Monday, June 24, 2013

An Artist or a Crafter?

I am participating in a challenge over at 15 Minutes Play blog. Take a photo of architecture.. anywhere, maybe right outside your window. Then make a quilt of that scene, 24" x 30". Use some "made fabric" in your quilt (scraps sewn together and then used as fabric).

Here is my photo. It is the Ice Palace built during the Saint Paul Winter Carnival in 1992. (This is a photo of a photo.)

I worked on my quilt. I liked it in my mind. I made it... and sorta kinda liked it, but I didn't love it. Here it is:

I am almost done quilting it, though that had not started yet when I took this picture. I'm liking it better as a quilted quilt, but still not loving it.

Then I thought -- maybe I should make another version. I'll make it a more modern, contemporary, representational version, not so exact. Maybe it will look very artsy and cool like the other quilters are no doubt making for their Architecture Challenge quilts. Maybe it'll be really cool like the modern quilts I saw recently at the Minnesota Quilters show.

So I made version two, and it just looked Stupid. I don't even like it at all. I stopped before finishing, and there it sits on my design wall, being ugly.

I moped about that for most of an afternoon. But I have to come to terms with my own style and what I do, and what I like to do. I can't expect to churn out a glorious piece of art... I don't think I'm really an artist. I think I'm good with color, and I'm creative, and I'm not afraid to work outside the box. But maybe I'm just working in a bigger box, and I have come up against my Big Box walls. I'm not sure if I can or even if I want to break out of the mold where I'm comfortable.

So does that make me a crafter and not an artist? Honestly, yes. Probably. But... am I happy with how I work, what I create, and the creative process? Yes, very much so. Maybe that's enough.


Mystic Quilter said...

I so agree with your comments in your last paragraph Carol - we do have to be happy with how we work and what we create, that is the most important thing in my book.

Sharon said...

Don't be so hard on yourself...I think your quilt is wonderful! Really truly. I think it's very artsy and yet really captures the essence of that photo.

I think you did a great job. Your color choices are spot on - love the sky you did! And the towers, shape, color and the fabrics you chose , are perfect, in my opinion. Those blues really look "icy" to me. Give the quilt a chance...I love it!

ellen gets crafty said...

I'm also in the challenge and I'm not yet happy with my quilt - hopefully, as it progresses I will like it. Yours looks great, you have created a great work of art!!

Geri said...

I think it looks like an ice palace. If you don't like it, maybe the third time is the charm . I do think you are an artist, look back over the quilts you have made in the last year. They have gotten a lot more artsy, freer. Go for it.

Anonymous said...

Excellent! I loved that ice palace.

joe tulips said...

Wow. I think it is wonderful. Artist or crafter, they BOTH CREATE.
But you have me curious about your other one. I have made some yucky stuff too. Sometimes it is fun to play..."what is wrong with this and what can I do to make it better?"