art, articles, quilting, teaching

Look Beyond

I think I’m going to combine “And now What?!” & “Doodle Your Way to Better Quilting“.  I’m going to list this with the option of a one hour hands on lecture or a half-day class.  The new name:  “Look Beyond”.

Last night I watched “Mona Lisa Smile” with a different perspective.  The first time I saw this movie I remember thinking about the role of women & convention, how Katherine Watson & Nancy Abbey seemed polar opposites while both wanting the same thing – to educate & form the Wellesley alum and to be happy in life.

As I watched last night I heard the movie more in light of the art and how Katherine Watson continually asked the students to look beyond their initial impressions and truly reflect on the piece in front of them.  Three scenes made deep impressions:

1) when she took them to see the Jackson Pollock and asked them to look & study

2) when she handed the girls the Van Gogh paint by number kit commenting that this kind of kit is counter to all that Van Gogh stood for as an artist as he desired to push the boundaries of contemporary art

3) when Betty Warren sits with her mom in the library and she demand that her mom look at the Mona Lisa and think beyond the smile, asking, “is she happy”.

When I teach “And Now What” that’s essentially what I want the students to do, to look beyond what they think is appropriate/traditional for this particular quilt and see what else is there.  What other lines and patterns come forward as they look at the quilt?  What kinds of threads will be most appropriate for the type of quilting they are considering?  Does this mean that I’m asking them to do something other than their initial impression? No, I’m not.  I essentially want the students to know that they are free to stitch their quilt any way they choose, the way that makes them happy, that makes the most sense for them.

If doing the expected makes them happy then go for it.

If stitching in the unexpected makes them happy then go for it.

Look Beyond dear quilters, look beyond!

On another note Emily Cier has an amazing blog post that all quilters need to read the end result will have far reaching effects.

Happy quilting!




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