Monday, July 3, 2017

The Value of Review

Sometimes those of us who are creative types are so busy following up on new and exciting ideas we have, that we forget to take the time to review what we've already made. OK, I confess - I fall into this category. This has come to my attention again this week. Before I know the way forward, I want to spend a little time reviewing what has gone before. Specifically I am asking myself - "Which of the quilts you've already made resonates with you as being most true, most pleasing, most heart-felt, most 'I don't care what the rest of the world thinks of this, I am happy with it'?" These are some of the ones I chose that fit this description:
"A New Beginning"
 "Conversations with Kente"
 "In the Presence of the Elders"
Detail (sideways) of "The Night Garden"
"Rosetta's Hope"
"Windows on my World"
 "There's an Elephant in My Garden"
"Abundant Life"
In reviewing these, the overwhelming thing they have in common is their use of colour. But after that it's less clear. One has to do with trees, two are inspired by Africa, two are Art Deco inspired, and one is abstract. Clearly I've got several subject areas that I'm interested in. Are any of them worth re-visiting? Well, the one that shouts out loudest to me is Art Deco. I felt I was only just beginning to touch the surface of this, before I veered off mid-stream to do something totally different. But trees and leaves (this would include my traveller's blanket) have sustained my interest for a very long time. And African experiences continue to provide me with untold material. Wisdom from experienced artists is that one has to choose one focus, and then stick with it. Does anyone else out there find this very, very hard to do? Perhaps I need to pose another question - "If I only have time to make one or two more quilts, what would they say?" Ah, this cuts to the meat of things. It helps me narrow my options. And it might be something that I haven't explored yet, that I have only touched on here or there, and which would be a culmination of all the attributes of favourite quilts from the past. Time to do a little more journalling and see where it takes me . . .


  1. I have always loved "A New Beginning" - the heat in the centre with the specs of light out in the surrounding areas speaks to me of the generation of life/the universe/the village - such lovely layers. You were doing improv piecing before it became a thing!

    Posing the question "If I only have time to make one or two more quilts, what would they say?" feels like a lot of pressure to me, demanding that I get it right. I've got a lot of hesitation already! But I like the idea of focus. That seems doable. I'm enjoying your process.

  2. Thanks for taking the time to write down your thoughts, Lee. I'm especially glad you felt that "A New Beginning" had something to say to you. I entered it in the NJS a couple of years ago, and it was rejected. I didn't agree with either of the comments made by the judges - they had missed the point of it - and was surprised how much that bothered me. So good to know that it spoke to you.