It seems that my life lately is an exercise in editing. It’s a difficult but a happy place to be, examining things and ideas, keeping some and discarding the ones that are not germane to my purpose. Sometimes I’m successful, sometimes not so much.
Back in the Stone Age, when I was in design school, the idea of ‘decorating’ a concept was deeply frowned upon. I suppose our professors came from the age of the Bauhaus and were trying to impart some sense of the essential to our thinking about design. Not that we were forced to be minimalists, but we were encouraged to look for unadulterated ideas, strong ones, and to weed out the unnecessary. That was over 30 years ago (late bloomer, Cheryl??) and I’m still struggling, happily, with the idea. Our culture is based on “More”. We work harder, spend more, own more, and cram more into absolutely everything from our kitchens to our wardrobes to our bellies. That’s ok, but there are moments when it is right to glory in the stillness of a single, ‘just right’ thing. One small perfect scoop of vanilla ice cream, one pair of perfect shoes, one cable in a knitted thing, just the right cable. Try it sometime…it’s hard! Sometimes, we do more things in order to prove that we are better at things. We’re bombarded by stimulus all the time. Influences are pouring over us constantly. Not a bad thing at all, in fact, a wonderful thing, but it begs us to learn to choose, to carefully weed out what is not “just right”.
As I browse through my works in progress, I see that they are all in the pale gray to off-white range, all in the process of being color edited. It’s like allergy testing: take everything away and gradually add things that are “just right”. My friend Elizabeth gave me these excellent skeins early in the summer. I’m finding them just right at the moment, adding the perfect touch of color to an otherwise neutral world.
My editing hat is especially doffed to folks like Karen Templar who advocate the editing of one’s wardrobe. Those rarified people are able to choose just the right article of clothing without buying a pile of rejects, those enviable ones buy one impeccable jacket and wear it until it disintegrates into paper-thin chicness. Mags Kandis is like that. It requires a LOT of self confidence not to overdo things. I don’t think you can create a personal aesthetic without it. I guess that’s why I so admire the essential…the simple strength of picking a horse and sticking with it. Note to self.