Thursday, June 23, 2016

My Best Blogging Moments in Art and Fashion

Via blog editorship, I've certainly enjoyed life to a much fuller extent than I would as a random bystander. Blogging is the impetus navigating a continual search for creativity and subject matter for intriguing posts. At the end of this post, you'll find a few links to some of my favorite blogging moments. 

For six years I've maintained Art Fashion Creation and Toile La La, but you'll also find posts at the Wordpress blog dressesandhats. Too, you may remember the blog Better Shell Fitness, to which I contributed fitness reviews.  At these blogs, you'll also find reviews for fashion shows/exhibits, museums, travel, books, and music - all written in my nom de plume - Toile La La. The name Toile La La (pronounced twahl-lah-lah) originated from experiments in half-scale sewing and I kept it as a pen name because I enjoy the pronunciation.

Blogging is good motivation for exploring my own creative capacity.  During six blogging years, in addition to stitching those first half-scale design toiles, my art/fashion adventures include:
  • millinery
  • a hand-bound (coptic-stitched ) book and a more condensed zine titled 80s Fashion Design Book 1: Drawn
  • the recent exhibit 2D to 3D: Artist Room Studies
  • fashion fiction, quick fiction, and interior fiction 
  • fashion collage and stitched collage
  • mail art and stitched wordsmithing
  • the F/W 2014 Romantic Souls fashion show
  • the S/S 2015 Spontaneous Now fashion show and video
  • the Advance A/H  F/W 15/16 L'Oeil Creatif a L'Avance fashion show
All told, it is my greatest pleasure to converse with other creatives. I feel I must almost glow with fascination during an interview - as my senses are so fully engaged. The following links lead you to my interviews with a variety of women - artists/designers/writers, varying in age and interests - all, women who inspire me with a particular eye, intelligence, written voice, or humor.

Monday, June 20, 2016

2D to 3D: Artist Room Studies, Jennifer Hawkins Hock

To emphasize a captured moment in the daily life and environment of these artists is my goal; to spotlight their appreciation for the art found in something as simple as a good meal, a window view, flowers in a vase, the silhouette of a chair, placement of a book, or the casting of light and shadow. When you compare my room studies to their respective paintings, you'll notice here and there little discrepancies. It is of course part of the pleasure of observing these representations - spotting the differences. 

You might consider too the passing of time as you view my room studies - how even in your own environment, there occurs an evolution - a transition or a shifting of the elements therein. Some rooms seem to beckon guests... tables well-dressed with food and service, fresh flowers in a vase. In three of the rooms which originally contained people, I chose to reflect this passage of time - adding another element to the story the original paintings tell. You will notice instead of an orange - its peeling; a man reading the paper is now prepared for a stroll; or instead of a man peering through a doorway - a woman peeling potatoes is there instead.

I am delighted by Henri Matisse's rooms which are like diaries and I feel especially drawn to Edouard Vuillard's worktable - with its sewing project ready to be finished - a room full of fabric and potential. Gwen John's room, with its oddly slanted wall-feature, is a favorite - because I think it has all one really needs for a brief, restorative bit of enjoyment: a nice comfortable chair, flowers, a window - for fresh air and a view, and a practical small table - big enough for writing or holding a cup of tea, with a drawer to store something special - a book, or a letter.  

All the objects on walls, tables, shelves - all the elements of the original paintings are there because the artist deemed them visually significant. However, you might also consider how an artist may alter the actual room for its portrait.  

In recreating these paintings and setting the decor just so, I noticed interesting similarities in the rooms. So many of them feature open windows or doors - allowing the viewer to see beyond the immediate interior - framing a city scene, the blue sky and grass of nature, or sometimes a balcony.

