The Venus of Willendorf.
Just because it doesn’t look the way you thought it would does not mean it isn’t any good.
Don’t be so critical of your own work. Don’t spend time fussing and fretting, just finish and go on to the next project. This was actually a valuable lesson my daughter taught me when she was two years old. I watched her draw (scribble) picture after picture without ever stopping to judge, criticize, or ask my opinion. It was obvious the joy was in the making, not the product. I have realized that with quantity you get quality.
I am so inspired by all the handmade holiday posts that I've been seeing. Check out maya*made's series of posts, which begins today with some scrumptious (and easy) baby blankets. Resurrection Fern's felted Russian Christmas is very inspiring as well. It clearly isn't just me feeling that this holiday season calls for a real clarity of purpose and connectedness that a handcrafted holiday brings.
What will you be making with your own two hands this holiday?
Linda went WAY above and beyond the terms of our swap and sent one of her amazing assemblages: "Seagrass" (2005). I am still so overwhelmed by her gesture and also by how perfectly the piece fits with everything that I love.
I know I'm probably tacky to admit that a piece of art matches my decor, but this piece really does! The sea green of the box is one of my favorite colors, and it's the color of my living room (our dining room is a shade darker).
I have a few pieces of seaglass and beach pebbles that I've collected from Victoria, British Columbia, and from along Lake Michigan. The seaglass that Linda incorporated into this piece is from Lake Michigan's Rosewood Beach, which is a perfect evocation of my memories of the three wonderful summers I spent living in Chicago.
The vintage details that Linda assembled into this piece are so touching. The vintage chalkware bird is the focal point of the piece, and the vintage wallpaper in the background is its perfect complement.
Thank you, Linda, for your generosity! I feel very blessed to have one of your originals to treasure!
"We were a true collaboration," explained Alice, "Martin and I really were one artist."
What strikes me most about seeing their illustrations today is how gentle and playful their images are. There is so much joy in the lines and colors and in the expressions of the children and animals. They expressed the best of what was happening in the 60's and 70's, both culturally and graphically.
I am keenly aware that my 100th blog post passed without my promised giveaway. But if you are interested in receiving a copy of the Provensens' Child's Garden of Verses and a few other vintage children's books (all gently used and from our Friends of the Library sale), please leave a comment about an illustrator that leaves you dreaming of fairy-tale lands that you wished existed. I'll randomly draw a name on Sunday, November 16, to determine the winner.
I also wanted to share some of the graphics from the vintage art education textbooks and magazines that I have collected over the last few months. The art books and magazines from the 1910s through the pre-war years contain wonderful examples of Arts and Crafts design.
End paper for Industrial and Applied Art Books, No. 2, Edited by Walter Scott Perry, Florence H. Fitch, Walter Sargent, and Frederick G. Bonser, Mentzer Bush & Co., 1926.
Brayer Print by Norman Laliberte, cover of Everyday Art, Volume 38, Fall Issue 1959 (The American Crayon Company).
I also wanted to share a little trick that a therapist taught me a decade ago. She pointed out that in our daily lives we establish habits (eating buttered popcorn while we watch a movie, eating when we're stressed or bored, watching TV every night, voting for Republicans, etc.) that get ingrained and wear such a familiar little groove in our neural pathways that we automatically do them even when they no longer serve us. To get me unstuck from my unhealthy eating habits, she urged me to try to take a familiar, benign habit and completely change it. So, for example, I usually take the same familiar route to drop off my son at school. It's easy and I don't have to think about it. But in the last week I have figured out several new routes to take. One goes through the arboretum and along a lovely creek, so it was a bonus that I found this lightly traveled and scenic route. It seems silly, but a little change like that can open you up for making other changes in your life and forge some new neural pathways to boot. End of sermon!
Have a great weekend!