Friday, March 22, 2013

Old School Tactics

Liz Kettle here with you today. 
I am The Fill in Girl for my chiropractor. I used to work as an assistant regularly but now I just fill in when one of the other assistants is on vacation. I have always had secondary jobs in the health care industry since I was a teen and helping out at the doctor’s office my mom worked at. 

At this chiropractic office we use cutting edge technology and methods for patient care but are totally old school when it comes to bookkeeping. We still use ledger cards and hand write in the expenses and payments. It is simple, it works and it helps us connect better with patients while we are recording their visit because we aren’t behind a computer monitor.

This got me thinking about the never ending search for new and different in our society and in art making. So often it seems that everyone gets excited about the technique of the week or style of the month and everything else is as boring as yesterday’s leftovers. But, we end up seeing that style or technique everywhere so it too becomes boring and dull. 

Do you remember the (thankfully short lived) period where dryer lint was all the rage in textile art?

I confess I am totally guilty of this! No, No...Not the dryer lint thing just the hopping on the band wagon bit. Sometimes I get really excited about the possibilities of a new technique that I often try adding it into my work. There were a few times that it worked well but there were many more times that I found myself trying too hard to force in a technique that really didn’t support what the artwork was about.

Forcing an element into my work would cause frustration and stagnation as nothing flowed easily. Eventually, I would remove the incredibly cool part featuring the awesome technique and the piece would come together quickly and beautifully. Has this ever happened to you?

Sometimes 'old school' is better. 

I chose a daisy photo for today's post because they are one of my favorite flowers; simple, clean, old fashioned. I think I might put a big photo of a daisy in my studio to remind me to think of simplicity when I am stuck or in the clutches of some sexy new technique. 


Gloria Hansen said...

Good post Liz!

I find I'm most happy in my artwork when I stay clear of the latest must-have gizmo or trend and be true to myself. Although when the buzz is loud, it's hard not to listen. When I do, I try to honestly assess whether it's something that can help improve my own work or whether it's a time-wasting distraction.

For example, when all the buzz was about ice and snow dyeing, I did try it out. It was fun, and I and tried it a couple times. I've a lot of dyeing over the years, so it was something to add to the list. However, my preference is painting fabric. It's what I always come back to!

I don't think I'll ever close my eyes and ears to trends, but hopefully I'll not get too distracted by them.

And, I have to admit, when I managed a law firm, I was first in line to get rid of ledger and time cards! :)

Linda Teddlie Minton said...

This was a great post, Liz. In flipping quickly through the blogs that I read, I was captured by the beautiful photo of the daisy ... which is also my favorite flower. Your comments come at a good time for me, as I'm in the midst of clearing out a lot of the fad tools in my studio. Thanks!

Carol Sloan said...

I loved this post Liz! I, too, am often drawn to a technique - or maybe the look of it- and wind up trying to add it into my work. I usually practice on several "samples" first. I think that we have to spend time in our own studio with our own work to know what works for us and what doesn't work for us. Thanks for starting this conversation!

Natalya Aikens said...

love daisies! and will confess to still hoarding some extra special dryer lint to be used eventually....and trying snow dyeing recently. But neither will ever be the go to technique for me...Great post! Thanks!

Kristin L said...

I always consider "trying on" the fad of the month. It's hard not to be curious as to what all the buzz is about. I wonder if maybe my work would be better if I had what "they" were having. I tend to come back to my own thing, but it's often fun to experiment with the fad for a bit because you never know what tool might end up fitting quite well in your toolbox.

Liz Kettle said...

It is nice to know I am not alone in this shiny object distraction issue! Thanks for all the comments everyone. The post seems to have kicked off a clear the decks attitude. Not that I am giving up new techniques but I am joining Linda in a studio clear out.


Sorry I'm late in posting, houseful of visitors !
Do agree with what you said about fad and techniques. I try them all and too soon tire of them and move on. The dryer lint thing I did try and hated it no matter what you did with it you couldn't get away from the fact it was dryer lint.
Good post Liz.