Monday, August 24, 2009

Art As You Like It

I had a visit with Ann, Susan, and Judy (left to right in the photo), some of my Vermont quilting friends, this weekend and it got me all fired up!

We talked about breaking free of our inhibitions and in-grained ideas about quilting and art to simply do what we love. Judy, who went to the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC and designed coats for a living at one time, says she’s been going to a group get-together where everyone does their own thing, including one lady who quilts with huge stitches and embroidery floss. It took a while, but Judy screwed up her courage to try it—even though she KNOWS traditional quilters everywhere are shuddering and fuming at her temerity—and finds it not only liberating, but really enjoyable. “I love doing the Libbet stitch,” she says (Libbet being the woman she’s emulating). “I don’t like hand quilting and I don’t like machine quilting, but I do like this.” She finds it liberating.

And isn’t that a key reason we create? Not only to express ourselves, but because it is pleasurable.

Too often I find myself angst-ing and struggling (my natural state of being apparently) instead of reveling in the pure joy of creating. And I’m shyest about what means the most to me—my quilting, my book, and even this blog.

When I think of how often I’ve inhibited myself over some feared lack of talent or knowledge or skill, it just makes me mad. What a waste of time and joy. To steal a phrase from Mary Tyler Moore (and Susan, who said it yesterday over drinks at The Sagamore on Lake George)—:It’s none of my business what other people think!

Do what you LOVE.

1 comment:

Sheryl Kraft said...

Nancy, That's one of my favorite sayings, "That's none of my business what other people think of me." I agree that fear is a terrible waste of emotion - but I must admit that it does get in the way of my artistic endeavors! It's something I have to really work on banishing once and for all...