Monday, June 15, 2009

Out of Town, Out of Sorts

I'm staying with my mom while my sister is away. My job is to keep her company, clean, cook, shop, etc. It has rained every day since I came, and I didn't bring enough to do with me. I brought the big red stars quilt to bind, but that's not fascinating, so I'm a bit in the doldrums.

Trying to keep alert, I've been doing these things:

1. Reading blogs. I like to read Elizabeth Barton's blog. In her latest post, she strongly urges working in a series, not a scattershot approach. I am certainly scattered; but what do I want to serialize? Maybe lilacs?

2. Looking at quilt magazines. My mother has a few, and since I don't buy them anymore, hers seemed new and fresh. I learned about the design team at Blue Underground Studios. These are patterns especially designed to be quick and simple, but they're interesting, sophisticated, and contemporary looking, not just traditional blocks made with unattractively large pieces, like many "quick" quilts.

I also read a kind of "Surface Design for Dummies" article in Quiltmaker that suggested putting diluted fabric paint in a spray bottle and misting fabric with it. That sounds like something it might be fun to try, and was a new technique to me.

3. Gone on a brief fiber art tour. My home town is having a fiber art exhibition scattered through different venues (banks, hospitals, galleries). The link is here for anyone in the central Missouri area who might be interested. It's not possible for me to go out long enough to see everything, but today I caught a couple of the installations, and I hope to see some more later in the week.

One artist had small landscapes framed and matted behind glass. I don't like fabric works behind glass. Framed and matted is fine, but not the glass. It spoils the tactile quality; even though you don't really touch fabric art, you should feel like you can. How do other people feel about that?

4. Reading. I finished The Curate's Wife by a now-forgotten English novelist called E. H. Young. Fascinating picture of marriage, told with quite a bit of humor. I'm now reading The Elegance of the Hedgehog, an odd novel that is a mixture of short philosophical musing about art, beauty, and the meaning of life, social satire, and character study. Interesting. It was apparently a best seller in France for a very long time. On the drive down I listened to The Book Thief. This novel focuses on a young German girl in the years prior to and during WWII. Quite gripping, moving, highly recommended.

If anything else of interest pops up, I'll be back!


*karendianne. said...

Waving a hand to you being Out of your sense of order.

Elizabeth Barton's Blog IS interesting. I'm so glad you shared this. I left a note on her blog. I thought at first "oh lord this is going to be over my head." But I pushed on through knowing I should be open minded and read it all. Twice. Now, well now my minds doing Calisthenics with that whole call and response business going on.

I might post about this. Not enjoying Blogging right now so this might really Rock. Maybe. I have to think. Sofa comes today so I might get distracted! heee.

The Calico Cat said...

I feel guilty when I work in series... (The I SPY genre definately is turning into a series for me!)

I like Blue Underground, I own a few of their patterns, but they along with so many others remain undone...

I agree, fibre art should not be underglass. I am not sure where the artist works, but I have seen her stuff exhibited in show/sales, she framed landscapes that she made with thread on a sewing machine - really nice stuff, not just a collection of fancy stitches. (Kind of like what Ellen Ann Eddy does, only much smaller & more Monet-esque.)Hers are not under glass & for that I am glad.

jenclair said...

Sorry about the rain and the doldrums!

I'd love to work in a series, but like you, I don't know what I'd want to serialize. Guess I'll hop over to Elizabeth's blog for suggestions.

What a wonderful title -- The Elegance of the Hedgehogl -- think I'll look for that one. I enjoyed The Book Thief.

Debra said...

I've done some work in series before and it can be exhilarating and frustrating at the same time. Since I feel like everything I touch is so similiar anyway, maybe all of my work is a series!

I go nuts when I don't bring enough to keep me busy. Good luck with that one. . .