despite all of that, the process has been amazing. I made a goal of creating one quilted piece per month for six months. These are works in which I can exercise my love for detail and create small areas of fascination while working at a pace I can sustain with my art therapy practice.

I'm aided by the sheer hypnotic flow of long weekend afternoons accompanied by the sound of the fan and audio books: Ape House, The Coral Thief, The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo to name a few. While my mind is captured by a good story line, my eye is free to wander and choose patterns that the more critical part of me would probably veto. My focus is also sharpened by my long time partner in art crime, Beth Rommel. We met over a year ago in Alyson Stanfield's Blog Triage class and have become fast friends, going on take part in the Artist Conspiracy. It surprises me that sharing a goal with someone over the phone (Beth lives in Georgia, I in CA) creates such a strong degree of accountability, but there it is and I'm delighted by it.

Hallie, lending gravitas to our home

In the same vein, earlier in the year, I made a goal of creating a new website; one that I could fashion and refashion according to my artwork at the time. Spurred on by an art and wine event in August, Pour for Prevention, I decided to nudge my visual ducks in a row and explore WordPress. Re-writing my artist's statement and bio was challenging (I mean how many ways can I say where I went to school? And, since my children are grown, is it too much to add cat to the description: "She lives and works in Davis, CA with her husband and ?...")

So, as the current idiom goes, it's "good stuff," a rather rough way of saying that although this summer is different; no trips to the beach or lazy afternoons reading almost a whole book, it has been wonderful, and, and at this time of my life, a dream come true.