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Archive for February, 2007

Over the past few weeks I’ve been doing markedly less of the studio hands-on portion of my job and a great deal more of the paperwork, proposals and organisation aspect. This is normally not the part of my job that I prefer, but recently I’ve been taking a rather strange pleasure in it. Most artists and craftspeople are creative first and business-wise second and I’m really no different than the rest in this regard. Ninety-nine times out of one hundred I’d rather dye fabric than do taxes; working through the creative process on a new piece or series usually seems far more appealing than does revising my contact lists, promotional literature and business plan. Lately, though, I find myself drawn more to the database and spreadsheets than the design wall, so I’m going with it.

February is never a good time of year for me personally and I suspect that winter is hard on many artistic types, especially those who get their inspiration from landscape, light and the outdoors. Simply getting the energy to do anything can be a bit of a trick, which is why I’ve been allowing myself to switch gears and do paperwork for a change.

The book-keeping and proposals are necessary parts of the whole picture, of course, but they always seem to be needed right when I’d rather be designing or working on new pieces. Having a bit of breathing room now, before the rush to fill orders for shops in the spring, allows me the opportunity to do the following:

  • finish off any outstanding book-keeping from last year (done)
  • do taxes (done)
  • write up proposals for shows (ongoing)
  • plan submissions to shows (get prospecti and entry forms) for the upcoming year and budget time for them (done)
  • review bio and other promotional material (done)
  • update C.V. (done)
  • review website content and design (ongoing)
  • update contact lists (ongoing)
  • finish up any outstanding correspondence (mostly done)
  • plan workshops (ongoing)

Last year was a busy year and I think I’m only just now feeling able to pick up fabric again with any sense of purpose. There are deadlines approaching and I have pieces that have been started for them, pieces that I can now bring myself to approach with enthusiasm. Or, for some of which I’m not entirely enamoured, with something more than grudging tolerance.

Sometimes it’s hard to remember that the aspects of one’s job that are less than inspiring can actually serve a necessary function. They allow us to step back from the creative, hands-on portion when weary while still moving forward with our plans and career. Switching gears and allowing the artistic impulse to lie dormant or fallow for a while can often stimulate a burning desire to get back to the drawing board.

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Networking

Found this neat little site that plots a graph to depict the interconnected nature of your website or blog. Watching it unfold is particularly nifty. There’s also a Flickr tag for posting and viewing the results.

The graph for this blog is the image below. Makes you realise how quickly use of your site can spread and how easily information can be transmitted (which in turn should remind you to take care with your site!)

seastrands-web.jpg

Here’s what the dots mean (taken directly from the maker’s site) :

What do the colors mean?
blue: for links (the A tag)
red: for tables (TABLE, TR and TD tags)
green: for the DIV tag
violet: for images (the IMG tag)
yellow: for forms (FORM, INPUT, TEXTAREA, SELECT and OPTION tags)
orange: for linebreaks and blockquotes (BR, P, and BLOCKQUOTE tags)
black: the HTML tag, the root node
gray: all other tags

Thanks to Egater for the link! Her website web can be seen here.

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Just got word that my workshop (details below) for Quilt Canada 2008 has been approved! Yay! Another proposal pans out!
If you’re interested in taking it, it’ll be on June 4, 2008 at Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, Newfoundland.

For more information, you can check with the folks at the Canadian Quilters’ Association (although they haven’t got the workshop info for 2008 up yet).

I’ll be teaching this class locally at least twice over the summer and fall as well, so if you’d like to be on the list for an earlier class, drop me a line.

I’m contemplating an on-line version at a later date.

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A Feel for the Land: Creating Texture in the Canadian Landscape
Workshop proposal – Quilt Canada 2008

by Vicky Taylor-Hood

Class description:

Students will work on a myriad of techniques that can be used to given dimension and texture to textile landscape art. Special attention will be paid to achieving effects that illustrate the Newfoundland environment. These will include (but are not limited to):

  • creating icebergs through layered, fused materials as well as through the use of stitched layers of sheer fabrics
  • depicting realistic rocks by using fused snippets, painted and hand-detailed fabric and painted spun polyester (a.k.a. used dryer sheets)
  • illustrating spume and surf through the use of machine lace and Angelina fibers
  • using painted cheesecloth, tulle, organza, metallic foil and thread to accentuate light and shadows within a landscape
  • creating foliage through painted dryer sheets
  • aspects of house construction

All of these techniques will be demonstrated and students will have the opportunity to create samples. Some students will simply wish to take their ideas, samples and the materials provided home with them to work on their own. Those who feel sufficiently confident to leap from observing a demonstration to creating a finished product on the spot will have the materials available and the opportunity to do so. There is no set finished project for this workshop. It is rather an acquisition of tools with which to embellish the students’ own landscape designs. Students will take home with them the samples they have made and any unused materials that were in their kits.

Level of expertise: This session is geared towards intermediate to advanced quilters. Beginner quilters are welcome, but may find they need to supplement what they learn with more general quilting skills.
Length of class: six hours

Class size: minimum of 8, maximum of 15

Fees: registration for this class will be handled by Quilt Canada. There will be an additional $20 materials fee.

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Found in the mailbox today……

artproc21.jpg

Sometimes I get the (obviously erroneous) feeling that all the work putting together proposals and filling out forms is much hassle for little reward. Things like this reaffirm that taking that little bit of extra time pays off.

What a way to kick oneself out of the doldrums of winter, eh? Just what I needed to push through to another couple of deadlines!

My resolution from last year, which was to continue to put out proposals and submit larger quantities of work to a variety of venues, is paying off already.

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