Saturday, November 14, 2015

Things I've Been Saving To Share

A new tangle. This is the little notebook where I copy the step-outs for future reference. Besides loving to use Zentangles as frames, I also love the ones that overlap and intertwine. They lend such complexity (and this one creates a frame as well) but when you know the sequence of steps, are really quite simple to draw. This one, called Umble, can also be shaded in different ways, other marks drawn in the center rather than blacking it out, as seen in the bottom two squares.

Why I ask what you think and truly want an honest answer.
“It is hard to judge your own work, no matter who you are. If you are successful, there is the added danger that people might not be honest. My wife, by the way, is absolutely fantastic—she has no ­respect for me. I can hand her a script and she will tell me straight out that it’s boring. And that’s invaluable.”

- Michael Haneke
And why, perhaps, I find it so hard to be satisfied with some of my work.
"If we never felt pleasure from anything we wrote, we’d stop; but if we were completely satisfied, if we didn’t feel the urge to move beyond what we have accomplished or to take on a new challenge, we’d lose interest…" Peter Turchi on Csikszentmihalyi’s concept of “flow” for writers

A 3rd century bce silver plaque from a horse harness. I'm a little obsessed with Celtic designs and this is an early one. So very many of them were based on threes, in my book not the easiest configuration to get even. Surely I can find someplace to incorporate this.

A thought I appreciated hearing. I'll be the first to admit that my design skills are often lacking (which is why I've been turning to art journaling exercises). You can depend just so much on "serendipity" and "working intuitively" before it catches up with you. But I swear, many quilt and multi-media artists don't get that. And so it was affirming to run across this on Laura Kemshall's blog:
My aim with these classes is to help the students make the art quilts that they want to make. I think three things are needed - ideas, design and technique. Ideas must always be the students own, technique is easy to come by, it's design that's the tricky one. Knowing what to do and why, understanding why a design 'works' and why another doesn't, that's what I think is often the step that's not covered so much, and the one that we've been tackling bit by bit in our Adventures.

Vickie Moore's recycled catalogue card

Something that made me sad and led to something that made me smile. I'm so old school about so many things, and really do miss the old library card catalogs. It hadn't occurred to me that there was some central place that printed and sent out these cards, but there was...emphasis on the "was". I learned this from a Smithsonian article, The Card Catalog Is Officially Dead. Shed a tear... However, the source that led me there also led me to several sites showing how artists are using the discarded cards from libraries that have converted to computerized versions (and yes, there are still some holdouts). Most of these endeavors left me cold. Sure, you can take a bunch of cards and put them together to make a dress, or some other object with no connection to the cards themselves. But not artist Vickie Moore, interviewed here. "I use obsolete library card catalogue cards as canvases for miniature pieces of art.  The subjects, authors and titles on the cards help suggest imagery for me to use." Her mouse on a motorcycle above really did make me smile and I loved that the text on the card and the imagery of the art were related.

Three more silk ties. Yes, this is an addiction. I may need an intervention. Pickings were mighty slim at the two second hand shops along my walk. Why I even went in is up for speculation - I think I was in a mood. So I was a little relieved that there were only a few ties on display at either place, and those not of the silk variety. And yet, a few days later, I was back at one of them, actually to see if a large pottery vase was still there (the teal glaze caught my eye not to mention the $1.99 price tag). The vase was gone, but a few more ties had been put out. Now do you blame me for picking up these beauties? I might actually gift one of these to a nephew who wears ties to work.


Living to work - working to live said...

Wow Sheila. Thanks.

I have been sat here browsing through Folksy ( much better than Etsy in my view because it's smaller and I'm sure manufactured tat creeps in in Etsy - but I digress) looking at stuff to help me price my work for the first sale next weekend (gulp). And of course that set me off down the " oh, I'm not sure my work is good enough! " path!

Then I read those quotes that you found at the beginning and that has calmed me down. I had a good response from the public at the open studio so why shouldn't I have a good response at the sales.

I need to stop procrastinating and just crack on and price for what I think it is worth.

I see you follow Laura Kemshall. She is such a lovely person and I have done several workshops with her. Funnily enough I don't wholly agree with that quote from her. I find that technique can then lead down a design path and I often look at things and think how did they do that ? I think technique can help the design process because if you know the possibilities then you can work with them.

Of course, in the quilting world the technique is fairly straightforward and I guess we can all master that fairly quickly with the sewing machine so I suppose the comment she makes is a fair one in the context of art quilts.

Sorry I have been so absent from blogger lately. The day job has been incredibly full on with quite a lot of travelling and between that I am just focused on making, making, making for the sales. Why on earth did I commit to 2?

H xx

The Inside Stori said...

Thank you for such a thought provoking post……’s good to reflect isn’t it???

The Idaho Beauty said...

I do think it's good to reflect, to catch one's breath and perhaps hit a needed reset button.

Hilary, happy to oblige. ;-) Indeed, I've been where you are and am happy that these quotations arrived at a time when you could use them. It's difficult not to doubt one's worth (or rather the worth of what we create) and there's always that thing about "what the market will bear." You've had one trial run with the open studios. I think it gets a little easier with each experience and as you get to know your market better.

As for the bit about design from Laura, I just really appreciated that she recognizes how little training art quilters and multi-media artists actually have in design. As she says, it is fairly easy to find classes on technique and with practice, you can adequately learn them. At least over here, there aren't many classes in design being taught at the show venues. Organizers realize there is a need and have teachers who could teach it but the classes simply do not fill like the ones on technique or putting together a specific pattern (at least this is what they were saying a few years ago). But the thing I always go on about is, how or why should I use this or that technique. Just because I can doesn't mean I should. And if I knew more about the basics of design as Laura is focusing on, perhaps those answers would come to me.