Thursday, September 18, 2008

More on Focus (or lack of it....)

Some points to add to my last post. First thank you for the comments on my frenzied lack of focus. I don't always reply (OK don't usually reply ) to all my comments just for reasons of time (I am focused enought to limit my Net time to gets some quilting in!) but I do love to get them. On this occasion though they require a generic response:

(a) thank you or not making me feel like a scatty freak anymore. It seems this is a normal state of affairs and ( without any libellous reference to the great, talented and much envied Sandy Lush being intended at all) people who focus are clearly creative anorexics whose ill brains do not allow them the creative equivalent of a knickerbockerglory a day.

(b) June's comments about diets are apt. Diets are unsucessful if they do not involve a change of lifestyle and eating/ exercise habits but just denial. In fact if we redefine our view of 'focus' as a weight counsellor might define a changed view of 'diet' from 'cabbage soup and popcorn three meals a day' to 'five a day and walk a lot' then I think we are all fine. I am focused intently on all Check Spellingforms of quiltmaking and textile art/ design as defined to include bookmaking with fabric. I do not scat about dithering between textiles, canoeing, juggling, macrame, dog racing and eggshell painting. That's healthy. To focus any more narrowly would be to do something which,for me (and I suspect also for you readers - unless Sandy is reading in which case, Sandy I accept this is all tosh born of jealousy: please do not sue me) is as unnatural as living on 300 calories a day.

(c) Trying to focus on a minute area of speciality is about as possible as me getting into a Uk size 8 dress. I came home from Carlisle to today to find this book had arrived.

I saw it for £38 paperback in the British Museum and bought it on line for £19 Hardback from 'warehouse deals UK' ( the bit of Amazon that sells damaged but new stock) because it had a large wrinkle in the dust jacket. It doesn't at all. This is the second time this has happened to me - I highly recommend buying from them if you see them on Amazon marketplace as they actually exaggerate the defects!

Anyway, I though I might try to focus on masks for a while. African ones. This book has great pictures of all kinds of masks although I have only flicked at it for 30 seconds or so in the museum shop - enough to know I wanted. I opened it today. I have read the first five short paras of the front flap. That was enough to make me consider quilts relating in some way to:
1, Venice carnival
2. Industrial processes
3. Cross dressing
4. Modern psycological masks hiding vulnerabilties
5. Egyptian coffins and the way we deal with detah in different societies
6. On face lots of hair designs
7. Gas masks and war
8. Fencing
9. Masquerade costumes generally
10. The industrial revolution... and that is just the first ten I can be bothered writing out.

Focus is an illusion, a deceit perpetrated by those with a paucity of curiosity/ imagination (except Sandy who focuses because she is brilliant; Sandy do NOT sue). Do not be sucked in.

Let us celebrate chaotic creativity and perepetual progress in our chosen arts.

3 comments:

Melusine said...

Hmmm... Carnivale. Been there ... photographed that ... absolutely fantastic, but (not surprisingly, very crowded

Garnered Stitches said...

Boy, that book on Masks must be good - we haven't heard from you for two weeks!

I trust work is keeping you busy and you'll be blogging soon.

Best wishes

June Calender said...

Helen, I hope you're traveling or working too many hours or truly focused on a quilting project and that nothing more difficult is keeping you away from your blog. I miss reading new updates. Hope you'e well.