Friday, January 5, 2018

don't stop thinking about tomorrow

There is an apocryphal but oh so true story that I have heard for years--probably you have heard it also.

An artist is asked what she would do if she was given a million dollars. The answer of course is to keep making art until she ran out of money.

Isn't that the way it goes. Always there is another quilt to make. Another show to prepare for.

Next up is the Baltimore Craft Show February 23-25 at the Baltimore Convention Center. How I love this show. This is another large show with six hundred artists and lots of customers who are searching for an escape from winter. For me it is the first chance to define my work for the coming year. How can I create a body of work that carries on from what I have previously done, allows me take advantage of the insights from last year and reads as a cohesive whole. One friend noted that all of my square quilts reminded her of school bus windows. Interesting thought. Do I need to make more quilts that are other sizes? Another friend whose work I respect said she preferred my more abstract pieces. Hmmm. And of course there are all those who make comments about psychedelic colors. I hear these and put them in the back of my mind to gel.

I look at other art to feed my soul and to help me see new possibilities. What inspires me. What am I trying to say. I sketch lots of quilts that will probably not get made just to see if I could make them. After all,  I am not making quilts just to make quilts--I  want to make quilts that have a purpose. Although it can be important to understand the technique until it becomes my language, technique is not the content of the quilts--at least not for me. I want to speak with the viewer. What am I trying to communicate.

And I make lots of potholders and place mats as I think about it. There is no point in sitting idly by and fretting too much. That does not create art. Instead I sew and play with the fabrics.

This year I have decided to feature my quilt "mountain sunrise". I love the colors and the joy of this piece. So happy and confident. Definitely it will be a focus. But my booth is large and there are 600 exhibitors at the Baltimore Show. I need to WOW the crowd.

mountain sunrise--40x40"--quilt--Ann Brauer 2017--image by John Polak

I make a long quilt--it's a new day. Not large enough to be a showstopper but still it was a quilt I wanted to make in a shape that could look great over a sofa or bed. Size does matter sometimes.

it's a new day--17x63"--Ann Brauer 2017
I look at other quilts I have made. I love the triptych in notes from twilight. That could make a strong statement in my booth.

notes from twilight--40x80"--quilt--Ann Brauer 2017--image by John Polak
And I start sewing with a purpose. Yes this is a quilt that I want to make. A quilt that will look great. And a quilt that should dominate the booth. Now there is just the long slow road to completion. One tiny bit of fabric at a time. I'll try to keep you posted.

And you--how do you choose what to make? How do you create a body of work?

Monday, January 1, 2018

it's a new day

Sometimes titles just come to me. The promise of dawn with the sun rising in the clear morning sky. The New Year. The open possibilities of fresh starts. The sun lingering longer in the sky. Here's wishing everyone a happy and joyous journey.

it's a new day--17x63"--quilt--Ann Brauer 2018
detail--it's a new day--quilt--Ann Brauer 2018