Wednesday, October 22, 2008

ART-EVERY-DAY MONTH

Posted by Peg in South Carolina

I have been reading Connie Rose’s post on this art-every-day-month concept.  You can read it here.  The concept of creating a piece of art work each day has left me at once curious and perhaps a bit troubled.  I know of a tapestry artist who has done this.  She put on a long narrow warp and wove a very small picture each day.  But I am not a tapestry artist. 

Also I am wondering about the value of doing such a thing. One value is simply to create a habit of working.  I think that is very important.  But for those of us who are in the habit of working daily, why should we try to create a little work of art daily?  Does this really help to build up our skills in any significant way?  And even if it is of value, how can it apply to ordinary weavers? 

Is there some way we weavers could reinterpret this to enhance our regular practice of weaving?

I have also been reading a post from Fashion Incubator about creativity and technique.  It is called  “What is Good Taste, Good Design, and How to be Creative.” The piece is written by a fashion designer.  I think it is a marvelous piece and encourage you strongly to go here to read it. The heart of the post can be found in these two sentences: 

If someone is creative, it is because they are skilled. Becoming skilled was a lot of hard work, study and dedication and it is annoying when people confuse skill with creativity.

So, in the light of this statement, let me ask the question again.  Is there some way we weavers could reinterpret the art-every-day month to enhance our regular practice of weaving?

One way is to weave a sample a day.  If I had a second loom, I could warp it for a structure I was interested in exploring and weave one sample a day on it.  Then on my other loom I could continue weaving on regular projects.  Anything to justify getting a second loom…………

Since I do not have two looms, what I can do is to make sure when I put a warp on that I include extra for sampling, not only at the beginning for the particular project, but at the end where I might use the last of the warp for trying out ideas.

In a sense, those little art pieces I wove could fall under the art-every-day-month phenomenon. Go here to see one of them.  It did, however, take me more than one day to weave them. It is true that I could have woven each of them in a day.  But sometimes letting a day go by while I am still weaving results in a new idea that is valuable or results in the solution to a problem I have been working with.  Still, I think the principle applies here as well.

So now I am curious what other weavers might think?  How could we rethink the concept of art-every-day month?

Related Posts: 
Specializing
A New Fiber Book Filled with Ideas
Small Pieces


"Art-Every-Day Month" was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on October 22, 2008. © 2008 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

15 comments:

Connie Rose said...

I'm sure you took the AEDM concept far more literally than I did, Peg. For me, it's just an extension of the Creative Every Day thing I strive for on a day to day basis. I am not attempting to complete an art project every day, just to keep myself motivated to be creative, somehow, everyday. Don't make this challenge too hard for yourself!

geodyne said...

I'm going to echo what Connie Rose has said. AEDM, to me, means reflecting daily on what you're trying to achieve and extending yourself. That could be by creating a small piece, by sampling (as you do so well), or by simply reflecting on future plans. As there's so much design and planning in weaving, surely a new idea, working on a draft, successfully planning a colour is an artistic accomplishment?

I think that trying to force a piece every day as a weaver would only result in a number of sub-par pieces amongst the one or two gems.

Leigh said...

Well, I suppose it depends upon how we define "art every day." For me, it would make more sense to mean being involved in some part of the artistic / creative process every day. As a weaver, that means a little here and a little there. As an artist, well, weaving as art is my life. I can't put that into just one month.

Dave Daniels said...

For me, I've GOT to do a little something creative every day. Usually, I try and get in touch with what ever project I'm working on when the day begins, before work. Then, no matter how stressful the day gets, I can have a mental break and let my mind wander to my projects. That seems to help relax and calm me. :) I enjoy the daily creative process, be it dyeing, spinning, weaving, or chopping up vegetables for a nice dinner.
And, I just created this comment for your post.

Peg in South Carolina said...

