Picture of the day. I want to make this my profile photo.

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I sent out my envelopes yesterday.  I hope my recipients like them. Turns out there were more paper than textiles, and all three are similar but not the same. They are the kind of gentle hints I love to find in my day to day life; the kind I might carry with me and doodle directly on, or on ideas based on, or do something similar to using my own starting points.

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Friendly hello on my Facebook this morning from my first-ever-serious-job boss Bruce read: "Happy something or rather ... Thinking of you and Ben and hope you are weaving an unimagined trail of absolute chaos and mayhem over there and will do even better in 2013. Love Bruce and Judy"

I worked for Bruce at IBM, in Tokyo, in China Operation, the body that became IBM China; he was the second ever Kiwi I ever met and a big part of why Ben and I are in Kiwiland, though he, Judy and half of his clan have lived in Queensland, Australia for a number of years. Bruce was a-Blokes'-Bloke/Best-Boss-Ever/Semi-Dad/Big Brother/Mentor and A Big Influence as a young adult, immediately after college. Judy was the first person to order a commission piece, back when I was still a closet weaver in the mid 90's. I haven't woven her order yet as she knows art, NZ weaving and Japanese art/culture/history all too well, and I haven't figured out a way to mesh all my knowledge and skills to demonstrate some, if not all, of the above.

I had a lovely afternoon with their Oz Branch in Brisbane and disclosed to Judy for the first time that though her order had never been far from my mind, I have only recently come to feel I can start to explore what I could weave for her. I was astounded when Judy brought up a small piece of Kawashima I gave them one Christmas to go with a pot, and told her one of my Big Weaving Goals has always been to weave something that contained something of a Kawashima feel. A theme for 2013.

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We had the last drawing lesson of the year yesterday, and I keep surprising myself by drawing faces. The wee group planning a tiny exhibition in 2014 is going to meet for a lunch soon. Yesterday I kept roaming from one bookshop to another looking for one good novel I would want to read, or one beautiful cookbook I can justify treating myself to, and I found neither. (Having enough at home I haven't explored being one big reason.) But an idea crept into mind; a book or a series of portraits.

Really?? Seriously?? Me??

We had to write very short bios as part of the application for the exhibition, and some in our wee group struggled as they had never done "artists" bios and we helped each other. Thinking back on that process, my thoughts hovered over artists' profiles and biography written by someone else, even by people who never met their subjects. Perception of/by another. Artwork vs writings by artists. My love of reading about van Gogh the Man vs stick-my-finger-in-my-throat dislike of his artwork.

I'm never happy with the faces I draw in class, (oh, alright, all but two or three drawings a year,) so I see how this is a potential Mammoth in the Room, but it's just an idea. And the format can be interesting: identical paper/size/media, different faces; a handmade book; some kind of a visual commonality; or a hidden message/symbol in all. But I want a small project; the one that is physically the smallest in the exhibition and have the appearance of the least thought and effort behind. To ponder in 2013.

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Two cooking show have been on the telly this morning. I learned what an Italian meringue is; it has water in it! My cookbook lust is lifting its big head again; a baking one with beautiful photographs.

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I hated the last cashmere scarf I was weaving so much I abandoned it; after about 80cm, I stopped that piece and started a simple scarf, nothing to write home about, but at least a "usable" scarf. Some self-flagellation with 2/26 100% cashmere and playing Mozart's Requiem really loud for a whole afternoon, I'm moving on, but to a similar idea. We'll see. It's not 2013 on the big loom yet.

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Do please share with me your emotional/conceptual reactions to such things as profiles, biographies and portraits, especially about those done of you by someone else, whether the person knows you or not. Or you working on someone else. These are going into a new notebook, I think. Thank you very much for your help in advance.


Meg said...

I'm pondering the recklessness of me participating in a drawing/painting exhibition. I have no illusions what I do is OK-participant-effort. The others are more serious about their work, whereas I'm only in for the fun and to support them. Taking an admin-only support position is always an option. But there is something exuberant in taking part in a figure drawing exhibition.

My drawings sometimes look much better in person, especially where subtle shades are concerned. Sometimes much better in photos. Either way, they're nothing to write home about. I know this. I guess this is why I'm looking for gimmicky ways to present them, I suspect. I don't want to go deep into that strange world of Modern Mixed Media, but I'm looking things up to see if there are ways I can use some of their techniques in less conspicuous ways. Suggestions??

Anonymous said...

I hate biographies. Does that sound a bit extreme? But I really do. And, in general, the more I admire the artist (painter, writer, whatever) the more I hate to know about their life. I don't want to know all sorts of 'warts & all' details - things I probably wouldn't even know about my best friends - about people who are total strangers. A sense of historical context (that's my favourite bit) and a basic chronology is plenty for me, although I will also accept humourous and unreliable anecdotes. But no detailed research into their personal lives, thank you very much. I would really much rather attend to their work, since that is the thing they chose to put out into the world. However, there does come a point where the correlation fails, and I have three artistic heroes about whom I *am* prepared to read - and have in fact read quite a lot. Not saying who they are though!

Meg said...

Fascinating. Biographies are one of my fav genre; I'm more interested in people than their work, I guess, or see their work separate from the person. Now, that sounds a little problematic...