A little over a week ago, I attended the opening of Threads of Resistance, an exciting and invigorating day indeed! Throughout the two days’ drive to and from the exhibit — indeed every day since my quilt was accepted — I have been quietly asking myself, “What’s next?” I have a piece in progress that simply screams to be made (working title “Embarrassed”). But I have not been sure whether that piece and my “Learn to Question — Learn to Lead” piece are the beginning of something new or simply isolated screams I had to let go before proceeding to other things.
Three separate messages tell me where these screams are leading.
1.) As I often do, I have been keeping notes to myself for months about possible quilt ideas, and one in particular keeps percolating to the top of my various lists.
2.) Yesterday I replied to an email from an old friend and artists’ mentor. Her question was, “Whats next?” My reply, that I intend to make pieces that make people think, tumbled out so easily I knew my list-topper idea was dead on.
3.) Today Sue Bleiweiss posted on her blog about Working in a Series, and her suggestion of using a mind-map to get started resonated LOUDLY.
OK, OK. I get it. The series at the top of my lists is screaming out as much as “Learn to Question…” did. So I started a mind map about that percolating series, sort of. This map includes some other ideas, but the Screaming Idea is the one about feelings that erupt because of the behavior of others:
One thing I have learned over the years is that a piece I make from the intensity of my own feeling, out of passionate anger/love/frustration (or equally heartfelt humor), is the one that works best and delivers in my “recognizable style” (see what Sue says about the importance of this).
So here I go. The first piece, working title “Embarrassed,” is in progress. It is highly political, though others in this series may be broader in scope. That’s something I’ll play with and work through along the way. Stay tuned.