Thursday, October 9, 2014

How to focus?

(Of course, I loved the ones with sheep best of all)
A few days before we left for our big trip, I managed to visit the downtown Lexington Public Library to see the Salley Mavor-Pocket Full of Posies exhibit. I've been a fan of Salley Mavor for a years and the opportunity to see some of her creations in person was an unexpected treat. I have her children's books and a wonderful poster that she calls Self-Portrait: A Personal History of Fashion, that depicts different styles of clothing she has worn through the years.  I'm sure I have posted this before, but I love her short film Rabbitat.  If you haven't seen it, please check it out. It's magical! The detail in her work is astounding and being able to see it close-up only made me admire her skill even more.

(The detail-the stitching!  Sorry about the glass reflection)

I'm always impressed by someone who can focus on their art in a way that shows real commitment and accomplishment.  I don't consider myself an artist in any sense of the word, but I do have a craft (actually, I should say crafts) that I love and I have great difficulty focusing my energy and attention long enough to actually produce any tangible results. I'm prone to blame farm work and animal care for my lack of productivity, but truly I think it's more a  case of my being undisciplined and inefficient in the way I spend my time and energy.  For me, there's a feeling of guilt associated with spending "too much" time spinning or knitting during the day, because on the farm, the work is never, ever really done. (Not to mention the washing, ironing, cleaning, patient files.....) There are so many crafts and activities that I'm interested in: spinning, weaving, dyeing, knitting, sewing, felting, embroidery, hooking, photography, gardening, cooking, reading, blogging, etc., etc.  The longer I live, the more lengthy the list of things I want to learn becomes.  So, my question is how do I learn to focus at this stage in my life?  How do any of you ignore the distractions and temptations that will keep you from doing the things you love to do?


  1. Sally Mavor is something else!! I have 2 of her books and need to check on the other ones available. I've never seen her work "in person" but I'm sure it is stunning.

    I'm like you, Dianne. Have to get all the work done before I'm "allowed" (in my mind) to enjoy my spinning, knitting, weaving, etc. I think it's the way I grew up. "You can't play until all your work is done". However, now I tell myself I can do the fun stuff whenever I want (time allowing) because I deserve the feeling of happiness it brings me. I am interested in other crafts but just look, don't touch. Doing a good job on the few I've chosen makes me feel good. But if I had lambies to hug----------------

  2. Oh Dianne, it is truly cruel that we are not closer together. I love, love Sally Mavor!!! How cool that you saw some of her work in person. Also, an artist IS what you are, dear friend. xo

  3. For me, I have to choose carefully which things I do, so that I can do them well. It's also a matter of carpe diem. Whichever thing that would fit best for this time of my life, today's schedule, my desires, etc. I have sheep, horses, a llama, 2 young children, a business....and I don't get to do all the fun stuff/crafts that I want to, but sometimes I can kill 2 birds with one stone (do some crafts with the children; find some cheap fruit during a down time for the business, and can it then). --Rebekah in Oklahoma.

  4. I, too, feel guilty (sometimes put upon me by my DH) for taking blocks of time for my many interests. But I am not one to feel comfortable with many WIPs, so that helps. I've also been very reserved about looking into new interests, because that would leave even less time for the ones I already have. I keep thinking once Brian is launched that I will have more time, but we shall see....

  5. I completely understand the feeling of guilt. I can think of so many other things that "need" to be done other than the "fun" things.

  6. Hi Dianne! I so know what you are saying - I don't have an answer - except enjoy what you do today - no matter what that may be. My interests within arts/crafts have changed through the years. I started drawing and oil painting while in jr high, then got interested/diverted by a pottery wheel, and silver & turquoise. Beaded jewelry, love! But what has continued is my love for knitting & fiber arts, and will continue as long as the hands allow. And I still paint. By the way... thanks for sharing Sally Mavor - amazing!!! And, enjoy those sheep for me! :-D