Saturday, April 21, 2012

Are we there yet?

What I'm wondering at the moment is why?  Why is it that some projects come together so quickly while others hang on the design board for ages, half-finished or even nearly finished?  And still others are doomed to lie, inert and ignored until one day when I'm looking for something and I find them and think "Man I love this thing; I really need to finish it!"  After which I promptly fold it up and store it until the next time I look at it and exclaim over its loveliness and put it right back in the bin!
  Is it because some are easier than others?  Does it have to do with size?  Or is it the whim of my attention?  Because I started my latest piece about three weeks ago, and I'm already finished with it; while the piece I began in October, called Glacier, is still pinned to the design board waiting for even one hour of my attention to complete it.  And forget about the one that's three plus years old...  
The thing is, I like all three of them, and I really like to finish what I start, because then I feel like I haven't wasted my time, but still - why is it that I cannot seem to bring myself to complete some tasks, while others are done almost before I even realize it? 
I'm guessing that art, like everything else in my life, has its moods.  Anyway, one thing to point out, if I'm honest, is that the lack of completion usually centers, for me, around the actually quilting process; one which I feel is my weakest link as far as skill goes.  I can't afford to have someone else do the quilting for me (besides, if I'm being completely honest, to me it doesn't feel like it's truly mine if someone else works on it), and other ideas are always beckoning to me, singing their siren calls of novelty. 
So I've decided to give myself permission to have projects in various stages (I used to think I had to completely finish one project before I started another -  that practical German side of me rearing its hard, square head again) but only if I don't carry it too far and have more than three at any one time that I'm working on.  But if I'm totally honest, I will admit that currently it's more like I have five in various stages, and I've already done sketches for two more and begun cutting one of them out - oh crap, it's getting out of hand - I need to stop starting...and start finishing!
On the flip side, however, (because there's always a flip side, isn't there -gotta love that about life!) maybe art is all about inspiration, and you have to follow the thread of it when it strikes you.  Maybe that's how artists get their reputation for capriciousness - because sometimes when it hits it's all I can do to stop myself from getting up in the middle of the night so I can get started NOW (although often I just go with it, but I do try to be quiet so as not to wake up the entire house). 
And, too, I know myself well enough to see that at some point, I am actually going to want to finish those three/four/five-year old pieces and I will do so, just as someday I will finish all the pieces that my dearest mother started and didn't finish - whenever doing it will remind me of her and the special quilting days we shared with a smile, not tears.   It will all be done eventually, I know it will.  Or not - whatever. 
But not right now; at the moment I'm busy working on this little flash.