Tuesday, 14 November 2017


I've been reflecting on the 52 week art project that has become such an important part of my art practice over this past year.

Although I was initially inspired to give it a go by Brenda Gael Smith (Textile Artist), who had already started hers & was encouraging others to join her...  it didn't take long for me to realize that I didn't need the 'group' dynamic to keep me motivated. 

At the outset, my major concerns about making a commitment to this project were ...that I could actually KEEP the commitment, and... that it wouldn't interfere with the production of my 'other' work.  I didn't want it to become a noose around my neck. Thankfully, it didn't... most of the time.

So I set myself some rules, both for my practice and for my mindset.  These rules WORKED for me!

*Setting only one day aside for this project...specifically Monday, so that I started the week with this practice...WORKED.

*Having a size limit & sticking to contemporary reverse applique...whilst very challenging at times...WORKED.

*Having a restricted 'theme'...my garden...WORKED.

*Telling myself that it was just an EXERCISE & that it didn't have to be perfect... WORKED.  In fact, this was the most important rule of all & released me from so much in terms of pressure & anxiety.

*Publicly sharing my WAPs, first on my facebook artist page & then in Blog posts...thereby making myself answerable & accountable to this commitment...WORKED.

Having these rules actually liberated me to explore the possibilities & gave me a much clearer perspective and more realistic expectations.

Along the way, there have been some unexpected outcomes that I hadn't anticipated.  One of those has been thanks to the blog.

Using the blog as a platform on which to write, not only about the process of my technique, but the inspirations, thoughts and feelings that led to & occurred during that weekly project... actually helped to clarify & complete the process itself. At times I have felt somewhat vulnerable, so in sharing the exercises that were not so successful, I have had to become a little more brave, open & honest. In doing so, it has helped others see that they are not alone in their art making struggles, and that art making is an on going process of trial & error & trial again!

It has also reaffirmed how much I enjoy writing.  Translating thoughts and processes into words has been wonderful exercise for my brain & also practice for my language & composition skills.  Even developing a title for each blog has been a part of the creative discipline of writing.

The photography of my subjects has  become more important.  I find myself trying to compose shots   & when I don't manage to get a well composed one to put on the blog... I'm aware of it.  It niggles!  My standards have risen!

These pieces were produced as exercises/samples, they were not MEANT to be anything more.  However, some of my results have excited me so much, that I DO want to return to some, develop them a little further and produce them as exhibition quality pieces of art.  My two favourites that I particularly look forward to working on are #22 'Succulent Flower' & #38 Pansy Poetics.  I'm even tempted to have a go at patchwork to reproduce #8 Nasturtiums!

I certainly didn't expect to enjoy the process of this discipline so much.

With that in mind, I have decided to continue doing weekly art projects from January 2018.  There will, however, be a couple of changes.

I'm not going to commit to 52 projects.  This is partly because I know that I am going to be travelling for at least 2 months of next year, & being away from the routine really throws the whole discipline out of sync.  I've also noticed that during the past couple of months whilst I've been studying & fitting the remaining WAP's in when I could.... has been something that DIDN'T work!  It DID become a noose around my neck.  If I hadn't have had that #52 as my deadline, I would have felt better about finishing before the study course started.

Therefore, I am going to calculate how many weeks I have before a trip away & set THAT number as the deadline.

My theme will also change.  I have had SEVERAL ideas of what I could use to inspire me through the next year or so.  All of them worthy & exciting inspirations, but my husband definitely came up with the RIGHT one... for me.

Soooooo...in 2018 I will be doing Weekly Art Travels!

WAT...you might ask??! Well, over the past few years, I have been exceedingly fortunate to travel to a number of countries.  With the introduction of digital photography to the realm of travel... I have taken THOUSANDS of photos.  A large proportion of those were with the specific purpose that 'one day' they would inspire my art making.  Alas...that has very seldom happened!  Soooo...my upcoming weekly projects will return me to delightful adventures in Istanbul, Egypt, Jordan, Spain, Morocco & possibly France, and I will finally have a dedicated time to work with the visual notes my camera has taken, and create something new from those references.

What about between now & then, then?  Well, tonight I nip off to King Island for a short break & when I return, I'll be writing up blog posts of the WAPs I produced earlier in the 52 weeks.  The purpose of this is to then create a book from the blog, to keep as a reference.  I also plan to sort & tidy all the fabrics in my stash.  That will be quite a chore...believe me!

Between now & then, there is also Christmas to celebrate & with that in mind...may I get in early & wish ALL of you, my heartfelt thanks for following this blog, and my very best wishes for a happy Christmas  & an excellent start to a good & happy new year!

See you then!


1 comment:

  1. swapping WAP for WAT sounds exciting. Which country to start with? Have a great break and come back to play in your studio for a while before WAT starts. xx