Saturday, December 31, 2011

Daily art for 2012

We're almost to Happy New Year!  The first of January is a time for resolutions and plans, and for several years my plans have always included an art project.  Since 2001, with only one exception, I've always performed "daily art" -- a project in which I sew, make, photograph or do something every day.  I have found that the discipline of making art all the time according to defined rules has improved my eye, juiced my creativity, helped me through dry periods -- and been a lot of fun. 

Part of the fun, as we hit November and December, is thinking about what I'm going to do next.  Sometimes I rehearse my ideas to see if they will really work, and have abandoned some that didn't.  Always nicer to find that out in December than on January 5 when it's too late to start a new plan.  (Well, it's never too late to start a new plan, but I do like having the complete year.)

So here are my plans for 2012.

First, my daily art project is going to involve hand-stitching.  I've been doing a lot of hand-stitching in the last year, spurred by a collaboration with Terry Jarrard-Dimond.  Although embroidery was the first needle art I ever did, taught by my grandmothers when I was five or six years old, I hadn't done much of it in recent decades.  But I've rediscovered it, and decided I love it.

So, this year's project will be to hand-stitch a piece of solid color cotton each day.  I'm going to start with four-inch squares, but reserve the right to change the size later.  No rules on how much or what kind of stitching, what kind of thread, etc., and I'll wait till the end of the year to decide how to join and display the 366 pieces.  I'll show you some of the pieces as I make them.

Second, I'm going to continue posting photos to this blog.  I started the blog two years ago as a vehicle for my 2010 daily art project, which was to take a good photo every day.  In 2011 I changed the rules so that I continued to post every day, but didn't require the picture to be taken that very day.  This made life easier, especially when we traveled out of easy Internet access.  It also allowed me to do some "theme weeks" in which I chose groups of photos.

I learned that I really loved the theme groupings.  For a long time I have been shooting photos in groups, keeping my eyes open for favorite subjects.  And I enjoyed four weeks of collaboration with Linda McLaughlin last year in which we each posted photos on a theme.  So I've redefined my photo project for 2012.  This year I'm going to post a group of themed photos every week.  I think I'll enjoy choosing the themes, and maybe you'll help me by suggesting others -- after all, we've got 53 weeks and that's a lot of themes!

Stay tuned, and I'll keep you posted on my daily art as I make it.

And remember, it's not too late to start a daily art project of your own for 2012.


  1. Aha! You have just given structure to some ideas that were swirling around in my head. I will start my daily art project tomorrow. But, because I'm a planner, I have some questions for those of you who have already executed one or more years of daily art. What 'rules' do you set for yourself to accommodate travel? What I have in mind is somewhat technology dependent so it would be difficult to do 'on the road'. I can make my own rules, I know, but I might as well learn from those who have walked the road before me.

  2. Happy new year ... and may your threads never tangle.

    Thank you for the daily photos and the longer posts in between.

    Judy B

  3. Very glad to hear the photos will continue. I don't comment often (it gets boring saying "Oh, wow! oh, wow!" and I don't have the brain bandwidth to really crit) but I always enjoy them.

    I can't wait to see some embroidery. I didn't learn to embroider from my great-aunts until I was eight, and I have occasional spasms when it's my favorite art.

    Mary Anne in Kentucky