Friday, October 10, 2008

Anxiety Messes With Me (Just For An Evening)

It happens now and then. The fear that I'll never be able to put together another collage that looks like it ought to look. The fear drives me into klutziness. (Is there such a word?) And I'd rather be doing anything than trying to make something work when it's leaning toward 'throw-away'. When things go in this direction, I tend to add more and more layers and stuff and if it gets impossible, there is always gold spray paint. I've whipped out gold aerosol spray paint more than a time or two. It works.

Usually this fear appears when I am consumed with anxiety and quite frankly, today is actually a good day to be afraid. The global economy to going down the tubes. I am wondering if I should go find a job for 2009. The election looks as if it could well be stolen and the fires of prejudice and our worst base instincts are being stoked by Ms. Palin. If the Republicans win or steal this election, I'll feel as flattened as I did when Bush won reelection. It was then that I went to bed and took up freeform crochet.

It may seem strange to be writing about a presidential election and the worsening financial crisis on a blog dedicated to chronicling the process of creating and promoting what I know will be a terrific installation of new work. However, it's really not so strange. Because we create when we feel good energy flowing through us and around us. Today as with most of the days this week, I've accomplished something tangible, but disorganization, procrastination and side events and projects are eating time.

It is also true that very good things have happened this week. I pushed the submit button on the Houston Arts Alliance grant application yesterday - a day before the deadline. There is a second deadline for this HAA application on Monday. Over the weekend, I'll prepare a CD with images of my work and assemble copies of my resume, bio and two years of voter registration certificates (one must prove to be a resident of Harris County) to hand in before the end of the workday. I'll breath easier when I've made my delivery and will probably begin to make a ton of phone calls to 'move the meter' on preparing the budget for this project.

In the meantime, I'm finding that it's not a really good thing to be away from the studio for long. As I found out tonight, you can lose the touch. I am experimenting with stitching and the upper thread keeps breaking. The wrong tension? The wrong weight of thread? I've done this stitching before, but not lately, so it's like starting all over to learn what will and won't work.

I worked on a little sampler tonight. It wasn't so little when I began, but the bigger collage made no sense so I tore the whole thing into two pieces. Added more and more threads to the smaller of the two pieces and suddenly it looks passable if I find and add some fortune cookie text. The larger of the two isn't finished yet - it's the collage at the top of this post.

It's just a simple sampler to test out threads and very frustrating to work on. I must solve the breaking thread in the sewing machine and figure out how to do a rougher hand stitch that works.

But the thing is, I remembered some stuff tonight. It's coming back to me. I remembered that photos can be vacuum pressed onto paper or fabric. I can also buy and use spray adhesive. I can stitch next to the photo images so there are dangling threads, but no holes in the photos. I don't have to stitch through the images themselves to hold them to a base. And I remembered that I can press images on to fabric.

And at the same time, I'm remembering, I am also doing a lot of thinking about each piece. It's easy to arrange stuff, but harder to figure out how to adhere one thing to another and not have it all look just plain tacky.

So now I've gotten all this fear and anxiety out in the open. I suspect I'll be able to move on. I'll finish the rest of the application on Sunday and next week, I'll begin calling to make those appointments with folks I think will support all of this terrific effort.

When I get on a roll, it's easy to arrange groups of photos and 'things'. It's about using 'soft eyes' to see - that means without sharp focus, just looking at forms and colors as you mix and match. Where I have to work harder is on my techniques for gluing and sewing and pressing and cutting. That's where the gold spray paint comes in. It'll cover anything.

1 comment:

Sharon said...

I appreciate your willingness to share the frustrations, as well as the rewards, of the creative process. Sometimes the longer I work on something the more "messed up" it gets. Then I need to give it, and me, a rest so I can go back to it with fresh eyes. My sewing machine has been known to turn on me, too, and I'm not always sure why it straightens out.