Other than a short but satisfying photoshoot for a very small work, last weekend held little to do with quilting. But during a visit to the Art Institute of Chicago, among many, many masterpieces, we happened upon Sky above Clouds IV, painted by Georgia O'Keefe when she was 77 years old. This painting is one in a series based on her experiences as an airplane passenger during the 1950s.
Georgia herself said about the painting, "I painted a painting eight feet high and twenty-four feet wide—it kept me working every minute from six a.m. till eight or nine at night as I had to be finished before it was cold—I worked in the garage and it had no heat—Such a size is of course ridiculous but I had it in my head as something I wanted to do for a couple of years so I finally got at it and had a fine time—and there it is—Not my best and not my worst."
I have had a similar sentiment about my own work now and then - not my best, not my worst, but I just had to do it. I love those pieces as much, I think, as I do my "bests." The strength of the compulsion surrounding those works seems to be an invisible element - something you or I alone can sense in our own work. And something about that adds to their overall beauty in a way that cannot be explained. I find something really profound about that, inexplicable as it may be.