Artistic Endeavors – Aboriginal Art

Because Australia’s Aboriginal people have no written language, they told about their culture through stories and symbols and icons. Traditionally paintings by Aboriginals were drawn on rock walls, ceremonial articles, as body paint and most significantly drawn in dirt or sand together with songs or stories.  Artwork we see today on canvas and board commenced merely 50 years ago, according to this article on Artlandish. Roughly the same story is told on this art gallery’s website.

In the 1930s Arboriginal artists such as Albert Namatjira painted watercolors of desert landscapes near Alice Springs.


Until the 1970s watercolor was the medium used in commercial Aboriginal art. Then, Geoffrey Bardon,  a school teacher, noted that storytellers would draw pictures in the sand while telling stories. He encouraged them to paint their pictures on canvas.

Since then Australian Aboriginal Art has been identified as the most exciting contemporary art form of the 20th Century. Aboriginal Artists need permission to paint particular stories.

They inherit the rights to these stories which are passed down through generations within certain skin groups. An Aboriginal artist cannot paint a story that does not belong to them through family.

Aboriginal art differs in character and style depending from which region the artist is from and what language is spoken.  Most contemporary art can be recognised from the community where it was created.

Dreamtime or Jukurrpa and Tingari (the term varies according to their particular local language) is the translation of the Creation of time for the Aboriginal People.  Most Aboriginal Artists paint facets of their Dreaming which forms a share of their inheritance and identity.


This is the ancient story of the Milky Way and the Seven Sisters (Pleiades). This Dreaming was inherited by Gabriella from her mother, handed down to her from her paternal grandmother, Long Rose, given to Gabriella by her father.
aerial view used by some artists
indigenous painters at work

In May 2007 the first piece of indigenous art sold for more than $1 million –  Emily Kame Kngwarreye’s work ‘Earth’s Creation’ to a private buyer for $1.056 million.

The market for such art has helped strengthen Aboriginal culture and provided much needed boosts to local economies. Aboriginal designs can be found in cotton fabrics sold online and in quilt shops.

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Art Nouveau Rococo

A while ago I blogged about a silk piece based on a tissue paper design I made for use with organza. Because the design features stylized curves I thought the design had an art nouveau flavor, but the flamboyance of the finished work led me to call it Rococo.

I had the quilting done by Janice Kiser, a local longarm quilter who has an affinity for curves. Here are details of her quilting.

The batting is wool, which gives a 3D effect to the petals. Rococo finished at 30 by 35 inches, and has a faced edge.

I’m surprised at the amount of silk fabric I still have, so I need to design more projects for it. While I love its sheen, I find it a bit finicky and in need of backing before sewing with it.

Linked this post to http://ninamariesayre.blogspot.com/2018/09/finding-inspiration-off-wall-friday.html.

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Artistic Endeavors – Illustrated Books

Many books are illustrated, from medieval manuscripts to children’s picture books. However, not that many illustrations feature books themselves.

Jungho Lee won the 2016 World Illustration Awards for his dreamy, surrealistic work.

Jungho-lee---promenade-list
Jungho Lee: Promenade

The professional class winner, Jungho Lee, who also hails from South Korea was commissioned by Sang Publishing to produce a series of book illustrations for Promenade, making use of graphite and charcoal overlaid with textured papers scanned and composited to create beautifully muted, minimal landscapes.

“Jungho Lee’s picture book is distinguished not just because of his outstanding technique, but great imagination. I think this is why the jury chose his book as the overall winner,” says Daehyun Kim, Book category judge. https://www.itsnicethat.com/news/40th-annual-world-illustration-awards-040816

He bills himself as an artist who has worked as an illustrator since 2007. I know that illustration is viewed as the bastard child of art by those who deem it unworthy of fine art, but yet I see far more than literal interpretations of written work in the finest illustrations. As a book lover I’m drawn to Jungho Lee’s inventive use of books in his works.

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May Sound More Impressive Than It Actually Is

Occasionally I like to send my creations out into the world of quilt shows. Recently I submitted Torii Traces to a national show, and it was accepted. A few days ago I received emails from the show organizer that encourage me to blow my own horn and, not incidentally, do a bit of marketing for the show.

First, the quilt.

Next, the press release I can share with my local media.

Local Quilter Accepted into Pennsylvania National Quilt Competition

NEW HOPE, Pennsylvania – Quilt artist Joanna Mack from Akron, OH has been selected as a finalist in this year’s Quilt Competition at the 2018 Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza (PNQE). The renowned event, produced by Mancuso Show Management, Inc., will be held at the Great Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, PA, September 13-16.

Following acceptance by the competition’s jury, Mack’s quilt, Torii Traces, will be displayed at the show along with other entries from across the U.S. Winners will be selected at the show, and publicized on the show’s website starting Thursday, September 13, 2018. Quilt and textile art enthusiasts will have the opportunity to view Mack’s quilt among the other magnificent quilts exhibited at the Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza, September 13-16, 2018.”

There’s more, but it’s about Mancuso Show Management, not me. I do love the sound of “quilt artist.”

