Work and a Field Trip

I know, I ought to be posting photos of Linda’s tallit completed. It isn’t quite done. it needs about another hour’s worth of work. I’m  a little too tired to do it today without making a mistake that I will regret. I will get back to work  on Linda’s tallit after Shabbat.Sunday, Linda’s family shows up and we all tie the tzitzit together. I used to work with Linda’s husband, and I know their now adult kids, from infanthood. It will be nice tying the tzitzit with all of them.

I did work on the beginnings of this tallit that I’m calling The Bride’s tallit. it is being made by a man, as a gift for his bride. The groom and I have had a couple of meetings on Skype.  He pulled out his beloved’s favorite scarves and showed them to his web-cam.  I am working on making the stripes look like rivers. I made a stencil out of Bristol board and applied the color with Shiva paint sticks.

Doing this kind of work is the same satisfying feeling  you have when you are a kindergartener and are drawing with great concentration with your tongue sticking out of one corner of your mouth. I don’t know if my tongue was actually sticking out, but I did have that very same feeling of contended concentrated satisfaction as I worked.

Yesterday, I went to MOMA with my friend Kathy. I realized yesterday that I look at the paintings like an artist now. I’m really into the technical aspects of the work. How was the paint laid down? What’s the texture of the canvas? How was the canvas treated before the artist bean to paint? How is the artist using the materials? What materials is the artist using?

It was fascinating to see, for example, how un-pristine the surface of Mondrian’s paintings are. One would expect his paintings to be smooth as if they were silk screened. Instead they are richly textured by brushstrokes, and with  ideas abandoned under layers of paint.

I had gone to MOMA a few times soon after this latest expansion opened. It was a very art- unfriendly museum. Lots of the classics of modern art looked awful, muddy and sort of dirty. I guess that they played with the lighting, and also with the wall colors ( which were no longer starkly white but are now soft greyed out colors). I also loved how the collections were hung. Rooms are organized around themes. One gallery was organized around the idea of round, another had work that was line based, another everything had faceted surfaces. t’s a much more satisfying experience than just looking at art in chronological order by artist. The thematic grouping makes it easy to see how artists of a particular period are all thinking about the same ideas and coming up with different ways of thinking about the same problems.

making a river


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