Wednesday, February 03, 2010

I hear the sand trucks

Only about an inch of snow but the trucks are out sanding the hill. Tomorrow will be another day in the house at the rate we are going. Maybe I will bake bread.

Thanks for all your nice words about my blog -- I couldn't do it without you!  As I sit here tonight (almost 1:am) after a long day, I realize the last 48 hours have not provided me with anything you want or need to know about.

However, if you haven't read Elizabeth Barton's blog post from today, I highly recommend it.  She talks about "intuition" in making art and makes some good points as she interprets the word. I think when we say we work intuitively (well, those of us who do) we may mean that we don't plot everything (or even anything) out in advance.  We don't blow up a drawing, trace it, and use it as a template, cutting out pieces to fit.  We start working, see what develops, and plan or change direction as we go along. Working intuitively means we know what works when we see it, or know somehow what a piece needs to make it work, without having to look it up in a book. On the other hand,did you ever know that something looked wrong - wasn't working - but couldn't put your finger on why? 

Intuition is knowing something without knowing how you know it.  It reminds me that when Jessica was little and would say something I didn't expect her to know, I'd ask her "how do you know?"  Her answer was always "I just know."

On Elizabeth's blog there is one particular reader comment I found rather snarky but since she has no contact information on her profile, I was not able to snark back.  Just as well, I suppose.


Do you define yourself as working intuitively? And if so, what do you mean by it?

12 comments:

Eva said...

Intuition seems to be a word that comes along with misunderstandings; I appreciate the hint on what Elizabeth wrote. I have come so far to know that experience means a lot, and it is summed up by some part of the brain (I call it the janitor) that works very fast and leaves out the details ("I just know"). The janitor also decides what should be discarded, often without asking me; I call this "forgetting". If I look closer, I can see the system.
The janitor likes habits. That's why I start a special inspiration machine: Limits. For instance I make strips of fabric to be combined later, which I finish "prematurely". They are ready sewn and quilted, before I combine them. If I want to arrange them nicely, there will not be much choice left. I have to make the last bits fit into what is already there. I find it very challenging and fun to solve the problem and to make something out of the desaster I create in the beginning.

Beverly said...

I've worked both ways you describe, and it seems when I've started without an end result in time and allow the fabric to speak back to me- that's when I'm able to get into the zone. And the more experienced I get, the better the flow. Knowledge and experience definitely play a role in intuition, IMHO.

elle said...

This is very enlightening. At the place where I am, I find intuition is louder for what isn't working. Experience will help with the how to fix it. But setting limits is giving me a greater freedom to gain that experience. Thanks for guidance on the path.

Sherryl said...

I have always said that I fly by the seat of my pants. I have an idea for a project and a rough idea about how I will execute it. It doesn't take long for the piece to be dictating what it wants. The result is rarely what I started out with and that is usually a good thing. If you acknowledge your "intuition" or inner eye to work, then you are usually on the right path. Your brain will tell you what is or is not working.

Regina Dwarkasing said...

Rayna,
For me it sometimes feels difficult to join the conversation, because I am a natural doubter and also doubt if my knowledge of English is good enough for all the little differences of interpreting. After having read Elizabeths thorough and analytical post (which I always enjoy and learn a lot from)I must say that all commenters had a certain point for me, that's what I mean by doubter, there is not an 'only this' is right or 'that' is right. Like apparently always it is a matter of balance, balance between the knowing and the just doing. I think we all have to go a long time back in our personal histories to get to the time where we just did, primitively, tabula rasa and where we are now is of course a result of built up knowledge, the brain part in this discussion. Though I too long and search for knowledge in whatever way, I also feel the urge of letting all this knowledge go, not to be bothered by it anymore, because I sometimes feel it is hindering me and keeping me back from 'just doing'. So for me it is a balancing act with at this moment favouring more spontaneity. Oops,lots (way too many) words to make myself clear, I'm afraid. But you get the idea, don't you?
Grtz from the Caribbean!
Regina

Debra said...

The best kernel of Elizabeth's post was "True intuition is based on years of experience". I think the more you know how to handle your artwork, the easier it is. I also appreciated that she mentioned "it's blood sweat and tears with nearly every piece". Now I know why I always feel like every piece is work (to pull it all together into a cohesive piece) even when I am doing something I have done many times.

shellysquilts said...

Hey Rayna, Interesting commentary, you are making smile today. I usually start with a rough sketch (depending on the project) and then go from there. I think alot of the intuitive process is about making a instant decision. If it looks good it stays, if it doesn't it goes. Of course, there are always exceptions. And sometimes you just need to leave something alone, and come back later with a fresh set of eyes. (And sometimes making that decision is difficult.)
Happy intuitive sewing!

BUMBLE BEANS said...

on intuition...
If I wanted to make someone else idea of a quilt, I'd be using patterns... But since i have little patience for patterns and directions, I prefer to grab from my pile and start flinging stuff....
But if you need patterns, then so be it, we are all on our own journey... And i respect how ever people choose to work... What ever gets the creative juices out, works for me...
great post. thanks for sharing...

Jeannie said...

I work both ways, but the gratification I feel when I work by listening to my gut is so much greater than when things are planned out. It may take longer, because you know when things are "just right". It seems like an inner peace comes over you. Of course, when the project isn't just right, I feel that frustration too. I'd rather work by intuition in the long run.

Barbara said...

I cook intuitively. I suppose some sewing projects are intuitive also because I start down one path and realizing it won't work, I take another one.

Franchi said...

Love the snow scene. Can just picture in my mind you looking out from your balcony towards the woods with the little bushes and the snow.

badmomgoodmom said...

Science is very intuitive, too.

We spend a lot of time trying to figure out, and prove to others, what is behind our intuition.

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