Feb 15 2017

What We Found at the Met


Yesterday I told you about the Met joining forces with Creative Commons. Click here to read the post. Today I’ll show you some of the goodies I found. By now you know Kris and I both love text. We don’t even have to know what it means to like it. My favorites (this week) are illuminated Persian manuscripts.

“”Abu’l Mihjan and Sa`d ibn Abi Wakkas Before a Ruler”, Folio from a Khavarannama (The Book of the East) of ibn Husam al-Din”
by Maulana Muhammad Ibn Husam ad Din (Persian, died 1470)
via The Metropolitan Museum of Art licensed under CC0 1.0

Here’s an excerpt from Met’s description:

This manuscript of the legendary exploits of ‘Ali, nephew and son-in-law of the Prophet, is illustrated in a style associated with the White Sheep (Aq Qoyunlu) Turkoman dynasty ruling in the western part of Iran during the last third of the fifteenth century. Within a conventional framework, the artist of this miniature has combined a harmonious and balanced composition with sureness of drawing, crisp forms, pleasant colors and a variety of decorative patterns. (To read more, click on the link below the image.)

I like the flat look of it. After you learn about perspective and how to realize it in your own art, it’s fun to see examples of really “flat” art. I like the text in the next piece I found.

“Anthology of Persian Poetry”
via The Metropolitan Museum of Art licensed under CC0 1.0

The diagonal text on the border is very different. For some reason the text made me think of Dancing in the Louvre by my quilting idol, Faith Ringgold. 

Then I broadened my search and found other art movements with interesting text.

“Design for a certificate, awarded by the city of Vienna for the most beautiful floral balcony decorations (balcony below text)”
by Erwin Puchinger (Austrian, Vienna 1875–1944 Vienna)
via The Metropolitan Museum of Art is licensed under CC0 1.0

“Chinese Junk”
by Utagawa Yoshitora (Japanese, active ca. 1850–80)
via The Metropolitan Museum of Art is licensed under CC0 1.0

“Story Title Page,”Maria Morevna”, verso: text”
by Boris Zvorykin (Russian, Moscow 1872–1942 Paris)
via The Metropolitan Museum of Art is licensed under CC0 1.0

“Wind among the Trees on the Riverbank”
by Ni Zan (Chinese, 1306–1374), China
via The Metropolitan Museum of Art is licensed under CC0 1.0

I finally stopped when I came up with this one. No text, just beautiful colors

“Blue and Green Landscape with Figure”
by After Chen Hongshou (Chinese, 1599–1652), China
via The Metropolitan Museum of Art is licensed under CC0 1.0

But I did have to lighten it a bit so I could see the beautiful design. 😉

Blue and Green Landscape with Figure (cleaned up)

To go directly to a Creative Commons search for art from the Met, follow this link. If you sign up for an account with Creative Commons, you can create lists of images and tag your favorite pieces. Oh yeah, I sure loved using the links Creative Commons provided to credit the art.

Feb 14 2017

Tech Tuesday: The Met Goes Public–Domain, That Is


There are real advantages to collaborating. Here’s one I hadn’t thought of. Kris and I don’t read the same articles, websites, and blogs. So when one of us sees something exciting, we share it with the other. Kris stumbled across a good one. The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met) has partnered with Creative Commons to make images of public-domain art in the museum available for free and unrestricted use. So why is this such a big deal? Let’s say you are creating a class on digital design (we are), and you would like to have some great examples to use in your class (we do). And let’s say you want to use these images for commercial purposes (yep, that’s us). We don’t have to contact The Met to get permission to use these images anymore (Are you kidding me?). And, the images come with text and html credits. (OMG! Do you realize how much time that saves us?)
So here’s how it works:

Go to this website: https://ccsearch.creativecommons.org/themet. I did a search for lotus textiles.

Creative Commons Page

When I click on an image, I am taken to another page with Creative Commons information. Click on the “How to use this work” link,

“How to use this Work” page

and I’m taken to the Met’s webpage and I get a wonderful 3811 pixel x 3009 pixel image that I can save to my computer.

Kyōgen Costume: Jacket (Suō) with Design of Lotuses

And I don’t even have to make the citation. Click on the “Copy credit as text button,” and when I paste it I get this:

“Kyōgen Costume: Jacket (Suō) with Design of Lotuses” by Japan via The Metropolitan Museum of Art is licensed under CC0 1.0

When you paste it into a document, it comes with the italics, etc. But even more impressive is when I use the “Copy credit as HTML” button I get this:

Which, when copied to my blog post, gives me this fully formatted link and caption:

“Kyōgen Costume: Jacket (Suō) with Design of Lotuses”
by Japan via The Metropolitan Museum of Art
is licensed under CC0 1.0

It almost makes you want to go back to school and write research papers, doesn’t it? The Met also has a “Print” button that will allow you to print (or print to a file) all the information about the artwork with links to related objects.

If you know anything about us, we can’t just stop at one image. We browse and search, and pretty soon we’ve wasted the whole day. So you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see some of the cool things I found. Until then, back to work.

Feb 8 2017

Classes At The Schweinfurth


There are so many quilting classes out there that it’s sometimes difficult to sort through them all to find one that is most suited to your needs and desires. We recently came upon the summer class schedule for the Schweinfurth Art Center in Auburn, NY (near Syracuse). If you’re looking for serious artist teachers, you need look no further. We’ve taken classes or heard lectures from both Rosalie Dace and Maria Shell, so we think they would be great. Because we are working on our new design class, and I keep thinking about line, I am particularly intrigued by Kathy Loomis‘s class called “Fine Line Piecing.”

In this class you’ll learn how to sew very thin lines of all types, including straight, curved, and swoopy, and then incorporate them into an art piece. Kathy is also teaching Improvisational Strip Piecing, so that might be more up your alley. If you do have the opportunity to learn with Kathy, ask her about her flag quilts. I still think they’re among her best work.

And a little P.S. from Deb: at our Studio Art Quilt Associates conference in 2016, Kathy spoke about the benefits of working in a series. While she showed examples from abstract artists, it made me want to go back and examine our text pieces, and see if I noticed changes over time. And, no, I haven’t gotten around to that yet!

Feb 1 2017

Pixeladies Class Contest: We Have A Winner!


Last week we held a contest to give away a Pixeladies online class. We asked our readers to leave a comment on our blog post about inspiration and documentation. Well, today we randomly drew* a winner: Kit Vincent! Kit wins a Pixeladies online class. Now, Kit can enroll in any Pixeladies class she wants to, but we think she might be interested in our Digital Designing class because:

  • she already knows how to use of the basic tools of Photoshop Elements
  • she is a fabulous fiber artist and might enjoy learning how to digitally create the elements of design
  • she would meet other students and get as inspired by their work as much as we do
  • and she’s from Canada. Actually, that’s not really a reason to take the class; we just love having students from all over the world!

Some of our scarf designs

If you are interested in enrolling in “Digital Designing,” registration starts April 1 for the class that begins May 1. Click here for more information. Thanks again for everyone who left comments. You’ve really inspired us!


* This is how we made our random draw:

  1. We cut and pasted everyone’s email address into a spreadsheet.
  2. We then used a random number generator to assign a number to everyone.
  3. Then we sorted the list by the random number.
  4. Then Kris pulled out her telephone book (yes, she still has a few in the living room!).
  5. Deb, who was at her home talking to Kris on the phone, told her to open the phone book to a particular page.
  6. Deb then called out a random column and then a random row, like “seventh row from the top.”
  7. Kris then called off the last two digits of that phone number, and voilà, we had our winner!

Total silliness but some retro fun with the telephone book!