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

 

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Sh-h-h-h Part 1

I’m actually going to try and post several times this week; otherwise this post will be too long. I have been inspiring myself weekly and I will share with you to catch you up. Some (today’s post is no longer available to see but of the others are still open and what’s best is they are free)

Have you ever noticed how quiet an art gallery or library is? And it is a different quiet than when you are home alone without the distraction of TV or computers. It’s like the quiet of a mountain retreat or a quiet day sitting at the lake, a special quiet that is so peaceful and relaxing even when looking at art that does not appeal to you or reading a thrilling book can disturb.

My visits to the art gallery and libraries started last fall when a friend told me about an art show at the Kansas City Public Library Main Branch. (see https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2014/10/24/creative-week-but-no-photos/) The Jason Pollen exhibit, Unfurled was a two part show and lecture. Unfurled, Part 1, spoke to me and I became an instant fan (I knew at this first show I needed to know more about this artist.) I made my husband miss the start of the first game of the World Series (Royals vs Giants) so I could attend Jason Pollen talk at the library and it was worth every minute. I could hardly wait for Unfurled Part 2 to begin and when it did I went the second week (would have gone to the opening but was feeling like I was one sneeze away from the flu and did not want to expose people to 15-02-03 Flag-Peace sdmy germs.) Jason Pollen also had an art show in his home/gallery and I did not miss this either. In fact I am the proud owner of a Jason Pollen flag ( I call it “Peace” ). It hangs in my stitching nest with my Fritzi Brod (https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2014/09/12/fritzi-brod-my-favorite-artist/)  and I look at them every day.

I r15-02-03 Shiftealized, given a the chance I could be a Jason Pollen groupie.  I would love to take a class from him and regret that I did not when he was teaching at The Kansas City Art Institute; I think he would have been a very nurturing and inspiring teacher.  I liked many of the works, but I really loved the pieces he created using silk with fussed fabrics (Tierra Luminosa, Tierra Verde and Shift 15-02-03  Flicker I{pictured}).  The reflective aspect that he created by fussing fabrics together and hanging so the light played 15-02-03  Flicker IIoff of the art work and created an ever changing piece were spectacular. I could see myself sitting in front of one of these and being completely relaxed and inspired.  I like his mobiles too (Flicker and Flicker II); 15-02-03 Notebooksthey were free moving, ever changing and fun! (I found myself wondered how I could adapt this idea to needlepoint.)  In Unfurled Part 2 he displayed his sketch books; I think these would be very interesting to look through… I think you would be inspired beyond belief. Another piece that spoke to me was Thirty Days. Jason Pollen “hit an artistic wall, unable to identify what to create next or even 15-02-03 Thirty dayshow to create it.” He made himself come to the art, studying line, color tint and shade by making a linear foot a day for 30 days. It reminded me of the doodle cloths we so often speak about making in the needlepoint world but seldom start let alone complete.

In fact the Jason Pollen Exhibits is what made me realize that I had probably been missing a world of wonder that was mine just for the looking. So one of my goals is to keep my eyes and ears open to the exhibits that are going on around me. I listen to the morning news and read the paper and local magazines for exhibits at the art galleries and libraries I have overlooked in past years few years. I try to do something every week and then I also get a lunch in the bargain.

More later this week, I have some interesting things I’ve seen.

And I do find time to stitch just nothing very interesting right now. I think I’m in a dry spell and have had a couple inspirational failures…it happens to all of us.

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

Creative week but no photos

Okay, there is one photo here but only because I just took it…I really need to remember to use my camera more. I have missed several photo opportunities to use here and all I can say is I was so enthralled with the art and people I forgot. It has been a fun and inspiring week for me.

Several weeks ago a good friend of mine and not a needleworker told me about a fiber show she thought I would like; she’d heard about it on the news. Since we were having lunch in mid-town we decided to venture downtown to see this show.  Once we got to the main library we found out the show didn’t start until the next week…oh well we had time to look around the library and it is a beautiful place; and again no pictures, too busy gawking.

The next week, when the show opened; we ventured down again and oh my way is worth it. Jason Pollen is having a celebration of his 30 years in Kansas City with a 2 part show: Unfurled (http://www.kclibrary.org/event/jason-pollen-unfurled) . You can read all about Jason Pollard here: http://www.jasonpollen.com/www.jasonpollen.com/bio.html.

14-10-24 Jason Pollen BookI felt immediately drawn to this art work, it spoke to me and I could have spent hours just sitting in the area looking at the works. Every time I looked at a piece of this artwork I saw something I had not seen before. I was fortunate enough to pick up one of the books on the exhibit and although I did not read it at the time I have read it until some of the pages have become loose. I then returned to the exhibit, book in hand and spent several hours just looking. I want to return again and look some more and maybe this time I’ll remember to take pictures.

This week I also attended a lecture Jason Pollen gave at the library (It was the first World Series game between the Royals and the Giants too, but that’s another story.)  I was torn between the Royals game and the lecture but knew if I did not go I would regret it. So off I went…and it was so much more than I expected. The first time I saw the exhibit I had written in the guest book that I would like to just sit and watch him create. I still feel the same and even more so after meeting him and listening to his lecture.. I came home and on the internet found several articles from others who have taken classes from him and now I know that I want to do this too. I am going to make another trip to the first part of this exhibit and I am definitely not missing the second part of this show.  I also have the opportunity to visit his studio next month. I am a happy person; hope I can remember to use my camera.

Then later this week I receive an email asking if I still taught Temari and would I be interested in getting together so I could share my Temari knowledge. The email was from another Sue, visiting her family all the way from Australia and so I figured it was the least I could do. My Temari knowledge is limited, I am not Barbara Suess (http://www.japanesetemari.com/) and I have no desire to really teach anymore…BUT I feel that we must share our knowledge no matter how limited with others, otherwise the art of the needle or for that matter any art will be lost. So I wrote back that I would be happy to share my limited knowledge and resources and when would it be convenient to meet. Yesterday Sue came by to spend some time with me. I had gathered all my Temari information together so that she could see what she was most interested in. I shared with her my limited knowledge, let her take pictures of anything she wanted (you would have thought that would have jogged my memory to take some too, but no it didn’t.) I gave her a couple different needles that I use making my Temari,  an extra copy  of a beginning Temari book written in Japanese and even let her pick a Temari to take home with her.

I shared with her that I do not use anything but a Kleenex as the core for my Temari and I am going to try making muslin strips of fabric to try also. I used to use 3 styrafoam peanuts in a plastic bad but seceded that was not environmentally friendly and I was also not sure how the plastic would react over time with the yarn used to make the ball. I even promised to email her the instructions I have written for a class I did teach years ago.

It was a fun visit. Sue is a fabric dyer and so she has promised when she gets home to dye some threads for me using Australian natural dyes; I can hardly wait.  First Sue is off to Canada for a dying class and then when she gets home she will dye my threads. Will share when it comes.

So even though I have no stitching to share and no pictures (I am going to get better at this) I have had a very creative week. I am inspired to do some drawing and also designing needlework. I But right now I need to get back to some unfinished business I have waiting on my desk.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you find time to stitch today! (I will stitch during the baseball game tonight and every night until the Boys in Blue win the World Series…Go Royals!) ttfn…sue