So, we’re in the groove of 2007 and like many, I’ve started some new routines… well, not really “new”. I’ve re-awoken old routines that slipped by the way. I started yoga again and found a lovely teacher close by. It feels good; my body is waking up and muscle-memory is kicking in.
When lived in St. John’s I took a weekly life drawing class and my confidence in drawing developed rapidly. I haven’t drawn for more than 5 years, but last week I joined a new life drawing class and boy, am I rusty! I was struck with how drawing is like yoga…. no mater how stiff and out of practice one is, the muscle-memory never fails to return and support one. The drawings from the first session were filed in the recycling bin, but there was one sketch, made right at the end, that had some merit. It feels good to stretch my eye-hand connections and wake up the memory of drawing. I’m not looking for perfect drawings; I am drawing for practice and the routine of drawing.
I have been reading The Creative Habit by Twila Tharp who emphasizes the need for a daily routine… once it’s established you go on autopilot and the habit supports you through the thin times. I like the concept, now how to put it in practice?
One of my creative routines is to visit Judy Martin’s online Journal/blog – I’m always inspired by how others work. Judy’s involved in distance textile studies, preparing for exhibitions, teaching quilting and piano. How does she do it? A recent entry reminded me of an old habit I’d lost and plan to re-instate. With permission, here is Judy’s 27th January post:
One word question: How? Two word answer: Kitchen timer.
Set kitchen timer for one hour. Chain sew 2″ squares of hand dyed silk velvet into grids.
Buzzer! Reset timer for another hour. Type research on Picasso into the computer.
Buzzer! Make lunch. Begin new recipe for oatmeal bread.
Set kitchen timer for one hour: Continue chain sewing of blue velvet.
Buzzer! Reset timer for another hour. Put shelves and piles of overflowing books into new bookcase. Also do laundry.
Buzzer! Reset timer for another hour. Cut more fabric. Continue sewing blue velvet.
Buzzer! Take dog for walk in the fresh snow. Start dinner, bake bread.
So, what’s your trick for creative routine? Please add a comment below and share your ideas- I’d love to hear about it.
How do you plan to stretch your creativity and design skills this year? All workshops you take are about colour and design – it can’t be otherwise – for it’s integral to everything we make and do. Here’s some suggestions:
* Take lots of workshops on colour and design – each teacher presents differently, and your understanding evolves as well.
* Take drawing classes, and vow not to be intimidated or discouraged.
* Stretch: take classes from non-quilters: pottery, poetry.
* Join mailing lists for gallery openings, and don’t miss an opportunity to hear artists talk about their work.
* Form an art and design study group.
* Buy sketchbooks and journals and start making notes.
* Subscribe to creative blogs and e-newsletters. See links in the sidebar.
* Print out my list of Creative Block Busters
If you wanted just one great book on design I recommend: David Lauer’s Design Basics. I love this book. Terrie Hancock Mangat recommended it in a workshop 20 years ago and it’s been an invaluable resource. A new addition to my library is Steve Aimone’s
DESIGN! A Lively Guide to Design Basics for Artists & Craftspeople.
For more book suggestions, here is my book list for Design books.
I hear the kitchen timer beeping, so I’m off to re-set it for a stint of piecing a quilt started in a Heather Stewart workshop last fall.
My best to you in creative quilting!