Tuesday, May 15, 2007

A revalation

The other day I read one of my favourite blogs and left a comment saying that by reading the blog I realised that what was 'wrong' with my art was the fact that I have not dyed my own fabric for a long time. By this I meant everything seems to be using fabric designed/created by someone else and not having my own input.

The owner of that blog has written the following email as a response. My comments follow that. I wanted to share this with the Universe in the hope it will finally be the release I need. So THANKS - you know who you are!

Hi Anna
Thank you for leaving a comment on my blog.
I just wanted to say that there is absolutely nothing 'wrong' with your art.
You've just hit a block at this moment in time, like we all do now and again, and reading between the lines
I think that the more you are worrying about it the worse it is getting.
Your work is wonderful. You really have nothing to worry about at all.
You don't really need to do a degree course either, you are already way past that.
But I know your reasoning behind it, exactly the same as why I am (struggling) to
do C&G. Its because it helps you focus. But I find now that blogging helps me do that
just as well.
Just carry on as you are Anna, everyone already thinks highly of the work you produce.

My response:
Dear ......
I almost cried reading this message - THANK YOU so much - I feel really humbled by your comments. I have never thought of my work as being 'way past' degree level and I really appreciate it! You are also right about my worrying and it is getting worse. I lost focus when Val Campbell Harding died - I know that may sound daft but she was such a close (in both distance and emotion) person to me, she encouraged etc that without her I feel lost, even though I was not actively on a course with her just before she died I was able to invade any of her classes at Urchfont to see what was going on and by just being there I was encouraged.

I know I will let go if I can finish grieving and I want to continue in her memory.

I think you may be right about a degree - I think it's mainly because I was prevented from going to Uni when I was younger (by a very strict family) and now that both my children have/ or almost have degrees (in fact all members of my family - mum,dad and brother do) I feel that I can achieve one just to say 'ME TOO' and to prove to my parents that they should have let me go then. I know that's daft but that's the way it is. Until I let go of the idea and prove to myself that I AM THAT GOOD I am stuck!!



Carol said...

Oh Anna, it is so good to see you being positive. I agree with all that was said about you by the writer. Do you know how envious my C+G class are that I count you as a friend??? Hope it's onward and upward from here on for you.

Kari said...

Hi Anna,

I am not sure one gains much from going to uni apart from a great group of friends, a wider knowledge (and understanding) of the outside art world, the ability to work through a project to its full realisation and, of course, that bit of paper at the end.

Believe it or not, you don't actually get taught much, a lot of the time you work through your own problems.

For me, it gave me a lot more confidence, opened my eyes and was a wonderful experience.

Often, I was tired, ill, poor and anxious. I am still in a lot of debt, but I am very glad I did it. The graduation ceremony was up there amongst the best days of my life.

Your work is fantastic Anna, so I can't imagine it improving much. What you will learn is how to set yourself projects, work through the setbacks, cope with criticism, gain a deeper understanding of your position in the art world and how to deal with problems as they arise.

Time spent at uni is like a hot-house. You move forward at a greater pace than anywhere else. It is very intense and great fun.

So, that is my honest opinion. Quite the opposite argument in many ways.

During the period of my 4 year course at uni two of our lecturers also passed away. One was a dear, retired artist and the other was a young up and coming, gifted artist. All we can do is thank the higher powers that we had them in our lives and benefited from their insights. We shall never forget them and we will always strive to honour them in our work. Because of them I would like to encourage and inspire new artists to get the most out of themselves, to be the best that they can be.

Sorry, this is a huge ramble. If you want to talk more, just email me!

Kari x

Joanna van said...

Anna, so sorry you have been in a creative slump. I hope things get better for you. I just ordered a copy of Stitch Magazine and saw your quote about Val in there. I can see she meant a great deal to you.


Carol said...

Anna, tried to leave a comment on the post about the washers but there was no comment link there - Iwant to play!!!! Love carol t Hopefully you will get a mail???

Susan said...

In so many ways I understand each of your words. Although I do have a isn't in art. I often lack confidence. I feel so far away but am finding a community...the one you already on the Internet. I live in South Carolina in the USA which is far, far away from the people with whom I spent precious days learning a little of the contemporary approaches to fibers. I rely on books. Years ago, one of these inspirational teachers taught the most incredible class I've ever taken in Louisville, Kentucky. It was my first experience on my brand new Bernina. The classroom was full of EGA (USA) instructors. I felt very "small" and very insecure but it was an amazing two days. It changed my life. As I'm typing this, I'm crying. Until a few minutes ago, I didn't know that fabulous teacher had died. I now mourn with you.