Category Archives: Everything Else

Artistic Endeavors – Just Dance

Fred Astaire. Restored by Nick & Jane for Dr. Macro’s High Quality Movie Scans Website: http://www.doctormacro.com. Enjoy!

I have shortchanged dance in this feature, so I want to remedy that by featuring a seven minute montage of dance moves from about 300 movies.

If you’re movie obsessed, you can track which movies the clips come from, thanks to the list on Open Culture’s post. What a mashup – Blazing Saddles, The Deerhunter, Pulp Fiction, A Hard Days Night, and Groundhog Day all have their moments.

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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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Humans Plan, God Laughs

I was going to share some of my recent experiments with a new to me coloring tool, but instead I had my appendix out. I feel much better now.

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Artistic Endeavors – La Wilson

Last month an obituary appeared in the NYT for La Wilson, who designed quirky assemblages out of odd materials that may or may not have had deeper meanings.  My eye was caught by two things – Wilson died in Hudson, Ohio, which is about a 30 minute drive from my house; and her work is in the Akron Art Museum’s collection.

The copy for her 2014 show at the Akron Art Museum said,

Over the years, Wilson proceeded to position blocks of type, stamps, pastels, crepe paper, fishing lures, plastic forks, coins, rosaries, airplanes, toy guns and a myriad of other materials into boxes or frames creating elegant compositions that evoke delight, nostalgia and sometimes even a dark edge. Wilson comments that her constructions evolve from a “stream of consciousness,” noting that the objects either “click almost instantly” or “take forever to work.”

Not only did Wilson have the Akron show, but she was awarded a Cleveland Arts Prize in 1993. I’m ashamed to say it took her obituary to make me aware of her work, despite her local presence.

She talks about her methods in a short video made in 2011. Apparently her approach was purely intuitive. I love that she knew something was right when “It makes my heart beat faster.”

You can see more of her work at the John Davis Gallery website.

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Sometimes I Give Away Scraps

Recently I had the novelty of giving away scraps of fabric rather than accumulating them. A local theater costume designer wanted to make a cotton patchwork dress for a character named Scraps in a play called “Talking With.” He asked me and another quilter for donations as he doesn’t use colorful cottons.  With them he created a full skirted dress and headpiece.

The mob cap is attached to Raggedy Ann yarn hair and a plastic mask covered with fabric. As you can see, the costume shop is jam packed with stuff. I was happy to donate some of my fabric as this designer has given me many scraps, mostly of sparkly, shiny fabric.

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3,500 Centuries of Glass In Six Hours

I can’t rave enough about the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, New York. My husband and I toured it earlier this month, and expected to be there for about three hours. Instead we were immersed in glass, from its scientific and technical aspects to its artistry, and had to tear ourselves away late in the afternoon. The world renowned collection draws many visitors from abroad. A glass making demonstration we watched was simultaneously translated into Mandarin.

One display is indeed called 3,500 centuries of glass. If you’re a glass objects lover, then allow time for the research library and the Frederick Carder (manager of Steuben Glass for many years) gallery. For entertainment several live demonstrations are on offer, including breaking glass. Sorry, you can watch but not participate. You can also sign up to make glass yourself.

Corning itself seems a shadow of its former glory. It’s trying to get a hip downtown scene going in what’s called the Gaffer District, but how many pubs and massage/healing therapy places can a town support? Corning Glass, now called Corning Incorporated, is still headquartered there, though much of the manufacturing is done elsewhere. The modern headquarters building is behind one of the old entry gates.

But back to the glass. Here’s my highly curated selection of photos based on personal taste and how photogenic the pieces were. Glass reflects light so many of my photos show mostly the spotlights, not the object, despite having the flash turned off.

The above two images are from a special exhibit on Tiffany studio’s mosaic glass. Artisans worked up samples for commissioned works before doing the whole panel. The panels are gorgeous but not photogenic – at least not with my phone camera.

I didn’t note the artist for the above work, but it reminds me of time lapse videos that show seeds sprouting and swaying to catch the light.

The above won my “over the top ostentatious display of wealth” award.

A display case full of blue aurene glass, one of several thousand works designed by Frederick Carder, Steuben Glass Works manager from 1903-1932. The gallery is separate from the main museum, but is worth the short walk to reach it. My first response to this case was holy crap! Then I went on to the other cases and lost the power of speech.

If you visit, and I hope you do, I recommend you arrive right at 9 a.m. when the museum opens. The crowds build towards the afternoon. And they really love to shop.

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Fraternal Twins Completed

A bit ago I wrote about a small quilt called Arcs, specifically how I chopped it up twice. The first piece to calve (think icebergs) from it became another small quilt I called Grasses.  Both developed from the chunks of fabric below.

Arches beginning

Now Grasses is done. I continued to use big stitch embroidery – I got into french knots – and couched cord, but added some decorative machine stitching.

GrassesHere are some closeups.

Grasses detail 1 Grasses detail 2The edges are finished with a single fold binding. For decorative pieces I see no need to use a double fold binding. In fact, I’m rather tired of bindings all together, and want to try alternatives. Jamie Fingal uses a wool blend felt backing that she trims to 1/8 inch beyond the edge all around. I could get into that. She uses felt as batting and backing, as shown in this post.

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