Un-multi-tasking

" I do, I un-do, I re-do" Louise Bourgeois



Sometimes advice is hard to hear, but stewing over the piece I have been working on, Judy Martin's advice to listen to the sage words of Louise Bourgeois was just the ticket. It also helped that I have been out of the studio for a few days celebrating the Jewish holidays.

As I sat in services, the Rabbi was talking about the popular book about de-cluttering. It was a bit of a stretch as a sermon, but there was a grain there that, when combined with Judy's advice, made sense. The Rabbi kept hammering home that if something was not useful AND was limiting the ability to move forward, then it should be "de-cluttered" or sent packing. As my mind drifted in and out of attention, I kept thinking about my work. And coming home, I went straight to the studio and cut the damn piece up.
At first I chopped it up into smaller compositions that I thought might work. But then, I got involved with trying to turn these into little gems- which they were not. I stopped trying to get anything in the piece to work, and started to put all the pieces in a pile to file away. I left my studio feeling uneasy.

This morning, I went to yoga- and again there seemed to be a special message to me in the instructor's words. She kept saying that you have to love yourself where you are at- and not keep withholding that love for some imagined perfection. I have always judged myself and my art so harshly that it has left little room for experimentation. I finished the class, mailed my quilt off to QN, and came home.
My stomach was still in a bit of a knot- family issues, car issues, a few health issues tossed in for good measure. I felt downright anxious. I went into my studio and leafed through some of my Pinterest boards to loosen myself up and thought about abandoning this fabric for a bit and maybe start on something else. Yet, I did not want to totally surrender.
Then it hit me, or rather several things hit me. I was so enamored with this fabric since it could hold a nice crease. I folded it, I pin-tucked it, I channeled it- all in somewhat straight lines. And looking at the pieces I felt that they were nice, but emotionally empty. Then I took several unsewn squares of fabric and twisted it, bent it, scrunched it and wrung the hell out of it. It felt good to take my anxiety out on this damn fabric. And when I unwrap the crinkled balls, I loved what I saw. I did more experimentation with sewn pieces. And then I took a the area of fabric that I hated the most and I repeated the crunching exercise. What I saw really excited me and has my mind racing in a whole new direction.


So thank you Louise and Judy, Rabbi Avis, and my yoga instructor Sheree. Combined together, your words, and my actions may bear fruit.

by JudyK