It's about time

I am normally a solo artist- I tend not to be a joiner- in quilting or in pretty much anything else. While I like people- when it comes to my art- I just do not want to network.
I made an exception last week and accepted an invitation from Dominie Nash to come visit her studio- and it showed me that my isolation is not always a good thing. Dominie and I met through a photographer, Mark Gulesian, who we both have used to capture our work. Mark suggested that we meet, and Dominie to her credit got the ball moving. It turns out that she has a studio very close to where I live in Takoma Park.
It was a wonderful field trip to see her studio- which I really envy- lots of board space, space to store things, pin up pieces of fabric or inspirational , and part of a collective so she can work solo when she wants to and get feedback from other artists if she feels like it. A perfect arrangement that she has had for about 15 years.We had a lovely time talking, looking at pieces she is working on, and 2 hours passed quickly.
What it left me with was a sense that I have to get out more- talk to other artists, meet fellow quilters, interact with other creatives. And I think I can do that when I have more time off from work.
I felt much freer this weekend since I had all day Friday to quilt. I felt free enough to take a much needed nap on Sunday, entertain 2 friends on Saturday night, and take a long walk on the beach with Barley and Dave. And of course I had about 6 hours to quilt.
I have been slow to look at the art work coming out of the quilting community- I have wanted to be sure of having my own voice before I looked at others' work. Now, I am starting to have the confidence to know that what I am producing really is my own. I am not copying elements or pieces that I have seen. I am not making "Nancy-Crow-look-a likes" as I might have early in my journey. I hope that my meeting with Dominie will be the first of a series of explorations with other artists. It's about time.