I really admire those artists who have a solid focus. Every time you visit their blogs, you know what you will find as they make progress on their painting or stitching or sketching. They dig in deep and develop their ideas fully.
I, on the other hand, find it impossible to focus. I've come to realize that I need to both stitch and paint. They occupy different areas of my brain. They take entirely different energies and fit my mood at different times of the day. It's not like if I wasn't stitching in the evening, I'd be painting. They aren't interchangeable.
When I was away at my artist retreat last year, I had all the time I always dreamed of to work on my art. I thought I'd get in a good 8 hours of painting every day, then maybe stitch a bit in the evening. But I soon found out that I can only paint for about 2 hours straight before I hit a wall.
I loved the set up of the residency where I lived and worked in one open room. After I finished painting, I would sit in a chair by the window stitching, but was always able to glance up and see my painting on the easel. Maybe it's like taking a walk, or taking a shower, when you are trying to solve a problem, and the answer comes to you without effort. While I was sitting there stitching, I often found what I needed to do next on my painting.
But sometimes I seem to just enjoy the diversion of an entirely new project. When I saw the wonderful work by Rosemary Hoffenberg, I was off in a new direction. This piece in particular grabbed me.
I couldn't figure out how she made those wonderful circle and oval shapes, especially after I read that they were pieced! Fused I could see, even some applique, but pieced! I had to experiment just to try to see how she did it. I had some randomly pieced scraps lying around that I used as a starting point and started joining and cutting and repiecing. I don't have much practice with curved piecing, and that was a huge challenge. My experiments are very clunky compared to Rosemary's, but I did have fun with the randomness of the circles.
Will I ever do anything with them? Doubtful. But I did enjoy the afternoon diversion.