Taratories Blog

You Can't Judge an Artist by Its Cover

Here is a photo from my retreat with my portrait hanging out in the corner and my friend's sewing machine in the foreground.  She was working on a quilt for her daughter with some darling fabrics that were all designed by one particular artist.

Here was the beginning of her quilt that she was in the process of making during our weekend away.  I loved all of the different colors and designs that came together to make a cohesive assemblage of fabrics.  The little characters and motifs that were featured on the designs were perfectly suited for a little girl.  I can just imagine her snuggled up with her quilt letting her imagination run as she gazes at all of the little woodland creatures and sweet little girls that seem to be going on lots of adventures.

This new textile collection is called "Acorn Trails" by Teagan White featuring many forest themed designs.  Here are some close ups of some of her designs...

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Now is this what you expected Teagan to look like? Neither did I!  Why does her appearance surprise you?  Just like we tend to judge books by their covers, we also tend to have preconceived ideas about the artist's appearance based on their art!  The sweet innocence of these little girls and woodland creatures do not have the edgy modern feel that Teagan has.

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Art can be an insight to the artist's soul, so maybe Teagan's exterior does not reflect what is inside her, or maybe it does?  One may never know.  Teagan is just one example of this, but there are many artists that produce art that is unexpected.  It makes me wonder,"what are people's preconceived ideas about my appearance based on my art?" and also, "what does my art say about my soul"?   

You can get to know Teagan White more at http://teaganwhite.tumblr.com 

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Less than a couple of weeks ago, I got together for coffee with a mother of two of my art students.  We enjoyed our time of conversation and getting to know each other and at the end of our visit, we were talking about how we crave to have our creative time and how it is quite the commodity with children.  She sews amazing quilts as her creative outlet and wakes up hours before her children awake just to make sure she spends time that day at her sewing machine.  She mentioned during this conversation that she was going away the following weekend with a group of other women to rent a "sewing house" for them to sew in all weekend.  This house was set up by the owners for people who sew quilts and want to get away with others to sew for a weekend.  The house is set up with lots of tables, irons and ironing boards, a cutting table, and sewing lights.  She asked me if I would be interested in joining them and using it as an art retreat for myself!  I knew immediately that this was exactly what I needed/wanted.  So after getting the "ok" from the hubby, I was in!  

The Last Friday I packed my bags filled mostly with art supplies and a fresh canvas ready to go!

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This house we stayed in was built in the 1800's and was filled with character and charm.

This was the main room where we worked, and as you can see, I had a little corner all to myself.  I couldn't fit my huge easel in the car, so I had to work on the floor.  One night I went to stand up and I could barely stand upright because I had been bending over for so long and as I stood up I said "where is my rocking chair?" As soon as the old woman remark came out of my mouth and after realized how ridiculous I looked hunched over as I was saying that, we all burst out into laughing!  I was crying I was laughing so hard!!  

I just fell in love with this beauty that one of the women brought to use.  She had it refurbished and actually works from it all the time.  They don't make machines like this anymore!  So lovely.

What a joy it was to immerse myself into my art for an entire weekend with no interruptions!  The only time I stopped working was to grab a bite to eat or drink.  It was an absolute dream to wake up in the morning, grab my cup of coffee and pick my paint brush up immediately!  No one to tend to, no agenda.  Just me, and my art supplies, in my little corner.  I realize that I am simple and easy to please in what I need to have a good time.  Just a quiet room with some art supplies is all I need.

This is how I left my piece right before I packed up.  I am continuing to work on it and am posting my progress on social media.  I am enjoying seeing it evolve and love the process.  I never experienced an art retreat like this before, but the house is already booked for us for next year and we are going to make it a yearly thing.  I think that everyone should try to make time for a weekend away doing what they love.  It is total refreshment for the soul!

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