Category Archives: Everything Else

Artistic Endeavors – Enlightenment and Entertainment

Photo Sources

From Gratisgraphy

New York Quilt Project Being Digitized

Influence of Women Artists

Ruth Asawa

Songs and Geography

Song Map of Texas

Free Art Books Published by the Getty 

The Getty Center

Artistic Maps

Susan Stockwell Colonial Dress

Japanese Book of Wave Patterns

If A City Looked Like An Artist



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Help Me Shed Light On My Work

I mean that quite literally. My husband has proposed some lighting upgrades to make it easier for me to see what I’m doing in my studio. It is a former bedroom with the obligatory middle of the ceiling dim light. New energy efficient bulbs haven’t helped much. The two windows are on the same wall and either bring in too little or too much light from their western exposure.

So far I’ve done online searches, which have given me general guidelines but not enough specifics as to products to use/avoid and costs. Some of the studios pictured have tons of ceiling lights, but visions of large price tags for fixtures and electricians dance through my head when I look at them.

Drop lights and wall sconces

Track lighting. (I want that cabinet to the right.)

Rows of track lighting. My fabric doesn’t look like that.
I like the idea of adjustable height lights.

I have task lights at my work table and on my sewing machine, but there are dark areas by the ironing board and design wall. I know changes are needed, but I’m befuddled about where to begin. This is where you come in.

What lighting solutions have worked for you? What kind of budget did you have? Are there resources I haven’t yet tapped to help guide me?

Thanks.


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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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