Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Inspirational Magazine, Issue 6


It is time to release the cover for issue 6 of the Inspirational magazine, which will be released on September 15. I am particularly pleased with the cover of the new issue, I have used the work of the artist Jennifer McCurdy who works in porcelain and produces the most extraordinary ethereal shapes, her piece couldn't be better fitted for the title of Inspirational, perfect!

As stated in the previous post, I have eight artists lined up to be featured in issue 6: Christine Chester, David Skillicorn, Jennifer McCurdy, Gopika Nath, Chris Keegan, Polly Jacobs Giacchina, Russell Tomlin, Terry Jarrard-Dimond. You never quite know whether they are all going to gel as one cohesive whole, so far in each issue they have, though with this particular issue they seem to be more connected than ever before, which is great news.

I have made some changes in the way that I gather imagery for the magazine. This time round I have asked the artists to supply me with images that they wish to see appear with their article, rather than getting images directly from their respective websites.

Interestingly, a number of artists have taken the opportunity to supply me with images of new work, rather than the tried and tested, and that suits me fine, there is nothing better than being able to reveal new directions, or ongoing explorations of the artists own perspective, so I am grateful for that.

Another change is that I have made sure that all imagery is of a much higher calibre than has been available so far. This issue of Inspirational will see artists work in a much clearer, sharper, more concise detail than previously, all adding to the projection of the artist and their work, which is what a large part of this magazine is about, being a showcase for the artist and their work.

I am also adding a couple of book reviews for this coming issue, courtesy of the publisher Batsford. The titles are Stitch Stories: Personal Places, Spaces and Traces in Textile Art by the fiber/textile and mixed media artist Cas Holmes, and Natural Processes in Textile Art: From Rust Dyeing to Found Objects by the fiber/textile artist Alice Fox. I am looking forward to including those reviews in this next issue of Inspirational, an exciting addition to the issue.

All in all, I am feeling particularly confident about this next issue, it is definitely set to be the best so far, and so I am really excited for the release in September.

As always, if you are keen to see all of the issues of Inspirational, as well as more details about the Inspirational project in general, then please feel free to go to the dedicated Inspirational Magazine tab at the top of this page directly under the banner, that will take you directly to the Inspirational magazine page where previous issues of the magazine will always be available for purchase, you can also get yourself a free downloadable sample, a featured article about the work of the artist Jude Hill.

If you want to sign up for the free Inspirational newsletter, where you will get regular information regarding new issues of the Inspirational magazine before it is released on social media, then please feel free to sign up for the Inspirational newsletter.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Artists That Will Appear in Issue 6 of Inspirational



Today it is time to release the names of the artists that will be appearing in the sixth issue of the Inspirational magazine, which will be released on September 15, 2015.

This time round I have a mixture of individuals from the disciplines of fiber/textile, mixed media, fine art painting, sculpture, photography, illustration, ceramics. Each artist is, as always, both unique and inspirational, and all eight artists are making important work within their fields.


THE ARTISTS

Christine Chester - a textile and mixed media artist (www.christinechester.com)
David Skillicorn - a fine art painter (www.davidskillicorn.com)
Gopika Nath - a textile artist (www.gopikanath.co.in)
Polly Jacobs Giacchina - a fiber sculptor (www.pollyjgfiberart)
Russell Tomlin - a photographer (www.tomlinphotography.com)
Terry Jarrard-Dimond - a fiber and mixed media artist (www.terryjarrarddimond.com)
Chriss Keegan - an illustrator (www.chriskeegan.co.uk)
Jenniefer McCurdy - a ceramicist (www.jennifermccurdy.com)

Some names you might know, others not, but please feel free to explore the websites of the eight artists. I am confidant that these latest artists will be a great addition to the Inspirational project. I am in the process of writing the articles and gathering images from the artists, some of the images are truly phenomenal, so it is all exciting and seems to be coming together in a great issue. 


NEW ADDITIONS

I have decided to start making some additions to the magazine, the first of which, for this coming issue at least, will be a couple of book reviews. These will be newly published titles, and the two that I am going to feature are definitely a couple of interesting and inspirational books.

