Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Being a Finisher...

For as long as I've been a female, which is since birth, I've been a "starter".  Ideas come to me like flies on roadkill...and while that may sound disgusting, it's appropriate.  They arrive out of nowhere, are plentiful and persistent!  

This relates to a skill of mine which I am proud of and simultaneously loathe...I can kill a fly, ANY fly, ANY where, ANY time...with my bare hands.  If I want to. Sometimes I "miss" because I get grossed out and don't give it my all, but usually, I'm a sure shot.  Yes, my family will attest, I'm a notorious and ruthlessly accurate fly killer.  It's disturbing to feel so victorious and at the same time, repulsed.

Back to what I started talking about...see, I started and took a detour!  

Starting projects (as long as they're inspired ideas and not "drudgery items") is my milieu.  Thank you, spell check...I can never spell milieu without you. 

The problem would arise when I'd hit some sort of catch point, like I needed a certain material...or life would get crazy...or I'd start something new that I was more interested in than the last project!

Well...I've not only turned over a new leaf, I've pulled the tree out of the ground and replaced it roots up!   Finishing this piece made me feel so fantastic, it made me finish another...and then I've jumped on yet another long-standing project that needed completion.  Let the dominoes fall.

This is a design challenge embroidery "sampler quilt" I started with a friend on the first of January.  Every square was worked off of a prompt chosen by one of us and it was so much fun that we literally raced through and had mostly finished in a few months.  

Then...some other projects came got got put on the back burner, same old scenario.  It was hanging from a clothes line in my studio and I'd bump into it for a daily reminder of yet another incomplete project. 

The "how and why" of  this happening is essentially a by-product of decluttering my house and being a "budding" minimalist. Freeing up my visual space from junk has made the important things shine.  One day, out of the blue, I just grabbed it and finished it...totally on a whim.  

The quilt is mostly about my obsession with the desert but is also a collection of many other tiny, personal loves.  The leather straps are made from one of my dads' old belts...and the cholla cactus spine is from our New Mexico honeymoon nearly 8 years ago.

A few days later, I finished this one...which has been sitting unfinished for a lot longer than the first.  Yet another "desert love" embroidery of an ocotillo cactus alone in the desert.  The fabrics were dyed with red cabbage and homemade walnut ink, and some were rusted with metal wires.

It feel so good to finish.  I've now switched to painting on 3 large crucifix bodies that have been waiting for me since March.  They're due this weekend.

After that, I'll continue to search and destroy the un-finished-ness in my life so I can feel clear and ready to take on my next idea which came to me as I was falling asleep the other night.  My best ideas sneak up on me when I least expect them...