Some Things Change, Others No So Much

While penning a newsletter this week for Ozquilt, an association for art quilt makers in the Australian-New Zealand corner of the world (of which I’ve been a member for ever) I looked back at some of my very earliest blog posts in 2005.

Today, the internet is littered with abandoned blogs, and yet some who began blogging then continue to write them even as their original angle or purpose might have shifted a bit, as mine has. My regular readers know that my blog has become more of an artist’s diary in content and less of a travelogue than when I began writing it. Of course, that could have something to do with travelling less, too 😉 In the last decade social media have multiplied and spread, so that today even Facebook and Instagram are showing signs of being past their peaks, and certainly blogs have lost some of the importance they had 15 years ago. Perhaps both writers and readers can’t be bothered to look past pictures and captions for a longer read.

While I still write and post on my blog, my overall online presence has changed a bit, too. I have been on Facebook for years, but only recently set up an artist page there in addition to my more general one. Last year I started posting on Instagram which is all about pictures and less about information in written form. It may be true, as younger people now say, that FB is more for older people. I haven’t yet taken to the colour-and-movement on Tik Tok, and if I ever do go there, the influencers will have probably all moved on… whatever. The thing with social media is that you can spend hours just looking, making videos and so on, but the posts are not necessarily coherent and sequential, and often not in the least bit informative. Being a natural teacher and lover of sharing information and opinions as I do, a blog format is perfect for me. Reading back over some of my earlier posts revealed that I could have written some of them just yesterday. I prefer to think that demonstrates consistent opinion-forming, not that I’m an old stuck-in-the-mud!

I recently had a conversation with a friend here about some of the most iconic Uruguayan artists, and of course the beloved Jose Gurvich came up. He was gifted in many media, including painting, ceramics, drawing and printmaking, and we’ve just made plans for next weekend to vist the Museo Gurvich, in the Old City, dedicated to his life’s work. On Friday May 13th 2005 I posted about this quilt, made shortly after seeing an important exhibition of Gurvich’s ceramics.

“Arbol de la Vida” 2005, ~130 x 100cm. Strongly influenced by a wonderful exhibition I had recently seen of the ceramic works of Jose Gurvich.

My work is almost never pictorial, and I haven’t made anything in that style since… but I made it for an invitation to exhibit in a display with a particular theme, which is something I almost never do now. Today, I follow my own themes or my vision, make the work and then select calls for entries that I think suit whatever I’m making or have already made.

Reading on through that 2005 post, in which I positively enthused about working late, or even frantically working through the night to meet some deadline or other showed that has really changed! I now have a fairly well developed sense of what I can achieve in a given time, and as I begin something, I self-impose a deadline to allow days or even weeks before any deadline. It might be aging, or perhaps a delayed onset of wisdom, but despite the many last minute triumphs including some notably glorious ones, I now hate the pressure of doing things in a rush at the last minute. I’ve always preferred working to larger sizes like 100cm+ that to many younger artquilt makers would seem impossibly large, but I love a large project and the challenges that presents, and to produce one takes time, without rushing against the clock.

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