Saturday, June 19, 2010

Where is everyone.... post #2

I thought it, but forgot to write it.... Many of us get caught up in 'life'... and the stresses that it can bring. Stress can also put the squeeze on creativity... ask me how I know that one! ha
I have a suggestion tho'.... everyone that is signed up on this group Challenge gets the notice of the Challenge and has access to the digest, correct? So... how about if we make it a goal, that if we cannot participate, we will at least go to the blog and post comments, thus cheering on those who can participate. Is that worthy of consideration?
As Cynthia has said, late is OK... but have you noticed... late doesn't seem to bring comments? So, yes.. late is OK, especially when it has to be late... I have been known to procrastinate, cogitating the challenge, seeing it in different ways, then not doing it because time has run out on me. I feel deflated and unworthy of commenting because I didn't do the challenge. I would like to put that aside.. as in my case...
Any thoughts on this?
Probably you can see I am setting some new goals for myself and am hoping others will join me.
I am looking forward to hearing from you on this...


  1. Yes again Carole...I think it's a terrific idea posting comments whether or not you do the challenge.
    That would certainly help to include and inspire all of us!

  2. I admit to being one of the guilty ones, not only not getting my challenges done, but not commenting, and yes I think that part of the reason I haven't commented is that I haven't finished my quilts. Life isn't quite so crazy and I am hoping to get back to making the challenge quilts - I am a slow worker so may be late, but I will try to add comments.

  3. I haven't done many challenges this past year--due in part to physical problems and in part due to the challenges. I have been at "this game" of quilting long enough that I have pretty well decided how I want to work. I very much enjoyed the challenges re: color, perspective, etc. But I do have a hard time doing a specific "thing". Don't know if this makes much sense but it is me. I do, however, enjoy seeing what others are doing with each challenge. I am also a slow worker and it seems to take me a long time to do what others can do seemingly on the fly. But--slow is me and always has been.
    I would hate to see the challenges stop. They are a very valid tool for many people--including me--even when I don't do them.

  4. Well... as I said, I have been guilty, too... but year 5 is coming up. I think I prefer the random rather than specific as year 4 has been. But, we did vote on it didn't we?

  5. Carole, as much as I love to read what people have to say, if it isn't a true critique [and the guidelines for critiqueing are on the blog] it is sort of meaningless to me. It's nice to hear attaboys but that doesn't help anyone grow.

    commenting sometimes takes me more time than my creating my own piece did!

  6. Janice... that is probably correct, for you. However, the one commenting is also learning... they saw something they could learn from your work.They saw something they liked well enough to say..'good job'. It is not one-sided, both benefit. You see, the idea was also to ask.. what if, or did you consider... type of questions. So, as a more seasoned and developed artist that would be a fine way that YOU could help some one else. The whole idea was to be supportive to the group as a whole...I know I have felt tremdously encouraged by the good going someone posted. This is not a venue for competition, only growth and development at all levels. Even trial and error...
    Cynthia may want to chime in here....perhaps I am on the wrong track?

  7. Carole, as I said, those instructions for critiqueing are on the blog...they just aren't followed, or very rarely. That's what I meant by meaningless, not that I think I'm so much more advanced than others. I'm sorry, but I feel that many times the attaboys are simply 'if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all' rather than a critique of "I like the[way you used color/realism/abstraction] about this piece, but the [balance/color/symmetry etc.] might be improved by...."

    What part of what I posted made you think I believe this to be a venue for competition and that I am not supportive of other artists? I am one of the few who goes out of the way to comment on most posted works on the blog.

  8. I have tried to offer comment, but I have two problems. I have discovered that sometimes if I look at what others have done before I finish mine, I am influenced by what I see, so I try not to look until mine is posted. By the time I go to comment, most of the valuable critiques have already been said.

    I have also fallen prey to the grandiose ideas spawned by the challenges...I need to keep in mind these are to be FAST and I can go back and do the bigger pieces. I have also found that sometimes the FFFC is close to something I want to do a larger piece and so I work on it too long.....killing two birds with one stone isn't always a good idea. Bringing the FAST part to the fore is a good idea...somehow I managed to lose that concept. I suppose it is partly because so many of the pieces are really wowsers. When I look at my paltry offerings, I feel they look almost primitive and puerile.

    Lastly, life in all it's modes have crept in on the last three challenges. I hope to finish them. I'm almost done on a took me two months to come up with a workable idea...and I have a pile of rejects to prove it!

    I wonder though....with including design and technique as well as topic, maybe we're getting too far away...maybe it should be a design OR a technique challenge...I do like the topic. Perhaps we could host a best of the best or choose one challenge to have an on-line exhibition..or maybe submit to a real exhibition? Personally, I hated my Quiltart at 15 challenge...and am embarrassed to have entered it...and since this is my first year, I'd be just as hard pressed to do a "what I have learned from my experience" for this group as well.

