Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Asian Art at the Cleveland Museum of Art

I had the pleasure of re-discovering
The Cleveland Museum of Art this summer.
Admission to the museum is free!
(Parking in the garage is not, but if you arrive
early, parking on the street for free may be possible)

I was pleased to discover that
on the day we would be visiting,
there was an exhibition of Asian art,
one of my favorites.
The exhibit was called
"The Lure of Painted Poetry."
Click on any image to enlarge.

Above, the listing of other exhibits...
I didn't have time to see them all as
carefully as I would like. 

The Asian exhibit was breathtaking.  The lighting
in the gallery was very low in order to avoid damage
to the fragile paintings on silk and paper.
Most of the work was quite faded, in muted
tones of black, brown, and sometimes a little color.
But after all, some of the work was dated
as early as 1470, during the Ming dynasty!
The economy of line in these inked scrolls
was impressive, suggesting so much
with just enough line, form and space.

Postcard- 'Old Pine Tree'

One of my favorite motifs is the somewhat 
scraggly trees clinging to the sides of mountains.
I seem to remember from my college art history classes
that these represent the 'spirit of tenacity'
in both nature and mankind...
surviving life's storms with dignity.

Post card - 'One of Eight Views of Xiao and Xiang Rivers, 1788

I had my index cards with me and took a few notes,
and made a few tiny sketches.  As I began to sketch
a tree from one of the scrolls, a museum guard came over
and said, "Ma'am, we've been instructed not to permit
sketching in the exhibit. I'm sorry."  
How embarrassing.  No photographs I understand.
But no sketching? Seriously?
I guess they wanted to sell more exhibition books 
in their gallery shop.  I was quite nonplussed.

Post card- One of Eight Views of Xiao and Xiang Rivers, 1788

I had earlier seen a mother and two elementary-aged 
daughters in the same exhibit, sketching in little journals
and thought how wonderful that the mother was encouraging
such an appreciation for art. I wonder
if they got 'caught' too? Sketching was permitted
throughout the rest of the museum.  I even saw
one gentleman doing a small painting of the
landscape painting in front of him.
I can only guess how long it had
taken him, but he was doing quite well, and
was almost finished when I saw his work.  

One of my favorite scrolls was quite a large piece,
which portrayed a "Painting Party."  Of course I 
can't find my notes on it now...but it was a lively
portrayal of calligraphy and landscape painters who
had gotten together to paint, view and evaluate
each other's work.  Brilliant!  Sounds like 
an event that I would love to attend.
Maybe something like a workshop, though I 
suspect there was no monetary charge...
In Asian art, carrying on the traditions of
generations of artists was an important aspect
of their art.  Perhaps that will be a post
for another day...

I also  thoroughly enjoyed viewing Picasso,
Van Gogh, Braque,  Matisse and Warhol.  It is quite
an excellent museum.  Just remember to ask a guard if
sketching is permitted, before you whip out your 
art journal and pen!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Pages in Pink

You know that swap I was talkin' about
in the last post?
I got pages in the mail today from
Halle, of Halle's Hobbies.
She forgot to take pictures before
she sent them off, so intent was she
to get them to me quickly...
so here they are.  Must share
the color fun...

I chose my colors to be 
Hot Pink! and red, and
whatever other bright colors
the artist chose...
I know hot pink isn't everone's
cup of tea, but I am very fond of it!

The cutest house...and the

"Feel the rhythm of home."
Thank you Halle.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Asian Art Swap Pages

My friend Elizabeth, of Altered Book Lover fame,
organized a swap with a few folks to trade pages
with the theme to be chosen by each artist
for the pages they will receive. Rikae
has received her pages in the mail,
so I can show them to you without
spoiling any surprises...

Rikae chose Asian art as her theme,
using the color Jade, with touches of 
red and blue.  Since there are many 
shades of Jade, I just kind of winged it!
The image above was inspired by
art work that I saw at the Cleveland Museum of Art.
It is supposed to be a bird with its head
tucked beneath its wing.  The silhouette of
bamboo is a classic oriental theme, as is
the image of plum blossoms.

This quote seemed appropriate, 
and the decorations are from a wonderful
book called "The Grammar of Ornament"
by Owen Jones.  I frequently use it for
design inspiration!

The pocket, above, was made from some fabric
with an oriental-style design. The leaves are
detailed in gold thread.

The tag shows a design from a 
Columbus Museum of Art porcelain
piece, that is featured in a booklet I 
brought home from one of my visits.
The quote is from the Cleveland exhibit.
My bookcase is fairly overflowing with booklets,
free postcards, and books from my visits to 
exhibits!  But they are a great resource...
The back of the tag explains the inspiration
sources for each of the pages

What themes are favorites 
for your art inspiration?

