Saturday, September 1, 2012

1K Cards Project August Update

For the month of August I decided to work in series with my 1000 Cards Project; this after reading an article by an artist who found that limiting her options by working with the same color, material or subject matter she actually became more productive. Since I made a total of 128 new cards in August, I'll say it worked for me, too.

Since I have such a pile of cards and several series to show for this month I've made the photos of them into a slideshow:

The first set (photo #1) are my violet series. I used one fat quarter of violet batik fabric to make 23 of the 24 cards (a remnant strip of ribbon in the same shade inspired one oddball card.) For these I just let the pattern of the fabric guide my quilting and embellishments, and I was surprised at how many different ideas came out of it. In the same fashion I also used some worn denim for another series (photo #2, 5 cards), and the image of a Nautilus shell scanned onto printable fabric for a third series (photo #3, 6 cards.)

To do a mini-recycled series, I used a box of little bits of random junk I've been collecting to make 19 found-object cards (photo #4.) I also scanned some of my own photos onto printable fabric and quilted and beaded them for another series (photo #5.)

Tropical Storm Isaac inspired a six-card series of things I thought of and saw as it passed through (photo #6), as well as nineteen other mixed-media cards while I was waiting for the rain to end (photo #7.)

I painted a lot of watercolors this month (photo #8), working with different types of paper and adding ink over and undersketches at times. I gingerly explored drawing some Celtic knot designs (very tough even with a brilliant how-to book to guide me) and did some abstract work that has been bugging me. I ended up with 38 painted cards in five different themed series.

I also tried sketching with india ink and a crow quill for the first time since the eighties; I only managed four cards (photo #9) but I liked returning to a medium I used to love and I'll probably make more of those once I figure out how to better steady my hand.

August was a break-through month for me. Reaching the 500th card mark this month smashed down the last wall of my doubt, and for the first time since I began this project I felt a real tsunami-style rush of creativity. While I loved the endless waves of ideas at times it was very difficult physically keeping up with them. I didn't give in to that feeling of being too inadequate to handle the task, though, even when I felt like I was fumbling things. Instead I kept pushing myself to stay fully immersed no matter what the results were. I finished the last card of my violet series in the final hours on 8/31 with a sense of relief -- and empowerment.

I'm not happy with every card, but I'm satisfied with the work I did in trying to realize each vision. Sometimes it worked out better than I expected, sometimes it was pretty lame, but at the end of a work session (and I did work on the project nearly every day in August) I found myself looking forward to the next day's work with more enthusiasm than I've had since I began the project. What I learned this month is what I know with writing -- just keep at it every day, and be open to everything.

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