Saturday, August 23, 2008

Almost grounds for divorce

Further to my Judging rant in the last post can I add something else that annoys me. The Judge's choice category. In previous shows I have noticed that Judges tend to choose quilts that closely mirror their own. At festival Lesley and I came across a quilt and I immediately said, "Oh I love that. It's a Katherine Guerrier." As I was in charge of the camera and she the show guide at that point she checked. "No. It's someone else. But it was started in a Katherine Guerrier class." Of course, immediately recognisable. Nothing wrong with that. Save that it won a Judges choice. And who was the Judge......? Yup.

Maybe the game is to find out the Judges and copy their ideas and techniques.

Of course, this being a subjective game there will always be an element of personal taste involved in assessing quilts. At the very end of Sunday at Festival my husband sneaked in so that he could sit with me whilst I waited for the quilts to be dismantled ( and so that he could drive me home while I talked non stop about the four days of quilting he had just avoided). With an hour or so to go I decided to give him the highlights tour.

I took him to the Ricky Tims gallery. His face was stony and unimpressed. "What's so special about that?" He said of Bohemian Rhapsody ( sorry Ricky!) I explained all about the design and colour and the use of Trilobal 40 weight polyester threads. ( I know these things. I spent three hours doing the class). He shrugged. '"Can't see it." OK, He was tired, having had a pig of a drive down. I took him to Dad's Lone Star and explained how the center was pieced by Ricky's octogenarian father. Surely that would impress. No. Stony face.

I took him to see some of Jacqueline Heinz work, my favourite stand in the Festival. 'Why?' he says looking bemused. 'The quilting!'. He shrugs. OK. I drag him over to Contemporary Large where I had been delighted to see one of Pamela Allen's fabulous quilts ( do visit her site for more)

I just love this one called 'Domestic Goddess'. It has great embellishments which don't come out well on a flat photo. He physically recoils, "Ooooh no. Its scary."
He averts his gaze and waves vaguely at it unable to articulate his fear. "Scary."

I am making no pretence of being a particularly good wife. After all I have already confessed to leaving him for four days and spending about two and a half times our monthly household food budget on stash stuff. But this is where I become a bad wife. Very bad.

I stalk and mutter. He trails behind as I make for the diagonally opposite corner of the large hall where I need to pick up a box with a wooden work-box which he is jolly well going to carry.
I don't know why I bother. Its like a cold shower. I have have four wonderful days and then you come in and you hate everything and You don't need to want to make one all you have to do is look at them as art - you can do that and stop being so miserable you're really spoiling things now and....

He stops trailing. That in itself is often grounds for bad wife to notch up the muttering to something approaching 'about-to-shout-because-you-can't-even-trail-properly' type of abuse. But he has stopped in front of Dorothy Caldwell's gallery and is looking with a face full of genuine interest and liking. He points to a quilt which to me is black and dull and boring and grins. "I like that one. Honestly. And that one." He goes in. "All of these."

Given that he has chosen a professional, highly exhibited, fine arts, SAQA artist what can I say? It is the only gallery of which I did not take a single photo or sketch. They disinterest me in both construction and end result. I consider whether he is in trouble simply for clearly having better taste than me but decide that whilst I can live with being a bad wife that is a step too far.

"Why? I ask.

He points to a piece which appears to be black with blobs. "Look at how your eye moves around that piece. How there is so much going on but it is all balanced. " Blow me if the man is not talking about the principles of design and getting it right. Of course, Ricky's quilts do exactly that and I don't understand why he can't see that.

But I stopped stalking and muttering. And I bought him a smartie encrusted cookie whilst we waited for my quilt.


Quilt Pixie said...

At least there was something DH liked -- and he understands why. You've been a good teacher. maybe with time he's tastes will mature (hehehe)and he'll understand Ricky with you...

Gerrie said...

Ducking for cover - but I agree with your dh. You cannot even compare a Ricky Tims quilt to a Dorothy Caldwell. I could hang one of her pieces in my house and live comfortably with it for years. Can't say the same about Bohemian Rhapsody. Your husband has a very well developed artistic sense.

I think the story about the Judge's Choice is quite accurate, however, I have seen them select something totally unlike their own work.

I am enjoying your Quilt show posts.

kquilts said...

I also think your comment about the Judge's Choice is right on! I was walking through our local quilt show looking at which quilts got the ribbons and wondering why, when my friend turned around where she could see all of the quilts down the aisle and asked if I noticed anything about the quilts that had ribbons on them . . . they all had a major portion of beige or brown in them! I think the judge had no time for any of the bright colorful well done quilts.

Kristin L said...

This is perfect example of just how personal and subjective art is. Quilt Pixie is right about DH knowing what he likes an understanding why. That you know what you like and understand why as well underlines that you are BOTH right! Now, to agree on something to hang in the lounge might pose a small problem. hee hee ;-)

magsramsay said...

I can only say that I was thrilled to get a 'Judge's Choice' award but as I don't know the Judge concerned, I've no idea what her work is like.
Interested to hear your DH's comments as I'm thinking of allowing my DH along one year (but for one day only!) I too rated Dorothy Caldwells' work way above Ricky Timms ( and I supect my DH would too)
In regard to Judge's comments - I'd take them with a pinch of salt and not too much to heart. One quilt I entered had widely varying comments ( from 'Good' to 'Needs attention' )about the quilting which unusually for me I had deliberately kept sparse as I felt it was in keeping with the piece. Only you can truly know what is right.

Garnered Stitches said...

Involving a DH in something that you feel passionate about can be very trying. My DH's views on Picasso has seen the two of us having abit of a heated arguement! Years ago I took him to the Picasso gallery in Barcelona where in the first set of rooms where exhibited his pencil sketches & early paintings of "real things". To which DH said "Oh he could draw then!" I can not print his comments when viewing the later pieces! It was a surprise that he joined me to view the Klimt exhibition and even more surprising that he enjoyed it. The parts about the Men who financially supported Klimt seemed to appeal to him - I suppose he can relate to them!!
best wishes

Magpie Sue said...

LOL! What more can I say? Truth sometimes rings with laughter.

Magpie Sue said...

P.S. I would take Pamela Allen's quilts over Dorothy Caldwell's, but that's just my personal taste ;- )

Kay said...

I like your husband's taste and I can understand "scary". My husband's comments tend to run to "Why don't you make one like that?" Aarrgh! Funny post.