People who need certainty in their lives are less likely to make art that is risky, subversive, complicated, iffy, suggestive or spontaneous. What's really needed is nothing more than a broad sense of what you are looking for, some strategy for how to find it, and an overriding willingness to embrace mistakes and surprises along the way. Simply put, making art is chancy--it doesn't mix well with predictability. Uncertainty is the essential, inevitable and all-pervasive companion to your desire to make art. And tolerance for uncertainty is the prerequisite to succeeding.
~ David Bayles & Ted Orland, Art and Fear
I had my last tapestry weaving class yesterday (10 of 10 lessons I've been taking from Tricia Goldberg in Berkeley, California--a very good teacher, by the way)!
I felt a great sense of accomplishment at finishing my sampler, and a sense of anxiety that I might not follow up on this new passion of mine. When I look at my weaving I can see how quickly I moved from uncovered warps and wobbly tension to a smoother finish and a more assured way of handling the bobbins. I've learned to make angles and curves and a circle; dots and lines; hatching, the traditional way to blend colors optically; straight selvedges; blend colors; well, the list goes on.
But there is also a small but very very noisy and influential part of me that wants to make SURE that I realize just HOW FAR I have to go before I can make the visions in my head into something tangible. I know that I am not alone in this, that in fact the majority of people are probably stuck in the same quicksand of doubt.
I'm going to resist the entropy, though. I will try a bit every day--whether by designing Fair Isle, drawing, spinning, or weaving--to keep the fear of uncertainty from running my life.
I'm packing up the car to head off to the Madrona Fiber Arts Retreat and then to Seattle, where I'll be teaching at Village Yarn & Tea. I've packed some books on art and drawing and "creativity," that irritating and omnipresent I-want-to-sell-you-something word, to help me stand firm against the Voice In My Head.