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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Freeing Myself From Repression


All this time I have been spending writing has really cut into my quilting time. As the weather is finally starting to warm up I am starting to get anxious to play with fabrics again. Up until last year all of the quilting I have done has been in the making of blankets to warm my family and my family's families, but that was never what I really wanted to do with it. I want to make art quilts. From the very first patchwork quilt I made for my oldest son, the thought in the back of my head has always been that I wanted to do something different. I made the bed quilts because that was what Grandma did and because I knew no one in my family would really appreciate the things I really wanted to make. And for the longest time I didn't really believe that I would ever be able to do what I really wanted to do with the quilting anyway because I did not consider myself artistic. How can a non-artistic person really expect to make art quilts?

But then, last year, I discovered a whole new world when I found http://www.pburch.net/dyeing.shtml.
The whole concept that I could “create” my own fabrics just opened up a whole new world of possibilities that I could never have even imagined a few years ago. I always thought dyeing fabric was some terribly difficult, hugely expensive and just plain out of the question hobby for someone like me, but the more I learned, the easier it sounded. And the more I played with it the more I enjoyed the Hell out of it. And as I started dyeing more and more fabric, I started learning about other ways to “embellish” the fabrics with paintstiks, paints, batik, … and oh my the options that I have found! Suddenly I had the answer to my “something different” that I was looking for. I don't know if anyone else will like the new art that is now flowing out of my head uncontrollably, but I am enjoying it very much. My “art” is like my writing, it is my voice, my expression of myself, it is a window into my world, and I hope that other people will enjoy it as much as I do, but that is not why I have to do it. Yes it would be nice if someone paid me for my writing or my art, but that is not what either of them are about.

I have always felt repressed. In every aspect of my life, from the time I was a very small child, repression really was the theme of my life. Whether it was external or internal, societal, cultural, or familial, I have felt mentally, emotionally, physically, psychologically, sexually, artistically, and verbally repressed pretty much all of my life. I don't say this because I am looking for sympathy, I think we are all repressed to one degree or another, and I am the first to admit that the worst repressor in my life has always been me. This is what I am working on now, among other things, and that is why I mentioned it. Letting go of all of the fears that have held me back from ever attempting anything is probably the hardest thing for anyone to do. I know how hard it is for me anyway.

So I am trying to release myself from that repression through my art and my writing. Throw off the proverbial chains that have tied me down, held me back for so long as it were. If I am truly ever to be free to be who I am, this is where it starts, with my words and my art. I know that some “repression” is required for socially acceptable behavior, but the rest is unnecessary, and unwanted in my life anymore. I won't be silenced and curtained any longer, I can't. If I am to have the life I want for myself, I will have to make it, and I can not make it while I am hiding away behind the curtain in the corner. I have left the corner now, and I have cut up the curtains. I have declared my freedom and I will not willingly surrender myself ever again.

So now as Spring is rapidly approaching my artistic juices are flowing and I am trying to figure out how to make time for all of the things that I want to do before the cold returns. I have never been very good at making or keeping a schedule, but I know I am already neglecting too many important things as it is so I am going to have to figure out a system that will work for me. And I will, eventually, until then I am just going to have to muddle around the best that I can and keep reminding myself that the kids can't eat fabric so I better make sure I don't forget to deal with them!

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