Tag Archives: charles burchfield

slow cloth and beyond

I’m going to defer to jude and her post today on slow cloth since as usual, she says it so well. if you think you ascribe to these ideals and believe you can learn from or add to the conversation, please join in.

if i wasn’t so beat i would be working on some slow(er) cloth but since i spent today processing ribbon i am giving myself a break and doing a quick blog post. i have a few things that i’d like to make note of and instead of too many words i offer you some visuals in the form of a slideshow:

so here you see some of the recent outcomes from the studio and ribbon i am preparing for the show next week. also are a couple of small works in indigo using some vintage ossenberg (sp?) cotton i acquired from my friend donna. it loves the indigo. today i was in need of some bookmarks so i decided to make these. i have been studying a book on loan from Japan on Ichiku Kubota. that’s him in the photo. this afternoon i heard the UPS truck stop out front and i knew he must be here to deliver my copy of “The Poetry of Place”, the book compiling much of Charles Burchfield’s 75 journals he kept over his lifetime. after visiting the show at the Hammer twice and deciding i really wanted to own this book i found that it had appreciated in price beyond my budget. i persisted and deep down on a google search i found a bookseller in NY with a copy for $65- still a bit of money but after seeing the book go from $85 to over $500 i felt fortunate to find it- apparently only 3000 copies were printed. our city library system didn’t even have a copy. when i unwrapped it and opened it up i found the pictured inscription written by the editor to a fellow who contributed some family archival materials to the project. kinda cool. i kept going back to read a page or two off and on all day. this one entry really spoke to me today:

December 25, 1914

…People invariably love the artificial more than the natural. They respect superficiality more than deeper feelings. Most are content with a paper rose. Most buy their perfume in bottles. Rather than real friendship, they are content with superficial expression. They do not care if their acquaintances are sincere, as long as they pretend to be. I would rather have ten sincere enemies than a hundred palaverers.
So I go to Nature when I want sincerity. In nature we not only find sincerity but also innocence. And when, on all sides I am beset with palaver and artifice, I feel the need of drawing a long breath, I ramble the fields.

on the wane and back again

Lest you think I have not been working and thinking, thinking and working- let me set you straight. Orders shipping out, dyeing, preparing for November shows and some pretty awesome reading among other things going on here. Finished reading “Outliers“while I was in TX and was rewarded with confirmations of many things I previously subscribed to (the 10,000 hour theory) but am far less eloquent than Malcom Gladwell is at verbalizing or writing about. He has some very interesting ideas and stories to tell that illustrate why certain people come to be very successful. He explains that we tend to focus on the individual themselves, rather than the circumstances of time, place, and opportunity surrounding the individual. An easy, fun and great read.
Secondly, I received my copy of Hans Abbing’s book “Why Are Artists Poor? The Exceptional Economy of the Arts”. I nearly snatched it out of the FedEx delivery guy’s hands. Well, metaphorically speaking, I was an eager beaver and know ahead he will be preaching to the choir on this one, but once again looking for some very eloquent, researched and well organized thinking on the subject. He is an artist AND an ecomomist- go figure! A rare bird indeed! This book is taking me a bit more time as it is somewhat more academic but he has some really provocative and brilliant thoughts on the economy of art and myths that we seem to insist on furthering-and not to our own best interest.
And in my stumbling ’round the internet on the subject, I came across this guy whom I found very interesting and you might too. Should you have any gifting needs for chess enthusiasts in your life he has some pretty cleverly funny chess t-shirts in addition to his painting which I found I liked very much. His blog is excellent in my opinion. Watch his video on the location of his studio.

A link to all his YouTube channel is located here– be prepared to spend a little time.
Then on to another topic- copyrights- and this story which Neki at moveable feast alerted us to on FB. In addition to a small donation, I offered to send one of my large shibori scarves to anyone of my FB contacts or blog readers who purchased one of his firepits before Nov. 7th (apparently the deadline for his next court date).
And now I share with you a most amazing exhibit of a painter whom was formerly and completely unknown to me- Charles Burchfield.
CB Insect Chorus
Today was a planned “day off” for me and my guy so we headed to the Hammer Museum in LA to take a look at the much ballyhooed Crumb exhibit– an illustrated version of the complete book of Genesis. This exhibit is getting a lot of press here and after seeing a special on Crumb himself a few years back I was interested in checking it out. Upon entering the gallery, there was a free tour getting underway (which we declined to join) but the docents voice was so annoying and being unable to tune it out we decided to step out and return after the tour was over. And am I ever thankful for that annoying docent tour! We wandered over to the next gallery where we discovered the Charles Burchfield exhibit. It was amazing! The first gallery showed a collection of his early works 1917-1920 I believe, and included the above painting. A watercolorist, he apparently painted a large volume of work during this, his early period (my personal favorite). His use of black was wonderful, and a great graphic contrast in all the pieces in this group. To learn more about his three distinct periods you can go here. The story is fascinating. One of the things I really loved about this show was that there were so many notes about each piece in the artist’s own words. I really felt as if I got to know him through this exhibit. Perhaps more so than any other artist’s show I have ever seen. This one will stick with me for a long, long time. There also are examples of some of his commercial work as a wallpaper designer and greeting card illustrator- as well as some of his personal thoughts on effects of that on his personal work.
Phew! After a brief break, it was off to the Crumb exhibit again which itself was an exhaustive effort. The sheer volume of illustrations is enough to knock you over not to mention viewing the subject matter in comic book illustration form. I could only take so much.
I want to thank the LA Times for their over the top promotion of the Crumb show which led me to find a new painter, Charles Burchfield, to add to my list of favorites!
So, tomorrow it is back to shibori, silk, dyeing and experimenting. Preparing for my SF shows and more. I have a class that needs filling at the SF Bead & Design show- you can go here to check that out and register online.