I tried to avoid too many conceits or liberties, but there are a few. In Childe Hassam's room, the red table has such a perfect amount of reflection on top - a nice shine - I didn't want to change it. Too, I cannot verify what is under the table of Misia and Vallotton's table. My eyes see what I think is a cat - maybe even a cat with kittens... perhaps a cat is what I want to see. It is my hope you will now take a closer look and decide for yourself.
Artist Room Study 1 Dufy - Jennifer Hawkins Hock, 2014/2016

Table Devant une Fenetre Ouverte - Raoul Dufy, without date

Artist Room Study 2 Vuillard - Jennifer Hawkins Hock, 2014/2016

Misia and Vallotton at Villeneuve - Edouard Vuillard, 1899

Artist Room Study 3 Matisse - Jennifer Hawkins Hock, 2014/2016

Pink Studio - Henri Matisse, 1911
Artist Room Study 4 Childe Hassam - Jennifer Hawkins Hock, 2014/2016

The Breakfast Room, Winter Morning - Frederick Childe Hassam, 1911

Artist Room Study 5 Matisse - Jennifer Hawkins Hock, 2014/2016

Artist Room Study 5 Matisse - Jennifer Hawkins Hock, 2014/2016

L'Atelier du Quai St. Michel - Henri Matisse, 1916

Artist Room Study 6 Caillebotte - Jennifer Hawkins Hock, 2014/2016

Interior of a Studio with Stove - Gustave Caillebotte, 1874
Artist Room Study 7 Bonnard - Jennifer Hawkins Hock, 2014/2016

La Table - Pierre Bonnard, 1925

Artist Room Study 8 Matisse - Jennifer Hawkins Hock, 2014/2016

Red Studio - Henri Matisse, 1911

Artist Room Study 9 Matisse - Jennifer Hawkins Hock, 2014/2016

Interior, Flowers and Parakeets - Henri Matisse, 1924

Artist Room Study 10 Van Gogh - Jennifer Hawkins Hock, 2014/2016

Bedroom in Arles - Vincent van Gogh, 1888
Artist Room Study 11 Magritte - Jennifer Hawkins Hock, 2014/2016

Artist Room Study 11 Magritte - Jennifer Hawkins Hock, 2014/2016

L'Homme au Journal - Rene Magritte, 1928

Artist Room Study 12 Gwen John - Jennifer Hawkins Hock, 2014/2016

A Corner of the Artist's Room in Paris - Gwen John, 1907-1909
Artist Room Study Vuillard Worktable - Jennifer Hawkins Hock, 2014/2016

Artist Room Study Vuillard Worktable - Jennifer Hawkins Hock, 2014/2016

The Suitor (Interior with Worktable) - Edouard Vuillard, 1893
Artist Room Study 14 Matisse - Jennifer Hawkins Hock, 2014/2016

Grand Interieur, Nice - Matisse, 1920

Artist Room Study 15 Hammershoi - Jennifer Hawkins Hock, 2012/2014

Interieur Strandgade 30, 1901 - Vilhelm Hammershoi

Friday, June 17, 2016

2D to 3D: Artist Room Studies, Exhibition Notes

Summer 2014 - Intrigued by living spaces I began to study painted rooms of famous artists and considered how an artist's studio and domestic interior might influence a body of work.  Too, the concept of change within those spaces fascinated me. To momentarily shift focus away from the artist's renowned creations and emphasize instead a captured moment in the daily life and environment is my goal. I created the room studies as a way to feel the lives of these artists and closer examine the ways they surrounded themselves.

Deeply involved in various art forms that summer of 2014, my own studio began to exhibit a cluttered look as more hours were dedicated to sketching, painting, and sewing.  I thought of other artists' studios and houses - particularly curious about the surroundings of women artists in the late 19th and 20th centuries. Searching for these artists' rooms, some of them seem more approachable, more real than others. Some of the furnishings look practical and commonplace; these are the rooms to which I relate and which I imagine visiting. Some paintings exude a more friendly, welcoming aspect and these are the rooms to which I feel invited.

In my Artist Room Studies, I am recreating the essence of the room - a similar arrangement, similar lighting, colors, and similar furnishings.  I hope the viewer receives an impression of familiarity - either before or after viewing the original artwork, whereby my three-dimensional room assemblage is enough like the artist's two-dimensional painting to be recognizable.

Jennifer Hawkins Hock for Art Fashion Creation

Visit Art Fashion Creation 6.20.16 to see 15 2D to 3D: Artist Room Studies, by Jennifer Hawkins Hock.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Musee de la Toile de Jouy: Top of My List

When I visit a museum, my goal is to explore and piece together random parts of life.  I'm driven to understand how or why an artwork or creation happened - and I thrive when learning and making mental connections.  So Musee de la Toile de Jouy is currently Number One on my list, because it is a museum that makes sense in its place and in its presentation of the history and significance of the product it represents.

