You know it says "ponderings and random gibberish" at the top of the blog, here? Yeah...expect a bit more of that at the moment whilst I work through my "what is the point of art"-type thing. It's not exactly a critical meltdown of faculties, more a sense of futility and frustration, really. Bear with me.
I have a monkey mind when it comes to art and craft, as you might have picked up - I get obsessed with something and then drop it once I feel I've either mastered it as far as I need or can't get any further without a significant investment (usually of time, but sometimes of materials or space). My latest "thing" is papercutting - something which is challenging technically (though deceptively simple to get started with in terms of materials), but also demanding for my mindset. See, I make stuff. Stuff that has a purpose, or is decorative for something which has a purpose. I don't like greeting cards - the transience and waste bugs the hell out of me and I'm well-known for not sending Christmas or birthday cards. So I'm left with asking "what is the point of mastering this skill?". I don't art journal. I don't make art for walls. Why not? Well, mostly space constraints and a reaction against twee-ness - a lot of art journalling, with it's garish colours and peppy folk wisdom, just leaves me cold. I don't have faith (yet?) that I can make wall-art which would be saleable - and it has to be, because where, in my two-up-two-down terrace, would I put a ton of wall-art? This blog post by Joe Bagley (another "not formally trained" artist, yay!) is both inspirational and scary as hell. As is Paper Cutting, which is well worth a look at just how far you can push paper as a medium.
So why did I spend hours doing this?
Yes, for fun and practice. Of course. But to get any better, I have to do loads - and get much better at drawing because this is a long way from how far you can go.
And then there's this:
which I finished last night and haven't bothered to back as yet (it's just blutacked to the wall)...technically, yes, there are a few rough corners here and there, but the wonkiness/chubby lines of it is all about my drawing (which I did quickly, in white pencil, before I got too scared), and not understanding exactly how shapes would look once reversed. It's ok: it's a start, I'm learning. There are improvements I could make even to this.
But it takes a long time. And I have clothing to finish for the girls, birth samplers and height charts to stitch. I really should be doing something with the shop. There aren't enough hours in the day or strength in my hands to do everything and the "art" really ought to be back-burnered for a while.
I can't seem to fight the drive to make something beautiful.