Thursday, October 27, 2016

Recommended Reading for Creativity

I’m not sure how much reading one should do about creativity; I strongly feel that you become more creative by doing, but if you need a boost, or want to make an in-depth study, one book I would recommend is Tom Waits on Tom Waits: Interviews and Encounters, edited by Paul Maher Jr. (Chicago Review Press, 2011).  Waits is singer-songwriter whose recordings defy categorization.  What endears his music to me is how he combines a multitude of music styles (blues, jazz, traditional ethnic, folk, hip-hop, rock, vaudeville, storytelling, etc.) with mysterious characters and story lines into something completely his own.  That is what we all try to do as artists, we are indeed the sum of many parts.  The book is not a manual on creativity, but it is fascinating reading on the creative process of one musician, and there are many valuable insights into Waits’ inspirations and evolution as a performer.  Regardless of how his music hits you (his voice is an acquired “taste”), there are lessons in the pages of the interviews for all artists, performing and visual.

From a 1999 interview by Brett Martin in Time Out New York, Waits advised that, “… you can take James White and the Blacks, and Elmer Bernstein and Lead Belly – folks that would could never be on the bill together – and that they could be on the bill in you.  You take your dad’s army uniform and your mom’s Easter hat and your brother’s motorcycle and your sister’s purse and stitch them all together and try to make something meaningful out of it.”  Of course, I love the sewing metaphor since my focus is on textile art!  Waits is right on there.  In my world, I put together the works of Joseph Cornell, Viktor Schreckengost, and Claes Oldenburg in the same museum exhibit.

Who would be on your concert bill or museum exhibit?  That would make a great art quilt idea – an advertising poster for your show of your influences…

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Report from Mutton Hill

Now that the much anticipated Mutton Hill Quilt Show is over for this year, I can get back to my life!  I will now be back to posting here on Tuesdays and Thursdays; I have many new ideas to get to in the next few weeks, thanks to some of the shoppers at my booth during the past few shows.  If you bought from me at Mutton Hill, thank you!  I'd love to see what you make from my fabric.  I have a long way to go with this crazy dream of mine to support myself with creative endeavors, but I have come a long way already on the journey.

Here is a view of my booth at Mutton Hill:
I managed to get a little bit of everything in there. Next year, I am considering a double booth.  I would love to have space to demonstrate techniques with some of the more unusual items I sell.  Of course, by next year I hope to have some patterns available, plant dyed fabric, more kinds of fabric, and a vintage sewing machine or two to sell.

I am still trying to unpack from the short trip, so I will adjourn here until Thursday, when you can look forward to my comments on a book I have just read about a singer-songwriter... some fascinating insights into the creative process that are universal to any art.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Overwhelmed in October

Eleven days into the month, and I already realize this is going to be one of those months... I am not going to be able to keep up with my normal twice a week posting schedule.  I might, but I'm not going to make it a priority, as there are other things more pressing right now, most of them fabric related.  I'm trying to squeeze out two dye sessions before the Mutton Hill Quilt Show, and it does not help that my new job is providing all sorts of distractions.

The job is in a library, and I have checked out four books already, on top of the two books of my own I started a few weeks ago.  To make matters even worse, the library had their annual book sale this past weekend, and I managed to add ten more volumes to my own personal library.  Keep checking back here over the winter to find out how collage, the songs of Tom Waits, the photographs of Walker Evans, and ice cream all relate to each other... or how they don't connect!  Will I ever finish The Fountainhead?  Will I even start it?