Artistic Endeavors – Moving Art

Historically, art works capture a static moment in time, but what if they could move?

This article from Hyperallergenic shows how New Mexico-based web and educational software developer Simone Seagle has been transforming iconic works by artists like Paul Klee and Claude Monet into interactive animations. Her ability to do this has been aided greatly by the digital collections museums are making available.

Seagle’s animation don’t just move. You can affect how they move with your mouse. She talks about the specifics of her manipulations here.

You can read the coding specifics of Seagle’s creations and play with them here. My favorite is “Cat Watching A Spider.”

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So Not Me, But I Like It

Thanks to the generosity of a recent acquaintance I now have a piece of vintage embroidery, and I’m curious to find out exactly what it is.

The base fabric is heavy and canvas-like, and the binding is lighter weight. The embroidery thread made it through a soak in Biz without bleeding. Alas, the stains are still there, though lighter. I’m wondering if they were caused by spilled tea. Any thoughts for further remedial action are appreciated.

I think it’s to be tied around one’s waist like a small apron to hold sewing notions like scissors, etc. If so, it’s for a slender-waisted person. I don’t think it’s to be tied onto a table or chair, given the curved shapes.

My dilemma is, what to do with it. It could make a cute pillow with the embroidered areas appliqued onto a base. I thought an oval shape might work with the sprays of blue flowers added on the side. Of course I have no fabric in stash that looks right with it. Or, I could wear it at sew-ins and confound fellow sewers with it. I can hear them now, saying “I thought you didn’t like that sort of thing.” That’s usually the case, but I love word play and the embroidery is nicely done.

All guesses and opinions are welcome.

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Artistic Endeavors – If It’s In the Times…

My Sunday ritual includes reading a paper copy of The New York Times. Palm Sunday’s edition included a fat magazine devoted to style, which I browsed for possible paper collage materials. Instead I found some quilts and quilt-like objects in ads, plus an article on fiber art.

First, Hermes’ ad company must have been at QuiltCon. I don’t know what that pot is supposed to add except a touch of surrealism.

Then, a Sunbrella fabric ad showed pillows that look quilted to me.

The piece de resistance was three pages of Calvin Klein ads with languid models draped over and around quilts that are so much more attractive than the clothes. The two toned shirt and pants on the guy will set you back $2000. I like his blue shoes, though. They’d look good in the bedroom shown above.

The article features mostly woven fibers, but does mention Faith Ringgold’s quilts. One sold a few years ago for $461,000. It’s now owned by the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (Walmart money) but ISN’T ON VIEW!

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Photoshop Fripperies

Now that I’ve completed part 2 of the Pixeladies’ photoshop classes I’m officially a menace to all pictures I’ve taken. It’s so easy to change up a photo’s looks with filters and assorted other bells and whistles. No more worries about composition as I can fix it. I don’t think that’s a good thing, as I can become lazy and lose the knack of composition. However, when you’re on a tour bus and you have only a few seconds to take a picture, it’s a great fall back.

Here are examples of my play with photos. The original photo is first (I hope), then the altered photo.

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I have no idea if I’ll use any of these in a quilt, but it sure is fun to play with the possibilities. I recommend the Pixeladies’ classes, but I don’t think they’ll offer the ones I took until next year.

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Artistic Endeavors – Gee’s Bend’s Mary Lee Bendolph

The recent QuiltCon show had the fingerprints of Gee’s Bend quilters all over it. One of the more prominent of those quilters – Mary Lee Bendolph – is featured in a current (through May 27, 2018) exhibit at the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum. She was born in 1935, freely used whatever fabrics were at hand (jeans, suits, etc.) and is now involved in printmaking.

To quote from the exhibit website, “This exhibition, which is the first to examine works from five decades of Bendolph’s life, considers her quilts as objects with many meanings. At once functional necessities and aesthetic wonders, many of the quilts on view are also family documents and symbolic memorials.”

Here are a few of her quilts.

Husband Suit Clothes (Housetop Variation), 1990
mixed fabrics, including corduroy, cotton, denim, velveteen, and synthetic brocade
80 x 76 inches

Ghost Pockets, 2003
Mixed fabrics including denim, cotton, polyester, and synthetic wool
Overall: 72 in. x 85 in.

“In Ghost Pockets, Bendolph incorporates pieces of her husband’s jeans, complete with their faded patches, still-saturated seams, and the deep indigo “ghosts” of pockets that once held Rubin Sr.’s hands, his tools, and other personal items. She also uses strips of turquoise, pink, and creamy yellow cotton, taken from his pants and shirts.

Created more than a decade after Rubin Sr.’s death, this quilt represents Bendolph’s resistance to a Gee’s Bend tradition: that of burning the clothing of the deceased. Instead, Bendolph saved articles of Rubin Sr.’s clothing to make quilts. “That way,” she said, “you always be with me…you’re always covering me.” The back side of Ghost Pockets has a large strip of red flannel overlaying a multicolored, patterned piece, intentionally giving the illusion of a quilt on top of a quilt.”

Swarthmore College’s List Gallery is the exhibit’s next stop.

Just for comparison’s sake, you can check out the winners at the 2018 QuiltCon here.

 

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Effervescence

The last of my bullseye quilts is now complete, and I like to think it’s the best of the bunch. If nothing else, it had the longest maturation time of any.

Here’s the final Bullseye Bubbles (25.5 by 33.5 inches.)

Once the green organza additions began, I felt the need for more bubbles, this time in purple, and spent much time rearranging all those shapes.

After I had them all fused down I worked on a quilting design. I printed a photo of my top in B&W and put a clear page divider over it. Then, I used a dry erase marker to try out quilting designs. Talk about high tech!

Did I make changes? You bet. I needed more bubbles, so I quilted them after I had finished the swirly bits. Are they lovely, round, even bubbles? No, not even close. But that didn’t stop me from adding more.

I’m over bullseyes for a while, but I’ve learned never to say never.

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Artistic Endeavors – Protest in Art

Art has been used for many ends, including social criticism.  Honore Daumier, George Grosz, Francesco Goya and William Hogarth are a few of the well known artists who addressed their times through their art.  Graphic Witness, a website devoted to social commentary through graphic imagery from about 1900 on, has some lesser known examples.

Council of War – Daumier

Pillars of Society George Grosz

In these politically fraught and divided times even quilters are using their medium for social comment. The protest quilts exhibited at the recent QuiltCon as I understand it, weren’t part of an organized exhibit, but reflected the views of their individual makers. These quilts addressed women’s rights, guns, incarceration, racism, police brutality, and many other flash point issues.

I have mixed feelings about such quilts in that I look for artistic qualities in how the message is conveyed. Some are heartfelt but I don’t think they’re aesthetically pleasing. I am indeed a snob. Here are a few I felt were effective in combining art and message.

Jessica Wohl White America

Liz Havartine She Was Warned

Juli Smith B4U

Karen Maple Black, Brown and White in Orange

Miriam Coffey The F Word

For a more traditional approach to a social commentary quilt, check out what Love Those Hands At Home is making. And bear in mind that not all social commentary quilts are social protests.

Lucinda Ward Honstain The Reconciliation Quilt (1867)

 

 

 

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