Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Diamonds are forever

It’s been more than six weeks since I’ve returned from the Indianola, WA Potpourri workshop. You may think I've been avoiding my art, but it ain't so! Exercise 3 from the workshop has been morphing on the design wall.

I've nicknamed this composition High Anxiety for now. Not because that's the way I feel about it (not yet!) but because of the exercise directions.

At the workshop I started with the pieces splattered together helter-skelter.
helter-skelter & rotated

helter-skelter detail
Much as I like it, I’d go loony piecing this. For structure with options plus irregularity, I cut down each module into a diamond - 5 regular sizes and standard angles. You can see the variations from this set of modules.
cut and uncut diamonds
There are five sets of modules gradating in size, value and contrast. All of them are cut into diamonds, but not so they fit dimensionally snug with other sizes. The diamond templates are big enough to fit the rectangular modules without  being locked into one position.

I initially sewed the smallest modules together into strips.
sewn into rows
Too restrictive too soon. I don't hesitate to un-sew. 

These diamonds have been arranged and rearranged multiple times - more than are shown here.
on the diagonal

I like this but not what I was after. May be version 2.
The chosen arrangement – a radiating pattern - a reversal of the one above.
chosen one

This is one composition that demands to be bigger. The Black lines mark out a 5’ square. Rearranging the modules wasn't enough to make it work. I needed more diamonds. Because I had to dig out the colors from my stash, making more took forever.

Now it's about six feet square.
sew this up!
And ready to sew up! To keep it big I'll fill in gaps rather than cutting off the excess. However big it will be, I have a lot of piecing ahead! Maybe even more modules. I'd be making diamonds forever.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

So Cal art whirl

When schedules suddenly aligned for an unencumbered week, I seized the opportunity and ran drove to southern California. When I go out of town, I like to know what to see, where to go and how to fit it all in. Monday was an eight-hour drive to San Diego. I laid out an ambitious schedule of exhibitions and venues for the next three days:
I didn't have time to see much more at each venue. I just missed San Diego's Craft Revolution: from Post-War Modern to California Design. It looked great even as the Mingei staff were dismantling it. But I maxxed out and even saved the Eames House in Pacific Palisades for another time. But I did manage to connect with friends in San Diego and LA for dinner.

Making it all possible meant a one night stay each in each city - if it's Tuesday, it must be ___ - and two-hour drives each day in crazy southern California traffic. To cap off the trip I spent one relaxing non-scheduled day in San Luis Obispo before returning home.

You may think I'm nuts, but this was a great vacation - full of art and inspiration. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Unexpected art

Lakewater 10 by Robin Kandel
Not only did I not expect to fall in love at Neiman Marcus, I didn't expect to find a treasure trove of art either.

Art is throughout the store. Not framed posters. Real art. Fabulous abstract art all by local artists. All thoughtfully placed and given viewing space.

Not only that, there's functional art too. The furnishings, store fixtures and lights are works of art in themselves. 

Neiman Marcus has a corporate curator to select and place art in each store. How wonderful is that? And how wonderful to be in a place where a private art collection is accessible to the general public?

Admittedly  the general public doesn't shop at Neiman Marcus. Neither do I. Yet the staff could not be more gracious and welcoming.

For more, here are some links to check out: herehere and here.

There's also this great video about the fantastic kinetic piece "Wind Fins" by Ned Kahn on the exterior. Seeing this undulate in the wind is even better from inside. Wish I had my camera.

Kudos to Neiman Marcus for a beautiful store! I foresee trips into Neiman Marcus in my future.