Saturday, October 9, 2010

Guess the Artist : A Closer Look

Progress has been slow, but here’s the latest photo of the mystery scarf. We already know that the painter inspiring this piece is female, not American, and late 20th/early 21st century, in other words currently active.  For your new clue you’ll have to wait until the end of this post!

I had hoped to be further along with the mystery scarf this week, but I’m happy to have been distracted finishing a new Rothko-inspired scarf to fill out my inventory after selling two of my scarves at last Sunday’s market! That kind of busy is always welcome! I also finished two new pairs of wrist warmers to bring with me tomorrow. Hopefully the cold weather will once again put buyers in the mood to acquire warm accessories!


I’ve been crocheting up to 6 hours a day but so far my hands are not complaining. In fact, with so many years of borderline repetitive stress injuries from desk jobs involving way too much keyboard use, I have always found that the action of crocheting is very natural for me and actually eases the tension that usually gathers in my neck and back, and drifts down through my arms, not to mention calming my mind and spirit! In spite of the intense concentration required to pull a loop through another loop and keep them exactly the same size row after row for hours, I find it very relaxing and comforting, a good kind of rhythmic repetition, like the rocking of a ship, or the underlying time signature of a musical piece. It also feels good to have something soft and warm contained inside my hands, that, when done, will ironically be outside my hands!

I recently commented to someone in the blogosphere that I wondered if there had ever been any scientific studies of the effects of handiwork in the human body – I know they’ve tested brain waves and heart rates during all kinds of activities, from athletics to trance states. I would imagine that during a long session of working on a scarf, my pulse probably slows down and my brain waves flatten as if I were in deep meditation…with a purring cat in my lap!

Like meditation, I can create this crocheting comfort zone almost anywhere and in any position – from sitting straight up to lying down, and it is one of the few things I do, other than sleep, shower or swim, without wearing my glasses. Not being able to see beyond the work in hand also adds to the blurry edges and quiet interiority of the work. I hear “you’re going to ruin your eyes” a lot when I enter this state of non-seeing and no longer require bright lighting to do it!

I knew a waiter once who taught me the professional trick of carrying a tray or other full receptacle without spilling it. Most people make the mistake of fixing their gaze on the item they are trying not to spill as they walk as if to steady it with their eyes; if you just walk naturally, with your eyes ahead of you in the middle distance, and your mind focused on balancing yourself and not the object, both you and the sloshing bowl of soup or hot coffee will arrive at their destination, as one, and intact.

I guess this lesson of non-seeing can be applied to almost anything we attempt to control in our lives, great and small, heavy and light. The less we apply our conscious will to an enterprise, and just flow into it, the better results we will get. I think we all have the ability to use our inner vision, that, like any faculty, it exists to be trained and developed, and will weaken and fail for lack of use.  So, when you attempt to guess the artist, I would advise you to look inside and feel the answer, rather than try to apply your wits to solving the puzzle.  The work of the painter in question is very much about the world of inner feelings and visions! And that is this week’s clue. Good luck!



  1. I am not into guessing of the mystery scraf, but I just enjoying the revealing of this mystery and the story that goes along with it.
    Cheer for entertaining me on lonely nights.

  2. These are wonderful! Thanks for sharing all this. Great post.

  3. Hi Wong! Thanks for reading - sorry about the lonely nights, but glad I can bring some enjoyment to you! There will be more updates on the mystery next week if I have time to make any progress worth documenting!

    Luis - good to see you here, my friend! I'm happy to hear you like my post. Sharing the results of my work online is becoming part of my creative process it seems - one I really enjoy! Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

  4. the waitresses thecinic is good for all :D

    see... i will never guess who the artist is . i gave up on the first post. hahah!!

    Hey!! theses things for hands are really cool... the details are gret too.

    about brain ... what i know is the people that makes hand work has less probability to have the brain geting older . Less probability to develope any brain desease.
    better for memory and everything else.
    but this is all i know .

    i like your taste for working with colors !

  5. your creations are so original and beautifull, good taste and creativity...

