Monthly Archives: January 2014

Louise Bourgeois

Recently a friend gave me a book from an exhibition that Louise Bourgeois had in  Vienna in 2005 when she was 94 years old. I had known of her sculpture, but much of the work in this book was new to me.  In many of these pieces she worked with fabric and with words. 

Here are selections from a book she made out of cloth called Ode A la Bièvre.

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This is what she calls a fabric drawing.

bourgeois fabric drawing

Here are pages from another cloth book Ode a la Oubli, which she made in 2004. Oubli means oblivion.

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Here are drawings made of lines that look like thread.

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It is inspiring that she still made art in her 90’s. Great art that defies categorization! She died in 2010. She said: “My luck was that I became famous so late that fame could not destroy me.”

Here is a portrait of Louise Bourgeois from 1996.

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Bohemia

Rudolf Mates was a Czechoslovakian illustrator who lived from 1881-1966. I treasure the two books of his that I have: A Forest Story and The Cock and the Hen, both illustrated in the 1920’s. This is from the Cock and the Hen.rudolf mates

And these are from the Forest Story.mates frog

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I was inspired by his style to paint some animals. Some of what I took from him was the style of outlining, of using vivid secondary colors and reveling in pattern. Now that I look at his art again I’d like to go back to the drawing board! Here are some of my paintings:Paschkis valentine mouse

Paschkis squirrel

Paschkis cat

Paschkis dog with cartThese images were made into cards for Artists to Watch, and then into a fabric line for In the Beginning Fabrics called Bohemia. The first part of Bohemia was to combine the animals into a repeating panel.Paschkis bohemia panel

Next I designed some smaller patterns to go with it. Some of them became fabric.Paschkis Bohemian gardenbohemia floralPaschkis bohemian acornJason of In the Beginning put the acorns on a diagonal which makes them easier to use.Bohemia acorn fabricAnd some designs didn’t become fabric:bohemian heart

The fabrics have so much pattern that I like a very simple quilt made from them. This quilt is just the panel, quilted. I used the overall floral on the back.Paschkis Bohemia quiltHere is a quilt that uses a bit of Bohemia with some other schnitz.Paschkis bohemia bebopIf you feel inspired to sew something Bohemian, you can buy the fabric at Hancock’s of Paducah, or maybe a local store. Or maybe Rudolf Mates art will lead you in a different direction.mates rabbits

Azulejos

In southern Spain and Portugal there are tiles everywhere, called Azulejos.  There are tiles inside and outside of buildings.IMG_0222 IMG_0276

These tiles share a quality with quilts in that the individual squares have beauty, and that beauty is amplified through repetition as larger patterns are created.  As in quilts, beauty also  comes from the irregularities. There is beauty in the broken tiles, the mismatched repairs and the sliding brushstrokes. Here are tiles from Lisbon, the Alentejo, Seville and Granada.

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Some of the tiles are dimensional.IMG_0418 IMG_0399

And some (like quilts) give the illusion of dimensionality through light and dark.

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Some are geometric.

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And some are narrative.IMG_0386

Some show the passage of time.

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The connection to quilts seem implicit. I hope to design some fabric to make it explicit. Please join me for some imaginary mint tea in this courtyard to think about it.

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