When I was in art school, I always looked forward to critiques. These were a chance to show off my work, talk about my intention and receive feedback from my peers. Maybe that's why I enjoy blogging!
The rush to finish the quilt, and the ill-considered attempt to bind the piece with a beautiful but evil polyester brocade, left me with no time or energy for elegant photo-styling. I tried a little video (see previous post) because the quilt looked so beautiful in the sunny breeze.
Some ideas came immediately - how I would like to try a translucent quilt a la Yoshiko Jinzenji or Chunghie Lee. How much I had enjoyed the hand piecing and maybe a yo-yo quilt wasn't completely out of the question after all. The modular, symmetrical blocks lend themselves to more experimentation with back and front, hmmmn. How could I bring more spontaneity to the rigid format?
The gently moving quilt also offered a chance to reflect on the process of making it. I saw the block I began with - the single one bordered in purple. I had no plan for layout when I began, preferring to work with the question "What does it Need?". (This is the process I use for the Buddhist patchwork quilts, simply starting with two pieces at random and building from that nucleus, always asking "What does it Need? A balance in colour, texture, movement, line? What feels right?")
The inset blocks I used to square up the edge were fiddly, and not called for in the design I used as a basis for my own. I think they were an improvement as far as allowing a continuous border so the piece would drape better, and ensuring the durability of the quilt.
In the Lynda Barry book "What It Is" she advises not looking at a finished piece for at least a week, so as to avoid the conscious ego/left brain chatter of "Is it good?" or "Does it suck?". Sometimes I try to circumvent this waiting period by hanging a piece and walking away, then trying to catch a glimpse of it out of the corner of my eye. Just trying to get a fresh view or bit of distance. Sometimes I come across some of my work out there in the world and am surprised that I made it. Often I think it's much better than I remember feeling about it at the time.
What strategies do you use to assess your work?