Thursday, July 24, 2014

Signs of the week

on the public toilets in the park in Oslo

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Collage update -- the guest artist returns

In 2011 I wrote about a vacation with a five-year-old, how he was curious about my daily art project for that year and decided to adopt it for his own during our week at the beach.  Earlier this month I had the pleasure of spending time with him again -- now he's nine -- and again he was curious about my daily art project.  After watching me do my collage he wanted to do his own.

We both worked on the same "assignment" -- make a face by putting together parts from other images.  I was impressed that he was literally thinking outside the box, allowing the hair and beard to extend off the page.

The next day the assignment was to make a creature that was part human, part animal.

The next assignment was to find a scene, then put things of a different scale into it.  My daily collage showed a cow on the sofa, and his first one was also a living-room scene, but he quickly moved on to soccer, in the exciting final days of the World Cup.

I was so proud of his work, which I thought had sophistication you wouldn't expect from a nine-year-old.  For some time I've been flirting with the concept of collage "assignments" or "recipes" as a way to jump-start creativity, and this experience reinforces it.  If a kid can respond so brilliantly to a prompt, an adult might even be able to do the same.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Photo suite 133 -- knock, knock

The traditional entry in Italy has double doors, with a matching pair of doorknobs or knockers.  Here are some of the more interesting ones:

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Collage update -- on the road

I wrote last week about some of the recurring themes in my daily collages, and now that I'm home from yet another trip, thought I would talk a bit about the theme of travel.  One of my criteria for daily art is that it has to be portable, so I can do it even if I'm away from home (thus, no painting or chainsaw sculpture).  With collage, I set off with blank cards, a scissors and a glue stick, and collect printed materials along the way.  As a result, the collages frequently incorporate maps or tourist info that make them a bit like journals or diaries.

Here are some examples:

Oslo: with the famous Gustav Vigeland statue of a little boy having a tantrum


Paris: Napoleon's tomb

Tuscany: a bottle of local wine

Don't you always find that even with a wonderful trip, the perfect length of vacation is about two days less than however long you have planned to stay?  I'm always happy to be heading home.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Good ideas in textiles

On my recent jaunt to Europe I noticed a nifty little quirk in the table linens we encountered in several restaurants -- the napkins have numbers woven into them.  Presumably intended for the home audience, so you can keep the napkins straight for a couple of days before you throw them in the wash.  But also fun to compare numbers in the restaurant while you drink your wine under the grapevine veranda in the sunset.

I can relate to that -- I love cloth napkins and after I haul them out for a special occasion, I want to keep mine for a while.  I know, that's why they invented napkin rings, but this is so much more subtle.

And speaking of subtle, how about sitting down to this elegant table, all in orange...

...until you open your napkin, and find it red on the inside, thanks to a double weave!