Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Year Of The Snake

I've mentioned before the virtual baby shower that my friends here in Fort Collins and I threw for our friend who lives in Boston.  I wanted to share the cute group gift that we made for her.  Earlier in April, we all gathered in Parsley Art Studio and made our own contribution of an 8x8 felt square.

Here is my square, to remind our friend that she is part of our Colorado community, despite her distance, and that the snake final product is because the year the baby will be born in is the Year Of The Snake!

Later, Haley and I spent an afternoon sewing everyone's squares together to make a snake out of it.  This is me stuffing it.

Finally, here is the final product, both before it was stuffed and after.  Super cute!! It's final length turned out to be between 5-6 feet.

Our pregnant friend and her husband loved it. :)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

April: Cards and Art History

Indeed, this month's big projects: making cards (see the last few years of this blog during the month of April), and finishing up the art history class I've been taking this semester at the university.  I've got numerous card projects going on right now:
  1. Card Swap cards - you'll see those soon! The deadline for people to send their cards in has passed and these days it's like Christmas every day at my mailbox!
  2. Restocking the card inventory at The Eyes Have It
  3. Developing a syllabus for a "felt cards" class, hopefully to be taught at Mama Said Sew in June.
Here is an example of a felt card. I have some other, more complicated examples as well, but cannot reveal them quite yet!  However, this is one I threw together in about 15 minutes for a baptism ceremony I attended last weekend. There is a piece of paper sewn into the card's middle for writing a message. In this case, the B's were noted, for Baby, Baptism, Brats & Burgers (the post-ceremony food offerings), and Big time love!  As an adjustment to the card, I'm trying to work out how my machine can do bolder cursive lines, so the cursive stands out as much as the felt image.

Before I get to the art history conversation, two other art-related things are worth noting:
  • I was officially accepted into the Fort Collins Studio Tour!!!!  Please do mark your calendars to stop by sometime between 10-5 on either June 22 or 23 at my studio on W Vine Dr.
  • I and five friends are hosting a virtual baby shower for a friend who lives in Boston (for which I made just one invitation, for her! See below.)  At 1:00 her time, we'll all connect on Skype and celebrate her journey into motherhood. It has been a fun challenge to think of executing a baby shower in this new way.
Being in a first-year level art history course this semester has proven to be way more fun than I thought it would be. Plus, it's been challenging--certainly a brain crunch at times. I've got a stellar instructor and feel I have a distinct advantage over many of the students in the class in that I understand how to study and how to make the content relevant to my life.  

History is a fascinating subject if it covers things that I care about: culture, social expectations of the time, women and children, families, the ways of everyday life, work, health. (Oftentimes "history" means talking about government, politics, land ownership, and military might, leaving out all of the above and so much more.) But to approach history from an art perspective, all of a sudden I can relate to those times of yore.

Our current assignment is to write a 3-4 page paper about two similar works of art by different artists.  Below are the two I'll be writing about. The first is known as the Merode Altarpiece (an Annunciation scene), by the Workshop of the Master of Flemalle,  made in 1425 or so in The Netherlands. The Master of Flemalle was likely a man named Robert Campin. The second piece is called Annunciation, by a monk named Fra Angelico in Florence around 1440. 

You can click on both for closer views.

Here is the assignment: 
"Focus on differences in style, media, technique, and the context in which the artworks were made in order to uncover the poignancy of the juxtaposition--why and/or how are these representative of an important shift in the arts?"

What would you say about the two?

Despite the fact that I am making a conscious effort NOT to allow this course take over my life and therefore am not putting as much effort into the course as I know I could, I will admit that the good student in me prevails. Below, my last test and paper.  If you look closely, you'll see the scores I got. I guess being a B student just isn't in the cards for me. Sigh!