As the Beaded Journal Project comes to a close I have been thinking a LOT about how to share and present the work. Although MY pieces are far from done and I am a couple months behind, I am still thinking about the closure of the project. I tend to have a problem with closure though, and will jump to the next project before finishing the previous one. I am trying not to do that for this project. I want to honor it on a different level and make it be the finished work that it deserves to be.
I am also contemplating my artwork on the whole. What am I doing? Where am I going?
I know that I am moving away from paper, away from mixed-media sculpture types things. I am slowly culling my supplies and rearranging my studio to reflect this change. BUT I am torn. Mostly because of my day job, that of a middle school art teacher. I really am required to continue to work and learn about a variety of mediums, try out new supplies, create new projects that can guide or inspire my students. I am also a Gemini, which does lead to a scattered interest in a ton of different mediums. While I dabble in all these places, I am not reaching a skill level in my own medium that satisfies me and allows me to create a solid body of work. This is frustrating and disappointing.
I haven’t had a series that felt like a body of work since my last show in 2003. That’s SIX years! And that was my paper/window collage work. So with all my learning and experimenting in fabric over the past six years I haven’t reached a place of mastery nor a definitive direction.
I think my work is taking the direction of small fabric journal pages or mini quilts, but sometimes I want to work larger! I have in mind a few ideas for a series or two, but then I can’t decide if they should be individual pieces or put together as books. Then there are these ideas about working with quilts that are framed by larger objects. I have ideas about sets of art dolls. I want to print, dye and stamp my own fabrics. Do I want to learn some more complex and traditional quilting skills, or keep doing my hodge podge applique/quilting style?
on a somewhat related note: While I researched textile arts to find my direction and look for some ways to finish my beaded pages, I ran across this great article that talks about fabric art journals in general, and directly links to a blog and the project I participated in a few years ago. (Which reminds me that I need to make a cover for my wonderful pages that I received.) This brings up the question about sharing this type of work. Do I want to pursue my work getting published or find the right kind of shows to enter?
Well it seems like all I have come up with today is questions, not answers. But I guess that is the way life is sometimes. Perhaps I will go express myself in some beads and see what develops.