thank heaven for thursday arvo

28 Jul

WEEK TWENTY NINE (july 17-23)

It was a scrappy week of wet winter weather.
It was a scrappy week in regards to time management.
Visits by lovely little people every day except Tuesday and Saturday made control of the ToDo list a much looser concept.
Visits out were heavily scheduled too.
It was never going to be anything but full on.

Thank heaven for Thursday arvo – this became my bliss time – prepping and pressing the freshly printed fronts and backs of the bulk of the rows for K1P1#3.
At the moment this ‘bliss’, this calm zone-out, increasingly revolves around repetitive tasks that go towards the production of a new artwork – a beautiful calm rhythm of cut, press, fuse, stack, cut… or whatever process I am working on.
I suppose it is the bliss of progression and satisfaction too?
The voice of Richard Fidler and whichever guest he is conversing with, or some other variety of podcast occupies my noggin whilst my hands work happily in that mechanical rhythm.

I love conceiving the idea for a new artwork, quickly jotting down words and sketches – though words are my dominant record of these sometimes fleeting moments.
It is easy to conceive ideas but much more difficult to bring them to full term, to birth them. So many become misses.
Some are planned with materials lined up and notes and sketches advanced.
Some get to sit in project boxes, started but interrupted by either lack of time, lack of deadline or lack of resolve.
I love a deadline. I need a deadline. I especially need a set-in-cement deadline that fires me up with the will to make this new work THE most important thing to do.
Putting in place self-prescribed deadlines that are irrevocable, is something that I am working on.

The week was full, and far from horrible, but it was the ‘bliss’ time of gently advancing a new piece that gave me the most rewarding feelings.
It was far from a quiet or boring week.
It was surprisingly productive despite the full calendar.

Filling the bare freshly painting laundry area was a priority. I have a blister on my right hand palm from screwing in the D-ring hangers. It is still tender by the end of the week.
Obviously my hands are wussy textile hands not caloused woodworkers palms…..
indeed, as I write this I can feel the hands of my dad, a builder with skin as tough as the planks he worked with. His fingers needed a regular de-splintering – an excavation, by needle, with mum the gentle surgeon.

I then set-to finishing painting the stair section of the studio and eventually re-arranging /re-hanging some of the artwork there. It is obvious that I have not made enough art in the last couple of years.
I enjoy having my work around me in the studio as a contrast in our home, through an adjoining door, where we have the walls filled with artwork of others.

I have some pieces stored but I have not made nearly enough for me to rotate and refresh regularly. I am probably a bit hard on myself because this is very far from the
close-to-full-time gig I would like this to be…..eventually.

On Monday my printer went into meltdown as I was to start fabric production, thirty-three A3 prints for K1P1#3. My equilibrium was threatened and I felt like I was melded to the printer as I approached meltdown by imagining the worst.
How was I to get to my bliss-time this week without my printer doing its very clever thing?
Test prints, cleaning the print heads etc were clearing the problem when the maintenance tank (the tank the holds ink excess) filled and I could do no more.
It was quicker and cheaper to pick them up from my supplier in West Perth than to order online.

There was also a continuation of the Stitched and Bound experience with well attended artists talks on Tuesday afternoon – even though the attendance was predominantly the artists. Then on Saturday QTSGWA attended the exhibition where we listened and some of us spoke about our relevant artworks.

Throughout the week my thoughts lingered on the prep needed for my upcoming visit to Geelong to spend a few days with my lovely talented friend Helen Millar. This meeting is one of the irrevocable deadlines recently set in cement.
We are working towards an exhibition together at the end of next year and we want to work thematically – hence the urgency getting together for meetings over a few days to try to drastically advance the small steps that we have agreed on so far.

In preparation for the trip I;
FIRST go back to my stack of books and cuttings started when I started this blog to identify leads that may help us find our way. We have a lot of talking, planning and clarifying which may or may not happen quickly. Exciting to be approaching a project together after so many years of wanting to.
NEXT I trawl through my sketch/ideas/jottings of the last year or few – looking for strong ideas, strong leads, strong interests.
FINALLY with a very rough and broad theme that we are looking in mind, I do some research online, in books that I have, and clippings I have. I’m only looking at what could be the best approach/approaches for me.

I pack the newly printed and fused pieces of K1P1#3 and the template so that I can progress this work whilst we work through our thoughts, in each others company, in her beautiful studio.
I am thrilled that we can/we will finally make this happen.
Perhaps talking whilst sitting together working my even be better than a Richard Fidler podcast?

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Jan Mullen

B. Ed. Act/Craft (Textiles/ Sculpture)
Living in Perth, Western Australia
Artist, Fabric Designer, Author, Teacher.