Friday, October 24, 2014

If you wait long enough, I make a quilt.

Hey, I made a quilt! Didn't see that coming, did you.

I have a Room of My Own, which is a bit of a sty, littered as it is with an appalling volume of half-finished, half-begun, and ill-conceived projects. Short of flame, the only way I can think of to "clean" it -- by which I mean, open up an access path so that I can water the plants back by the window -- is to actually complete some of the projects.

This is what I might term, if I were insufferably pompous -- you make the call! -- a "process quilt." That's to say, I never sat down and planned where each individual piece of fabric would go. Rather, I made a set of rules and followed them, trusting that they would end up generating a quilt that looks more or less good.

In this case, the basic rule is that using low-grade scrap and surplus fabrics, I'm alternating thicker strips of dark with thinner strips of light.  (If you have a weirdly active memory, you might catch that I mentioned this idea a year and a half ago.  The quilt I was talking about in that post is still cluttering up the room, and thus might make progress towards actually quilthood if my momentum stays all fired up.)  Because I've been working on, and sorting out, several projects simultaneously, I don't really remember how much of this one was already put together and how much not when I uncovered it last month.  I think I did most of it in this October, though.

Although you won't credit it from the picture, I think it actually looks pretty good.

Mrs.5000 likes it too.  So, as is generally the case when she seems enthusiastic about a quilt in production, it's hers.  Like we need more blankets.  We are a house unusually rich in blankets.

The Specs

Name: none.
Serial Number: I've lost track.

Dimensions: 77" x 57"
Batting: An old blanket I found somewhere.
Backing: A low quality synthetic material that was, technically speaking, both "stretchy" and "slippery."  Because of these qualities, and because I used a simple pressure foot instead of a walking foot [just nod knowingly] there is massive pucker between all of the quilting seams on the back end.  That's usually considered an error, but in this case I'm calling it part of the design. 
Quilting: Parallel transverse straight lines.

Begun: Hard to say exactly, but maybe May of 2013.
Finished: October, 2014.

Intended Use/Display: Blanket for use.
Provenance: In the collection of Mrs.5000.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Infinite Art Tournament Left Bracket Second-Round Elimination: Greuze v. Gris!

Jean-Baptiste Greuze
1725 - 1805

Juan Gris
1887 - 1927
Spanish; worked in France
  • Decisively beat 18th/19th century French painter Baron Antoine-Jean Gros in Round 1.
  • Sent packing by Atkinson Grimshaw in Round 2.
  • Defeated Matthias Grünewald in the Left Bracket Second Round by a two-vote swing -- YOUR VOTE COUNTS!!!


Vote for the artist of your choice in the comments, or any other way that works for you. Commentary and links to additional work are welcome. Polls open for at least one month past posting.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Infinite Art Tournament, Left Bracket Second Round: Johns v. Jordaens!

Jasper Johns
b. 1930

Stunned by underdog Gwen John in Round 1.
Beat Domenico Beccafumi in First Round Elimination.

Jacob Jordaens
1593 - 1678

Beat living artist Allen Jones after a tough fight in Round 1.
Lost to Frida Kahlo in Round 2.

Vote for the artist of your choice in the comments, or any other way that works for you. Commentary and links to additional work are welcome. Polls open for at least one month past posting, but likely much longer.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Art Treasures of the Castle5000 Collection: "The Box"

This masthead is based on the shipping box for the 1950s "Art Treasures of the World" art book series.

The Box
by Mrs.5000
Wooden Box filled with lots of stuff
One-of-a-kind item

Gift, c. 2004.

The Box was given to me by Mrs.5000 around ten years ago.

Although I mentioned it once several years ago, I've often asked myself, "Michael5000, how come you've never done a proper post on The Box?"  Well, as I took it outside to take these pictures, I remembered why.

It's really, really hard to photograph well.

But you get the idea!  What we have here is a triptych, my friends.  It is, I would go so far to say, reminiscent of late mediaeval devotional alters that wealthy folks could carry around with them so they could worship on the go.  Except, it doesn't really have much in the way of religious content.

