Inspiration Day at American Art Museum

 March 13, 2013
Posted by Cindy
Sam Gilliam "Swing"

Sam Gilliam “Swing” 1969 – Smithsonian American History Museum

This has been a busy week with non-art related issues–cars, water damage in my kitchen, etc–although I have managed to sneak in a few hours in the studio to work on a couple of commissions.

Sunday I went down to DC for an artist inspiration day with my husband. It was a gorgeous day, and we walked around the Tidal Basin to see some of our favorite DC monuments before going to the Smithsonian’s American History Museum. I was entranced with Sam Gilliam’s piece called “Swing” from 1969. The museum tag called it “a Color Field painting set loose from its stretcher,” and that seems like an apt description. The flow of color and the flow of the drapes echo each other and I found myself thinking about how the concept might work with a quilt. . .

It’s always interesting to me that ideas about my own work often just

Alexander Calder "Nenuphar" Smithsonian American Art Museum

Alexander Calder “Nenuphar” Smithsonian American Art Museum

pop out of my head when I’m in a museum or gallery looking at other art. This time I had an idea about making some smaller pieces that could be mounted on stretched canvas for my next show–we’ll see if I can bring them to life in time!

Of course I had to take this shot of an Alexander Calder sculpture called “Nenuphar.” Seems odd to see his work with so much mass sitting on the floor instead of swinging gracefully in the air like the mobiles I love.

It was a great day.