Monday, July 10, 2017

Memory Monday

  "The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery."
--Mark Van Doren

This is My First Art Class!!
     I have taught for one semester and I learned more in that one semester than in four years of least in the field of education...the actually being in front of a classroom.  According to Mark Van Doren, the guy I quoted above, teaching is the art of assisting discovery.  And I'll have to say, as much I was the teacher, all my students were also MY teachers! I discovered knowing the subject matter is not the most important thing in teaching...getting to know your kids, caring about them, inspiring them, the intangible  things, are of equal or even more importance. 
      Teaching was not all I  was doing that year....this was the first time in my life I was living independently.  so I was also learning to be an adult!  Managing money, taking care of an apartment, being responsible for a car, time management, etc.. The only credit card any of us had then was a gas credit card.  Everything else was paid for by check or cash.  Linda, my roommate, was from a small town not far from Kansas City so she would go home pretty often...but then I would be off with my buddy Beth.
           I don't know if this is true of all first year graduates, but Beth and I missed college.  We still had several friends at Mizzou so we would go back every once in awhile, especially during football season. And to get to my hometown in Illinois I would drive through Columbia, home of Mizzou and would often stop by for a break in my five hour drive.  On one of those trips, I stopped at the Coronado remember that bar stool that went home with me?  Well, now that I was earning my own money, I felt guilty about being such a thief and wanted to pay for the stool. To my surprise the Coronado Club was closed down!  I couldn't seem to find anyone who was part of the ownership.  But at least I tried! (Now don't tell me...the only reason they closed down is because  of my theft! I think they must have bigger losses than one bar stool!)
         Meantime, Dick has graduated from Basic Training at Lackland and has now moved on to Wichita Falls, Texas to Sheppard AFB for continued training before a more permanent post. He came by to visit me on his way through.  This time he had a a car so we didn't have to spend time at the railroad depot!

Sheppard AFB
       I have been searching the want ads to try to find a puppy of my own.  All the dogs we had at home were bird dogs...setters, pointers, hunting dogs, which was ok with me...I loved all dogs.  But I had a particular interest in German Shepherds because of a television show "Rin Tin Tin"! So when I found an ad for one in the KC Star, I had to go see what they had!  The address was not in a very good part of Kansas City so my roommate went with me and a guy friend of hers!  The couple who had the mother were a very young, sweet couple with several small kids and this German Shepherd female who had just had a litter of nine puppies! I could see why they would want to sell them off...their living conditions were far from perfect.  The guy told me the mother and father were both registered with the AKC which I found hard to believe but went along with him.
My adorable German Shepherd puppy!
      I picked out the runt of the litter!  She was so cute!  The first thing I did the next day was to take her to the vet to get her shots and get her checked out.  The only thing wrong with her was that she needed a good bath! I wanted to give her a German name so I christened her Dagmar!  Linda's dog, who was about five, tolerated the invasion of a new puppy in her life, but she made it known that she was the Alpha dog and even though Dagmar grew by leaps and bounds and overtook her in size, Linda's dog still ruled the roost!! And I did send in the papers to see if she was a registered dog, and sure enough, she really was! I was in no position to breed dogs or planned to show her so that didn't mean anything to me so I did go ahead and have her spaded.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Another Blog on Books I Have Read

“A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading.” 
― William Styron

    I have read/listened to several really good books lately.  I'll begin with my audio books...

    "The Drop", a Harry Bosch mystery, makes for a good audio...typical detective story that I don't have to  concentrate too hard to enjoy.

   "When She Woke" is your modern or rather futuristic "Scarlet Letter"!  This was an audio, but would probably make for a good read too.  The main character, Hannah,  lives in a time when just about everything is a sin, especially any sexual escapades and the punishments are very harsh! The blurb even describes it as the modern "Scarlet Letter", her lover (I'm not giving anything would figure it out real soon) is even the Reverend Dale..(Dimsdale was Hester's guy).  I give this a five star at least for the audio.  I may have to check out the written version to see if it might be bookclub worthy!

     This also was an audio book which would probably be a good read.  The author, Noah Hawley, is new to me but if any of you are Fargo fans, he is the primary writer/creator of that series.  He also wrote for the tv show "Bones" and many others.  This is not his only novel and, although it was my first, it will not be my last to read by him!  A definite five star suspense!

     We have all read "Gone Girl" so Gillian Flynn will be familiar to you.  "Gone Girl" was actually her third book....this, "Sharp Objects" was her second, and "Dark Places" was her first.  I have read all three now and all are good; she does get better with each writing.  This one is a quick but entertaining read...a real page turner!  Probably a three to four stars.

     And my last review is "Day After Night" by Anita Diamond (author of "The Red Tent")...I would give this book six stars if possible!!!  I read it several years ago and loved it then.  As it is my turn to pick the book for my Villas Bookclub this month, I chose this one.  Because it had been so long since I had read it, I thought I better reread it...I loved it again just as much as I did the first time! It is the fictional depiction of a real event, the escape of over 200 "detainees" on October 9, 1945 from the interment camp Atlit in Israel (before the country was established) in 1945 when the British were trying to stanch the flow of Jews from Europe into The Promised Land. I have given you a link to the camp if you wish to read more about it.
     Two of my books, "When She Woke" and "Day After Night" could be examples of what can happen with the wrong people in power...perhaps a lesson to be learned in literature???

