Monday, September 30, 2013

Anni Albers... again and again.

Anni Albers - Second movement II - intaglio print
I'm working on making a quilt for my bed that is at once my bed-spread and my artwork.  I'm unabashedly a person who likes to make all the "things" in my home count and mean something to my soulful-living-self.  At the start of this undertaking, I went back to my favorite textile designer of all time - Anni Albers.  Wife and partner to Josef Albers, she was also a student of Bauhaus, and the two of them came to the United States as part of the mid-century Jewish flight from Europe that so enriched our culture in more ways than most of the American public has any understanding for.  Both of them, through their teaching, design work, and art work made strong marks on the American aesthetic we take for granted today.  They did that through the framework of color theory and design theory that many attribute to Bauhaus, but Anni and Josef were truly unique voices nonetheless.  They integrated art with design in a way that significantly elevated public and private environments and culture.  Without going on and on about who they are - everyone should look them up, books listed below - I'll just share a few images of Anni Albers' printed patterns intended for textile printing.  These are the inspiration - through their aesthetic and theory - for my own design.  It is my intention to ride the inspiration of her design theory and art work to create a quilt that reflects my own soulful place in my bed (along with my partner Christian).  I'm dyeing the fabric now... process pictures are in order I guess, so I know I'll be posting about this project again.
Anni Albers - Triadic Series D - lithograph print

The sketch that I'm working with, color palette in progress:

Anni Albers : Selected Writings on Design - The fifteen essays gathered here illustrate Anni Albers's concept of design as the pursuit of wholeness.... (wow, seriously changed my work when I read this).
 Josef + Anni Albers : Designs for Living - this book was given to me by a mentor who gets me, Michael P. Johnson.  He pointed out that my husband and I have much in common with this dynamic pair and I am forever inspired by that comment.
There are SO MANY books on these 2 most influential artists/designers.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

optimism revisited

Created by John D. Boswell, these remixes introced by PBS digital studios of a few old PBS favorites are super entertaining to me.  I think what's most appealing is the nostalgia for a childhood feeling of optimistic possibility and the your-dreams-can-come-true era of the 80s and 90s.  It was a great big and ambiguous feeling then (and it still is in a lot of ways), but it was inspiring, and I guess we eventually realized we had to be innovative and creative to clarify all those ambiguities.  It was Reading-Rainbow-good.  During that time of only 10 - 20 television stations and limited programming, PBS held down a motivating, inspiring, the sky's the limit attitude and I guess I can trace a lot of my optimism and feelings of hopefulness about life back to that (ok, I'll give my parents and some of my public school teachers a lot of credit too).  It was a general attitude of coaching our country's children into believing in themselves and believing in their middle-class dreams.  Not bad.  Thanks PBS.  ...really.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Something I think I know + telling a 14 year old man-child about it.

I used to be a nanny for Atticus and Ruby.  We kicked it together almost every day when they were between the ages of 6 - 9 and 3 - 6 (or something like that).  It was such an amazing job that I still marvel to have been paid to do it.  I imagine Atticus and Ruby will be friends of mine for life.  We try to describe our relationship as though I'm an older cousin - somewhere in between adults and kids in the family member spectrum.  Atticus will be 14 in a week, and his parents wanted me to express a message or letter to him as part of a collection from "older" people in his life.  A message about life because, well, he'll probably stop listening to all of us soon - 14 is that moment when you insist upon self-realization right?  With that in mind, I wrote the below pictured message to my friend Atticus. 

To connect this to this blog/forum, this is what my art is about too... more and more all the time.