Sunday, August 3, 2008

Unexpected inspiration


I had planned to take a little break from the studio. I have made SO many new paintings lately, I mean like 30+, that I’m feeling a little overwhelmed about getting started on the many tasks involved in getting them out in the world. With such a large “inventory,” it hardly seemed necessary to make more new pieces right away.

Also I’m scheduled for 6 adult-level and 3 graduate-level classes this fall at the museum school where I teach, in addition to a course at a nearby state college. With all of that looming in the not-too-distant future, and my summer teaching still with two weeks to go, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to let my studio time slide a little.

In anticipation of letting my brain “chill” a bit, I checked a pile of DVDs of old TV shows out of the library for my husband and I to watch (we find the library fits in better with our budget than cable). Along with “Columbo,” “The Rockford Files” and “The Big Valley,” I also checked out “The Art of Quilting,” a PBS program on DVD that includes an interview with my friend, artist Jeanne Williamson.

I watched “The Art of Quilting” today – in between episodes of Peter Falk in his rumpled raincoat, and Lee Majors and Peter Breck beating the heck out of each other – and found it FASCINATING. The show includes a number of quilt-artists talking in depth about their inspirations, their creative processes, and how they became involved with art-making in the first place.

I was so inspired that I hastened down to the studio and painted a grouping of works on paper (example above) featuring liberal pourings of yellow ochre and cadmium yellow. So much for time off – inspired by the quilters’ enthusiasm and their beautiful works, I couldn’t resist!

But I have to admit, while the paint was drying, I came upstairs and watched James Garner in “Rockford.”

2 comments:

Martha Marshall said...

Catherine, my mother made quilts and painted. She didn't see the two as the same thing. Even with the laborious hand work that went into her quilts, she just saw them as something to keep us warm. I'm so glad I have a couple of them now (as well as her paintings.)

I saw the Gee's Bend quilts at the Orlando Museum of Art last year. That was a wonderful and inspiring thing to see.

I love your yellow piece!

Catherine Carter said...

That's interesting about your Mom, Martha. I agree that there is a difference when something is functional; we have a different kind of relationship to it. But the painter and the quilter are both using the same design principles, problem-solving skills, etc.

I've only seen Gee's Bend works on line, but they certainly are beautiful, aren't they?

I'm so glad you enjoyed the new yellow work!