Monday, April 03, 2017

A Semi-Special 2500th Post

“The only real influence I’ve ever had 
was myself.” (Edward Hopper)

OK, I told ya I was gonna get teachy today!  First start off by reading these 12 rules:
                           Wise words from a Master on Practice:
  1. Seek out instruction: A good teacher will help you understand the purpose of practicing and can teach you ways to make practicing easier and more productive.
  1. Write out a schedule: A schedule helps you organize your time. Be sure to allow time to review the fundamentals because they are the foundation of all the complicated things that come later.
  1. Set goals: Like a schedule, goals help you organize your time and chart your progress…. If a certain task turns out to be really difficult, relax your goals: practice doesnʼt have to be painful to achieve results.
  1. Concentrate: You can do more in 10 minutes of focused practice than in an hour of sighing and moaning. This means no video games, no television, no radio, just sitting still and working…. Concentrated effort takes practice too, especially for young people.
  1. Relax and practice slowly: Take your time; donʼt rush through things. Whenever you set out to learn something new – practicing scales, multiplication tables, verb tenses in Spanish – you need to start slowly and build up speed.
  1. Practice hard things longer: Donʼt be afraid of confronting your inadequacies; spend more time practicing what you canʼt do…. Successful practice means coming face to face with your shortcomings. Donʼt be discouraged; youʼll get it eventually.
  1. Practice with expression: Every day you walk around making yourself into “you,” so do everything with the proper attitude…. Express your “style” through how you do what you do.
  1. Learn from your mistakes: None of us are perfect, but donʼt be too hard on yourself. If you drop a touchdown pass, or strike out to end the game, itʼs not the end of the world. Pick yourself up, analyze what went wrong and keep going….
  1. Donʼt show off: Itʼs hard to resist showing off when you can do something well…. But my father told me, “Son, those who play for applause, thatʼs all they get.” When you get caught up in doing the tricky stuff, youʼre just cheating yourself and your audience.
  1. Think for yourself: Your success or failure at anything ultimately depends on your ability to solve problems, so donʼt become a robot…. Thinking for yourself helps develop your powers of judgment.
  1. Be optimistic: Optimism helps you get over your mistakes and go on to do better. It also gives you endurance because having a positive attitude makes you feel that something great is always about to happen.
  1. Look for connections: If you develop the discipline it takes to become good at something, that discipline will help you in whatever else you do…. The more you discover the relationships between things that at first seem different, the larger your world becomes. In other words, the woodshed can open up a whole world of possibilities.
Note that this was NOT written by a quilter, but the rules apply for anything you try to get better at.  This is from Wynton Marsalis but doesn't even touch on his trumpet playing.  Smart man.  Learn these, intuit them, and you will be on your way.  And if this doesn't strike you, go read Malcome Gladwell and study his 10,000 works theory before you are good at anything.

My ARTY PARTY today is really 'mixed media'  Enjoy a new way to work, a new medium!  Cheese.

David Bradley, also known as the Curious Confectioner, teamed with creative company The Robin Collective to make a sculptural version of 
Byonce out of 45 pounds of cheese, done ahead of a cheese carving championship at a London cheese and wine festival this weekend. (No, I’m not poutine you on, cheese sculpture is a widespread artistic practice.)  The team named it Brie-oncé, of course — although that is fake news, as the sculpture is actually made of five blocks of cheddar, according to CNN.

Sarah Kaufmann, the current best cheese carver.  Remember that name.

I did not know that one could “set a Guinness World Record for making art out of cheese,” as apparently Sarah Kaufmann, aka the Cheese Lady, has. Kaufmann set that record for her 925-pound cheese roller coaster created on site at the Wisconsin State Fair. I can’t help but wonder what drives someone to such ends. Dogged ambition and persistence? A single-minded belief in the power of dairy? Lactose intolerance? Hey, everyone in this world has a dream. Who am I to judge someone else’s?

Cheeses about PLACE:

After visiting the architectural wonder that is the Colosseum, make your way to the Leaning Tower of Cheese-a

Sarah Kaufmann has done it again with this impeccable 
recreation of the Eiffel Tower. 

Cheese about EVENTS: The signing of the Declaration of Independence is now immortalized in this block of cheddar. At least until it gets moldy. Or melts...

Cheese PORTRAITURE:  Out in Minnesota, every year they crown a "Princess Kay of the Milky Way" to become the official good-will ambassador for the Minnesota dairy industry. But the real prize, as you can see here, is the opportunity to get your likeness carved into a giant block of cheese, though I found out that it's really BUTTER for this princess. Oh well.

The man in the moon portraiture.

More portraiture but this time in Bas Relief (lesson-  that means it is attached to a backing and really only the front is viewable.  Note it is also 'mixed media' with the variation of cheese colors added for emphasis  See next image of the city scape for Bas Relief in the round, only the fronts of the building are carved against the background of the material's surface:

Finally Cheese Wrought LARGE, and apparently ridable

What's the point you ask?  The POINT (and there is one) is that everything you do should be done with intent.  It doesn't matter where you come from, only that you take your cheese and your knife and do the best, most innovative thing you can with what you have.  When you are an artist, or ready to announce you are (and trust me, this takes time to admit, almost like coming out of the closet because you will forever change your definition of self!!), your 'art' must be evident in everything you do.  Nobody told me this, I learned it from a contemporary in grad school who was making an interesting knitted afghan but hanging the most intricate tiny crocheted animals from the edges, all her own designs. She made an offhand remark that there isn't any sense to make an afghan without making it the most individual piece she could.  She didn't mean to whack me across my face, but I took her remark as the words I had been waiting for all my life.  I don't remember her name, wish I did.  

And with that I am officially finished with 2500 posts.  Hope some of you check in more often, always something rant about, always something to think about, very little serious stuff except my whining when things aren't getting done.  I am running out of time, my contemporaries are dropping like flies around me, and I'm in a race to the finish-  I must use up all the materials and fabrics I have accumulated or at the least make a huge dent in the piles.  So far so good, I haven't bought fabric, except for clothes and home dec, for a very long time.  The last two quilts I've been putting together use up lots of fabrics, and I'm not saving scraps any more.  But somehow, the piles aren't receding as I would like them to.  A problem for all of us it seems or I'd hold a 'for FREE' sale and be done with it.  Not that I would have takers-  the South Florida Quilt Landscape is pretty bleak.

See you soon-  now go get to work on your cheese drawer!

1 comment :

Kay Koeper Sorensen said...

Wish all my finer art friends could read this post.
You did great on 2500 .
That said I DO read and love all of them.