I am open to any suggestions for future additions and features you might like to see in the magazine, so please feel free to make them and I will in all honesty consider them. The Inspirational magazine is a work in progress and there is always room for development and improvement. Any suggestions can be sent to me personally at: d.johnhopper@gmail.com

As always, all issues of Inspirational are available and instantly downloadable from the Inspirational Magazine page, which can be found at the top of this site just under the main Inspirational banner.

I will be releasing the front cover of issue 6 in a couple of weeks time. if you can't wait that long, you might like to sign up for the Inspirational newsletter, where you can get information on all forthcoming issues of Inspirational well before they are released here, and on social media.












Wednesday, August 05, 2015

The 'Speaking With Threads' Exhibition

Illustration: Artwork by Mary Bero

I thought you might be interested in the 'Speaking With Threads' exhibition that is being held at the Craft Alliance Center of Art and Design, St Louis, Missouri from August 28 to October 25 2015. 

'Speaking With Threads' is an exhibition that features fiber artists that who are exploring the the overlap between contemporary art, craft, and popular culture. The artists involved are: Mary Bero, Sonya Clark, Kathy Halper, Cindy Hickok, Mark Newport, Carol Shinn, Benji Whalen.

Illustration: Artwork by Sonya Clark (photo credit: Taylor Dabney)

There is quite a lot of detailed information that has been supplied by the organisers, so rather than me trying to sum up in my own words, it might be easier to give it to you the information straight from the organisers themselves, that information is as follows:

Speaking with Threads features seven artists whose work incorporates utilitarian skills like embroidery, knitting, and sewing, and elevates them to a state of fine art. All these artists, although different in their aesthetic sensibilities and subject matter, build their work up from simple linear elements — small stitches become intricately detailed images. Curator Jane Sauer says, “I am fascinated by the end result from the accumulation of hundreds and perhaps thousands of small elements coming together to make a powerful statement. Whether diminutive or large in scale, the pieces draw the viewer to come closer and examine how the piece is constructed.”

Visitors to the exhibition can expect to see embroidery that overtakes comic book imagery, creates detailed landscapes, “tattoos” stuffed arms, and imagines what goes on after closing at a museum from Mark Newport, Kathy Halper, Benji Whalen, and Cindy Hickok, respectively. There will be vibrantly colored mixed media work by Mary Bero and photorealistic sewn images by Carol Shinn. Sonya Clark will display several pieces, including works made from human hair.


As curator Jane Sauer says, “It is my hope that this exhibit looks at the overlap between art, craft, and popular culture. I hope it is a peek at a healthy and rewarding cross fertilization.”

Illustration: Artwork by Kathy Halper



RELATED EVENTS
Innovations in Textiles Keynote Speaker: Jenelle Porter
Saturday, October 3, 9:30 am
Contemporary Art Museum, 3750 Washington Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63108
Jenelle Porter is the Mannion Family Senior Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) Boston. Recent exhibitions include Fiber: Sculpture 1960-presentFiguring Color: Kathy Butterly, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Roy McMakin, Sue Williams, and one person exhibitions of Charline von Heyl, Mary Reid Kelley, Jeffrey Gibson, Jessica Jackson Hutchins, Dianna Molzan, Christina Ramberg, Matthew Ritchie, and Arlene Shechet. Porter has written essays for catalogues and journals, as well as books on artists Charline von Heyl, Trisha Donnelly, Stephen Prina, and Matthew Ritchie. Prior to joining ICA Boston in January 2011, she was curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia (2005-2010), and from 1998-2001 she was curator at Artists Space in New York. She was a curatorial fellow at the Walker Art Center (1997-98) and a curatorial assistant at the Whitney Museum of American Art (1994-1997).
FREE and open to the public.

Guided Bus Tour
Saturday, October 3
Bus departs from the Contemporary Art Museum 3750 Washington Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63108
This guided bus tour stops at select galleries for artist and curator talks and includes lunch.
Cost: $45

Workshop: Finding the Magic in Disappearing Fabrics with Cindy Hickok
Friday, October 2, 10:00 am-4:00 pm
Delmar Loop Design Studio, second floor | 6640 Delmar Blvd
Learn to stitch on water-soluble fibers to create free form images made of thread with visiting artist Cindy Hickok. Participants must know how to use a sewing machine prior to joining this workshop.
$160, advance registration required.