American Folk Art Index Cards

This week I had trouble doing one 
index card each day...
so I did several in one day.
Not the idea of the challenge, I know,
but made me feel like I was
still staying on track.

All of these index cards were inspired
by folk art.

I bought a book at our local library sale
called "American Folk Decoration" by Jean Lipman.
The first copyright date was 1951!. My book is
a reprint from 1972.  Most of the images
in the book were black and white, however,
with one color plate in the front giving
recommendations for authentic colors to be 
used in the designs.

I've given them my own 'twist.'  One thing I 
really like about folk art is that the artists tended to
load up several leaf and flower designs on one stem.
And flowing curlicues abound on some of the designs.

Many folk art designs are symmetrical, which 
means that the design would have a central motif
with the designs on either side of it being a 
mirror of each other. But I personally prefer
asymmetrical designs.

'Lady Washington.'  This is inspired
by a historic sampler which showed both
Lady and General Washington.  I
"prettied her up" a bit, as the original
looked a bit like a man wearing a dress!
The head-dress and sleeves are
quite high style for the times 
I suppose...

Another folk art flower...
the top and bottom flowers are
designs that have developed over
years of making these.
I often try to incorporate as many
shapes and curlicues as possible
into one flower!

Hope your day blooms with art!
Visit the 'DaisyYellow' blog to see
more index card art.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Stack O' Cards - Index Card a Day

Here are a few photos of 
my stack of "Index Card a Day" cards.
The black spiral book is a pad of cards
that I've done from 2006 up to 2011.
A few every so often.
If you want to see some of the previous index cards
you can see them here, and here.

The stack in front is what I've done
this June, July and August, 2011!
Adds up to a lot when you do one
every day...

Here's the whole stack in one pile,
next to a bottle of water 
to give you an idea of the size.

If you look closely in the photos,
you'll see that this Friday's post
for ICAD will feature index cards
inspired by American Folk Art Decoration.
Stop by again to see the close-ups!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Index Card A Day (ICAD) Update

mixed media collage

"Color Burst"
watercolor and Sharpie pen

"Crazy Cake"
Sharpie pen and watercolor

Sharpie pen

"Pink Lady"
mixed media collage

Sharpie pen, scrapbook paper, ribbon

in Sharpie pen...
I should have taken photos too, but
failed to do so.  Sketch of the many
vintage things to be found in an
antique mall.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Art Journal Pages in Pink

Bought some
Canson Mi Tientes paper
on sale at our local
Art supply/craft store. They were a real bargain
and I couldn't resist a few sheets.
It made beautiful little art journals,
though working on colored backgrounds
is a bit different for me...

A 'doodle' drawn on the back of
a bit of paper, then combined into
a collage with painted paper.

Enjoy your last bit of summer!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Index Card A Day (ICAD)

watercolor and Sharpie pen

"Three Children"
collage with fabric and painted paper

"Broken Heart 2"
collage with painted papers

"Zebra Pen"
drawn in ball point pen &
with Sharpie marker

"Broken Heart 1"
collage with painted & stamped papers

watercolor and assorted papers

Make an appointment with yourself
to be creative every day!

Friday, August 5, 2011

A Week of Pink Index Cards

"Roses and Leaf" (above)
As I was scanning my
'Index Card a Day' art work
I realized there was a lot
of pink. Not a bad thing,
but not intentional.

"Pink Moon and Spiral" (above)
The scraps that were on my table
were from the 'pink assortment.'
And I just went with what
was at hand.

"Self-Portrait" (above)
I am out of practice...
eyes are too close together
and the glasses are too small.
But there is a resemblance...

"Pink Circles" (above)
Painted papers, scrapbook papers,

"Pink and Green" (above)
Acrylic on fabric, painted papers,
and Sharpie pen.

"Dress Sketch"
Sharpie pen

"Grass Silhouette"
Painted papers and
card stock scraps.

"Collage with Heads"
Fabric, stitching, stamping,
painted paper, and a
commercial collage sheet image.
(sorry, don't know the source, it was a gift)

"Cultivate Community"
Sharpie pen, striped fabric,
collage paper, magazine clipping.

I filled up the spiral index card pad,
and these are loose cards. They definitely
are easier to scan.  Still haven't tired
of the challenge and am enjoying getting
in a quick art exercise each day!
Thanks to DaisyYellow for
the challenge and the prompts!