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

 

Inspiration all around

The world is full of inspiration; just take the time to look. Nature offers an endless supply of inspiration but so do your local art museums. My goal this year to be inspired at least once a month with a visit to at least one of our local art museums: Nelson Art Gallery(http://www.nelson-atkins.org/), the Kemper Museum of Modern Art (http://www.kemperart.org/home.asp) or  National Museum of  Toys and Miniatures (http://toyandminiaturemuseum.org/). Then there is always 1st Fridays in the Art district, but the weather has to be nice for this…I am a fair-weather art lover. Then in May, our outdoor art shows begin and they are always fun to attend…just to people watch.

But this winter I have been doing the museums…

The Nelson Art Gallery had a special exhibit of the Plains Indians from Sept 2014-Jan 2015; if it comes to a gallery close to you be sure and go see it. What struck me most about this exhibit was the detail of design…and then it dawned on me…How did these people store all those beads and porcupine quilts they were using to make whatever bag, robe, dress, fan, envelope, cradle board, ceremonial pipe, etc.?

I have a room full of stuff that I can’t live without to use for my needlepoint and I don’t have to move it as the weather changes. Plains Indians followed the buffalo; it was their source of living. I can’t imagine being pregnant, making a cradleboard and having Mike say to me, ” Today we are moving. Pack up the beads, your stitching, take down the tepee, move and I’ll see you in a couple weeks down south.” I would have not survived as a Plains Indian! Pack up the needlework and move to where…I can barely change rooms with my needlework. Those Indian women were more organized than I’ll ever be and they had the patience of Job to do all that beadwork. I was impressed.

15-01-19 NAG mini 3This week-end Mike and I ventured out to the Nelson Art Gallery again; another exhibit at the gallery are pieces from the National Museum of Toys and Miniatures (http://toyandminiaturemuseum.org/) on loan from our National Museum of  Toys and Miniatures that is being rehabbed.   The new OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAmuseum is supposed to open early this year, cannot wait to see the changes and improvements. Many of the miniatures are replicas of works in the permanent collection of The Nelson Art Gallery. My favorite piece was the sewing casket; 1 1/8 inch tall. My picture does not do it justice but I was trying to show the size in relationship to my index finger. The picture from the brochure is better but larger than actual size, but you OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAcan see all the details included.

I always thought I  would like to make a sewing casket , but if I ever get around to it, it will not be a miniature nor will it have the details of the sewing caskets I have seen in other places.  Don’t hold your breath; it is not on my “to-do” list, just my “If I run out of things to stitch…I might consider doing this” list.  And the comment you can see on the picture from the brochure says it all: “One work can take months, even years, to complete.” Mine would take the rest of my life and that’s if I started today. So this is one thing on my bucket list that probably won’t get completed in any size.

15-01-19 NAG mini 1My other favorite piece was the teapot. The miniature is a 7/16 inch replica of a 1765 Earthenware teapot 5 1/2 inches from England (part of the Nelson Art Gallery permanent collection). My picture with my little finger for size does nothing but I am OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAshowing you the picture from the brochure too; you can see the comparison better than the picture I took.

For all of you who do not know, our own Sharon Garmize (http://www.sharong.com/) stitched many of the miniature rugs that will hopefully be on display when the National Museum of  Toys and Miniatures re-opens. I’m not sure if she stitched other pieces or not.

15-01-19 El Amatsui 1The art Gallery also had this piece on display. Dusasa I by El Anatsui is a large piece that is made of found aluminum and copper. Many of the pieces looked like labels and bottle tops that were flattened and then stitched together with copper wire to make a 15-01-19 El Amatsui 2cloth like sculpture. It was hung high on the wall so it draped and protruded in different areas. It was quite striking, and as you walked past it the shadows and light changes made for interesting textural changes.

15-01-19 NAG 1But my favorite sculpture at the Nelson Art Gallery is Fall of the Rebel Angels. It is a 10 3/4 v 6 inch Italian ivory. When I was a young girl this piece was shown in a display where it was at the back (about 24 inches back from the glass) and you could not see the detail. Today it is shown up close and you can see it from all sides.

15-01-19 NAG 2Thank you for stopping by, I hope you find something to inspire you this week. And of course,  I hope you find time to stitch today! ttfn…sue