Some of you may know that one thing I've been doing since the beginning of the year is working on finishing a bunch of work that I've started but haven't completed.
My mother, who is a quilter and fabric artist extraordinaire (she is French after all) calls these types of things "UFO's" - or Unfinished Objects.
I love this term - it's so kind of nerdy and yet totally un-judgemental about work that creative people start and then get stuck on for whatever good reason and abandon... for a while.
I have lots of these, actually. I'll get inspired by whatever, get a wild hair, and then for any of the following reasons, move on to something else.
1. I don't like where the piece is headed and I'm not ready to push through to find out where it goes.
2. I started too many things and got some of them done, but then I had to do a lot of _________ (fill in the mom/work/domestic duties blank) and had to stop until later.
3. Bigger pieces for a show or commissioned work took priority.
4. The piece needs a lot of time and love and attention and I want to complete more things more quickly...so it has to wait it's loving turn.
5. Etc., etc. Everyone has very legitimate reasons for putting things off - and I don't consider them excuses - just explanations of a path or paths taken if they're necessary.
SO -- This year I'm really focused on finishing a lot of these "UFO's" so I can emotionally and physically clear the decks for more focused and better work for the rest of the year. So far it's going pretty well!
And I'm realizing that in many cases I'm now a better artist than when I first started these pieces so they're coming out a lot better than I ever imagined. Which is, actually, just a beautiful gift for me and helps the work be so much richer in the end.
My plan is to continue this effort until my work space is much cleaner! There's a great deal of pleasure in this clearing process and, as usual, because it creates a lot of space and clarity for new ideas and creative thinking.
Breathing room might be a good term for it too. In any case I'll continue to post new work as I complete it and ideally these efforts will turn into parts and pieces of new shows and new work for sale.