Stitch in Verse
Thursday, October 15, 6:30 pm
Delmar Loop gallery | 6640 Delmar Blvd
This poetry reading inspired by the work in Speaking with Threads is presented by the St. Louis Poetry Center.
FREE and open to the public.


Illustration: Artwork by Cindy Hickok


ABOUT INNOVATIONS IN TEXTILES 10
Innovation in Textiles 10, a regional collaborative event, investigates contemporary fiber art. This fall, local galleries, nonprofit, and private sector arts organizations will showcase textile arts with exhibitions, guest lecturers, workshops, and programs.
Participating organizations include: Art Saint Louis; Contemporary Art Museum; Craft Alliance Center of Art + Design; Duane Reed Gallery; Edwardsville Art Center; Fontbonne University; Foundry Art Centre; Framations Art Gallery; Lillian By Design; Lillian Yahn Gallery, St. Charles County Arts Council; Meramec Contemporary Art Gallery; Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum; Missouri Fiber Artists (MOFA) at Maryville University; projects+gallery; Quilt National; The Gallery at the Regional Arts Commission; Saint Louis Art Museum; Sheldon Art Galleries; St. Charles Community College; St. Louis Artists' Guild; Sun Smith Floret Studio; The Gallery, University City Public Library; Third Degree Glass; Weavers' Guild of St. Louis; Yeyo Arts Collective/ Gya Gallery.


Illustration: Artwork by Mark Newport


ABOUT CRAFT ALLIANCE CENTER OF ART + DESIGN
Craft Alliance Center of Art + Design is a nonprofit art center dedicated to revealing the power of craft through bold programming that uncovers craft’s unique qualities, its evolving role, and its full potential for innovation. Located in the Delmar Loop and Grand Center districts of St. Louis, Missouri, Craft Alliance offers exhibitions, education classes for all skill levels, free community programs, artist residencies, and a gallery shop. Craft Alliance Center of Art + Design is funded in part by the Arts and Education Council; the Regional Arts Commission; the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency; and the generous support of its members.

As with so many of these contemporary events, there is much more than just the exhibition itself, There are a number of interesting events that spin off from the main event and although attached to the ideal of the exhibition, can be seen as events in their own right.

Illustration: Artwork by Carol Shinn

Although I won't be able to attend in person, with the best intention in the world, an ocean and half a continent are still geographically in my way, I hope that some of you who are nearer can take advantage of the event. To be able to see textiles in the new contemporary light, where it now sits comfortably integrating contemporary fine art, craft, and popular culture into its essence, is something not to be missed. There is such a buzz in the contemporary creative arts world at the moment, with disciplines colliding, overlapping, integrating, producing new innovations, new tangential pathways, it has been a long time in coming, but we are indeed lucky to be able to witness this new connectivity within the creative arts and 'Speaking With Stitches'; is one manifestation of that new found confidence in creativity.

Illustration: Artwork by Benji Whalen

The exhibition will run from August 28 to October 25 2015, open Tuesday-Thursday: 1000-1700. Friday: 1000-1800, Sunday: 1100-1700 and is held at: the Craft Alliance in the Delmar Loop, 6640 Delmar Blvd 63130.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Kirsty Wallace - the Practise of Wear and Mend


The artist Kirsty Wallace has always had an interest in the passage of time, in the ageing of materials, in the journey of visible wear and the interaction with that wear, often through the process of mending. She can remember back to her childhood when these ideas made their initial impact on her, where she instinctively came to value items and objects, the 'things' of life that had been discarded by others. 

A part of that interest, at least for Kirsty, was generational. The history of her family, like so many across the planet, was steeped in a strong emphasis on make-do-and-mend, of scarcity, of the lack of luxury, certainly of the luxury to discard. There are rolling and seemingly endless generations of individuals who picked and unpicked fabrics, who added stitches, took stitches away, brought in endless new additions to the fabric, continuing its life as far as they possibly could. Many added their own styles, their own character to this process, but they also added their emotional essence, their ambience of intent and purpose.