Thursday, July 6, 2017

My Latest Art Process

“For the great doesn’t happen through impulse alone, and is a succession of little things that are brought together.”—Vincent van Gogh

     I had blogged earlier about the Cherrywood Fabric contest....this year's being a 20" x 20" art quilt, using primarily four pre-selected Cherrywood Fabrics and inspired by any painting by Vincent Van Gogh.  I had decided to do an Iris, using the technique I learned in the workshop I took at Asilomar from Melinda Bula.
The Morris Iris  

I am doing a large iris from Van Gogh's many pictures of irises. My "model" was a picture taken by a friend of mine, Morris Meador, of one of his irises from his garden. 
My Enlarged  iris
     The first thing I did was to do a line drawing of the iris, then take it to Kinko and get it enlarged.   Then I color coded and numbered the sections with the fabric I was going to use.  And, using colored pencils, I colored one of the three enlargements with colors as close to my fabric as I could find.  Keep in mind that although Morris's iris is a beautiful white and lavender, I had to use specific fabrics..three shade of blue and a black. I am allowed to use other Cherrywood fabrics as long as 75%  of the work is with the selected fabrics.

Swatches of fabric at the top; iris colored with pencils.
     I then took the fabric I was going to use and added Steam a Seam...a fusible paper which is ironed on  to one side of the fabric.  The paper backing is left on temporarily. I had numbered the third enlargement to match the colored one, then cut out all the little pieces and traced them on to the back of the fused fabric.

Traced fabric, ready to cut and place on fabric
     I had traced the enlarge fabric onto a white fabric so it was kind of like putting a puzzle together.

Stage One
     After all the pieces were adhered, I pressed them down permanently, then I carefully cut the whole flower out and placed it on the black background. I haven't attached it permanently yet because I am trying to decide whether I want to use it like this or to add some white around some of the edges.  I am posting both here..with and without a white border.

and Five
With white border
     So I would like you to chime in your opinion before I continue.  The next step will be to fuse the whole iris to the black background, layer it with the batting and backing, stitch/quilt it all together and add the binding.  The Cherrywood challenge is due August first so I have almost a month to finish. This has been a really fun project albeit time consuming.  I think I will probably do more with this technique.  I think I have shown what I started on in the workshop last winter...a landscape which I hope to get back to now that I have used the technique on this piece.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Trip to Arkansas and Missouri

“Not all those who wander are lost.” 
― J.R.R. TolkienThe Fellowship of the Ring
       Last weekend, my daughter Andrea and I took a little road trip.  My granddaughter, Kathleen, who is a student at University of Central Missouri, was having a birthday the following week so we decided to go see her and do a couple of other things in the process.
        First, we spent Friday night in Bentonville, Arkansas.  We had tickets to see the Dale Chihuly exhibit at Crystal Bridges.

A write up about Dale Chihuly at Crystal Bridges
     The link I have given you by clicking on his name will take you to a really great website with lots of information about him, his works, and several pretty cool videos.  I did have to check out the eye patch...he was in a car wreck in England in 1976....he went through the windshield and had a lot  of serious cuts from glass on his face and lost an eye as a result.  I find that ironic that glass is his passion and yet caused him so much pain!
A Chihuly weaving
     Initially he was interested in weaving.  The above piece is a bridge between his weaving and beginning interest in glass.
 A display of his cylinders with Native American  rugs for a background.
  At one time when he lived in the Northwest, he became interested in the Native American Art...the weaving and the basketry.

Red-Orange translucent glass
In taking pictures, I was as fascinated by the reflections of the glass on the wall behind and the surface upon which the glass sits.  The artwork is displayed beautifully!
Amber glass..a couple of pieces hanging on the wall.
     Notice the wonderful reflections on the wall behind the display on the wall.
Yellow translucent glass on a very cool board.
A Series of glass containers and some of the baskets which inspired their shapes.
      On Saturday, we drove up to Warrensburg, Missouri to see Kathleen and take her to lunch.  Then, after we toured the campus and saw her apartment, we went Carrollton, Mo. to visit for a bit with my Mother-in-law/Andrea's Grandmother who turned 98 this past May!  As Kathleen was free that afternoon, she went with us. We visited for a couple of hours, took Kathleen back to UCM and drove back to  Bentonville where we spent the night.
      Sunday morning we went back to Crystal Bridges to see the outdoor  Chihuly exhibit.  It was equally fabulous!

   Back inside, we saw some artwork that had not been at Crystal Bridges the last time we had visited a few months ago.

                    There was a wonderful display of some Andy Warhol works..his animal prints.