    Lisa Quintana

  9. Wow, Lisa... good comments. Life has a way, I know that, I have been there, too. I am going to focus on the comments portion of your post. I go back to Challenge 1, year 1 and the fear and trepidation I went in with. The people were so good.. remember... this is all MY experience... no one else's, so please don't think I am dissing anyone. The feedback was supportive... the feedback was gently encouraging, the feedback was helpful. I remember people like Marilyn Rose... I think she is gone now, and how she helped me with a 'still life'..I appreciated the hand-holding, the back-rubbing and the encouragement to take the next step... I just would so much like to have everyone experience what I have from this list. We are all driving different cars, at different speeds, but all on the same road. That is what I feel is so important. I don't always 'get it'... so I do feel free to ask questions...
    I agree, too... I fall under the spell of what has been done,,, there is a lot of talent on this list, and I feel inadequate in commenting beyond... 'I love how you met this challenge', because I didn't think of what you did... if that makes sense.
    I am sorry to hear you feel the way you do about your QA 15 piece...I will have to go back and look again. But, growth is just that, looking back... in 5 years, you will probably say... 'did I really do this with what I knew then?' and you will be pleased. This is a great group!

  10. I understand both Carole's and Janice's points of view. Even though I have been with the group all these years, I have never had any formal art training. What little I 'think' I know about design, color, line etc. has mostly been learned through this group. I have grown so much from the thoughtful "what ifs" from the knowledgeable and talented artists here.
    I am not always comfortable suggesting changes even though I am grateful for those comments to me.
    Yes! This IS a great group!

  11. Let me add my two cents here. I have been a member of this group since its inception and in reviewing my work from then to now I can see a definite progression. Some of my pieces were great and some not so much. BUT - in participating I can see my own growth. I looked forward to any comments I got on my work and viewed them as constructive. What doesn't help is no comments or only the "atta boys". Even if a piece doesn't inspire or move you, the artist deserves to hear it. "Oh, isn't that wonderful" will not help and isn't a fair critique. To be fair, I am a trained quilt judge, though not at the NQA level. Every quilt I see gets a fair critique, and constructive
    criticisms are stated in a gentle and non-confrontational manner. These type of comments can only help the quilter to improve. This being said, I don't see this happening much here any more. My last piece, though late by a day garnered only one comment, and yes, I do comment on the quilts of others. So what I am trying to say here is that I love being a part of FFFC, I know that I have grown as an artist and I thrive on the constructive comments. AND - I really do want to see this group continue!
    'Nuff said,
    Ann In Walnut, CA

  12. This has been a very interesting and frank discussion. I too have really enjoyed participating in FFFC since year two. Comments are like gold, and when they give constructive suggestions they are even more precious. I also am guilty of not commenting on late entry quilts, mostly because I think (probably wrongly) that no one is looking anymore. If we don't have time to participate we should make some time to at least comment on those that do find the time to make an entry.
    Some ideas for year 5 might include trying to get back to "small" projects. I see some amazing works entered, and wonder how they were actually made in just one week! It can be intimidating. A small exercise exploring some aspect of art is what has made this group a real learning experience for me.
    I feel this group has really encouraged my growth as an artist, and I hope that in the coming months I will be able to participate more frequently.

  13. I think the commenting is valuable for the maker and receiver. It's a way to feel connected to the group and to know you are being seen and acknowlegded. So I welcome the atta boys, which I consider more of a greeting than a critique...that's why I usually say in my post "greetings and comments welcome".

    But the meaty comments and critiques are invaluable for everyone, maker, receiver AND reader! They are also the most difficult to do. For a long time I made sure to make meaningful comments on all the pieces. This took hours of time but was worth it to me as I was learning too. Then I went to making sure I commented on the pieces that had only a few comments and were more challenging to critique...maybe they were pieces that didn't grab my eye or felt something was out of place. But after a while, it seemed I was the only one making those kinds of comments, so I sort of lost my enthusiasm for it. I haven't made comments in the last couple months at all because it didn't feel that satisfying and I was really short on time in the spring. I think it might be helpful to set some expectations for the critique blog going forward. The intent of the critique blog is to get feedback...what works and what doesn't. The artist can specify the type of critique they are looking for in their posting, too. Do you just want to hear about what works, if people like it, what is pleasing about it...or do you want suggestions (not just for that piece but for the future...alot of us don't want to modify their challenge, but want to learn for the next piece).
    Maybe the participants could commit to making 1-2 more in-depth comments, so it's not so overwhelming to try to that on all postings. Even just answering the question: what would I do if this were my piece? Or where does my eye go first and why? or is there something distracting about the piece?

    You don't have to even answer the question but just ask it doesn't feel unified, but I don't know could stimulate someone to make an important point.

  14. Cynthia, you have made such clear, easily understood suggestions for thoughtful critiquing.I have printed and highlighted your comment to refer to as I view the upcoming challenge posts.
    Perhaps this could be added to the blog description?
    Thanks again for being an awesome 'leader'