Thursday, October 18, 2007

Thinking about Art & Creativity.....

And it's importance in everyday life. Working on this redecorating project has pretty much brought my fiber life to a halt. The looms sit behind the family room furniture which has been moved to the dining room for the duration. The spinning wheels are also inaccessible. And much of my time has been spent painting or trying to put things together in a way that is pleasing to the eye.

Over the past couple weeks I've been so grateful for the art education I received through public school education in the 60's. And for all the color and design theory I've learned as a byproduct of weaving workshops and guild participation. None of this was my primary educational objective. I'm not a professional artist, nor do I aspire to be. But this supplemental education has enriched my life beyond measure.

Sad to say that when funds are tight in education (when are they not?!) the arts are the first thing to go. If a person doesn't show a special artistic talent, they may never learn that the secret to drawing is as much about training the eye as in training the hand. Or they never learn the language of color to help them get dressed, let alone create a comfortable environment for themselves.

It's been a great exercise for me to assemble paint chips, fabrics, window treatments, etc. to put together this room. All the more so, because I'm not starting from scratch but am challenged to make a new look while keeping some basic furnishings.

As mentioned earlier, the Mary Warshaw print arrived this week, which meant it needs to be matted and framed. I knew what I wanted to pull out in the picture, so thought a 'quick and dirty' run to Joann's with my 50% off coupon would do the trick. I spent 2.5 hours trying to communicate with the person behind the counter who seemed to have no background in color theory or design. I should have walked away when she started with: "What colors are in your room?" Instead I walked away, print in hands (it's a big print!) with very tired eyes.

The next day I headed to a place where I knew the woman had more art training. We put together exactly what I wanted in 20 minutes. We spoke the same language and putting it all together was a joy. And they too had a 50% off coupon.

Now I must head back to the paintbrush. The walls in this room are board and batten cedar, which means all brush painting, no rollers to make it go quick. Maybe standing on a step stool doing trim work with a one inch paintbrush is affecting my perception, but this video speaks to me right now. It's certainly a counterpoint to the way I am meticulously agonizing about the right shade of the inner border of the picture mat, or should the window treatments match or harmonize. Skip the jingoism, get sucked into his process:

PS: (later that same day) This afternoon it became evident that the walls are going to need a second coat of paint. With a brush. NOW I feel like imitating Michael Israel.


  1. Interesting post. I too lament the things that seem to be lost in the education of our children. It's great that you know what you want and don't let anyone talk you into what they want you to want!

  2. Hmm, I hope you're not taking any painting tips from him. We're wall cowards. We've covered our walls with so many pictures that if we need to repaint, I'm moving.

  3. Our art programs also suffer when there is a a shortage of money. And as you say, that is always.
    ANd I have to say that that man has an interesting technique, but upset my frugal nature with his waste of paint.


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