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An Artist's date

Many years ago I read a couple of Julia Cameron's books. I liked "Vein of Gold" much better than her more famous "The Artist's Way", mostly because the latter focuses on being blocked creatively which is something that I haven't found happens to me (knocks on wood). She advocates many practices which I had already tried and loved. So it made sense to try some of the one's that I hadn't yet tried such as "Morning Pages". I struggle with that one, and it is a more of an on-again, off-again practice for me.

I found her descriptions of practices that I already followed helped me to cement them in my mind and make sure that I follow them more closely. The "Artist's Date" was one of those. It's all too easy to get carried away working on projects with looming deadlines and put off something that seems whimsical and frivolous. But I have learned to make time for them because I know how beneficial they are not only to my mind but also my work. I also love the term that she coined (Artist's Date) because, not only it is something that you schedule, but it has an element of romance to it too.

Last weekend I was in New York City and those four days felt like one giant Artist's Date. True to the spirit of a date I returned full of energy and brimming with new ideas. The main purpose of the trip was to meet up with some family members to celebrate my cousin's 40th birthday. In fact he & I have the same birthday so it was a little celebration of mine too...and no I'm not telling you which number.​​

On-line, On-nine March 9th 2015

There are several highlights that I want to share with you but having many highlights is a little like having several masterpieces (by definition you can only really have one masterpiece). So I'll choose just two.

Number one has to be a much anticipated trip to the Cooper Hewitt Museum. It is the Smithsonian's design museum which has been closed for renovations and only just re-opened this past December. I was super excited to visit and I wasn't disappointed, in fact I was kind of blown away by many aspects of the museum. I love that it is housed in the former Carnegie mansion overlooking Central Park. Tons of the original features of the house have been preserved including the really beautiful staircase. I so wanted to sweep down those stairs holding a glass of something bubbly in my hand and wearing a couture piece by Sarah Burton, or maybe a beaded 1920's gown while a live band plays...but I digress. 

There is one room that showcases the original wood carving and block printed walls. Plus there are many traditional museum glass cases containing all manner of fascinating artifacts. The current exhibition on tools was very thought provoking and it even included a circular knitting machine. To juxtapose the traditional features there are giant I-pad like touch tables which do a fabulous job, of not only help you navigate the collection, but also give insight into what design is. My photo montage above are all taken at the Cooper Hewitt.

My second highlight was getting tickets to see the Tony award winning musical "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder". I don't think I'll ever grow out of being "told a story" and  I love the total escapism of live performance. You know how much I love films, but there is something so special about the actors being right there on a stage in front of you that means live performance never fails to charm me. Now if only I could have come right from that party at the Carnegie mansion and be sitting in a box with a giant tray of chocolates....what was I saying about romantic thinking?

The show was great, but of course I got sidetracked from the story by examining the costumes. I'm always impressed when the costume designer has put in so much effort that when you scrutinize the clothes you are as impressed with the costumes as much as with the acting. In this show two women are rivals for the attention of the leading man. At first glance it appears that the costume designer selected gowns just to look different from each other, but on closer inspection, I noticed that a lace trimmed collar on one was mirrored by a lace insert in the décolletage of the other, a cut-away on the sleeve of one was mimicked by the same shape this time in a drape on the sleeve on the other gown...and so on. 

We all have things that we geek out over don't we?

I was thrilled and fascinated in talking to my cousin later about his impressions of the city (it was his first trip to NYC). We got talking about how we all focus on those little details in our particular line of interest. He is an engineer and we once had a great chat about how designing a staircase is very similar mathematically to calculating an armhole shaping. This time, as he was explaining some of his work with motors, he confessed that as he was boarding the subway in NYC he was listening to the types of switching that were used.

My heart leapt to hear him say it - it's obvious that we share much more that the date of our birth isn't it?.

Happy Birthday Simon...I love that we share the same special day!

Thank-you for reading and I hope that you enjoy the photos.
​Please check back next month to see what my latest fascination is.

See you next month!       
Fiona xxxx

On-Line, On-Nine

Monthly post on the 9th of each month!