Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Looking back, looking ahead: time to do the Janus face

Happy New Year, dear friends!  For me, as for you, perhaps, December and January involve some time looking back at the year that's ending, assessing what worked and what didn't in my art and teaching and life in general, and then looking ahead and tweaking my goals and plans for the coming year.  I'm not talking about making resolutions here, but just trying to be thoughtful about how I do what I do, rather than continuing to do the same stuff and hope for a different result (we know how that goes).   Of course if the past two years have taught us anything, it's the futility of making predictions and plans.  Nonetheless, I find it helps to at least have a general destination and a map sketched on a cocktail napkin. 

My word for the year

I've chosen my word for the year and it is now.  A close runner up was mindful, but I'm already tired of hearing that word; it feels too vague to do me much good.  Now has the punch that I hope will snap me  back to the "present moment/wonderful moment" and remind me to do one thing at a time, and pay attention to it with my whole mind while I'm doing it.  If that sounds like a resolution, well, there it is.

Art-wise, I am grateful that 2021 was surprisingly good!  Of course, after 2020, there was nowhere to go but up.  I did tons of teaching, developed and taught five new classes and improved my Zoom teaching game.  This year I want to improve my video shooting and recording skills, finally.  I've also launched my first two online Feedback groups and I'm really excited about those--more on that in a future post.  And with any luck there will be more in-person teaching this year.  You can see my teaching plans HERE.  

Molly Elkind, paper collage--possible design for small piece? (c) 2022

In the studio, I plan to finish the current piece (below) on the big loom and at least one more medium-large piece in the SkyGrass series.  I want to focus on further developing my own tapestry vocabulary of marks, shapes, and formats.  I plan to continue to explore ideas that I sampled last year around collage approaches for tapestry, open warp and eccentric weaving, unusual yarns, and incorporating stitching.  I think weaving small pieces will be a great way to do that.  The collage above is one candidate. 

Molly Elkind, handwoven tapestry in progress, Faraway Nearby (c) 2022 

Speaking of which, note to self:  I need to get a piece going for the ATA "Tiny but Mighty" unjuried small format exhibit next summer in Knoxville.  

Enough about me.  What are your hopes and dreams for this year?  Whatever they are, I hope they all come true!