Fiber Arts

on practicing… my eyes are on you!

I am currently reading Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.  He describes successful people like Bill Gates and Bill Joy, founders of Microsoft and Sun Systems respectively, and how the circumstances of their young lives promulgated them into their success.  We often think that people “pull themselves up by their bootstraps”.  Gladwell argues that circumstances like month of birth, historical era, and opportunity to practice play into extreme success much more than bootstraps.  Bill Gates and Bill Joy were given opportunities for a phenomenal amount of *practice* because of their locations, historical era and family situation.  At any rate, the need to practice 10,000 times in order to develop expertise is also one of his topics.  Now how can we possibly do that?  I know that I practiced piano at least 10,000 hours during my younger days and while I was an organist, so having a passion for what you want to learn is also part of the picture.  Finally reaching a point of expertise, even if to a limited degree, makes an activity much more fun to do, so I will continue drawing, painting, designing and stitching… maybe I will live long enough to develop enough expertise to “feel the joy”.  How can that be?  I already enjoy the activities, so I guess the practice just goes along with progress.  See the practice drawing of “4 eyes” below.  Just keep having fun!

Can’t resist “looking at you!” Actually, this is Lab 12 in Carla Sonheim’s 52 Creative Exercises To Make Drawing Fun! I’m trying to do at least one lab per week. Practicing is not my favorite thing, but it takes 10,000 practices to become an expert, so I must keep practicing!
Be sure to check out the

My eyes are also on a lot of quilts show in the Blogger’s Quilt Festival this week.  My entry is called Coneflower.  As I focus on learning more about mixed media, this quilt was one of my first attempts to use more than fabric and thread in creating fiber art.  Coneflower was stenciled with oil paint sticks to a background fabric and machine quilted.  If you click here, a link will take you to a slide show of close ups where you can see some more details.  Thanks for looking!

© 2010  All images and text are copyright of Mary A. Ritter (aka ‘M Unique) and may not be reproduced without express permission

7 thoughts on “on practicing… my eyes are on you!

  1. I found it interesting to read about the process used in making this quilt. I appreciate the quilt festival even more as I realise what a huge variety of techniques we can be exposed to. I really enjoyed seeing your entry.

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