Dirty Little Studio Secret

Somehow we’re nearly done with August?! 2021 has been a weird year for me. Is anyone else feeling that way? I started the year with the intention of dismantling my studio practices and reexamining my art, and I can confidently say that’s exactly what’s been happening.

A major part of this process has been allowing myself to play: with new ideas, new materials, and new mediums entirely. I’ve made earrings, painted portraits, stitched on dissolving fabric, started writing again (hi!), planted a garden, knitted sweaters, and dyed my hair (temporarily) pink.

I’ve also given myself permission to do something I’ve never felt comfortable with except in extreme circumstances. It feels like a dirty little studio secret, but here it is, folks. I’ve been abandoning projects.

Projects that are interesting, good ideas, still working artistically, and honestly don’t deserve abandoning. My studio is is littered with hoops stretched with half-stitched, nearly finished, and barely begun projects.

Part of this is because I just stopped enjoying working on it. A lot of it has been that I’ve been growing and changing so quickly, it’s been difficult to get that moment into a hoop while it still feels relevant to me.

Earlier this week, I joked with someone about how all of my favorite processes are excruciatingly long and slow. Writing novels, knitting with sock yarn, hand embroidering – all of it takes absolutely forever. Sometimes I labor so long on a project that, when I need a boost, I’ll take a break with something I can start and finish quickly.

It’s difficult to capture change happening at a rapid pace through a slow medium. Consequently, I feel like I don’t have a lot to really show so far for 2021. On the other hand, I know that when I can settle back into my work, the elevation will be obvious.

Working on a project I’ve abandoned and revisited several timesand may finish yet!

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