Thursday, March 19, 2009

"Trust the Process"

Ornamentals: #7
(available through my web site)

"Trusting the process is based on a belief that something valuable will emerge when we step into the unknown."

Shaun McNiff

I've been reading a book by author and artist Shaun McNiff entitled "Trust the Process: An Artist's Guide to Letting Go," and I'm finding that it is, indeed, helping me to approach my fiber art from a more relaxed perspective.  With chapters such as "Stepping Into the Unknown," "Mistakes and Distortions," and "Play and Ornamentation," Dr. McNiff encourages the reader to embrace the miscues and failures that are an inevitable part of the creative process.  He suggests emptying one's self of preconceptions and viewing the "repetitious rituals and patterns of expression" as new elements that are occurring in the moment.

When it comes to my creative process, I find that I have to work at not working so hard; I'm not always successful in my efforts, but I'm improving.  I'll be honest here (we're all friends, aren't we??): I've thrown out several of my attempts at fiber art along my journey.  But I'm also taking more of my perceived mistakes to their conclusion -- with surprisingly pleasing results.  It's very freeing, isn't it?  

Dr. McNiff has a wonderful idea for promoting what he refers to as "emanation: a process of one thing emerging from another."  Many artists already practice this when they work in a series.  In order to describe this idea adequately, I'll share it with you in the next post.  Until then, may we all remember that "failed expressions close some doors and open others."


Marilyn Rock said...

I've had plenty of "failed expressions" Diane. In fact; I'm starting to address them, Gesso over them and start anew. It's really quite rejuvenating. It's setting me free from being afraid to "jump in" :) Great post and I love this recent piece of yours!

Diane J. Evans said...

Thanks, Marilyn -- you always say such nice things and leave me inspired to jump in again!


Loreen Leedy said...

I read a quote once, something along the lines of “An artist doesn’t finish a work of art, (s)he abandons it.” I can relate to that! Fiber art is relatively easy to recycle by cropping, layering, reconstituting scraps into fabric, etc. so it makes me feel better since little will ultimately be wasted.

Diane J. Evans said...

I love this quote, Loreen! Here's to all the pieces of my past that I've abandoned -- may they not feel left behind!



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