Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thinking Too Much

I've treated my art making very very seriously for decades. I've continually attempted to have it all - a big family, community involvment, closeness to nature every day and ALSO make art. The art making has not allowed me to have a garden, be a good cook, travel, read for pleasure or live in a clean house.

I'm bothered that my chosen art medium of cloth and stitch combines now with my own maturity to trivialize what I do. When I go into a (northern)art gallery to speak I'm no longer the mom artist with a babe on her hip - I'm an older, grayer, gentle voiced, spectacle wearing quilter lady. I speak to quilt guilds consisting of other older women, I teach other older women, I study with other older women. It's a ghetto.

8 comments:

  1. Jennifer10:31 am

    When you speak on your blog, I--a 30-something, recovering artist without garden or cooking ability or clean home--drink in your words and wisdom with much gratitude. So perhaps not as ghetto as you might think.

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  2. I love reading your blog! Please take a minute and look at my Etsy Store:
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/craftydiane
    Thank you and have a Blessed Day,
    Diane

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  3. Anonymous11:44 am

    What specifically would make you feel less trivialized? I'm genuinely curious.
    Paula

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  4. This post made me so sad!

    Perhaps Jane Mattera's post here

    http://joannemattera.blogspot.com/2009/10/marketing-mondays-adjective-artist-how.html

    Will give you some perspective on where you are and how you've spent your life; Elaine at Red Thread Studio has something to say in her "maker" post as well - what it means to be a "maker" rather than a "crafter" or an "artist" but rather puts you on a present day continuum with other who are also creaters/makers, and who provide something valuable to the world, yes, I would say life changing.

    Quilting and what has come out of it has certainly been life changing for me. I can't even begin to think that in ten or twenty years I'll feel that I have spent my life wastefully pursuing something that has given me such joy.

    If this is a moment of discouragement, perhaps those links will help lift you up. If the pursuit of your art has become joyless for you, then perhaps it is time to take a break, or find another path.

    And though I only found your blog a few posts ago, if this is where it all ends, thank you for sharing what you have. It has made a difference.

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  5. i am not exactly sure what you mean. can you expand on this?

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  6. All of your comments are appreciated. I admit I was in a dark mood this morning. I long to be an artist. I love making my work.

    Jude asks what do I mean ?

    As I get older, I fear that my work will be taken less seriously by the 'art world' because I am older. The idea of "my grand mother made quilt" is so ingrained.

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  7. I am 66 and I think I understand how you are feeling. My experience of aging is sometimes wonderful and rewarding and sometimes downright painful and ugly. The words of a song come to mind and I will share them with you: "I support your sister song, I support the path you're on. Like wild geese up in the sky, we sing our song, that's how we fly." I appreciate your courage to express this painful part of your journey, after all it's your blog. From what I have seen of your art you have posted, you have known much joy too, and I hope you will find more, when you are ready to.

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  8. Anonymous9:09 pm

    I don't mind being in the ghetto with you. There are a lot of us out here.
    I belong to a church sit and sew group in a country town. It is a casual social group. I am the youngest at 53. Most of them knit or crochet, beautifully, with great skill. The work they produce if far better although a little dated, than most of the crappy tat I see on the internet blogs, where the young blow their bags about how good they are. I don't know of any young people in our comunity who values these womens skills or talents. Even their families pat them on their heads and chuckle at them.
    When I was young and had small children, the last thing I had time for was creative pasttimes with older women. So I can understand the lack of recognition of the work of these women. I think it is a privilege to have the time and space to enjoy them now, they don't dispare about their work not being recognised, they just get on with 'making'.
    I know they are not making art as such, but their lives including what they make is art.
    I really enjoy your blog and your work. I think two D art is so boring. Textile art is so three D and engages more of the senses, especially if you can touch and drape and wear or use a textile piece. For this reason i also like architecture where you can use the space, change it, enter it, decorate it. These things leave two D art for dead.
    Cheers from an interesting ghetto, Jan

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Thank you for taking the time to connect. Much appreciated.xx