During the latter part of the 18th century there occurred a trend  - people of affluence developed an affinity for rustic simplicity.  The Queen's Hamlet of Versailles exhibits this preference for nature and for the charming structures of Norman or Flemish design.  Likewise, many of the fabrics produced in Jouy-en-Josas at this time show a love of the countryside, depicting: orchards, ponds, mills, farm animals, meadows, birds, streams, cascades, flowers, and quaint figures in romantic poses, playing instruments, or tending to chores.

The toile de jouy cloth produced in Jouy-en-Josas by Oberkampf in the 18th century is a wonderful example of art reflecting its environment and of how art reflects popular culture.  To be able to observe the actual landscape which influenced so many of the toile de jouy scenes, and to learn the methods in which the cloth was printed is an illuminating experience.

To visit Musee de la Toile de Jouy is to witness living proof of a historical moment in the birth of a very long-lasting trend.

If this piques your curiosity, visit the Toile La La blog.  And here is a toile de jouy post I wrote several years ago - before the Musee de la Toile de Jouy visit.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

AJ Ghent Purple Rain 6.11.16

Woodstock, Georgia:  Coaxing a fantastic noise from his red, custom made 8-string lap steel/Telecaster hybrid, AJ Ghent - in the purple spotlight - with his band created a perfect sonic syzygy covering Prince's Purple Rain.  Ghent's vocals alone soar effortlessly into the upper octaves - but with his finger cuffed in a glass slide, Ghent sends Purple Rain into another stratosphere of sound.  He accompanies his own voice with that of the red guitar - adding eerie dimensions beyond the Prince sound, venturing into a tone similar to the theremin or whale song. Ghent's playing technique hints of dobro mojo, both hands gliding - sometimes percussively, over the top of the guitar. The style - called 'Sacred Steel' - is a unique family legacy and imbues Ghent with the power to sock a double-whammy to Purple Rain

Performance reviewed by TLL, 6.11.16 at MadLife Stage and Studios - Woodstock, GA.
Photo from band website.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Art and Fashion Museum Exploration, Europe

My priority art and fashion history museum destinations, selected after many hours navigating museum sites online, researching, and reading reviews were:

  • Victoria and Albert
  • National Portrait Gallery London
  • Museum of London
  • Tate Modern London
Ghent and Bruges - MIAT Museum Ghent
(In these two cities, my primary focus was the visible cultural history, the setting, the historic buildings - I chose to walk and absorb the outdoor scenery, rather than spending time inside.)

  • Musee d'Orsay
  • Centre Pompidou National Modern Art Museum
  • Versailles: The Queen's Hamlet
  • Musee des Arts et Metiers 
  • Musee d'art Moderne de la Ville de Paris
At my Toile La La blog, you'll find three posts with details from each destination and lots of photos.  If you select the city links above, you'll be transported to the corresponding Toile La La post. The camera was with me at all times - on the Thames, the canals of Ghent and Bruges, the Seine, in the museums, up the steps of the Notre Dame Cathedral to the rooftop, up the steps of the Ghent and the Bruges belfries, and all through the city streets.  
Centre Pompidou National Modern Art Museum - photo Toile La La 2015

Musee d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris - photo Toile La La 2015

at Musee d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris - photo Toile La La 2015

at Musee d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris - photo Toile La La 2015

Sonia Delaunay at Centre Pompidou National Modern Art Museum - photo Toile La La 2015

at Musee de la Toile de Jouy - photo Toile La La 2015

Gargoyle View, Notre Dame Cathedral Paris - photo Toile La La 2015

view from Notre Dame Cathedral rooftop, Paris - photo Toile La La 2015

the Queen's Hamlet, Versailles - photo Toile La La 2015

at Victoria and Albert, London - photo Toile La La 2015

view from Bruges Belfry - photo Toile La La 2015

Bruges Chocolatier, lovely - Photo Toile La La 2015

Train Station, Belgium - photo Toile La La 2015

view from Ghent Belfry - photo Toile La La 2015

MIAT Museum Ghent, Photo Toile La La 2015

MIAT Museum Ghent - Photo Toile La La 2015

Vestment at St. Bavo's Cathedral, Ghent - Photo Toile La La 2015

Victoria and Albert Museum, London - Photo Toile La La 2015
at National Portrait Gallery London - photo Toile La La 2015