Sculpture Inspiration

We have friends in Melbourne Australia who love to visit art installations and recently spent some time on Mornington Penninsula at the Pt. Leo Estate and Sculpture Park.

Vera posted photos on facebook and, naturally, I fell in love with one of them……

This is called “Mirri” and was created in 2018 by Reki Rennie. It is made from painted aluminum. I found the piece online and was interested to read the artist’s statement…..

The diamond or geometricized shield shape at the heart of Mirri’s composition is closely associated with the artist’s Kamilaroi heritage. Superimposed on the shield motif are two abstracted boomerang forms, whose opposing orientation recalls the pictorial formality of the Western tradition of heraldry.

Mirri’s fluorescent palette and pattern of broad chevrons – both are hallmarks of Rennie’s work – were created using vinyl stencils and automotive paints. They echo Rennie’s urban upbringing and formative years as a youthful creator of provocative and gaudy graffiti and street art.+

Having spent a number of hours this weekend looking at Modern Quilts on the QuiltCon website, I am even more inspired than I was!!!

Does this inspire you??? What inspires you?? Please share your thoughts!!

A different kind of inspiration….

Normally on Tuesdays, I talk about inspiration and, as can be expected, it is mostly quilting related. However, today I want to talk about a woman who has been an inspiration to me for the past 46 years…..

Her name is Esther Louise Arnold, she was my Mother-In-Law, and on Saturday morning she went to be with the Lord…..the place that she longed to be!!

She was not a crafty person and she was completely unapologetic for that. She told her husband that she could type when he married her and she could still type….why did he think that she needed to do anything else!!

She was fearless, once killing a rattlesnake with her shoe…..her TINY size 6 shoe. When we asked why she didn’t leave it, she said that it was heading for the pile of hay and if it got in there she would never know where it was, so she beat it to death!!

She was a fixture at First National Bank in Abilene, Texas. She treated EVERY customer the same, whether they were oil millionaires or poor migrant workers. We recently learned that they still use her as an example in their new employee training session!!

She was 5 foot, 1/2 inch tall and she was PROUD of that 1/2 inch!! She had short little legs but could walk faster than anyone I knew. I still remember her striding across the bank lobby with her heels doing a clickety-clack across the floor. One of her co-workers called her the “original energizer bunny”!!

She LOVED her grand-kids and never showed partiality to one over the other. Her favorite time to visit us was during the middle of our kid’s busy, busy sports seasons because that meant that she could see them play ball!

Probably my favorite memory of her was when Jenny was a Senior in high school and her Fastpitch Softball team was headed to the State Playoffs. When we called Esther to tell her the good news she called back about 15 minutes later and said that she had booked her flight and would arrive on Monday!! She spent the week cheering on the girls and surreptitiously slipping Jenny cash between games….

Esther had style!!!

She knew how to dress and she could make anything look good, even the shorts that she rocked well into her 90’s!!!

She was always supportive of my quilting and, if I ever told her that a quilt had been accepted into a show, she would ask EVERY time we talked if it had won a ribbon!!

She loved her kids and was always excited when good things happened for them. When Michael started doing leather work, she wanted to see exactly what he was doing…..

She taught me SO many practical things….

  • how to cut up a whole chicken so that it didn’t look like a scene from the Texas Chainsaw Masacre!!!
  • that it was okay to serve Stove-Top stuffing!!
  • that I could return ANYTHING to a store….as long as I had the receipt!!!

I would often call her when I was driving around town running errands and her standard greeting was “Where are you headed?”. After I told her she would always say “I wish I was there to go with you”!!!

Probably the biggest thing that she taught me was how to be a good Mother-In-Law. I know that M-I-L’s have a horrible reputation, but she always treated me with the greatest of respect, just as if I was her daughter. I hope to emulate that!!

She had been ill for almost two years and hadn’t been herself for about eighteen months. The last time that I was able to speak with her was over a year ago and, naturally, we talked about food. I mentioned to her that I was making her Fudge and Peanut Brittle recipes for Christmas. She perked up and answered that it sounded so good. After that, her mind was gone again….

I have missed her for the last 2 years but am happy to know that she is out of pain and is rejoicing with her Lord in heaven.

……until we meet again!!

Something good from COVID-19?

Something seems wrong about the title of this post. How could anything good come from the ongoing pandemic?

Even though I didn’t have extra time during the lockdown, for some reason, I have had tons of time this summer. Part of this is because of the new paradigm that I initiated in 2019, where I am using blocks of time to accomplish my goals. Part of it is because of the many gatherings that have been canceled and part is because our usual overseas travels have been curtailed!!

Because of this extra time, I have been able to finish many of my ongoing projects and am ready to try some different techniques and just do a little bit of playing!! So on Saturday, my goal was to look for inspiration…..

……for future projects, especially thinking to expand my knowledge of drawing, painting, and surface design.

But first, I wanted to get my studio cleaned up again, including cleaning and oiling my machine…..

It looks SO clean!!!

When Kaitlyn and I were both sewing a few weeks back, I had put up my Viking and enjoyed having both machines up. But, once I took the machine down it seemed like a nice area to leave open for other tasks…..like inspiration planning…..

The first thing that I did was watch a video that I bought many years ago featuring Jane LaFazio and her ideas about drawing, watercolor and keeping a journal……

This video ALWAYS inspires me and encourages me to start trying some drawing….something that I don’t really believe I can do.

I pulled out my art supply box and was pleased to see that I have all of the tools that she talks about, plus a few others…..

So starting on Monday, I am going to try to draw something at least 3 times each week.

I decided to do a quick run around the yard to get ideas of things that I could sketch and ran into some pretty butterflies along the way…..

Next I pulled out a stack of books about art quilts and design techniques, found a comfortable chair and started working thru them one by one. There were two that stood out to me….

“Art Quilt Workbook” contains exercises that might help to get me thinking in a different way, and “Fabric Art Workshop” has lots of surface design ideas. I am thinking that I may try to do some of these exercises as well.

BUT, all of these are designed for making Art Quilts and honestly, I don’t see myself as an art quilter. However, I am sure that trying new techniques will give ideas for future projects.

Finally, I remembered a book that I bought at a Quilt Show some years ago…..

The idea behind this book is to first layer and stitch a lot of textures onto a background piece that is only in whites and creams. Then you paint over the texture that you have developed and add the featured designs on the top. This sounds really interesting and something very different to anything that I have ever done.

So, I am planning to make this quilt……

I really don’t like copying designs that someone else has already done but I will follow the instructions for this quilt and use it to learn this technique.

The final thing that I thought thru was whether or not I needed to make more quilts that weren’t necessarily meaningful to me. What will I do with any new found inspirations? Do I want to put them on ETSY and see if I can sell them? Maybe put them in the member’s boutique at the next guild quilt show?

Or maybe it is okay to just make art pieces without having a reason? Can that be right? It sure doesn’t fit with the way I think but it seems that this may be a good time to take a chance and change that thinking!!!