Garden of Innocence 2018, 77.5” high by 75” wideRead More
Late last year when I began dreaming of a bigger space to work, I would have never thought of the opportunity that presented itself. And now I have a commercial building under contract!
I am excited about the many opportunities this building offers. It is centrally located in the state of Michigan only a few miles off of Interstate 96. Williamston is an hour to Detroit, an hour to Grand Rapids, 45 minutes to Ann Arbor, and only 20 minutes to Michigan State University.
Next step is planning the renovations. From the photo you can see the starting point. The building, approximately 100 years old, is currently a dance school with lovely 20 foot ceilings on both floors. I want to create a clean, modern space with great lighting. I also hope to use this space to create community through classes, critiques and perhaps a gallery space. Dreaming big.
What are your dreams? If you allowed yourself to dream with no limits, where could it take you? If you could do anything, what would it be?
Looking back through my life, I have almost always had a designated creative space of my own. The first one I remember was a bedroom with a big built-in desk. When we moved to this house my mother specifically wanted me to have this room so that I had space to create. I was in the 4th grade.
Having a designated creative space is one of the ways we set ourselves up to be successful. Through the years my spaces have consistently had a minimum of four things: good lighting, a design wall, a cutting table and a sewing machine that is always out and ready to sew! My spaces have been in bedrooms, basements, and even part of the family room. My current space, pictured above, is an 800 square foot room over the garage with a 10 foot ceiling and full spectrum lighting. However, I seem to be outgrowing this space.
As I was considering how I might be able to enlarge my studio, I quickly realized an addition was not possible. Plus I realized that I wanted an opportunity to interact more with like minded people. I began dreaming of a space where I could have critique gatherings and possibly teach. A bigger and nicer dye studio would also be great. Then I learned that a commercial building in my small town had come onto the market. It is 100 years old with two stories, each having 20 foot ceilings. It also has a one story storage area with natural light that is nearly 800 square feet — a possible dye studio/teaching space?
So the question is how much do I believe in myself? How much am I willing to invest in myself? Am I willing to take the risk?
Stayed tuned …
What is your creative space like? How are you setting yourself up to be successful? What barriers can you remove to enable yourself to create move? How much are you willing to invest in yourself?
I often find it hard to begin new projects when I have upcoming commitments that take me away from my studio. A classic example is the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
This past December I had a glorious week compleletly alone at home (a first for me since having children). While I knew I did not want to start a new large work, I did want to create something from start to finish. So I decided to do something I had never done before. I made Christmas ornaments.
First I had fun playing with ideas. Once I finalized the design, I went into production mode. To speed up the process and minimize fabric usage I used paper piecing. I don’t use this technique in my large quilts, but for working small and repetitively it is a timesaver.
I had so much fun! I made a total of 22 ornaments. I had forgotten the pleasure in repetitious making.
As gifts these were very well received. And it was so satisfying to complete a creative project from start to finish within a few days.
How have you found creative satisfaction in the “in-between times”?
On December 14th “Circular Abstractions” is opening at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensburg, PA. I am honored to have my work “Junglescape” included in the show. All of the works in this show are BIG! This was an essential part of Nancy Crow’s vision — big, powerful quilts filling the gallery walls of museums. The impact is dynamic — lots of energy, color and motion! There is a beautiful book available (cover shown below), but nothing beats seeing the artwork in person. This will be the last exhibition of the show that initially opened at the Muskegon Art Museum in Muskegon, MI in 2016. For more information check out www.thewestmoreland.org. The show will be open until March 10, 2019. Who knows, maybe we will bump into each other at the Westmoreland…