Friday, September 13, 2013

(Un)Finished Business


It’s a long haul from start to finish on a piece of art, at least for me.  Sometimes I get bored in the middle of one piece and start on another, seemingly more exciting one.   So despite my best intentions, I have several UFO’s (Un-Finished Objects).  They are in various states of completion, and I like them all - I just can’t seem to finish them for some reason.  Maybe I need to schedule a completion intervention.  No more new until I finish all my old. 

Oh how tedious that sounds.

As we’re entering the autumn season I always experience a sense of renewal, as inexplicable as that may seem.   I realize the year is winding down, the annuals are dying and the trees and summer plants are going into their dormancy, but (maybe it’s the schoolteacher in me) I feel like something new is starting up again. I’m filled with energy (which unfortunately does NOT transfer to housework) and I want to create!  I don’t feel like finishing old projects.

I’ve tried to keep track of how long it takes to create a quilt from start to finish, but I have never succeeded.  I know I should, but time doesn’t seem to matter because I’m obsessed with my art, so no matter how much time it takes, it’s going to happen.  My guess is that from designing to putting on the binding, it takes a minimum of 60 hours, maybe more, which for me is spent mostly on the weekends as I’m still working full-time.  Which is why I’m a little undisciplined, I guess.  I want to do what I feel like doing, which isn’t always the practical thing. 

On the flip side, I’ve already spent a great deal of time of these unfinished pieces, so I should probably go ahead and complete them, otherwise the time I’ve spent on them already is wasted, right?  Maybe not.  As I tell my teenage son when he compains about school, every time we learn something, it becomes a part of us.  We use it in ways we may never even realize and it all makes us who we are.  I think learning is one of the reasons we’re here on this planet.  I definitely learn something with every piece I make, thus I’m fulfilling my purpose just by doing it, no matter whether it is finished or not.  (Nice rationalizing, huh?)

Unfortunately that argument doesn’t work all that well for me – it makes me feel annoyed to think of those beautiful creations scrunched away in a dark closet, strings dangling.  Poor things – they aren’t able to fulfill their destiny (which in my mind is to make people feel happy every time they look at them.  So instead of being restless to start something new, I think I’ll instead finish my UFO’s instead this year. Likethe winding down of the seasons, I’ll complete the cycle(s} I’ve begun.  Who knows?  It may not be so tedious after all.  Even if it is I’ll still be in a good place because no matter what I say, I just feel  better when I don’t have a bunch of loose ends, literally or figuratively. 

Now, I’m not kidding myself that there’s not going to be another pile up of UFO’s in the future - I think it just might be part of my creative process.  But in the meantime, I’ll be starting something even if it’s not a new project – I’ll be starting a blank slate.