There's lots to explore, including the mysterious drawers on the bottom.

And since it's done with mirrors, if you stare into The Box, it sometimes stares back at you.

So, that's kind of what The Box looks like.

Except it's about a million times cooler, in real life.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Infinite Art Tournament, Round One: Long v. Longhi!

Richard Long
born 1945


Pietro Longhi
1702 - 1785


Vote for the artist of your choice! Votes go in the comments. Commentary and links to additional work are welcome. Polls open for at least one month past posting.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Saint of the Month: Saint Solina of Chartres

If Ste. Soline is the same person as St. Solina of Chartes, then this might very well
be a stained glass representation of our Saint of the Month, in the Church of
St. Pierre, in Chartres.

Saint Solina of Chartres

AKA: Saint Solina of Gascony
Feast Day: October 17.

Really Existed? Have my doubts.
Timeframe: The third century.
Place: France.

Credentials: Recognized by tradition.
Martyrdom: Beheaded.

Patron Saint of: No known patronage.
Symbolism: No known artistic tradition.

Our Saint of the Month for October 2014 is a very minor saint indeed. Which is not to say that she wasn't as virtuous, kind, or exemplary as any other saint. She's just not very well known. She is neither on Facebook nor the Wiki.

The outline of Saint Solina's story is that she fled her native Gascony, or Aquitaine -- southwestern France, anyway -- for the northern city of Chartres. It seems that she had become an enthusiastic Christian, to the disappointment of her parents, variously described as "pagan," "heathen," and "still clinging to the Roman religion." They pressured her to marry a nice heathen boy, but she would have none of it and headed north. Unfortunately, she does not seem to have fallen in with like-minded co-religionists, as we are told that she was martyred in Chartes by beheading.

That's as much as I could learn about Saint Solina in English or Norwegian. Possibly the French have better intel. The only elaboration I have seen of this basic story is from a Dutch website. The machine translation seems to suggest that she actually did find some fellow Christians in Chartres:
There had , in recent years two disciples of Jesus' apostles and Savinianus Potentianus ( † ca 250; party December 31 ) , the gospel preached to them. Because of them a cave which had hitherto devoted to a Druid - goddess mother , renamed the Mary Cave was.
Unfortunately, "Because the Roman government it had nothing to know , they had just put in the time to make a horrific persecution of Christians in rope." The city prefect, we are told, was especially displeased by young Christian women, including his own daughter, and it was him who had St. Solina put to the block.

I suppose that, on this feast day of St. Solina of Chartres, it would be appropriate to be thankful for the relatively limited power of municipal government in our enlighted times.

BUT WAIT!!  After looking for places named for St. Solina on a map of Chartres, and failing, I discovered the commune of Ste. Soline in the west of France.  I figured it must be named after a Ste. Soline, because I'm smart like that.  And here is what the French Wikipedia has to say about Ste. Soline:

Sainte Soline is a virgin and martyr from Poitou [in western France, north of Aquitaine/Gascony]. Canonized by the Catholic Church, it is celebrated on October 17 .

There is no precise or reliable information on the life of Sainte Soline . Some sources are often the late third century, about 290 Others say that his martyrdom took place in the year 801 .

It gave its name to the Poitevin village, Sainte- Soline, and the parish church there. She would come to Chartres in order to perform a pilgrimage to the Virgin Mary and she died a martyr in this city. A stained glass window in the church of the Holy Father is the Chartres.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Infinite Art Tournament, Left Bracket Round Three: Carrà v. Corot!

Carlo Carrà caught Caro, but can Carrà catch Corot?

Carlo Carrà
1881 - 1966

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot
1796 - 1875
  • Beat 16th Century Italian Correggio in Round 1.
  • Surprised Gustave Courbet in Round 2.
  • Fought to a tie with Salvador Dali, believe it or not, in Round 3.
  • Slaughtered by Caillebotte in the Round 3 Tiebreaker.


Vote for the artist of your choice in the comments, or any other way that works for you. Commentary and links to additional work are welcome. Polls open for at least one month past posting.