Aztec Autumn Cindy Grisdela 2010

Last year I picked “Expand” for my word for 2010. It may seem like a silly exercise, but for me it worked. I started on a brand new series of work, like Aztec Autumn at right, that I’m very excited about, I created a presence on Facebook, I got into several well-regarded national shows and I won a Juror’s Choice award at one of them, Art Quilts Lowell 2010. In addition, at the end of the year, my work was chosen to be represented at Chasen Galleries in Richmond, VA (more on this in my next post!).

For 2011, I decided on the word “Explore.” I’d like to continue working on the Color Block series that I started last year–there are many new ideas I’m tossing around in my mind already. This series really makes me focus on my strengths–creating a graphic design that uses bold color for impact and then enhancing the design with interesting quilting lines. I want the design to be strong enough to draw viewers in from a distance and then reward them for taking a closer look with lots of free motion quilting lines and motifs. In reality, the elements that combine to make great art in painting are the same in textile art–color, line, composition, balance, unity. There’s a lot to explore right there!

I also plan to take time to get artistic inspiration from other artists on a more regular basis in 2011. My husband has encouraged me to commit to visiting a museum or art event at least once a month. We’re fortunate to live in the Washington, DC area where there is no shortage of great museums to visit. Last year I found that visiting the Phillips Collection, the East Wing of the National Gallery, the Virginia Fine Arts Museum in Richmond and the Tate Modern museum in London gave me lots of new ideas to play with. Making museum trips more of a routine seems to make a lot of sense as a way to recharge and be inspired!

Other thoughts for the year–get more familiar with social media; consider focusing on fewer, more rewarding shows; be open to new experiences (see museum trips above!) now that both my boys are in college; and be more disciplined about avoiding activities that drain time and don’t add to my creativity.

Best wishes for peace and creativity, as well as health and happiness, in 2011!