Notebooks

I have had notebooks on my mind these past few months.

15-03-05 a J. Pollen notebookIt all started with the Jason Pollen exhibit and lecture last fall. In the second part of his exhibit he displayed some of his notebooks and in his lecture he said he draws two hours every day in these sketchbooks. I would love to spend a pot of tea going through these note/sketchbooks; it would be like climbing into the mind of the artist. Oh heck, I’d just like to sit in his studio as he worked and have him think out loud…I think you would learn so much.

And then last week on KCPT, Bob Holloway, another of my favorite artists was profiled and he said he has kept a journal/sketchbook for the past 40 years. He has 40 of these journals…incredible! Ditto on the sit in his studio.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWell if I didn’t feel inadequate before I did after watching this show; I want to journal and sketch too. I want to put my thoughts down on paper so I don’t lose them. I was feeling pretty uncreative and I started straightening up the office, stitch space and library. And what to my surprise, I had an epiphany: OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI do journals, notebooks and sketchbooks and have for years. I have 2 Master Teacher Notebooks, I have a value and color notebook, I have a notebook of another favorite artist, Fritzi Brod and I have a notebook of finished stitched projects I have completed to mention a few.

And then I found these blue notebooks I made and carried. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI drew stitches in them whether it was a new stitch I saw on another canvas, in a book or magazine or whether it was just something that popped into my head, I drew it in these notebooks. I also kept noted on the canvas I was stitching and when I made the page for my finiOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAshed stitch project notebook I would turn the pages up of or remove them. These notebooks are dated so I have an idea when I did them.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI don’t know why I stopped using this method but I have a feeling that this is what has been missing in my life. I think I thought that the larger graph paper in a larger notebook was the answer for me but now I am not so sure. I don’t carry this notecase everywhere and therefore have fallen out of the habit of keeping good records/notes for myself. And I seem to have acquired a large amount of pieces of graph paper that are not contained anywhere. I think maybe I thought I needed a larger area for diagrams but maybe I just need to have that at hand in case and carry my little notebook everywhere.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI also have two other note/sketchbooks that I keep. One is ideas that I see or think of that I want to remember for that “ah-ha moment” of inspiration. This notebook contains drawings and pictures of other art works, just stuff.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Every other page is numbered and I put a month and year date on the  page too. When an idea is forming I will look through these books (there are only three so far) for ideas that relate or that I might want to incorporate. This has happened and I go OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAback and find the reference and it usually sparks more creative thoughts.  The flower in upper left of the picture became a Sunflower Temari ball with French Knot center.

15-03-05 j sktbk pg 4-15-13My other notebook is the frustrated artist in me. I want to be able to draw like Jason Pollack, Bob Holloway, Fritzi Brod, Mary Englebreit, Joan Walsh Anglund to name a few. I want it to seem as effortless as they seem to make it seem. But I struggle with this OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAartist within me; I read books, take classes and still do not feel I am neither a sketcher nor an artist. My drawings in these notebooks are all dated and vary from geometrics (which I love) to just a sketch of my coffee cup or dot pictures. I can create a geometric needlepoint, I can pick stitches for a painted canvas (and yet I struggle with these sometimes too) but I OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAdon’t think I will ever be an art show artist, nor is anyone going to ask me to have a showing of my artwork. But some of these drawings will hopefully become needlework too. I just saw a geometric in drawing #1 and the pumpkins in drawing #2 are drawn from a picture my daughter in law sent me of two pumpkins she made last year for a contest at work. I want to stitch needlepoint canvases, finish them as stand up baskets and have the hair and flowers planted in them…I see Sundance Sparkles for the hair. (see I am incubating a new ideas as I write this)

15-03-05 o FA ntbk 2And last week after cleaning, I went to the opening of a new show at the Nelson-Aitkens Art Gallery for a special exhibit: Ferran Adria Notes on Creativity. They are the drawings of this chef and his staff on food, history and creativity. While I creatively 15-03-05 p FA ntbk 2understood these drawings & notebooks, I wasn’t sure I understood his method (but I am not a chef either). 15-03-05 q no peasMy favorite was this graphic: I saw it from across the room and was sure I knew what it meant…I was wrong, it represented seed but to me it was and is “no peas.” There were parts I liked and other parts I am not sure I understood, but that’s okay because at the bottom of one page that had been blown up was the explanation of it all…

15-03-05 n FA ntbk

Result(in box): everybody has his,her own creativity process.

The “ah-ha” moment of the week for me. The artist understood these notebooks and sketches and each meant something to him and he became more creative because of them and helped his students to be more creative also. I did another tour of the exhibit with a new and greater understanding of the beauty he had created and given us a brief glimpse. I’m sure to the major chefs that see this exhibit it has my more meaning to them than it will to me, but we both have come away with our own moment of creativity.

It was ah-ha moment for me and I realized that my notebooks do not have to appeal to anyone but me. Notebooks are a glimpse of the artist who creates them and do not have to make sense to anyone but that artist. (I still would like to spend an afternoon with the artist I admire and their notebooks. Just to listen to them and see how their creative process works I think would be inspiring.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo I have decided to go back to my little notebook for stitches; I made myself a new little notebook about 50 pages and will keep it with my stitching. I will still keep my ideas notebook , I will sketch (but maybe never 2 hours every day)  and I have also decided to start another long overdue type of journal…I am going to start keeping a stitch doodle canvas. It will have no rhyme nor reason to it, it is just going to be OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAstitches. I plan to keep a log of which stitch is used, the thread and I might even add where I used it if I do use it. Stay tuned as I finish a canvas (the first page)  I will share it with you.

