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Monday, October 21, 2013

Our School of the Art Insitute Creativity Class Adventure

In the quest to have a truly awesomely creative 50th year- Eileen and I signed up for a 10 week adult continuing Ed art class at the school of the Art Institute of Chicago. We just came back from week 3s class. It is FABULOUS. We are meeting interesting new people, being challenged in the creative process and the best part is we get to spend a whole evening together - just us 2 -
We race out of work to catch the 4:00 PM train and have 45 minutes to discuss life. Our train gets us to the big city at 4:45 and we leisurely walk to class. Along the way we have stopped at "pop up art" store fronts, art supply stores, and of course a couple of different cafes for a bite to eat. Class is from 6-8. We have had wonderful discussions and fabulous projects to get our creative juices flowing...some questions posed have been: Can a museum be a democracy? What is an evocative object? Can architecture be democratic? SO THOUGHT provoking-absolutely nothing to do with "the Common Core and what a 3rd grader needs to succeed in the 21st Century!"(What my work life asks of me the rest of the week.)
Two projects which I have experienced through this class thus far are a DRIFT and creating an evocative objects museum. The assignment for the drift was to take a walk with absolutely no destination for no less than 90 minutes. I was able to "drift in the city" last Monday before class. It was an exercise in observation and so very peaceful. I came away with many observations; "People will smile at you if you smile first-the same can not be said about a 'hello'...maybe that is because you have to have eye contact with a smile?" "I love the sounds produced by different languages even if I do not know what is being said." "A park bench allow for unquestioned contemplation."
The evocative museum was a group project which forced me to work with people I did not know to create and then present our ideas. The objects that we brought to share were varied and unique to our own life-we had to put the objects together in a way that would present itself as a "democratic museum." It was a wacky project that at first I was uninspired by, BUT after working through the process I learned about myself and other's perceptions about my work-FASCINATING!
I am so very lucky to have a friend that I can talk into taking art classes with, a husband who does not care that I am away from home on a weeknight, a job which allows me to catch a 4:00 train, a city that provides interesting cultural opportunities....the list goes on and on- My 50th year adventure is turning out to be pretty wonderful!    Lucy
These are just a few books suggested by our instructor John.
My ID card...haven't had a school ID in 20 years!

 Objects from the "evocative museum"
A store front with a picture of Mikhail Baryshnikov-which I passed on my "drift."

A water feature also from the drift.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Lucy's year long project-design inspiration

I have created quilts for many years. When I first started quilting -about 12 years ago- I was taught by a fellow teacher the basics; how to cut the fabric with a rotary cutter, how to follow a pattern, how to piece the fabric into a quilt top, the best techniques for pinning and quilting...I went crazy for quilting. Bought tons of fabric, started making quilts for everyone I know, took a part time job at a quilt store, even dabbled in selling my quilts. So now 12 years later I know ALOT about quilts!
For my 50th year project I wanted to push myself in a direction that I don't usually do in my quilt making. For many years now I have been designing my own quilts-not following someone else's pattern-just taking a picture in my head and recreating it with fabric. Most of my designs are modern with lots of circles, bright colors and relatively big images. Which have to be viewed as a whole-over the entire quilt. With this project I want to have LOTS of elements in one piece -so the viewer can look at the whole and gain an overall "Big Idea" BUT the whole will be made up of lots of different small even tiny pieces which when viewed up close tell another more intimate story.
So my next step in the project is to sketch out the quilt. Here are some of the objects  I am going to use in the design process:
The intricate detail of this bug's wing coloring which I found with a friend up in Door County has inspired me to do many layers of brown in part of my quilt design.
One of my favorite author/illustrators who tells amazingly WACKY tales with her wonderfully insightful views-LOVE Maira Kalman! I want my quilt to tell a story.
Example of a quilt in the National Quilt Museum in Paducha, KY- lots of little pieces tell a big story.
Another quilt in the same museum which has a border of about 500 different buttons. I like the idea of having a little more texture, other than just fabric, to the piece.
This quilt has a price tag of $4500. It is in a gallery in Door County-this inspires me to dream BIG!
My design wall which currently holds my 5 year old nephew's twin quilt top in progress- I HAVE to finish this before I can put up the 50th year project!
Next time I write about my project I hope to have images and ideas mapped out on paper...

Thursday, October 3, 2013


In this day and age we are so distracted, moving so fast that we don't take time to observe.  That is something that Julia Cameron talks about in "the Artist Way". We one  need to be observant, take the time to see the beauty and art in our everyday.  It is a great lesson and one that I have tried to incorporate into my life everyday. Fall is a great time to observe the beauty outside.  These are a few images of Brown County State Park in Indiana.

                I love when roots grow above the ground and we can see them reaching.


 How can fungus be so beautiful?
This fallen tree root is like a sculpture

Can you believe Beavers did this?

Art for couples in the forest.  So lovely.

Have a beautiful week.