Everything in our lives is imbued with emotional layers, layers of memory, of meaning, and of connection, so that when objects and items are discarded they do not lose their emotional charge, they just lose their immediate connection. When we savour and value the discarded, we often pick up on the emotional intensity, the longevity of interaction and care that was put into a piece of fabric. It is both a humbling and energising experience and it is something at the core of Kirsty's work.

This is an artist that understands how important processes are. She became fascinated in the cycle of process that is so much a part of northern Japanese Boro textiles. She finds this particular approach to fabric, the rich layers of wear and mend, sympathetic with her own ideals. Kirsty feels that there is something both tragic and fragile connected to the Boro textiles, yet at the same time she identifies a strength that can be found within the continuation of the process. 


She became so inspired that she set herself the task of adopting the method herself, taking her worn out pair of jeans and seeing how long she could keep the process of wear and mend going. the practise has become much more than an exercise, it has become an emotional bond. Kirsty feels a real and definite connection with her jeans, they have become, through the process of wear and mend, a part of her being, a part of who she is, another layer of herself. 

From this point she has begun to explore the much larger issue of the contemporary world's relationship to the casual discarding of mountains of fabric. The idea has become endemic that we can easily discard anything and everything in our lives, that what we throw away is somehow taken out of existence, which of course is a cruel delusion. We live in a finite world, with finite space, and we are fast approaching the point where our discarded items are just being moved around the planet in ever larger mountains of the unwanted.


In this context she set herself the initial task of giving herself a framework to work in where she took on a one year shopping fast, integrating it into a make-do-and-mend challenge. Before the year was out, the framework became two years, and it is now a continuing process. Kirsty has followed the process so that it has become part of her lifestyle, she does not buy ready made clothes, she does not buy or accept gifts of garments or fabric. 

It has come to the point where the Japanese concept of mottainai 'too good to waste' has become a natural part of Kirsty's life, and she believes that it is something that will remain with her for the rest of her life. Her commitment to understanding her relationship to fabric, to mending, to the care of the physical environment of which we are all a part, should make us all stop and re-evaluate our own understanding and relationship with fabric. It is a path worth treading and if artists like Kirsty can lead the way, then we should be grateful to her and her example.


Check out Kirsty's online site Fibre Alchemy to follow her journey.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Release of Issue 5 of Inspirational


It is that time again, today sees the release of issue 5 of the Inspirational magazine. Eight artists from a range of disciplines including fine art painting, ceramics, printmaking, and textiles make up this copy. Different artists, different disciplines, different perspectives, but all linked by inspiration and aspiration. 

I must admit that I get a range of emotions and states when I release an issue, elation, nervousness, tiredness. I want to both dance in celebration, and slump to the floor, it is a lot of hard work and it does eat up your bodily reserves, but then I will get an email, note, comment from someone telling me how much they are looking forward to the next issue and how much they enjoyed the last, and that makes it all worthwhile, that there is a purpose of path for Inspirational.


There are so many sources of inspiration in the world around us, much of it nature-based agreed, but much also that is based on human empathy, memory, and experience of the individual. Entwined in that human experience is the experience and projection based on other artists, and that is where the Inspirational project comes into focus. To observe the shifts and focus of perception that is part of the path and artwork of other artists, of whatever discipline, helps us all to understand ourselves a little better, and in turn helps us to move along our own creative path.

It is hard to conceive sometimes that there are now 5 issues of this magazine out there, a year ago it hadn't occurred to me that such a thing could be possible. But there you go, you just don't know where your path is going to lead, and I still don't, just let it roll and see where it takes you and to whom.


It only remains for me to thanks all eight artists in this issue: Algernon, Brenda, Sarah, Fenella, Barbara, Isobel, Cas, and Patricia, they have all been most helpful and supportive in putting this issue together and it would have been a lot harder to get it all together without their assistance.

I would also like to thank all of the people out there across the planet, through the magic that is social media. They have given me timely support, laughter, distraction, and focus, much needed when you are a one man band, trying to be writer, editor, publisher, marketeer, and still get your daily walk amongst the trees. I thank you all.

