Tag Archives: Kimbell

Working like mad…mostly

The weaving of four pieces simultaneously is over. It seemed like it continued. And continued. They’re cut off, but as usual with these small pieces, they didn’t quite turn out like planned, but that’s my fault. I wanted them to be square-ish, but they’re not. I will make them that way.

A couple of weeks ago, I went to the Kimbell for a program called Precious Adornments: Figurines in the Ancient Andes. Since I love the ancient cultures of this region, it was a must do. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but this is the description of the program:

This talk will focus on small-scale humanlike figurines from early pre-Inca cultures along the western coast and highland Andes of modern-day Peru. These anthropomorphic figurines—created in clay, wood, stone, bone, or shell—range in size from miniature pendants to doll-like effigies. Some of these precious objects were worn, and some were adorned with textiles, shell inlay, or precious stones, thus reflecting differences in their function, value, and meaning.

Wari magnet

Wari magnet

I wish there were pictures, but there aren’t, so I’ll have to resort to one I’ve posted earlier. this is a picture of a magnet that I bought during the Wari exhibition. Hard to believe he’s only 4 inches high. He’s inlaid with shell and stone. A better picture is here.

I plan to get to Peru within the next year or two. Just as soon as my knee is better. And since I’m on the subject of Peru, did you hear about what Greenpeace did? This was so totally unbelievable to me. They put huge letters along side the Nasca hummingbird. No one, not even presidents, are allowed to walk along the Nasca lines, yet these idiots went in there and laid out these huge letters trying to draw attention to the environment. Yes, the environment needs attention, but this? The Nasca lines are a World Heritage Site. Geez! Okay, rant over.

Actually, not a lot of art is being done at the moment. I always have a hard time balancing all the personal stuff/chores, the weaving, and the art biz stuff. It seems I do one or the other. I always plan out my week on Sundays, but it never works. Even though all my appointments are in my phone and online, I still keep a paper calendar book for my everyday planning. So, I get out my phone, look Calendar to see what’s on the calendar for the week, plug those in on paper, and work around that to get my to-do list in place. Someone mentioned they use a color coded spreadsheet, so I decided to try that on my usual calendar. Using colored pencils, I lightly colored in blocks. It looks good, but will it work? Who knows. And even if it does, how long will that last.



Museum visit


Instagram picture from the back of statue at Kimbell

As a reward for all the experimenting with food and ikat I’ve been doing, I took myself out on a date to the Kimbell Art Museum, where there’s an exhibition from the Chicago Art Institute. It’s called The Age of Picasso and Matisse: Modern Masters from The Art Institute of Chicago.  This exhibit covers a span of time from 1903 almost to World War II. As you can imagine, a great deal of different art categories are included in this span, from Picasso’s blue period to surrealism from Dalí. There were several paintings that stood out for me, but since the collection does not belong to the Kimbell, no pictures allowed. Instead, I have

Looking at tree trunks and shadows

Looking at tree trunks and shadows

trees from the courtyard and some links. One of my favorites was Spanish Dancer by Nathalija Gontcharova, although I thought the painting depicted a bride until I saw the title. The lace in this painting is beautiful. Are you ever amazed by how painters can paint with the shadows and lights of something like lace?  Reminiscence of a Cathedral by Frantisek Kupka is also interesting. I’m not sure this was the intent of the artist, but to me it looks like a church tower with the stained glass on outside. An offshoot of Cubism, Orphism? I still don’t understand, except for the most part I’m not fond of Cubism. Or Surrealism as depicted by Dalí. But I do enjoy Miró–go figure! Klee’s Dancing Girl (1940) and Sunset (1930).  Music was inspiration for many of these painters, but from what I’ve read, not just an appreciation but a knowledge of musical composition–something way beyond my understanding. I’m glad that Klee’s sense of humor was mentioned in the description of Dancing Girl, because she certainly looks exuberant to me. His signature at the bottom was made with a monogrammed handkerchief. Fun! And just because I’ve only mentioned a few pieces of the art doesn’t mean there weren’t others. And the color!



My book

Wari and pre-Columbian designs from what is now Peru have long been an interest of mine, so the Friday workshop at the Kimbell was greatly anticipated.

A few of the tables set up for work.

A few of the tables set up for work.

Here is a quote about the workshop:

Up-close examinations of intricate Wari textiles and other luxury goods from ancient  Peru will direct our hands-on exploration of color, repetition, and alternation in symbolic patterns. Offered in conjunction with the exhibition Wari: Lords of the Andes. (The highlighting is mine.)

That is exactly what we did. After a brief introduction of the program, the docents led groups of “students” to particular items, with an emphasis on textiles. I wish I could post pictures about the exhibit, but I will have to post links instead and pictures of my book. (I’ll explain why no pictures at a later date.)

What I wish is that everyone could see how fine the tapestries are. The yarns used must be absolutely tiny! And of course, they were spun with a drop spindle. The other observation about the weaving is how the pattern bands line up perfectly, even though they must have been woven at different times and probably by different weavers. I have Catalog-page trouble with that when the weaving must be symmetrical. The colors are still beautiful even though natural dyes such as cochineal are used.

Here is a link to the Kimbell page about the exhibit. At the top of the page there is a slide show of a few of the pieces. Of interest to us fiber people are the two right and left stationary pictures. That brightly colored piece is really quite large in the exhibit, It is woven in about 6 inch squares, then tie-dyed. Yes, tie-dyed! After the dyeing, it is put back together to form the whole. Here is a picture from my catalog.

From my book

From my book

In order to understand more about the patterns and color repetition, I am going to have to read the catalogue, in which there are drawings to help explain more about the symbols and patterns.


What’s your obsession?

Visual obsession, that is. And it’s really only a mild obsession, as obsessions go.

On Friday I took an art workshop at the Kimbell Art Museum. The title was Ode to a Cloudy Day. Clouds1
After a brief orientation about what we were going to do, docents took small groups to view several paintings of the permanent collection, with a focus on the CloudsCropped-web clouds. Then we went to tables and used acrylics to paint clouds. For me the painting was free and loose—I am not a painter—and fun. Not that there was any resemblance to a sky full of clouds! But this subject is one that has kind of obsessed me for a few years now. I say that it’s a mild obsession, but I have taken the next exit in order to stop and get a picture of what I perceive as a fascinating cloud. What a surprise, though, that there are others out there with the same obsession.

Cloud Collectors Handbook

Cloud collecting

There is a book for collecting clouds in much the same way that a  bird watcher would collect birds. There is even a website for cloud lovers called The Cloud Appreciation Society. Wow! Who knew! Then when I got home, a friend happened to comment about a Facebook page about clouds.

Several months/years ago, I found a painting about clouds that just really spoke to me. I don’t know where I found it, but it’s by John Fincher. I love the drama and varying shades of gray in these paintings.
So, with a little research, I found another one by him. Then there’s Georgia and her clouds.

Do you have an obsession?