Connie, there are artists who actually do create a small work of art each day. Some even put them up on their websites for sale. And, as a said, I know a tapestry weaver who for one month created a piece each day. Probably most "genuine" artists actually do this because most "genuine" artists sketch daily. And perhaps it is that daily sketching that we can look to for guidance. Geodyne and Leigh both seem to be on helpful tracks here. And I agree with Leigh about the need to think of it in terms, not just of a one-month experiment (though it could begin that way), but as an on-going commitment.

Peg in South Carolina said...

Geodyne, I don't believe the real point is to create something really great each time. The point is to keep going. A spinning teacher once convinced us beginning spinners to start spinning as fast and as much as we could. Stop paying attention to the quality of the yarn. Did our spinning ever improve! So it's kind of a back-and-forth thing. Spend time on qualilty. Spend time on speed.

Peg in South Carolina said...

Leigh, I agree. Still, I am thinking about anything I might try which might up my skill levels a bit.
Dave, thank you for your comment. That is how I am. I may not be sitting at the loom. I may just be sitting at the computer working out the figures for the next dye job. I think that counts!

Valerie said...

To me the "Art Every Day" concept can be s few different things:
1. A warm up exercise or a quick first draft.
2. A diversion from your routine means of production, to give your brain and body a break.
3. It's play.

Instead of creating another pressure or deadline for yourself, use it as a pressure outlet. It doesn't have to be weaving, or even fiber related. But look for the connection between the activity and your usual medium of weaving.

Think of it as play. In my last post, there is a photo of an autumn still life set out on a rock. During my fitness walk that I day, I set out to collect as many different autumn colors as I could find. At the end of the walk, I arranged them on a granite rock and snapped a bunch of photo's. In my head was the theme "autumn rainbow".

The result: a color exercise, and a batch of photo's that can be used to design a warp or a fair isle knitting pattern sometime in the future. Oh...and I used one of the photo's to create some Thanksgiving cards.

Meg in Nelson said...

I second Valerie and Connie. If I were to try it, it would mean not as a continuation of an already started/considered project, but a fresh starting point every day. Some may develop into future projects, some will be rubbish, but at least I've taken the time to think about it, and maybe get my paint out to give it not some thoughts, but to spend time with it.

At the rate I work, I'd never get anything done in one day, even a postage stamp-sized sample. A long warp and a few inches have crossed my mind in the past, but since I've become more interested in structures, that hasn't worked.

To sum up, for me, it would be a chance to find something unexpected in me, by me. And it does happen, but even that takes practice.

Meg in Nelson said...

Just interested - what's a "genuine" artist in your mind?

Peg in South Carolina said...

Valaerie, I think that is a neat idea. However I am one of those persons who has trouble focussing on two things at the same time, and one thing I have to focus on when I walk is speed and keeping up my heart rate. Now, if I were going on a hike in the woods............

Peg in South Carolina said...

Meg, I like your idea. It's kind of the equivalent of sketching or doodling. I will have to think about this.
"genuine" artist? I do not see that I used the word in this post? And if I were to use it, I would probably mean serious artist, someone who takes his art seriously.

Meg in Nelson said...

My mistake, Peg. I could have sworn you said something about... "him", but I don't see it, either.

As a person of very little output, for me any output is an accomplishment. Besides, I'm learning that sometimes we have to be kind to ourselves from time to time, instead of taxing ourselves with expectations, assignments, requirements and goals constantly. Easier said than done, but if I were to take up AEDM for myself, I'd go along the lines of Artist's Way's Artist Date concept.

Taueret said...

did you get the 'finding your visual language' book? I started off with good intentions of working though her exercises (not weaving ones). then something child-related happened to my desk and I abandoned it- but I did like that book and intend to return to it.

Peg in South Carolina said...

Meg, living in a small town I have had trouble figuring out what shape that artist's date might take. Of course, I could use it to look at one of my art books or even one of my more inspiriting weaving books, such as one of Ann Sutton's. I get mad at myself for not taking the time just to do this kind of thing.
Taueret, I am just not one who likes to do exercises, unless I see a real point to them. I did, once, many of the exercises in "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" and found that doing them really helped my drawing.