To buy this and all other issues of Inspirational, please go to the top of the page and press the Inspirational Magazine tab, or alternatively press HERE. There you will be able to buy issues 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. The process of payment and download is fast and efficient and payments can be received via paypal or debit and credit cards, all is explained on the Inspirational Magazine page.

If you want to sign up for the Inspirational newsletter where you will hear about the development each issue as it progresses, and long before everyone else on social media, please feel free to sign up HERE.

I think that is everything. Now a few days of hopefully minimal work, before I start putting together issue 6, which is due for release on September 15 2015.

John X


Wednesday, July 01, 2015

A Matt Smith Exhibition 'Trouble with History'


Matt Smith is a textile artist and ceramicist who has an intriguing exhibition at the Ink_d Gallery in Brighton, England, which opens, July 4 2015.

The exhibition is entitled ‘Trouble with History’ and will feature a collection of textile-based art made from vintage tapestries and domestic textile kits, which have been unpicked, reworked, and subsequently subverted from their perceived norm.

I understand that not everyone is going to be comfortable with the idea of the level of textile manipulation that Matt uses in his work, but this isn’t a quirky exhibition or one that is done for the sake of it, there are some real issues here and they tend to be issues that affect us all, that should make us think, and perhaps even make some uncomfortable.


The results of Matt’s intervention and manipulation is to shift the emphasis of our standard perception of the norm. Without a real focus to the composition, is there a connection we can forge, can we identify, sympathize, or generally empathize with subject matter that seems to be missing any connection points? Does the composition merely become an exercise in disconnection?

To obscure the identity of the subjects of the work, faces and sections of the original compositions that would have been intended to have been that main focus, Matt has deliberately severed any emotional bond we may have formed with the characters that sit, play, love, and so it is in life.

Preconceptions quickly disappear in Matt’s work, we don’t know the age, sex, or skin color of the individuals featured. Without being able to connect with those markers of age, gender, or race we cannot make judgements.


It is a way of getting us to think, to stop a moment and trouble ourselves as to the issues involved in Matt’s work. By removing our complacency of understanding, we have to think about the nameless and the unidentified in history, those who struggled to find a place in societies that were often violently hostile towards them.

By withdrawing from making connections with those in our community that we disapprove of, we in many ways disconnect them from the community, they become outsiders, they become a disapproved lifestyle at best, a plague on the norm at worst.

By losing any significant identity with the ‘different’, society loses interest in what happens to them, they often become rootless and disconnected. ‘Them’ and ‘us’ has been a constant for those who have wished to manipulate the human condition throughout history. If you can remove any personality traits from ‘them’, any empathic connection, any sympathy, or shared experience, then they become a distant, cold, unknown and unknowable entity, and therefore anything can be done to them because they obviously deserve it as they are no longer ‘us’


Matt is interested in issues that surround the identity and stigma so often attached to these states of being ‘different’, which is very often a state that is imposed from without, rather than within. We are all different and we are all unique, but to many societies whether in history, or in our own contemporary world, difference is a controlled substance, and uniqueness is well underplayed.

Matt’s exhibition ‘Trouble with History’ at Ink_d Gallery, Brighton runs from July 4-August 2 2015. More information can be found at the Ink_d website.

Matt also has a comprehensive website which can be found here – Matt Smith


Matt has also been awarded Artist in Residence at the V&A Museum, London, from October 2015.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A Look at the Cover of Inspirational 5


It is time to release the cover of the next issue of the Inspirational magazine. That inevitably means that we are getting closer to the release date of issue 5, which we are, it is set for release on July 15.

The cover for this next issue is a piece of work by the artist Algernon Eldritch. Sometimes coming up with covers for the magazine seems really easy, at others it can be a struggle, particularly when you have multiple candidates and you have to narrow it down to one. Often you have to live with your choice for a while, and sometimes you go off the original choice, and then have to find another. However, sometimes the first choice is the only one that seems to work on all of the levels that it needs to, and with issue 5, that was the way it went. 

Algernon's work fits perfectly as a cover and gives a good indication of what to expect inside this next issue. Those who have signed up for the Inspirational newsletter will already be familiar with this cover as it was released to them on June 15. If you would like to get information and updates regarding the magazine, feel free to sign up to the Inspirational newsletter which can be found here.