  There is a Frank Lloyd Wright House that has recently been added to the art work on the Crystal Bridges acreage.  The story of how it was obtained is fascinating.  Then after seeing all we could see, we headed back to Texas.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Memory Monday

“Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.” 
― John F. Kennedy
      October, 1962...I am teaching my little seventh graders in NKC...Living the good life as only the young can enjoy!  But does anyone remember what happened October, 1962? Yes, the Cuban Missle Crisis!
A Map showing the possible reach of the Cuban Missles
My mom, the Mama Bear type of mom, is very concerned about the whole situation so she sends me three road maps with highlighted routes of how to get out of "the city" if the major roads are blocked!  I'm really not making light of her or meaning to sound flippant because it was a very scary 13 days...especially when the papers were posting pictures like the one above!  (Notice Kansas City is not a direct hit location! But who knew what kind of fallout would occur!)

       But MY main concern is not how I am going to get out of KC but what will happen to my  Air Force guy!  Of course, all the military is on Red Alert and so all are totally out of touch with the outside world!  For that nearly two weeks, we are all on edge, waiting for the worst, not knowing what to do, but fortunately, Kennedy does the decisive thing...the correct decision and the Russians pull out of Cuba! The Cold War continues!
       And about this time my new little puppy isn't  looking very healthy so I take him to the vet.  Poor little baby is about  2 lbs., can practically fit in my hand, and he is diagnosed with distemper.  My roommate had gotten him from a pet shop; since then I have heard those are the worst places to get pets but at that time, who knew?  The vet and I decide to try a few things...with the warning that if he doesn't get better, the kindest thing will be to put him to sleep.
       Also, Dick is coming home on emergency leave because his grandfather is dying.  His grandfather is very proud of him being in the military and really wantsto see him in his uniform. So while he is able to be in the area....the crisis now over....he  makes plans to come see me.  I am delighted because I have not seen him for nearly three is November by now.  He is also here when I have to take my little puppy to the vet for the last time....he did not get any better. Dick even offers to take him for me, but I need to go.  I am thinking this is pretty nice guy!
       After Dick has gone back and things are getting more normal, I am doing my thing at school.  Across the hall from me is the Home Ec. room; the teacher there is also fresh out of college.  We strike up a conversation while doing our duty in the hall.  I am telling Bonnie, who is newly married,  about this really nice guy I am writing to...she asks where he is from, and I tell her a farm near Bogard, Missouri.  She perks up at that and asks what is his name...when I tell her, she gives me a big ol' hug and says "that is my first cousin"!  I find out that Bonnie grew up in the same area as Dick, they are about three months apart in age and are very good friends!!  Small world!!  I have not met any of his family yet, so now, I have to be on my good behavior!  Here is  someone who can "report" on Dickey Lee's girlfriend! (That is what everyone from his home calls him! )


Monday, June 19, 2017

North Texas Art Quilters

“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” ~Vincent Van Gogh

     The newly formed art group, which I have had the privilege of being asked to join, finally came up with a name! We are the "North Texas Art Quilters" or NTAQ; we are a group of nine,(a now closed group....this is a good number to work together in our homes) juried artists, some of whom were part of the old group, studioQ, but not all. We get together monthly to share our art, to challenge ourselves, and to learn from each other.
      Today we met at one of the girl's houses and did some embellishments with foil.  We also had a great time showing off our last month's activity...making little art on 4" x 4" canvases.
Instructions and samples of applying foil
Our 4" x 4" works of art
         Our challenge for this month is from a painting by Stuart Davis entitled "Cliche".

Stuart Davis..."Cliche"
Rhonda-pieced black and red with a touch of dark purple fabric
Bethany- black yarn glued onto red background covered with net and quilted
Kay-thick dye to create shapes on red fabric, pieced and quilted.
Michelle-found another version of Davis's Cliche with blue and white added
Heather-using differing values of red and black to create an abstract tree
Wendy-her challenge turned out to be the largest...pieced angular blocks
And mine...hundreds of skinny strips pieced and quilted, stamped circles, and hand stitching around the circles.
The red I used was much more vibrant that what shows here...not so pinky!
All of them together...with a little doggy tail in the frame!
          We also had some individual things to show...

      Wendy and Heather just got home from a two week workshop with artist  David Hornung. He was teaching at the Nancy Crow Barn Retreat Art Center in Ohio. These are just a small sampling of the portfolios they put together while studying color theory and design.

Kay with whole cloth silk, machine quilting with #12 Perle cotton thread
Kay-quilt with her own hand-dyed fabrics
Kay-shibori dyed fabric using blue school glue for resist!
Kay made another challenge for last month which was neutrals and perspective
Kay also made a tye-dye tee shirt for a niece..Bethany is showing how it is folded up to get the effect of spirals
This shows the final wrapped up tee shirt which you would then bind up and pour dye on.
      So to end a really great day of art, I had locked my purse with my keys, cell phone, home key etc. in the car.  My car is one of those keyless cars and I didn't think it would let me lock it with the key fob inside...but it DID!  After many attempts to remember my personal code to get into the car, many phone calls to my daughters to see who had a key to my house to get my spare fob...Kay (who has a new Ford also) punched in the right code/combination...and voila!  I can get in and go home!!!!      .