Posts Tagged ‘creativity’

From The Series Of The Same Name Comes Ebb&Flow – #24.

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

Ebb & Flow 24 web

Ebb & Flow 24,  2014. 

A bit erosional in character.  Despite some real differences with others preceeding it, this one defnitely belongs in this series much more so than I felt while making it.

There has been a bit of discussion on the SAQA and Quiltart lists about working in a series, what might be the importance of working in a series, how you go about it, what are the guidelines to working in a series, how do you set up a series., even some asking ‘Should I be working in a series do you think?’    Some people get so analytical over this stuff that I don’t think needs much analysis; while others write books and teach courses on working this way.   Everyone knows when the work of another artist, contemporary or historic, falls into a series(s)    Working in a series is nothing new, nor does it guarantee that your work will be accepted or acclaimed if you do!  But everyone knows a series when they see one – it could be loosely described as a group of art works linked by some theme or technical factor that underlies or defines a cohesive body of work.  From personal experience I know that to be involved in one is enriching and satisfying.  I don’t seem to plan mine as in set out a plan, they just lead from one to another, and I just find myself in one after 2 or 3 related pieces.  I continue with a theme until I feel I’m done with it.  One or two I feel I’m finished with (Colour Memories)  others not so at all even though I may not be working in that group just now  (Ancient Expressions) : I reserve the right to say something more some time!

How thrilling was the announcement the other day that the Rembrandt portrait at Buckland Abbey in Devon UK has been shown to be a self portrait dating back to 1625 when he was in mid 20’s.  Until very recently it had always been thought to be in his style but done by one of his students.  It’s suddenly worth a heck of a lot of more money in nominal terms – but, of course, the abbey will never offer it for sale! But the larger amount is relevant for insurance purposes; and confirmation of the C17 Rembrandt selfie will bring a large increase in visitor numbers and revenue, I imagine.   Anyway, Rembrandt painted over 40 self portraits, quite a series you’ll agree – and many other artists painted the Old Master, too, so there are a lot of images of him – we must have a pretty good idea of what he looked like in pre-photography days.

Craftsmanship in Gold

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

La Lechuga copy

We saw this amazing religious art piece “La Lechuga” at the Museo do Oro (gold museum) in Bogota Colombia last month.  It’s  stunningly beautiful – and nicknamed ‘the lettuce’ because of the intensity of the 1485 emeralds on it – plus 13 rubies, 28 diamonds, 169 amethysts, 62 baroque pearls and 1 sapphire.  Constructed of 4.9kg+ gold (the gold colour’s a bit washed out, I haven’t been able to correct it)  It took the Spanish silversmith Jose de Galaz 7 years to make 1700-07.  After I took this photo I was told by the guard that photos were not allowed in that part of the museum, and so what was to have been the close-up of the whole thing remains the only pic we have, but you can see it in its awesome splendor and correct gold and other colours at http://www.banrepcultural.org/blaavirtual/coleccionarte/artplas/custcol.htm   Do a virtual visit of the Museo del Oro at  http://www.banrepcultural.org/museo-del-oro   and     http://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/collection/museo-del-oro-bogota?projectId=art-project    There’s a similar piece, though not as grand imho, called ‘La Preciosa’ and you can see that also on wikpedia, I think – or perhaps the first link above.

We love museums, fine craftsmanship, and gold of course – so of course obviously we made a beeline for the Museo del Oro in Bogota , and there are regional smaller collections in major cities so we went in Medellin and Cartagena, too!  What we especially liked in Bogota was that seniors go in free of charge! and one day a week everyone can go in free – that would be a crush – it was pretty crowded both times we went …

gold mountain cat Bogota blog

The text along side this  told us that this  regalia (a nose plate and earings) was found in a tomb from the Yotoco period.  It related the wearer the mystical powers of felines, and the circular markings liken it to the jaguar, as do the prolongations to its limbs. Note the emerald eyes!!  The craftsmanship was breathaking – and it is so interesting that the cat quality could be so captured in that head on perspective.  This gold was pretty thin, though I imagine the nose accessory, measuring about 8cm x 10cm overall would have required some practice to wear successfully with due dignity, if it was ever actually worn in real life, and that would have been magnificent to see.  But it might have been a kind of death mask thing.

gold mends bogota blog

It is always interesting to remember that people everywhere repair important objects – which are precious for some reason, including practicality.  I will never forget an exhibition we saw years ago at the Musee Quai Branley in Paris, about which I blogged in Totally Memorable Exhibition.  I wandered off to google about mending things in general, and found lots of articles, many of which mention kintsugi, the Japanese art of mending ceramics with a ‘golden seam’  – just google that word and check the images.  I even found http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/mending.htm which some might find helpful….

