The days are getting shorter and cooler. School is starting up again. I am feeling lively, frisky, and animated!
I recently signed up to be a mentor for a fellow member of Studio Art Quilt Associates, inc. (saqa.com). My mentee is definitely lively. She has embraced the task of setting SMART goals and she loves to work in her studio! My job is to help her define her goals, ask probing questions, make observations, and listen.
Could I do these things for myself as well? Examine my own goals, make observations, ask questions? Listen more closely to what my gut tells me and to what I hear from family and friends?
I have observed a couple of things about myself. 1) The pandemic changed my habits about entering shows. I went from entering something each month to entering almost nothing. The habit of participation has not fully returned though art venues have opened up. In order to elevate the art quilt to fine art, the fabric medium must be seen in company with other media. 2) I was helping two organizations develop themes for virtual and live shows. Because of that, I was motivated to create artwork specific to the themes these organizations focus on. The effect was that my own focus became muddy, and my artwork was all over the map.
Two months ago, I shared with you that I wanted my direction for the next year to be creating art that explores what it means to be Safe and Well. I will focus on these ideas, sometimes by considering what it is to be the opposite of safe and the opposite of well. This can be clarifying. We all want certain basics, including shelter, fresh food, a sense of purpose, stability, downtime, being understood, and being loved.
I am currently creating a large piece about sleep. A person who is having trouble sleeping, is not completely well. Something is amiss. So what does good sleep look like? What is the shape, size, color, weight, and texture of sleep? Tune in next month to see my sleep interpretation.
SMART goals, like the ones I’m helping my mentee define, are Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic and Timely. I have now set some of my own.
Specific – For one year I will create art that is about being Safe and Well and will enter all-media art shows.
Measurable – I will create one or more pieces each month. I will enter 4 – 6 art shows in a year.
Achievable and Realistic – This pace can be achieved. I will have enough art to enter 4-6 shows.
Timely – I will create art that explores ideas of Safety and Wellness for one year.
My SMART goals reflect a long-standing interest of mine. It’s my way of thinking about it that’s new. I have often focused on people spending time together, which is certainly one element of feeling safe and well. As I embrace the next year, I will create abstract conceptual art as well as figurative art.
Each of my blog posts ends with a recipe. I often share a recipe that has only three ingredients and is quick to assemble. Not so this month! Asian Salad is very tasty but is also rather involved. The next paragraph shares my methods. You may wish to skip over it and start with the following paragraph instead.
Soak raw cashews in salty water overnight. Drain and rinse, and dry in a food dehydrator for 24 hours. (or bake at 300 in an oven for 30 minutes?). Cook one cup of Quinoa in chicken broth. Add chopped garlic and fresh ginger to the pot. Bake 4 bones-in-with-skin chicken thighs ( in a casserole dish, covered) for a long time (one hour at 400, one hour at 350, and one hour at 300 ) until the meat is tender. (Yes, that’s a total of 3 hours.) Or you can use a crock pot. Reserve the chicken fat. Cool, and remove the meat from the bones. [Make your own chicken broth by putting bones and skin, etc., in a pot, covering with water and simmering for 25 minutes. I freeze this broth for the next time I want to cook Quinoa in chicken broth.]
Four Servings of Asian Salad: Combine one cup of cooked Quinoa, cooked meat from 2 or 3 chicken thighs diced, 2 cups thawed frozen peas, one or more chopped red bell peppers, 4 T. each toasted sesame oil and apple cider vinegar, and salt or soy sauce to taste. (Optional – add chopped cabbage, 3 T. melted chicken fat, and more diced garlic and fresh ginger) Serve in bowls, and top with a generous amount of toasted cashews.