Saturday, August 25, 2012

12 by the dozen

Are you a member of a challenge group, or have you considered joining one? I belong to 12bythedozen, and I find it lots of fun. Our on-line group has twelve members, from four countries and three continents. Every three months, a new theme is chosen by one of the members, and our challenge is to produce a 12-inch square that interprets the theme in fibre.
Connections, 2010
Seeing Red, 2010
I hesitated to join 12bythedozen when I was first approached in 2009. I wanted to focus on "my own work", rather than being diverted by the arbitrary whims of a group.  I am someone who has posted in her studio the following quote:

"How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives." - Annie Dillard
Reflections, 2010
Frenzy, 2010
But then, my friends were having so much fun with the group challenges and posts that I changed my mind. I jumped in with both feet and even completed the two challenges I had missed. It helps that six of the current members are from the Montreal area.
Fresh, 2011
Structure, 2011
Now, I have to admit that if a theme doesn't really inspire me, I will just produce something "quick and dirty" and move on. But there have been a couple of occasions when the incentive  of the challenge has led me to try something I have been meaning to try for some time. And then I have found that having made the one small piece to meet the group's requirements, I will continue with the theme and work with the techniques and ideas on a larger scale. This is what happened with my Tuscany series, which started with Pamela's suggestion of "Fragments".
Fragments, 2011
Street Life, 2011
The Tuscany series, with its image transfers of street scenes from my travel photos, in turn led to my Cityscapes series, which has occupied me for the past ten months or so.
Steps, 2012
Fine Living, 2012
The Montreal-area members have had two occasions to exhibit our work together. Viewers have been fascinated to see the individual interpretations of the various themes. 

You can have a look at our group's blog. Alert: our next Big Reveal will be on Friday, August 31, on the theme of Jubilation. The lines will be humming!

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