Saturday, 7 January 2017

New Year Blues

Every year about this time, I have a gentle attack of new year blues ... the weather is generally dismal and often cold with little inducement to be outside (this year certainly), there's the anti-climax after the end of the Christmas festivities with family all gone home, and then there's the general malaise following a prolonged time off from creative activities which keep me mentally alive and busy during the rest of the year.

This year, things seem to be worse than usual as I have no unfinished stitch or weaving pieces to fall back on while I decide on the next steps. All were completed either before the exhibition at the beginning of November or while I was making Christmas cards.

Those cards, although a pleasure to do, have a different feel altogether from my usual work as I'm tightly constrained by size (whatever cards are available from the local Hobbycraft store as other suppliers seem too time-consuming to source), the requirement to work to a tight time-scale, and also the need to repeat the same design over and over again with very little change. After the initial design decisions, it's onto a production line, usually with little time to evaluate and think again.

All this means I'm at a bit of a loss and I've almost forgotten what it feels like to create 'one off' pieces with time for reflection. So now, I'm asking myself, 'Where on earth do I go next?'

I have some general thoughts about developing further the black and white work from photographs begun at the beginning of last year and I want to continue to develop my weaving skills to incorporate more sophisticated techniques into my tapestry pieces. This all sounds very purposeful, but for some reason I still feel unable to begin.

I think then, it's time to get out my sketch books and interrogate my photographs and then play and see where this leads me. Maybe some of these little morsels from my digital store will inspire me?

Thoughts of pattern to be taken in little snippets (though something in the detail has been lost here in reproduction) ...


As a contrast, solid shapes randomly broken up by time (and some colour!) ...


Interesting contrasts in structure and line ...


And perhaps a look back to last year ...


This short session playing with random images has fired a few thoughts so, perhaps all is not lost after all!

Who else has the same new year feeling? I'd be fascinated to know ... and to hear how you get yourself back on the rails again.


10 comments:

  1. I too am at a loss after vacation and being sick. Now a blizzard.

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    1. Sounds like you have far more reason to feel down than I do! I hope you find your way through.

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  2. I'm actually ready to stick my toe in, after the success of that last "gift" piece I finished right at the end of 2016. After a year of so much illness and lack of inspiration or drive, it awakened something in me, I think, a memory of why I work with textiles, why I do any of this at all. I don't have a specific direction but I don't feel I need one. (Also doesn't hurt that I'm physically feeling a lot better at the moment.) All I need is to unearth some workspace in a terribly disarrayed studio!

    Glad your musings, revisiting of sketchbooks and playing have helped chase the blues away a bit. It will come. :-)

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    1. Fortunately, my motivation always has returned ... so far. It is a problem I have after long holidays away too. Perhaps it is something to do with switching my focus. Diving into sketchbooks and photo archives certainly seems to help.

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  3. You must be the only person out there in blogland with no UFO list to start the New Year! How lovely to have time to play with sketchbooks and photographs. I do need a definite goal though - something to work towards. We go away every Christmas and I am always itching to get back home and start creating. Your photographs are great sources of inspiration. xx

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    1. I didn't claim to have no UFOs!! In fact I have a special species of UFO ... things that were learning experiences and that I never finished and know I never will because doing them showed me the process was not to my taste. I have lots of those ...!

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  4. I have a good friend who like you gets the post-Festive blues. She usually goes off somewhere warm and sunny for a couple of weeks which often inspires her. But I always prefer sticking with my own knitting, so to speak. I think that fiddling about with stuff: looking at previous ideas, scribbling in a sketchbook, etc. usually leads out of doldrums, even if through a path of initially discarded projects to something positive and enthusing.

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    1. Going off somewhere sunny and warm sounds very inviting right now. It's something we have often done, but not this year as our travel is scheduled for later in the year. I have a suspicion anyway that it would probably only delay the doldrums as I think my problem is that I'm not good at anti-climax - at returning to the normal and ordinary after the exciting and different! Your description of 'fiddling about with stuff' is my usual solution ... and then of course there's blogging. Just writing this post seemed to help me focus.

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  5. Most new years have begun with the blues for me, as well. This year however, after the inspiring change in direction I took in early December, I've started 2017 off with a bang that doesn't look like it's going to end anytime soon. Might I suggest cleaning or reorganizing your studio for an inspiring boost. Always works for me. Regarding UFOs, especially the ones you'll never get back to, just get rid of them! They're just taking up psychic space, as well as real estate in your studio. Have a wonderful new year. I know you'll be back to creating soon. Hugs.

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    1. Your energy has been a pleasure to see you your blog, Connie. It is inspiring! And I think you've maybe hit on a good approach for the future - the deliberate leaving of something appealing (important!) to come back after an exciting time away. The tidying of my studio is indeed necessary so I will get round to that too ... and maybe I'll throw out those horrible UFOs and clear both head space and real estate (I like that image). Thanks as always, Connie.

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