Seems to be like minds

I work. I find ways that suit me and on I go. And then some bright spark or two will make a comment or seven, and knock my confidence and I will start to think I have strange work processes.

When I painted, years ago, I painted with a group. We were all at different levels, but we gathered to work together and that was nice. When I paint, I use two brushes. One with watercolour on the brush, and one with water, because thats the whole point of watercolour paints, you have to use lots of water with them. And I was going fine, not even thinking about the fact I use two brushes to paint with, when a couple of helpful sparks noted that I was weird. No one else needed to use two brushes. Nothing was ever mentioned in the How To.. books about having one brush in your hand and one in your mouth (whilst not in use) so I must be weird, and I should stop doing that. I became quite self conscious and started "sneaking" the use of the second brush, it was quite rediculous.

Then, through a friend of a friend I met and subsequently attended a workshop by Nancy Tichbourne. She is an English/NewZealander, living in Akaroa in the South Island, and paints in the medium of watercolour. She is very successful, and well known here. AND SHE USES TWO BRUSHES TO PAINT WITH. Holy cow, another weirdo like me. mmm maybe... MAYBE.. we aren't weirdos.. maybe.. we just might know what we are doing.

And now I make quilts. And I keep notebooks full of ideas for my quilts. I make some of them, I don't make most of them, I don't have a use for any of the quilts I make, and I get looked at sideways, and that *oh my she's a bit strange* look crosses peoples faces. And, of course, I have completely forgotten, or cannot associate the lesson learnt with the paint brushes. So I begin to think of myself as strange, and not quite right, and doubt my ability and dent my confidence and apologise for not making quilts always in a traditional way. Then I meet and listen to Meike Apps for two days. And there we go again. She keeps a notebook. She uses any means or skills at her disposal to achieve the 'look' she wants for her quilts. She expresses herself and doesn't explain one thing. She doesn't feel pressure to finish a work just because she started it. She absorbs skills and perculates them until there is a need within her own work for them. And I realise, maybe, just maybe, I do know what I am doing. I am on the right track.

It isn't unusual for some of us to have ideas bubbling around in our brains, knowing they are still 12, 24 or so months from even beginning to come out. This is what being creative is all about. Layers of ideas waiting for skills to accummulate so they can be born.

*sniggers* sometimes, I sound deep... but it's all very natural.