More information regarding this next issue, as well as the release of illustrations highlighting the work of all eight of the artists featured, will be released first with the newsletter, and then later through the Inspirational/ttb social media platform, which includes facebook, google+, twitter, tumblr, pinterest, all of which can be found by pressing any of the links at the right hand side of this site, just under the photo of me.

I am really looking forward to releasing this issue, as I have with all of the issues of Inspirational so far. I am impatient to share this with everyone, but have to stick to the schedule. I am half way through the writing of the magazine and am sticking to the timetable at the moment, which is always a great feeling.


Come the middle of July I will have released five issues of Inspirational, which to me is amazing. Even more amazing is the fact that I will have featured by then forty artists, and I thought the project might fold after the first issue. I feel as if I am beginning to get into my stride with the magazine now, which is a great feeling. Still much to be learnt, particularly when it is very much a staff of one, but it all interesting and it helps to open up my world to an infinite range of possibilities and who is going to turn that down.

All previous issues of the magazine can of course still be purchased from the designated Inspirational Magazine page on this site, which can be reached either by pressing the tab at the top of this page, directly under the Inspirational banner, or by simply pressing here.

Just time to thank all those who have been involved in Inspirational. That will be the artists featured, all those who have bought copies, and those who have helped publicise the project, sometimes all three in one :) Anyway, you know who you all are, and you are all thanked with a great deal of heart and enthusiasm from myself. Thanks!!!

John X

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Summer - a Celebration of Life


I don't mean to be hemisphere-centric, and for those in the southern hemisphere who are now experiencing winter I do apologise, I hope that your winter is mild and tranquil.

However, as I am living at present in the north, and nature is burgeoning all around me, and the summer equinox is just a few days away, it would not seem right not to revel and note that celebration of life that is summer.

It may be full sunshine and blue skies, or it may be wet with heavy grey skies, it really matters little. Whatever the weather that is given to us, the smells, sounds, and colours of nature in summer are an experience never to be missed, and certainly one never to be taken lightly.

Enjoy and celebrate your summer by connecting or reconnecting with the natural world, a world that you are an integral part of, a world that sees you as a unique expression of itself, celebrating through you the wonder that is life.

John X





Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Artists to be featured in Issue 5 of Inspirational


It is that time again, and it is time to release the names of those eight artists that will be featured in issue 5 of Inspirational.

The group of artists this time around entails a good cross-section of contemporary inspirational creative art and includes those working in paint, ceramics, mixed media, textiles, and print. As you will all know by now the Inspirational magazine is happy to cover as many aspects of creativity as possible, not seeing the limitations when there are and should be none.

The eight artists in order of appearance in issue 5 will be:

Algernon Eldritch: This painter works in both the abstract and portraiture. Algernon produces complex, rich, colour-laden, textural pieces of abstract work based on a range of perspectives and experiences of the artist. Algernon’s website can be found here – Algernon Eldritch

Brenda Holzke: This artist uses ceramics and mixed media, producing vessels, sculpture, and wall art. She admits to being a commercial ceramic product designer with the heart of an artist, and it is her creative work that we will be exploring. Brenda’s website can be found here – Brenda Holzke

Sarah Ross-Thompson: This fine art printmaker produces one of printed pieces that reflect the rural landscape of England, and now Scotland where she has recently relocated. Her work is a sensitive and understanding portrayal of the many layered landscape of Britain. Sarah’s website can be found here – Sarah Ross-Thompson

Fenella Elms: This artist works in ceramics and more specifically porcelain, creating wall pieces made up from hundreds of smaller pieces that in turn help to create beautiful flowing movements that are mesmerising and rhythmical in their detail and range. Fenella’s website can be found here – Fenella Elms

Barbara Schneider: This mixed media and textile artist explores abstraction from a range of subjects based in nature. Much of her most impressive work uses leaves, tree rings, the reflections on water as a starting point for later abstraction. Barbara’s website can be found here – Barbara Schneider

Isobel Currie: This artist is an embroiderer who takes the craft into the three-dimensional world of the artist. She is fascinated by the potential of the stitch to be more than it is, and with that remit she has produced beautifully elegant 3D imagery. Isobel’s website can be found here – Isobel Currie

