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  • Writer's pictureleann hileman


In a time when we are bombarded with visual information, the ability to focus sometimes seems impossible - phew, so much energy being bounced around us all the time! Those of us who quilt and sew have our happy places, though, and that has been one of my saving graces during 2020.

Being able to focus takes a lens on a camera and I think making art also requires a lens. Fortunately, that can be developed and learned. My amateur photography has helped me with that immensely. I do have a DLSR camera which has great abilities, some of which I haven't mastered (at all) but I often use my phone camera and still get great photos. If I enlarge them, they get all grainy but for my purposes, that's ok. My pictures are all just preliminary to making quilts out of them it seems.

So one of the ways I have learned to focus is to look for the object or critter in the foreground and I'm including a few pictures today. Having that item to focus on in the foreground seems to put everything else in a more manageable light so my eyes aren't overwhelmed by all the visual inspiration. It's a way of visually organizing I guess.

It occurs to me that in life if I focus on what is in front of me, the rest of it doesn't seem so overwhelming and it all seems to organize itself ultimately. Today I prepare to teach a class tomorrow and Friday and the big piece on my design wall (the roadway of which was plaguing me yesterday) is going to have to wait. And usually when I walk away from the monster piece on the design wall and come back to it refreshed, it has become tamer and I can proceed.

So there are my musings on "focus" today. Be well.

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