Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Art and technique

[This is a selvage postcard, one of about 50 I made last January. They are nearly half used up. I'll make more one of these days]. It's here mainly because I like to have a photo with a post and it is skunk time in most of the temperate zones.

I received a postcard today with a couple of wonderful quotes about art and craft on it. One is from novelist and poet, Rita Mae Brown: Art is moral passion married to entertainment. Moral passion without entertainment is propaganda. Entertainment without moral passion is television." Amen, Rita, you said it, Girl.

The other is from the late Raymond Chandler [short story writer], "Technique alone is never enough. Technique alone is just an embroidered potholer."

I sometimes rant about the quilt police who produce fear and trembling in the hearts of new quilters who think they must perfect the 1/4 inch seam and every block must turn out exactly square every time and that no quilt can be touched unless one is wearing white gloves. Those are only the first three rule that come to mind but there are about 300 total. Much of this is a power play, an ego trip at the expense of women who admire quilts and would like to make one and haven't the self-confidence to get a book or a CD and learn a few basics on their own. Why don't they have that really minimal amount of confidence? Damned if I know although I could go on and on about what society does to girls in school and what the women's service magazines do. And then there's what men do to women's self-confidence -- no, i won't start on that one.

Let's hear it for culivating some moral passion and looking at what "technique" really is. "If it's worth doing, it's worth doing right." Haven't we all heard that? Haven't we told our children that? But how right is right? And what is important enough for that effort? Surely not every egg cooked for breakfast has to be perfect. And not every quilt has to have absolutely exact 90 degree corners. I'm just in a mood today to say, cool it. Relax. Enjoy what you're doing and don't take your hobbies too seriously. You can touch any of my quilts, even if your hands are a little bit grubby. And for heaven sakes don't look too closely at the corners.

1 comment :

Ladydy5 aka: Diane Yates said...

I one time as a first time quilter, which I really am not a quilter, I joined a group that made theme postcards (fabric) and the moderator told me everything that I did wrong as she asked me to send her one as a preview of my work. Can you imagine, I fell for that. From then on I was apprehensive about doing more, but I did and I loved what I did. I love everything you have to say and the quotes too June.