Artists Inspired by Focus, Movement & Delight


Murmuration from Sophie Windsor Clive on Vimeo.


 2. A poem shared by one of the Archetype Workshop's* registrants, Valerie, about the elemental forces she is working with for an exhibit entry:

A poem by Rumi: Answers from the Elements: from Coleman Barks book, The Big Red Book.

Writes  Valerie:"I love Rumi's work, and will enjoy finding a way to illustrate it in an 84 " by 14" format - that long vertical is challenging! Here's the stanza with the responses of the elements to the question, Where is God?"

The moon says, I am dust stirred up
when he passed by. The sun: My face is pale yellow
from just now seeing him. Water: I slide on my head and face
like a snake, from a spell he said. Fire: His lightning,
I want to be that restless. Wind: why so light?
I would burn if I had a choice. Earth, quiet 
and thoughtful? Inside me I have a garden
witn an underground spring.


3. And some thoughts from John Cage about work, (Did I already share the second...nevermind, it bears repeating).

These were found on the wonderful blog Intense City:

RULE ONE: Find a place you trust, and then try trusting it for awhile. RULE TWO: General duties of a student – pull everything out of your teacher; pull everything out of your fellow students. RULE THREE: General duties of a teacher – pull everything out of your students. RULE FOUR: Consider everything an experiment. RULE FIVE: be self-disciplined – this means finding someone wise or smart and choosing to follow them. To be disciplined is to follow in a good way. To be self-disciplined is to follow in a better way. RULE SIX: Nothing is a mistake. There’s no win and no fail, there’s only make. RULE SEVEN: The only rule is work. If you work it will lead to something.

“Something my father remembered the composer John Cage saying to him during the 1950’s often came to his mind: ”When you start working, everybody is in your studio – the past, your friends, enemies, the art world, and above all, your own ideas – all are there. But as you continue, they start leaving one by one, and you are left completely alone. Then, if you’re lucky, even you leave.” — Musa Meyer, “My Father, Philip Guston” (Image by Jon-Kyle)


 * That Archetype workshop (almost full) 


MARCH 23-25

(optional Friday night potluck & work-in-progress critique)

 Spend some time thinking and working on using your inner crew for work and support. In this workshop we’ll explore archetypes, inner voices, gut reactions and their influence on your art and art-making with lots of improvisational exercises to loosen up your approach to art. Make a small artist's altar using fabric and mixed media techniques including mono-printing, collage and digital printing on fabric to remind you of a practical and sacred part of your life. (artist altar frame, $10 supply fee) Workshop fee $175, Lodging, free to $30 on site.

Loving It Big City


A Labor Day outing to Houston has proved to be  qn unusual and wonderous blend of image, taste, sound and fizz. We've been dog and cat sitters at a friend's house in the Montrose, so the everything in the inner loop -- musuems, music and more --  has been easy and accessible. The home of our friends makes a luxury hotel room look like a seedy second choice. Pool, kitchen, art and fabulous architecture have given us a home away from home without exception.

Amazing ancient textiles, mummies and incredible coffins shaped like boats were centerpieces in the Silk Road exhibit at the Museum of Natural History. The brocades and tapestry weavings were delicate and preserved by the dessert climate where they had been entombed -- colors still discernable after nearly 2000 years. The older tombs and mummies were hauntingly beautiful, speaking to us across nearly 4000 years of the lives and times of these families of traders and trade route merchants.

More to come later -- this post is interupted by yet another call to travel -- up to the Woodlands for dinner tonight.


World Shapes: Art-making Inspired

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, Berlin

Next up: the  shape collection from the summer travels. (Previous installments in the two previous posts include Movement and Color, see the sidebar for links.)
Some things I might try from these inspirations:

1. Think of the grid as a pattern of shapes and use it as did the artist who designed the Berlin Holocaust Memorial.

2. Try making a columnar shaped art quilt, like the Estonian tower.

3. Use the paving stone and manhole cover collection (I took lots of these photos) to make thermofax screens for an art cloth series.

4. Use the shapes of the plaster casts from the Victoria & Albert Museum to inspire some altar-shaped pieces.

5. Make a phototransfer of that lovely urn from Kensington Garden.

 Manhole Cover - Berlin

Newton, Sculpture at the British Library

Tower in Tallinn, Estonia, UNESCO World Heritage Site

Medieval stone carving, plaster cast at the V&A, LondonUrn, Kensington Gardens, London

Vintage Inspiration & Accidental Collections

Vintage tablecloths are, I guess, one of my accidental collections. I first started buying them with the idea of overdyeing or cutting and piecing, and found myself hoarding them instead, unwilling to cut up any but the most tattered and stained.

And now, surely it shouldn't come as a surprise, I have learned  (from a sweet blog called A Charmed Life) that vintage tablecloths are quite collectable and that you can even find catalogs and lists and galleries with names, dates and manufacturers! Oh dear, another web-based fritter awaits me, as I try to track down the provenance of these lovelies. I must have about 50 now, and I still find them at quite affordable prices at thrift stores, flea markets and the like.

What's the attraction?" Some of it is purely visual -- the funky designs and colors, the outrageous tropicals and holiday prints. And some, admittedly, is because I was there then -- in the 50s and 60 when every bridge table had its lovely cloth for parties and tea and holiday open houses.

And, yes, sometimes a cloth finds its way into my work, often on one of my small studio or home wall altars.

Accidental collections are those assortments of things you never really decided to collect, but one day you look around and your home or studio or desktop or garden is full of them. Accidental collections have a kind of natural growth that usually has more to do with liking something than it does with investing in it. And whether you think your accidental collection has anything to do directly with your art or not, it probably has something to do with your strong suits and inclinations in the sensory world.

What are your accidental collections? How do they inspire you?

(Remember, if you comment, you will be entered into my raffle for a free copy of New World Kids, The Parents' Guide to Creative Thinnking)