Only one more set of 4 to go before I hit my goal! I can't believe the year has gone by so quickly. When I started I was afraid I would not be able to complete it. Almost every week I have that same fear creep up. But one thing about me is that I am a woman of my word. I try to be truthful and authentic in everything I do. I think things over before I make a commitment because if I say I am going to do it, I do. This is why, I have thought long and hard about 2018. Even though I will have reached my goal, I feel somewhat like I am giving up by not continuing with a new 52. However, I also know that I learned so much from doing this weekly practice and it is time to move on. It is time to take the skills I have learned and apply them. I will be sad to post the final #52 but I am also feeling the excitement of new adventures!
This week I ran a little late on my collage. It is getting harder to get done on time. I am not sure if it's the fact that I am in my busy work season or if it is because I am feeling more confident in my ability to create my collage more quickly due to more decisiveness. Another factor that has been affecting my collage productivity is my new found love of knitting. My friend Laura taught me how to knit this year and it has been sometimes pulling me away from my stitched collage work. In the end, I believe all creative endeavors benefit one another. It all works together and each new skill opens up ideas that can cross over various art mediums.
As I get closer to the finish line and into my busy season as well, I am finding my life filled with obligations, distractions and time crunches. It is getting harder and harder to find the time to do the collages. Interestingly, I believe that some of my most effective pieces have not been the ones that have taken the most time. It has me thinking about something Elizabeth Gilbert discussed in her Ted Talk, "Your Elusive Creative Genius". According to ancient Greek beliefs, genius is something you have rather than something you are. It is described as something like a spirit who comes out to visit and it is up to the individual to grab onto it and run with it. I can only imagine the Greek were describing 'flow'. It is in those instances where a collage comes about so easily and all time stands still. In this set of 4 pieces, 3 out of the 4 came about easily. The one consisted of struggle. In the past, a struggle would happen more often than not. This is another positive result of a weekly or daily art practice; just being there to receive the gift from the spirit.
One thing that you learn by giving yourself a regular art practice is more confidence. I have learned that with each week comes an idea, the start of the projectand then the fear of the piece not working out. In the past, I let that fear sit with me. Sometimes it sat with me a week, more often it sat with me a month or longer before I was able to jump back in and begin. With a weekly challenge, I do not have that luxury. I have to push through and make decisions. I have to try something and make it work. It has led me to feel a sense of comfort that I can make it work. Sometimes the result is more successful than others but in the end, the challenge was met and usually I am happy with the end piece. Below are the results from weeks 33-36.
The design wall where I hang my finished pieces is full with 32 of the 52 pieces complete. It is interesting to see the variety. I'm looking forward to seeing them mounted individually and hung together in 2018. In the meantime, here are weeks 29-32. These past four weeks have spanned a lot of feelings and emotions; from a family vacation to the beach to the lows of current news events surrounding hate and racism. I am thankful for my art as a way of expressing these feelings in a productive way.
We have hit and surpassed the halfway point in the year and in this project! It's funny because there are moments I fear that I will run out of ideas before I get to #52. There are also times when I have to grab a pen to jot down all of the ideas that flood me for future techniques and subjects that I want to explore with this project. I think the biggest thing that I have learned while doing this challenge is that the more you keep yourself busy doing the work, the more ideas that will come to you. Before I started this project there were times when a week would go by where I would be too busy with life to create art. Those were the times that getting back into it was harder. I have been surprised at how much more confident I have become in making creative decisions. The following are weeks 24-28...
It's interesting how sometimes I start with a feeling or message to portray in a piece and it ends up meaning so much more. Other times, I start by just playing with colors and combinations but the end product somehow magically tells the story of the week. The latter was certainly the case with 22/52. Life imitates art? Or the other way around?
21/52 "Circles" ...beauty in the breakdown...repetition good or bad...