Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Thoughts about a new book

I love adding beautiful, inspiring books to the shelves in my studio. The Natural World is my newest addition. I spent a lovely block of time on Easter day (a quiet day at our house since we don't live near family) paging through the entire book. I read the intro by Martha Sielman, looked at all the pictures, read a few of the profiles and thought a lot about my own work.

I pondered why I work the way I do and how it is similar or different than other artists. I also thought about what "natural" images I use in my own work and how I could expand my visual collection of favorite nature-based shapes and images. I think this is the best compliment I could give a book -- that it made me think and opened new possibilities for my own work!

Some thoughts...
  • There are tons of photos! Certainly enough to find several works that I really liked and lots that I didn't like. I think it is equally informative to study works that I like as well as work that I don't like. So, the huge variety was awesome!
  • The photos are mostly quite excellent. I've seen several of the quilts in the book in person and I'd venture to say that the color is not always exactly right, but that is common in book publications. Not all the photos are quite as clear as I'd like them to be -- I want to see the stitches!
  • I might have liked some detail shots. All the images are full images of the quilts shot straight on... no details, no angles, no luscious close-ups of stitching or texture.
  • The book is thoughtfully organized by "theme" trees, water, flowers, birds, etc. Martha's explanation in the introduction about how she decided to organize the book was quite interesting too.
  • Speaking of Martha's intro, since I've had the pleasure of chatting with Martha a few times, I really enjoyed reading about her background and thoughts about nature in art.
  • There is a large variety of artists represented, some I was familiar with, some new to me.
  • I would have loved to see images of the artists profiled. It's so nice to put a face with a name.
  • The in-depth profiles are full of meaty info about the creative process and really provide a great balance with the gallery pages.
  • The profiles really made me *think* about the artist, her work and how what she does is similar or different from what I do and what I want to do.
  • I really enjoyed the inclusion of a collaborative project called "13 Ways of Looking at a Black Bird." Collaborative work and group exhibits are a big part of the art quilt world, and this was a perfect fit. 
  • I am certainly looking forward to reading more of the profiles included in the book. I think I'll start with Dominie Nash who I had the delight of meeting in Philly last weekend.
  • I'm going crazy over Elizabeth Brimlow's piece Sole Bay. It's the long skinny piece with the rock/pebble/stone shapes.
I can certainly recommend this book to art quilters and any creative types who enjoy looking at and thinking about art!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Debbie, by far the best comments on this book so far....thanks! I'm waiting on my copy. I so enjoyed chatting with you at the conference. From one DEBORAH to another, happy day! Debbie Bein