Cas Holmes: This artist works mainly in painting, drawing, and textiles. She creates collage artwork from the discarded and the ‘found’, from both the human and natural world. Cas often explores the boundaries that exist between those two worlds, both literal and conceptual. Cas website can be found here – Cas Holmes

Patricia Oblack: This painter uses layers of colour and texture to great effect, producing hauntingly beautiful abstract pieces, each one evolving separately, much depending on Patricia’s perspective and understanding at the time. Patricia’s website can be found here – Patricia Oblack

I hope you agree, this is a fine selection of contemporary inspirational and aspirational artists, all complimenting and lending each other harmony and balance. I would encourage you to take a look at the links to the websites of the artists, whether you are familiar with them or not. All are producing exceptional work and I feel lucky and privileged that all eight have been so supportive and generous in being featured in the Inspirational magazine.

I look forward, as always, to writing the articles, putting the magazine together, and launching it for July 15. The front cover will be revealed soon, it has all been set out, I have lived with it for a while, and am happy with the way it looks. Feel free to sign up for the Inspirational newsletter, as those who have will get to see the front cover before it is released generally online.

Please be aware that issues 1, 2, 3, 4 of Inspirational are always and permanently available for purchase. With a now combined number of 32 artists available over the four issues, from Elizabeth Bunsen to Carol Nelson, all are available from the Inspirational/ttb site and can be reached by pressing the Inspirational Magazine tab at the top of this page.

Thanks to everyone for their support of Inspirational, you will probably never know quite how much it has meant to me.

John X

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Flying the Inspirational Flag


Just thought that I would give everyone who passes by this site a little update as to what is new and what has been happening, and why the changes.

You might have noticed that the site has had a bit of a makeover, I have gone from green to blue, and most significantly, I have added a definite 'Inspirational' to the site, ttb having now dropped off the banner altogether. The site's address is still 'The Textile Blog', and that won't change of course, at least until I move myself at some point to a website rather than a blog, that move draws inevitably closer the more involved I become in the Inspirational project. 

Much of the changes I have made and am in the process of making have to do with intention. Why change a tried and tested formula? There was nothing wrong in many ways with The Textile Blog as it was, nothing intrinsically wrong with the way things were, but life paths are never static and we all have to move with the direction we feel is the way we need to go, and mine has decided to move towards the contemporary, rather than the historical, to be looking ahead rather than looking back is now my path.

I am becoming more enmeshed in the world of contemporary art and artists in its broadest spectrum, so much so that I have decided to lay aside the historical altogether. I now help to promote the work of contemporary artists through my social media platform: twitter, facebook, google+, tumblr, pinterest, and even ello! I have a couple of judging gigs later in the year, judging the work of contemporary textile/fiber artists, and of course there is the Inspirational magazine, which has now become an integral and regular part of my life.

Something has come together in my life, all of the diverse strands that were important in their own right, have begun to come together and things for the first time are actually beginning to make sense to me, this life path had a reason after all, who knew!

Being able to help artists even in the limited and small ways that I do, gives me such a buzz, there is nothing better than helping to spread the word, vision, perspective of both the individual artist and the arts in general. To help people understand that creativity is central to the core of who we are as a species, that it makes us who we are, that it is definitely not a cosmetic addition, some extra-curricular activity that should be seen as peripheral to who we are. That is my perspective and that is certainly not going to change, even if other things do, in fact it will probably grow!

I can only thank all of those who have helped me to get to this point in my life, you have all been so supportive and so inspirational to me, and from all corners of the planet as well, how unbelievable is that! With my facebook site getting closer to the 10 000 mark, and with the other social media sites in their thousands, it is heartening to know that the creative arts are such an important part of people's lives, particularly in the difficult times we are going through and have yet to go through. There is always the larger good, always the need to be positive and focused towards the future to come, building on intention, and that is such an important part of the outlook I wish to promote.

So anyway, I thought that it was time that I started to physically nail my colours to the mast, fly the flag of Inspirational in the big blue sky, and even though the new banner may appear to be just the word Inspirational with a bit of blue sky attached and not terribly significant, it means the world of intention to me:)

John X