From Idea to Form

Monday, February 17th, 2014

sandlace2blog

On how I transform something from an idea into some form, this pic says much.   I have always thought any ‘line’ can be a cut, a seam or a line of stitches.   So using a pic I’ve taken of some pattern,  and using some form of my very, very basic, tech tools –  in  this case PE11  (Photoshop Elements 11) – I will choose to resize, manipulate, re-draw, change colours, whatever .  Those photo-editing programs are wonderful, but as I say I just go ‘basic’, more or less one or two steps up from the lead pencil and simple diagrams+lists  I’ve always done.  Here I have collaged a sample with part of a sand pattern photo on which I drew with PE11 to show how my brain takes an image to a form via fabric and thread.

I was recently asked where my ideas come from.  All over the place ! is my  answer.   Right now ‘holes’ and ‘lace – widest interpretation of’ are on my mind as I am focus less on The Quilt itself, and more on wherever exploration takes me with mixed media and stitch.  Since the late ’70’s the wheel has turned a full circle, I think.

Sandlace – Free Form Lace Continued

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

sandlace sample 1

 

Some sample making continues for some ‘Sandlace’ works,  inspired by pics such as this one above.

  • Something I’ll do more is place one of the ‘lacey’ sections over some of my own freeform piecing/patchwork.
  • Another possibility is ditto over some much more muted fabrics,  closer to each other in colour and intensity.
  • Also to be explored are some texture printed backgrounds ….

 

sand lace 3 web

sandlace3 detail

  •  I very much like raw edges, so this  is being explored, too.

 

 

Taking Notes

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

I just watched an interview on BBC World with American writer Donna Tartt whose work I don’t know but must read soon.  All three novels including her just released “The Goldfinch” are available on kindle and audio.  Recorded books are a great help to me, as I can ‘read’ while doing other no-brain-required stuff like walking the dog or quilting.  Interestingly Tartt was talking about the pre-writing stage of a book, which termed evanescent and exciting as she gathers up ideas, and consults the vast quantity of ‘notes and bobs’ she constantly puts into a note book.  She always has a notebook with her  to jot down ideas and observations as she experiences them.  In this planning/designing phase of a book she can write absolutely anywhere including a friend’s couch, in the bath, in a public library, and on the bus.  The interviewer countered that many writers would balk at writing in a public library as being too, well, public. Tartt responded that to her its wonderful, as whenever you need a character there’s a passing parade of potential to choose from to flesh out a story. 

The next phase, which can last a long time is the hard work of writing the story, for which she didn’t use my term ‘hackwork’, but mentioned the hard work to be got through once her planning or designing has been done.  In this phase I usually put on the headphones and listen to a recorded book or favourite.  My hands are busy but my mind can be elsewhere.  She talked removing an 80-page passage of writing from her recent book in this phase. The reviewer was aghast at the thought of removing 80 pages from a draft, as after all, that’s a high percentage of an average modern novel !  To Tartt a particular piece of writing had to be done, if only to then show her where she should really be heading with the work; and if it meant ditching a chunk to improve it, then so be it.  I don’t often ditch large sections of quilts I’m working on, but have, and for that same reason.  And occasionally a problematic work might take a spell in a cupboard, and emerging appear fresh, and redeemable.  Writing a novel is not the same as planning a textile work, but there are definite strong similarities.  I know people who’ve cut up sections of a larger work and presented them as small works, and I have one or two that I’m tempted to ‘reshape’ this way, being OK because its still the artist’s hand (and eye) at work.

Tartt writes her notes on paper.  I’ve blogged in a long post  here about my own use of a visual diary. In addition I use the notepad on my iTouch or phone for little lists, odd thoughts, snippets or ‘bobs’.  And as I always have some camera or other with me – pocket-size digital, phone or iTouch –  I can take a pic, each of which is worth a thousand words, they say.  I just ‘read’/listened to a marvelous book “The Mobile Wave’ by Michael Saylor which I need to listen to again, as I now understand the potential of smart phones much more and need to maximize the use of the one I just acquired.  I finally decided to abandon the pre-paid one that works only in Uruguay, because too many functions weren’t working well on it (um, I did drop it a few times )  And yes, I have got one of those impact absorbing cover thingies for the new one, JIC   ;-p 

 

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