Sunday, March 15, 2009


This weekend has been amazing. Friday I spent with my quilting friends, taking in the Dallas Quilt Celebration -- beautiful quilts and wonderful vendors. And of course, I spent too much money. Saturday, I was back in Dallas with three of my "art school" friends (that's not to say my quilting gals aren't artist, they truly are). Saturday I visited my alma mater to see the Etruscan Exhibit at SMU's Meadows Museum. Dallas is the only venue for this exquisite collection. There were objects from as far back as 900 BCE. The craftsman(women?)-ship in all of the piece, without exception, was breathtaking.

Speaking of breath-taking: that is exactly what happened as I approached the ancient gold-leaf diadem, above, in the glass case where is it displayed. You might have seen the laurel leaf crowns on ancient statues and frescoes. Well, I was looking at the real McCoy. The gold was so fine and thin, it looked as though it could blow way if a strong draft were to enter the vitrine. What a thrill it must have cause for the archeologist who unearthed it. There were a number of stunning gold pieces -- fibulae ("safety pins"), and many, many bronze pieces too. There was a whole room filled with terracotta pieces and stone statuarey as well. All in all, there are about 400 pieces on loan from four museums in Italy. The exhibit closes May 17th. One of my friends said it was, by far, the better exhibit when compared with the Tut exhibit also in town.

Not much is known about the Etruscans (people who lived in Tuscany between 900-100 BCE) except that they may have been immigrants from Turkey and that they were very religious people who believed in equality of the sexes, much to the horror of their Greek and Italian neighbors. Almost everything known about them comes from temple and tomb excavations.

In other news:
Richard Shilling, the English Land Artist I have mentioned before, has had a few very fortunate turns of event. Check out his blog to read the news and to see his new work. We have discussed some sort of collaboration for one section of the textbook I am writing for my college class. How exciting!
This is Spring Break in my neck of the woods and I hope to get a lot of writing done without interruption (Ha!).
Our May vacation in Amsterdam is taunting me and whispering to me to spend some time online checking out all the places to go and things to see (but I have to write, darn-it!).
By the way, my little counter says I've had just over 300 views of my blog -- I think a few of those are me checking in, but I'm glad to see the traffic. Thank you, especially, to my faithful "followers". Sorry I can't seem to post more often.
Questions for your comments:
Do you find inspiration alone or in collaboration. Do you find that being with others inspires you to create? I'd love to hear your thoughts, so comment below.


Richard Shilling said...

Firstly I count our collaboration as one of the exciting opportunities that has been coming my way. But does collaborating with others help the creative process? I have no idea and I wonder in my case whether it would. I am a bit of a control freak with my sculptures - and I fiddle until they are just so - I am not sure anyone would want to put up with me doing this! Also I find the creative process (these days now I am being more original) to be quite intuitive, with no pre-planning involved. This means I don't have an image in my head of what the final result will be until it is 3/4 of the way finished. So right up to this point I am changing things, trying something else and so on. Perhaps collaboration would help me focus better or perhaps it would derail creating intuitively. If my proposals to the Uni get accepted then I may have to learn very quickly how to work creatively as a team. Some of the larger sculptures I have in mind I will not be able to do on my own. I am sure I can do it, but having never attempted (or even really thought about) something like that, it is quite daunting! But exciting all the same.

EmandaJ said...

Being a control freak is not necessarily a bad thing. However, I recall AG working with stone masons on some of his larger, more permenant works -- initially he wanted to lift and positions the stones, much to the dismay of the professionals. It's sometimes hard to let go and let others do what you direct them to do. But it also can be freeing to see your design develop in front of your eyes.

I'm delighted you see our collaboration as one of your exciting opportunities.