Thank you for stopping by to visit, I hope you find time to stitch today or do whatever helps you be creative!

ttfn…sue

 

Fritzi Brod, my favorite artist

14-09-02 In the WorkshopI’m still in awe of my new Fritzi Brod picture, In the Workshop;  but let me tell you about Fritzi Brod and how I came to love her artwork.

Bio: Fritzi Schermer Brod was born Prague, Czechoslovakia in 1900. She studies at Lycee in Prague and Kunstgewbeschule in Vienna. Fritzi met Oswald Brod in Austria and came to the United States in 1924 to marry him.

Fritzi attended the School of Art Institute in Chicago. She made a name for herself in the textile arts as a designer of textiles. Her designs were among the first displayed by Marshall Fields. She was part of the Chicago “bohemia” artists. She was a painter (both watercolour and oil), decorative painter, textile painter, printmaker and writer. During WWII she turned her talents into map making for the US government. She wrote 3 books on design: Decorative Designs; 200 Motifs and Designs, and Flowers in Nature and Design. She also illustrated 3 books that were included in sets of pictures to color: Flowers to Color; Birds to Color, and Scenes to Color. She died in Chicago 1952.

14-09-12 Flowers to ColorAnd Flowers to Color is how I came to know Fritzi Brod… When I was about 8 years old, my parents gave me the Flowers to Color box. The box contained a small box of crayons, 32 black and white plates of all the flowers listed in the accompanying booklet Flowers to Color with illustrations by Fritzi Brod. I would never color on these black and white plates but copied them and colored on another page. Over the years the black and white plates were lost but I still have the book.

Years later, my mother and a close family friend, Mr. Reiner were closing up an apartment of his first secretary after her death and there on the wall were three of the flower pictures from the book, Flowers to Color. I recognized them immediately and requested to have them if no one else wanted them. Mr. Reiner asked why I wanted them and I told him 14-09-12 flower picturesabout the coloring box of my childhood. He then informed me that he and his wife had given these pictures to his secretary and they were the original plates from the book. He gave me these pictures, I had them reframed and they have hung in my home ever since.

Mr Reinier had been friends with Fritzi and Oswald Brod for years and he asked me one time if I still had the little Flowers to Color Book and I told him of course, it was one of my treasured positions of childhood. He asked me to bring 14-09-12 den couplesit down to his apartment and of course I did. Mr. Reiner had six original watercolours that Fritzi had given him for his birthday, but due to space could not display them. Each picture is a couple in native 14-09-12 sitting roomCzechoslovakians peasants costumes. Mr. Reiner gave these to me and the accompanying cards describing each. I had these framed and they also hang in my home. I have a couple ads from shows that Fritzi had and these pictures are listed in the show.

14-09-12 card noelMr. Reiner was so pleased that someone enjoyed Fritzi’s art as much as he did that over the years he gave me three Christmas cards Fritzi had sent to him, one is an original. He also gave me 200 Motifs and Designs; a portfolio with design plates Fritzi had sent to him. Mr. Reiner also had three other 14-09-12 200 motifs coverpictures framed in his apartment that have remained in his family and a glass vase with nude etchings that is signed by Fritzi.

In the late 90’s I spent a great deal of time researching Fritzi Brod and even was in contact with Rose Brod (Rose was the second wife of Oswald Brod). She gave me permission to reproduce any of Fritzi’s designs in any media I so chose. I never had the opportunity to meet Rose Brod but we corresponded for many years. I have a 3 inch notebook on Fritzi Brod and her art work; it contains all the press releases I have found over the years and pictures of all the works I have ever found on the internet and elsewhere. I also have copies of all the books Fritzi wrote or illustrated. Fritzi Brod is a true inspiration to me, I love her work, even the ones that are baroque and yes, even her nudes. I would love to find more of the flower watercolours, especially the tulips. And of course I would love to find pictures like the ones Mr. Reiner had.

So, you can see why a few weeks ago I was speechless when a Fritzi Brod arrived at my house. What a gift …

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you find time to stitch today! ttfn…sue

Oh my gosh…Thank you

I had a blog all ready to post about cording BUT I have to show you what arrived at my house last week. The UPS man arrived and I am still speechless when I look up and see this picture…

14-09-02 In the Workshop

I hung this immediately in my office so I see it everyday; I also have a nail in my stitching nest to hang it there too. I want this to be an inspiration to me to complete some of the designs I have in various stages of completion. This is a lithograph titled “In the Workshop” by Fritzi Brod. I have loved this artist since I was a little girl and have several of her originals in my home. I have always loved this picture too and a dear friend sent this to me. As soon as I finish the roll ups I will write all about Fritzi Brod.

14-09-01 In the workshop wall

Right now I am still speechless. Very few things leave me speechless and almost in tears, but this gift did both. All I can say is: Thank you so much.

ttfn…sue