Klaus Moje, by Terry Grant

I got my members’ magazine from the Portland Art Museum last week and was intrigued by the photographs of work by Australian glass artist Klaus Moje. His work, including a four-panel work created especially for the exhibition will be at PAM starting May 31 and running to September 7.

The thing that caught my eye was the similarities I saw to fiber works. Moje seems to be interested in pattern and juxtaposing one pattern against another.

This is a detail from one of the Portland Panels.

These works really seem to work with the concept of “piecing” . It suddenly occurred to me that there are other kinds of art that use many of the conventions and constructions that quilters and fiber artists use, including glass apparently and, of course, mosaic and collage work. Duh—obvious, I guess. I just hadn’t thought of it in that way before.

Continue reading ‘Klaus Moje, by Terry Grant’

Personal icons – Terry Grant

Do you have personal icons? Images that you repeat in your work? I know of one quilt artist who includes a bird in every piece she does. Sometimes the bird is the subject, sometimes it is almost hidden amongst the main elements of the piece. Do you repeat the same subject over and over? I was fascinated with June’s painting class exercise of painting the same subject 11 (I think) times. I find myself returning to the same things, but also sometimes thinking, “Oh, I’ve done that–need to move on.” If you have a personal icon, is it something that has great personal appeal as a thing, or an image, or is it something you have adopted simply for the purpose of exploration, improvisation on a theme, a thread through the work?

I rather like the idea of taking a somewhat mundane object and using it over and over, which, to my mind, might help get one past the idea of art being about the subject and into the idea of art being about the art.

Jim Dine, known in the ’60s as a Pop artist repeated several subjects many, many times.

Some of Jim Dine’s Hearts:

Continue reading ‘Personal icons – Terry Grant’

Charla Khanna’s dolls – Terry Grant

If you are an art quilter and find yourself stuck in the art/craft-which-is-it? vortex, can you even imagine the assumptions people have about doll makers? I have made a few dolls, but don’t think of myself as a dollmaker. Still, I have a fascination with them, being sometimes magical little effigies, sometimes alter egos, sometimes haunting and spooky and more often sweet and cloying. Think of all the “baggage” the whole concept of dolls carries, made even more cumbersome by feminist notions of whether little girls need to play with dolls, especially esteem damaging numbers like Barbie and her cohorts. So, with all this in mind I was hesitant to feature a doll artist here. I can hear June snorting frantically as I write this!

I became aware of Charla Khanna’s dolls a number of years ago. She does not have a web site, so I began saving images, in a folder, when I found them for the simple pleasure of being able to go back, from time to time to enjoy looking at them. I find them quite unsentimental, beautifully imagined and equally beautifully conceived. Like good art should, they seem to me filled with meaning and intention and crafted with joy. I was delighted to see a profile of her in the newest issue of Fiberarts magazine.

Here are a few of the images I have filched over several years:

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Continue reading ‘Charla Khanna’s dolls – Terry Grant’

Hogarth’s Line of Beauty – Terry Grant

Awhile back I went looking for other people’s thoughts about curves in art. At some point it occurred to me that the way curves are rendered , makes the difference between whether a work of art looks fluid and natural as opposed to stiff and labored. But what is it that makes one curve ‘good’ and another ‘bad’? I never did find any scientific or even philosophical answer that really satisfied me, so I am stuck with just knowing it when I see it, but in the course of my search I came across Hogarth’s Line of Beauty.

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The artist William Hogarth wrote a book called The Analysis of Beauty. You can actually read the entire text online here. (Disclaimer: I have not read it) Hogarth proposed that the essence of beauty of line in painting, drawing, nature and design is not the simple geometry of a straight line or circle, or more subtle shapes such as the ellipse, but of curves that modulate from one gradient to another. Such a curve, the “S” curve is such a structure and he called it “the line of beauty”. According to his theory, S-Shaped curved lines signify liveliness and activity and excite the attention of the viewer as contrasted with straight lines, parallel lines, or right-angled intersecting lines which signify stasis, death, or inanimate objects. He goes on to say that the S curve is the basis of all great art. Continue reading ‘Hogarth’s Line of Beauty – Terry Grant’

Corita Kent, by Terry Grant

A discussion of words/text on art on the QuiltArt list suddenly sparked the memory of Corita Kent nee Sister Corita, the wonderful pop artist of the ’60s. Sister Corita was a nun, a member of the Immaculate Heart Community of Los Angeles and an art professor at Immaculate Heart University. Corita’s silkscreen posters, fusing text and image, provided a visual narrative for the re-energized spirituality of the era of Pope John the 23rd, particularly as it strove to engage people in their everyday lives. It also embraced social activism, independent of the strictures of the institutionalized (and, of course, male-dominated) Church. It was literate, joyful and inventive.

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Continue reading ‘Corita Kent, by Terry Grant’

Principles of Design: Balance – Terry Grant

This past week there has been a discussion on the QuiltArt list about the elements and principles of design. Several people asked for information or “lessons” on the elements and principles. I thought it might be interesting to discuss some of the principles here. I’ll start out with balance. If anyone else wants to tackle another, feel free!

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The scale, above, represents balance at it’s most elementary—matching the contents of the two sides of the scale in weight, so that the scale balances. It is also a visual example of formal balance in art. The object is centered and each side of the composition is a mirror image of the other side, with the exception of the shadows. This is the easiest kind of balance to achieve, known as formal balance or symmetry. You can liken it to an actual scale, knowing that the easiest way to balance the scale is to put identical objects in each side. But we also know that in addition to using two identical apples to balance the scale, you can achieve balance with an apple on one side and an apricot and a handful of grapes on the other side. Continue reading ‘Principles of Design: Balance – Terry Grant’

Ann Johnston’s new work (Terry Grant)

I waited until this evening to post because June, Gerrie and I went over the river to Vancouver, WA this afternoon to see Ann Johnston’s new show at the Vancouver WSU campus and to hear Ann talk about her new work.

Ann is a Portland, OR fiber artist, but is well-known nationally and internationally largely for her excellent books on dyeing. She is prolific and as we were driving home tonight we were talking about how Ann seems to continue to explore and grow and just when you think you have seen her best work she takes off in a new and exciting direction.

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This show is called “Line vs. Shape”. That’s June and Gerrie looking. Continue reading ‘Ann Johnston’s new work (Terry Grant)’


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