Monday, July 12, 2010

Monday Blog Cafe! Has art changed your life?

This Monday we are hosting the Blog Cafe. I first saw this on The Knitting Blog by Mr. Puffy the Dog, which I love (I think of it as Mr. Puffy's Knitting Blog) and is one of the many wonderful knitting/life blogs on the web.

So here's the idea - this is from the Blog Cafe website:
Every Monday, we're going to gather at somebody's blog for some food, fun, and great conversation. Each week, we will have a different blogger act as our host for our virtual get-together. When you are the host, you will choose what we're "eating" and where we're "meeting", and you'll get us started on a topic of conversation. We hope you'll share some photos of where you're taking us and what we're having--give us a taste of the local fare and maybe give us a peek of the world in your neck of the woods! Then the rest of us--anyone and everyone is welcome--will pop in for a visit sometime throughout the day and leave a comment. We'll share our thoughts and insights on the topic you've chosen, and we'll all get to know each other better!

So we are eating muffins (see above) and gathering at The Good Kettle, a new take-out cafe in Stockton Springs, Maine, my home town.
They have home-made local produce and prepared food, soups, sandwiches and especially delicious jams and chutneys. You can get an entire meal to go! Or just fudge.
And wines, including the very delicious Maine Bartlett wines. They make a wonderful dry pear wine. And will ship!
This cafe shop is adorable.
They carry gorgeous hand-woven towels made by my neighbor Debbie who owns the yarn, weaving and spinning store Purple Fleece. You can now buy Debbie's hand-dyed yarn online, and her patterns are on Ravelry.
Lastly, The Good Kettle has cute tee shirts!

So the Blog Cafe discussion topic is this: has art changed your life?

The arts: books, movies, paintings, plays, music, are my steadfast, entertaining, illuminating, life-affirming, comforting companions. At the risk of sounding a bit corny, they feed my soul and shelter my spirit. But in fact they do.

As a moody teenager, I spent hours in my room listening to Chopin and the Beatles, reading a biography of Toulouse-Lautrec, Salinger's Franny and Zooey, Jane Austen, Magister Ludi. Out of high school I worked at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts when it was a sleepy old-fashioned place, and loved to wander through the rooms and be alone especially with the Egyptian and Greek sculpture. During college I fell in love with John Singer Sargent and frequently visited his remarkable portrait at the MFA, Daughters of Edward Darley Boit.

After college I worked for an antiquities dealer named Mr. Berheimer in his basement shop in Harvard Square (where I read all of Chekov and Simone de Beauvoir's four volume autobiography, the first one, Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter being my favorite). I was in an unhappy marriage at the time and one day was looking at Middle Eastern sculpture fragments made by someone some two thousand years ago and suddenly felt not alone in my misery.

A record of the musical Ain't Misbehavin' got me through the divorce and alone at night I watched Mash and read Ursula Le Guin's astonishing, healing, mind-blowing Earth Sea Trilogy and several of May Sarton's autobiographies - again the first, I Knew a Phoenix, was my favorite.

When I moved to Maine and met Scott Moore and discovered he loved medieval music I knew he was the man for me.

I could go on but am very tired having just returned from TKGA & TCGA's Knit and Crochet Show in Manchester, New Hampshire. It was a great show and lovely to see so many of you there! So please leave a comment and share your art experiences with us!
- Kathy


JoLyn said...

What a fun little cafe! I love shops like this. Yes, art is an important part of my life. I've always loved good writing--reading is my therapy! I also like to write myself. I love Christopher Young's paintings. ( And I've recently discovered the enjoyment of photography as an art form. Art in its many form is what helps me savor life!

GrannyPam said...

Such an interesting question. I never considered myself an artist in any way shape or form. Then, one day, someone commented on the clothing I sew for my granddaughters (and used to make for my daughters) and called my artistic. I'm still not sure that something as analytical and mathematical as measuring, cutting and sewing is artistic, but it did change my prospective to be called "artistic". The book thing, I could go on forever. We are a family of readers, and I am one!

Knitting Out Loud said...

JoLyn, yes, reading is a good therapy. Novels take us out of ourselves and can also help us understand human behavior. Mysteries, like Miss Marple, are my comfort reading.

GrannyPam, by all means sewing is artistic. In sewing you make many aesthetic decisions. My husband is a painter and it is very analytical.

Mr Puffy's Knitting Blog: said...

What a fun post! I was delighted when I saw on Pink Purl's blog that you were the next host :)

Before getting to the topic, I have to say that is such a cute shop and all the treats sound wonderful. Maine is such a cool place!!!

I am not a visually oriented person and therefore visual "art" does not move me too much. But, like you, music touches my soul. There's nothing quite like a Gregorian Chant to remind you that simple is best.

PS I think I like your title for my blog better than my own - LOL

Knitting Out Loud said...

Mr Puffy's KB: In my book, beautiful knitted things (which you seem to make in abundance, judging by the lovely photos on your blog) count as visual art.

And I noticed you have Walter Farley's The Black Stallion on your blog bookshelf. I read them all when I was 10 and loved every one in the series.

Purple Fleece said...

What a terrific idea...the Blog Cafe. Of course I know all of the entities involved here so perhaps it's cheating. Art (or creativity) has certainly changed my life. What was once a hobby is now a vocation. Besides having the best job in the world running a fiber shop, I love the people I get to meet and know even if it's only for a few minutes while they browse through the store.

Tracy said...

Hello, I'm Tracy! One of the extra gals behing the Blog Cafe. LOVE this cafe visit you've taken us on! It has a little of everything good, I like that! Would like one of those muffins with tea right now...mmm... Art has always been a part of my life. As a young child I would paint & draw--I wanted to be an "artist". Love of the arts has followed me through life and stoked my passions. In recent years I've been an accessories designer, creating & selling jewelry, knitwear, shawls, etc. Sadly though, I will be having to close my online shop soon as it's just not going over anymore. BUT who knows what creative door will open next?! I still paint & draw! My husband does too, and is a musician in his spare time. Our partnership is a very happy one with mutually shared interests--especially the arts! Wonderful post...thank you for today. :o)

Knitting Out Loud said...

Purple Fleece: and I'm glad it did!

Tracy: thank you for your nice words! I'm sorry to hear about your online shop, the creative life is full of twists and turns, ups and downs, which can be difficult. But it is also fun and I look forward to hearing about the next doors which open up for you.

t does wool said...

what a great little shop!!

bekkah said...

Such a fantastic place!!

I never considered myself 'artistic', but since starting photography as a hobby I may need to re-visit that. It's definitely changed my life. It completely opened my eyes to all of the details that surround me on a daily basis, but I was always too rushed to see.

I absolutely adore visiting museums. Fortunately, I'm only a short ride to NYC...the Metropolitan Museum of Art...I lose hours in there every time I go :)

Knitting Out Loud said...

t does wool: Glad you like the shop!

bekkah: Photography is an art. Andre Kertersz is one of my favorite photographers. He did a series of photos titled "On Reading" which I love. Living near museums is a treat. I treasure my memories of Boston and Cambridge museums from my time there (though I adore being in rural Maine now).

Sarah said...

I love individual shops like this. We need these independents and must support them before it all gets swallowed up into a big homogenized mish mash. What a lovely idea to check into the blog cafe. Yes art has changed my life and can't imagine a life without it. Food is my art. I love and appreciate music and visual art. I also love what some may call craft, photography, pottery and handmade artisan goods. I see it all as cultural expressions of the human manifestation and it's all fascinating. Thank you to those who organised this lively and community experience. Happy Cherry Day (tomorrow!).