Finally, I received a button to share on my social media. Please don’t ask what it means to be a finalist, as I don’t know. I think it means simply my quilt was juried into the show.

Now, Mancuso Show Management seems to do a good job with its shows. I’ve had no issues whatsoever with them. I just get depressed at all the efforts put into branding everything and everyone on social media. Maybe my brand should be

I’ve link up to Off The Wall Fridays.

 

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Artistic Endeavors – Yves Saint Laurent Exhibit

I’ll not weigh in on whether fashion can be considered a fine rather than “just” a decorative art, but I will share a gallery of the Yves Saint Laurent creations exhibited at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

The 2017 exhibit, called Yves Saint Laurent: The Perfection of Style, was drawn from the archives of the Fondation Pierre Bergé—Yves Saint Laurent and other private collections. In addition to haute couture and ready to wear clothing, it included accessories, photographs, drawings, films, and video from the Fondation’s archive. Saint Laurent’s hit parade included the trapeze dress; the Mondrian dress; and garments, such as the safari jacket, the pantsuit, and the tuxedo, that liberated women from strict gender dress codes. That liberation made its way down the female clothing design chain, and in my mind is Saint Laurent’s enduring legacy.

The trapeze dress from 1958.

Dress from 1966

Coat from 1970. Back says “or never.”

Trio of dresses. Could the middle figure be a Blue (Wo)Man Group member?

smoking jacket from 1966

There are several other photo galleries on the ArtDaily website that you might enjoy perusing as well.

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Rethinking and Reworking

Over the years I’ve built up a pile of pieces that just didn’t work even though I had finished them. When I cleaned out my drawers recently I applied the FAT (file, act, toss) guide to decide their fate. Some I pitched (i.e., put in the to be cut up drawer, ) some I just put back, and some I reworked.

Here’s the before and after for some of the revisions.

Autumn Before:

Autumn After:

I toned down the red/orange/golds in the upper left with two layers of green tulle and did more quilting. I added more lines to the right side, and carried through a line in the upper middle.  I think it’s improved, but not perfect.

Z Is For Zoom Before:

Z Is For Zoom After:

The colors on Z never photograph the way they are, though the first photo is truer. I decided to break up the long horizontal lines with rolled on fabric ink.  I’m thinking of adding more hand stitching to emphasize the new lines, but can’t work out colors.

7 Years of Bad Luck Before:

7 Years of Bad Luck After:

I really went to town on changing this one as I found it unwieldy. First a dye bath, then stamping with fabric ink. Now I’m thinking of cutting off the top bit, or maybe cutting out an irregular circle and facing it.

 

Stupendous Stitching Before (and after):

I created this practice piece in the Craftsy course Stupendous Stitching back in 2012. It sat in the drawer since then, even though I bound it. I decided the shape bothered me so I shortened it by cutting off the top bit, and adding new binding on the cut edge. I like it better now.

I find it educational to figure out what’s wrong with a piece and try to improve it. Some pieces can’t be improved without redoing them; but many can be dyed, painted, printed on, and cut up. If the amendments don’t work, all I’m out is some time.

I’ve linked up to Off The Wall Friday.

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Artistic Endeavors – Conceptual Art

To me, conceptual art has always evoked a wha?? response. Sol LeWitt’s wall drawing instructions will give you a flavor of this slippery beast. Mind you, the art is the instructions.

The first drafter has a black marker and makes an irregular horizontal line near the top of the wall. Then the second drafter tries to copy it (without touching it) using a red marker. The third drafter does the same, using a yellow marker. The fourth drafter does the same using a blue marker. Then the second drafter followed by the third and fourth copies the last line drawn until the bottom of the wall is reached.

Yep, Mr LeWitt wrote instructions for others to follow, like his Wall Drawing #51, “All architectural points connected by straight lines.” This means that each time his instructions are followed at a different location, the results will be different. Clever, but is it art?

According to LeWitt,

“What the work of art looks like isn’t too important. It has to look like something if it has a physical form. No matter what form it may finally have it must begin with an idea. It is the process of conception and realization with which the artist is concerned.”

 

PBS’s ‘The Case for Conceptual Art” tries to explain it all.

I can see some of the points made, but what puzzles me is how one gets from concept to fancy museum exhibits and deep pocket sponsors. Maybe it all boils down to the contextualization of art, but that’s a topic for another day.

Update on 8/29/18

Just came across this article on a Sotheby’s auction for an art concept. Here’s a quote from the article:

A humorous yet subversive work, Xuzhen Supermarket replicates a Chinese convenience store, housing a functioning cash register and an assortment of familiar merchandise available for visitors to purchase at normal retail prices. From tubes of Colgate toothpaste to bottles of local Kweichow Moutai liquor, each item lacks content, consisting only of its packaging. For visitors, each act of purchasing – or not purchasing – and corresponding thought-process, contributes to a playful yet penetrating critique on consumerism, advertising and global capitalism. The fact that the work is – for the first time – offered for sale at auction adds to the irony.

 

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