Saturday, January 1, 2011

Regular art for 2011

I have written before about my love of regular art, where you commit yourself to make or do a certain something every day or week or whatever. In fact, this blog began as a vehicle to display my art project for 2010, in which I took a photo every day.  Yesterday I posted the last installment of that project.

I have done several regular art projects in the last decade, the longest-running of which was sending a postcard to my mother every day for six years. I also made a quilt with a square for every day. While I am still enamored of the dailyness of such projects, I decided to take a slightly different approach for 2011.  Rather than commit to making a certain kind of art every day, I am committing to at least one a week, with the option of making more if the spirit moves me.

So what am I going to make?


I was 17 months old the first Christmas that I knew what was going on.  As the only child and only grandchild, I got all kinds of goodies, but proceeded to vex my elders by wanting only to tear the boxes open and not really caring about what was inside.  "More packies!  More packies!" I notoriously exclaimed, as my mother tied up the empty boxes with ribbon and gave them to me over and over.  Indeed, "more packies" became family shorthand for all kinds of unbecoming but not altogether disgusting greed exhibited by loved ones. 

But my packages are going to be the good white swan, not the evil black one.  Instead of symbolizing greed, they're going to symbolize frugality and resourcefulness, because I'm going to make them out of things on hand.  Maybe they'll be like little time capsules, or like the Andy Warhol boxes into which he swept the entire contents of his desk every now and then.

I came to the definition of my 2011 regular art project only in the last couple of days.  I have been reading a book on the early days of fiber art and was taken by the number of people who made bundles as an art form.  Some wrapped up stacks of paper or fabric, some wrapped plant materials, some wrapped heaps of yarn ends from the floor of their studio, some wrapped cubes of thin air. 

This concept was apparently hot stuff in the 70s, and when I saw so many pictures of various bundles at one time, it heated me up too.  I've admired bundles made by other artists in the past, but never seriously thought to do them myself until now.  Had I read this chapter in mid-September, it might not have had much impact, but seeing it on December 27, just when I was regretting that I hadn't figured out a regular art project for 2011, was different.

As with any regular art project, you can set a whole lot of rules for yourself at the beginning, and despite your best intentions, it doesn't work out exactly as you plan.  In fact, that's one of the things I love about regular art!  So I'll just see what happens.  And when I find out, you'll be the second to know.

Here's my first package.  It contains some of the tiny clippings and thread ends from two years of clearing off my cutting table.  I can see bits of my six latest quilts in there.

And remember, it's not too late to start your own daily art project for 2011!  Indeed, with creative writing of your own rules, you wouldn't even have to start it today.  My postcard project was conceived and began on January 3, 2003, and I rationalized that start date because I had just come home from visiting my mother, so the third was the first day of the year we had been apart.  Subsequently, I did not require myself to send her a card on a day that I saw her.
Click here to read about daily art, what other people have done with such projects and some ideas. Happy New Year!

1 comment:

  1. This is going to be fun to watch! Neat idea.

    Mary Anne in Kentucky