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It’s hard to blog very often if 1.) you are working on a top-secret project that you’re not supposed to really show too much of, 2.) you aren’t working on much of anything, 3.) you get too sick to get out of bed, much less get into the studio or to the computer, or 4.) you can’t make a decision on what comes next.


Work on SAQA’s Radical Elements feels like the Lost Weekend, except it was more like two months. We aren’t supposed to show anything more than snippets of our work until the show opens, which isn’t until April 2014. That piece was shipped off to SAQA at the end of September and it almost feels like something I never did, a black hole. I’m hoping my excitement for that project gets rekindled once the whole show premiers in April.

Winter Nest Hilltop 2013 blogWinter Nest, 5" x 7" framed to 8" x 10"  ©2013 Martha C. Hall
his small textile collage sold at Hilltop. Click image to enlarge.

I did have work in the local Hilltop School Exhibit and Sale last weekend. Those were my smaller, framed Birds & Nests textile collages and also a selection of Birthstone Jewels. Two of the pieces sold, which made me happy. Of course, more sales would have been better! But I do enjoy participating in the Hilltop Show and having some kind of art out in the world provides a bright note.


In the midst of all that I got laid low by what I guess was a common cold, except it felt much worse than “common”. Two solid weeks of basically doing nothing except lying in my recliner, reading, coughing, aching, sleeping, and trying to feel better.

Being sick did a real number on my artist’s head. I felt ready to throw in the towel. Not only could I not work on anything, I started thinking that I’d give it all up for good. I’m pretty sure that was my sickly, addled mind at work. Many artists know the feeling in the best of times of “why am I even doing this?” and “what’s the point?” and “everything I make is crap” etc. etc. etc. Combine that with a miserable feeling body and no motivation and the whole thing devolves into total negativity.


Though I wasn’t making art, that didn’t stop me from thinking. So I guess I could blog about my thought process when I don’t have work in progress to show. I’ve been thinking about my next steps in art making. I have too many ideas and get distracted by the notion of doing it all. But that goes against the advice of creating a “style” or a “body of work”. I fight that advice all the time even though I know it’s right. At least it’s “right” if you really want to progress in the quilt art world.

So I have to pick one path to follow, at least for now. Mark says, “finish that blue one that’s up on the design wall”. I abandoned it about six months ago, probably for some other grand idea. The work is about a third to half done and it’s probably worthy of completion. Then there’s a whole list of ideas for my credit card quilts. Oh! and then! another idea came to me. So I started puttering around with that. And I’m not really sure if it’s a good idea or a dorky idea, but there is something about it that appeals to me.


On top of all that the thought of moving house is coming to a crescendo. We’ve talked about it ad nauseum. Probably no one even believes us anymore. But everything I do lately is backed by some ulterior motive of selling our big house and downsizing. Today I went and bought paint samples. Whew! Talk about distractions! I know from doing a big move 16 years ago what a time consuming process it is. And at that time we were moving bigger and I didn’t have to unload half our belongings. Now I just look around me a wonder what I’m going to do with all this “stuff”.

These are all the thoughts my mind is spinning into a tangled web. And it leaves me confused and unproductive. I know about the advice to narrow my focus in order to accomplish more and better work. Setting limits can free you to be more productive. I’m beginning to accept that advice and leaning toward my work of choice. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be the credit cards……

Maybe after I finish that blue quilt ……. Or paint the powder room…….

Yours, in Indecision –

P.S. I'm feeling much better now. Thanks for asking!


# Arlene 2013-11-04 16:13
Martha, I think you've put into perspective what I often chalk up to QADD. If I had to "grade" my artistic pursuits, I'd give myself an A for concepts and a C+ or occasional B for actual outcomes. It is reassuring to know that someone whose work I greatly admire experiences the same jungle brain from time to time.
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Martha Hall
# Martha Hall 2013-11-05 09:05
Thank you, Arlene. Too bad our hands can't move as fast as our imaginations! I need to remind myself, one stitch at a time.
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Nancy Turbitt
# Nancy Turbitt 2013-11-04 16:32
Martha, it always surprises me when I realize that others go through what I do, (I say as I glance over at the unfinished piece that has been on my work wall for way too long). My hubbie has been threatening to move us into a smaller place now for years. I wouldn't know what to do if we really had to move and I had to relocate the mess in my studio. Even when I'm sick and I was a week before you, just coming in here and doing nothing is cathartic. So when you are finding yourself at odds with the world, find your favorite spot in your studio, sit with a steaming cuppa whatever you love and just soak up the atmosphere. It will rejuvenate you and help you to focus on what it is that YOU really want. Nancy
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Martha Hall
# Martha Hall 2013-11-05 09:03
It does help to get into the studio and do a little something. I'll find the next thing, I'm sure. Always good to know we don't travel alone!
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Nancy Turbitt
# Nancy Turbitt 2013-11-04 16:34
Ps I just love your bird's nest. Simple and wonderful! Nancy
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# Debby 2013-11-04 18:25
Sounds like someone needs a day trip & lunch with friends. See ya Thursday :)
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Martha Hall
# Martha Hall 2013-11-05 09:00
Looking forward to Thursday, Debby! A much needed art outing and visit with friends.
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