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How to be Finished

Through my weekly talks with Maria, I've put more thought into why I do things the way I do. In some cases, Maria and I have very similar ways of working, as in the way we piece together "scraps" of fabric and paper to make art. However, we differ greatly when it comes to being finished with a piece. We joke that it takes Maria "forever" to finish a quilt....about 2 weeks! At the end of the process, which she documents on her blog, the quilt has already appealed to someone who has purchased it, and off it goes to its new home. She doesn't like finished art to hang around. She wants it sold and out the door as soon as possible. On the other hand, I finish something, and then it sits. And sits. And then maybe gets stored away in a box, in the basement. Part of this is my art school mentality; you would make pieces, and set them aside for a future show. Or, maybe you'd make prints or copies of it, so you would keep it for that purpose. For some things I make, this makes perfect sense. I have a stack of daily collages that are piling up, and it wouldn't make sense to sell them, since they are part of a whole, and are my record of this period of time. But for my fun collages, holding on to them doesn't serve me well. They are piling up but bring no joy to anyone in a pile, stashed away in my basement.

The more I started thinking of why I hold onto to these things, the more several things became clear. I'm afraid to call something "done." I've taken out paintings or collages that I've made years ago, and I've altered them. Also, I realized that I didn't think they were quite good enough. I mean, they were fine for me, but not good enough to try to sell to someone else. So, I've been trying to shake this idea and call things finished. My next step is putting them for sale, which I'm doing gradually. The collages above are part of this letting go. They are listed in my shop, very affordably, so someone else can enjoy them. I have hope that this letting go will lighten me physically and mentally.

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