Un-multi-tasking

Commitment and constraint

I have been machine quilting the large piece that I have started at the Barn and it has been painfully slow. My shoulder aches, and yet, I can not seem to start another new large piece until I get this off my table.



I have started a "commission" of sorts- not really a commission- more of a donation for a group called Artworks for Freedom. They are a non-profit organization that use the power of art to fight against modern slavery and human trafficking. Their CEO, a magnificent photographer, Kay Chernush, asked me to contribute a piece- and so I have been working hard to get a good piece together. Kay and I have worked together for many years and I support what she is doing to end human trafficking. In fact, she is looking for other artists to support the cause. Contact me if you are interested. Her shows are travelling worldwide.

Now creating a piece is easier than it sounds.
1. I am committed to the cause and delighted to participate- but I have found it so hard to work on a piece that I "have to do". even if I am the one making the commitment. Rather than being a joy- it has stifled me, and I am a whole lot more self-critical.
2. I tried a piece where I wanted to convey the heaviness of oppression. I quite like the direction I was going in- but after I pieced it, it just looked too serene. So I stopped there and know that I will come back to it at some point. I will say that the inset pieces drove me crazy but it was good practice.
3. I started again. This time I selected some wonderful rusted fabric that Annette produced for me that I have been sitting on for a while.  It felt a bit violent, and symbolicallly felt like chains to me without being uber- literal. I then kept slashing at it, adding additional lines and tension. I like where it is going and think that it will capture more of my original intention.
I still have lots and lots of piecing and line work to do. Gosh these pieces take a long time!
4. But I feel like my focus has been off a bit- I do not know if it is because I feel overwhelmed by the larger pieces and how long they take- or if I am hampered by a piece that I have to do. I spend a lot of time thinking about this, and realize that I am not a great candidate for commissions- perhaps an attractive way to make money- but not for me. Constraints kill, and for me commitment is a constraint. I feel a bit guilty about this since I believe this is a very worthwhile cause. And I volunteered. And I do not want to settle. And eventually something has to give.