    I love all yout posts

  6. Hi Caio! Thank you for visiting, my friend, as I have been so busy I think I neglected to add a comment to your most recent post! I hope you know you are always in my thoughts and I don't need to tell you how good your work is, this is always true without saying, maestro! I'm glad you think the wrist warmers are cool - I sold two of them yesterday, so maybe I've finally found something I enjoy making that people enjoy buying! I am going to force the public to have a better taste for artistic things whether they like it or not! Hah! Have a great week...

    Laura, many thanks for your comment! I am always happy to see you here, cara!

  7. Hmmm the mystery artist is a mystery to me again. but your work is just gorgeous.

    that mid to long focus, and not watching your work too closely would be very meditative and much better for your eyes.


  8. Hi, T! The progress on the mystery scarf has been very slow. There are only 6 day between Sunday markets to get ready and once again this week I will be working hard to have a few new things done - but the good news is two of my wrist warmers sold! So, maybe I'm on to's still a little strange to see someone trying on and walking away with an item I have spent such quiet private time in the "blurry zone" creating, but I hope I have lots of opportunity to get used to this feeling! Thanks for visiting, my dear!

  9. Even reading this post was relaxing,loved your illustrating photos.
    I guess all kind of creativity is good for body and mind.I feel like meditating too when painting patterns or other repeatings or large parts in one and the same colour.
    Your work is beautifull,lovely colours and details. Renilde.

  10. Hi Renilde, your kind comments mean a lot to me! I'm glad that you too feel the meditative effects of creating art. This is why art is not a "luxury" or "useless" - I really do believe that as humans we need art, both making it, and enjoying the results, the same way we need anything else that keeps our minds and bodies healthy! Thanks for visiting!

  11. Omg.... I love, love your wrist warmers. They are so cool. mmmm .... guessing the mystery artist?....nope....not going to even
    My grandmother crotched all her life. She used to make those funky looking slippers that all French Canadians wear in the house. It's funny because I asked my mom today if she knew anyone that did those anymore. Anyway...... i do think that it's very meditative....I wish i was handy in that way.

  12. Hah! Maybe I need to lead the movement to bring back the funky crocheted French Canadian slipper!

    Glad you like the wristies. It's been fun making them! But if I can't sell them, a lot of people might be getting them for Christmas!

  13. I can't imagine having the hand/eye coordination or the patience to do this but I imagine the sense of accomplishment is pretty nice when you finish something. :)

    Thanks for nice comment!

  14. James, funny thing is, I am not a very coordinated or patient person at all! I'm lucky if I can make it across a room without bumping into something (usually myself)- but something happens when I'm crocheting that calms my restless spirit and banishes my clumsiness! No wonder I like it so much - and yes, it always feels good to have the final product in hand. Thanks for stopping by and Bon Voyage!

  15. Gabriella,
    honestly I'm not with any guess about the mysterious artist!
    just know that I am 'enjoying' your crochet pieces; that beautiful! How much skill you have!

    that your idea is nice exercise!
    big hugs!

  16. Hi Denise - always good to see you here! No one has made a guess about the mystery artist yet, but I really haven't given you much material to work with! Soon there will be more to show. Many thanks for your compliment on my crochet pieces, I try to make each one special! Hugs to you too!

  17. Hi Gabriella. I absoultely agree and find quite illustrating the things you mention about perception and the way we face the many different aspects of life. Like you for example, i think you find even more rewarding and satisfactory to do what you like and enjoy the most rather than thinking about the final result. I mean, when something is made with love and joy, the rest flow by itself. Then, when the time pass by, we realize that we have even surpassed our own expectatives and what is better, enjoyed so much the process.
    So,,enjoy a lot!! and have a great week!! =)

  18. Good to see you here, Alberto! Your comment is very perceptive. It really is all about enjoying the process - whenever you lose that, the result shows. "Made with love and joy" is worth all the sacrifices and occasional self-doubts! Many thanks for stopping by - wishing you a great week too!