Sunday, February 23, 2014

What is art?

 My favorite comment came from anna_hohoho "I love you [Madonna] and respect oh so much. But russians have freedom, right to chose what they do. But our country is different to America. Events in russian church shows that. Russians can't show their ass in church because its a simbol of being pure like an angel. I don't go to churches. But my granma does. She took part in world war 2. And I don't want her to see pussy riot in there. Because its disrespectful for the memory of winners. So, I really believe that you just want freedom and love. But some times people are different. And freedom are different... I ho[p]e you will understand."

Other Russians commenting had some valid points about the differences in culture. They also mentioned that the "police" in the image are actually not police, but "peacekeepers." One Russian women, alisenok_bg, with some of the best points kept commenting to get her point across, & eventually said Pussy Riot should go "to the countries where people appreciate and encourage so called art." As her frustration with other commenters mounted she began to show her elitist view of art. Having a high-brow opinion of what art is & isn't doesn't negate her other comments, but it brings up the question "Is what Pussy Riot doing art?"

In this Russian woman's mind, it is not art. Based on her comments, I gather she loves her country & culture, & was trying to set the record straight regarding a post by a singer she likes enough to follow on Instagram. Her country, as we could tell by the opening sequence of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, boasts some amazing artists. But that is not the whole story. Let's take Kandinsky.

Reiter (Lyrishes) by Kandinsky 1911, Museum Boijmans Beuningen*

Born in Moscow in 1866, Kandinsky was raised in Ukraine, & studied law at the University of Moscow. But he studied art in Munich (my favorite pieces come from this period), only to return to Russia in 1914 due to World War I. Then with the rise of communism & its strict view of art as "for-the-people" propaganda, he returned to Germany, until 1933, when he moved to France. France is where he created his most significant works & he became a French citizen. Many times his non-representational art was challenged as "not art." 

So, why am I writing about this on my embroidery blog? Haven't all crafters at some point in time wondered if what they create is art? Haven't we had others belittle our work, or creativity? Art is subjective, that's what makes it great. What one person loves, another will hate. Where someone sees a tree, someone else will see the meaning of life wrapped up in years of symbolism. Where a government sees anarchy, an individual sees freedom of expression.

Working on my redwork self portrait

Is what I make art? If you asked me 5 years ago, I would say "no." But now? Now I say "Hell yes!" I am using my chosen medium of thread & fabric to create something as a form of expressing myself. If nothing more than to say a traditional craft like redwork can be used in a different way. My redwork speaks to me. I can only hope that it resonates with others. Kandinsky's work seems to be standing the test of time. We shall see if Pussy Riot will. As for me? I am just hoping to leave a legacy for my daughter, to create, no matter what.

*Image attribution.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Redwork Tree Skirt- Part 4: Finish-Along is complete

Well, I did it! I finished all of the redwork for the custom tree skirt. The only hang up now, is that my mother (& my partner in crime when it comes to putting these pieces into quilts & things) is laid up with a broken ankle. But my part is complete. & done in time to have successfully completed the UFO finish-along!

Panel no. 7 is traced out & tools are gathered

Panel no. 7 is complete

Underside of panel no. 8 in progress

Panel  no. 8 is complete

I have to say, that I really dig redwork with a touch of turquoise. It came out wicked cool as snowflakes. Can't wait to see the whole tree skirt together & underneath Heather's tree next Christmas!

Oh! & a huge "Thank you" to Vicki of the GYB party & all my new followers!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Tea Dye For: White & Black

Snow swirling off my back porch

Big snow storm on Wednesday, right? I get a notice on Facebook that my boss has a snow day. That means I don't have to drive over an hour (one way) to work (library). Now about my other job. Well, it's still snowing pretty hard, I can work from home. Daughter is still snug in her bed (her school announced a snow day the night before), so down I go to tell Mom. No where to be found. I throw on my boots & step out the back door to yell to her to stop shoveling...

She is wearing Dad's bright yellow coat & is FACE DOWN in the middle of the driveway. I run out there. She knows she broke her ankle (she was right- in 3 places). I go wake up Fiona, call 911, grab a garbage bag & head outside...

My aunt meets Mom at the hospital. I stay home with Fiona. Now what to do on an unexpected snow day while I wait to hear about Mom. (She had surgery on Thursday & is resting sorta comfy in her own bed.)

Whooped Fiona's butt on D.A.N.C.E. by Justice

Aside from playing the Wii, in which I trounced said daughter in 100 pin bowling, & more than 1 dance on Just Dance 2 & 3, I was able to do some more tea dyeing.

Youthberry & Wild Orange Blossom white tea

White napkins, table runner, & place mats ready for dye

Pouring the hot tea onto the napkins in a heat resistant bowl

Of course I needed to partake in a cuppa

place mats soaking up the white tea, citrus, & berries

Out of the tea, ready for the dryer

Before & after

After the linens came out of the dryer, I was pleased with the result, even if they came came out a bit more purple.

I decided to do the next batch, napkins & table runner, with a bitter black tea, that was a big dud a few tea parties ago.

Black tea ready for brewing

Pouring the tea over the table runner

Black tea dyed linens & white tea/citrus/berry dyed linens

Now to add some embroidery! I'm thinking some pink leaves with dark brown stems for the pink-ish linens. Maybe even some doodles. Not sure about the other. Suggestions?