Monthly Archives: July 2020

Break One Rule

I used to do Artist in Residence programs in schools, and one of my favorite projects was “Break One Rule”.  I would hand out fabric and scissors or paper and glue or whatever the materials of the day would be, then give the students a list of rules (the number of rules depended on the age and sophistication of the students).  The last rule in the list was always, “Break one rule.”  After the initial grumbling and eye-rolling at the rule list, a few kids would start whispering excitedly.  “What if we break rule 3?”  or “Let’s break rule one!”  And occasionally there was a gasp, “What if we break the LAST rule?”  Oh Lordy, I loved that moment!  I could feel the creativity zooming around the room: we can ignore all of the rules!  Or we can ignore any one or more of the rules!  Or we can follow them ALL but the last one!  So “rules” in art are definitely more like “guidelines”…

So, yeah, I’m no good at rules.  The current challenge in the Facebook quilting/art community seems to require rules, so guess what?  I’m not following them.  I don’t do quilting or fiber art anymore, but quilting and its geometry and textures will always influence my art.  So here are 10 examples of “quilty” art.  And if anyone in Loosely Bound is interested, I nominate you – just post some pix of your quilting journey!

Pandemic, Pandemonium, & Trash Pandas

Posted 7/14/2020 by Kerry McFall

Three young raccoons

Three Musketeers, mixed media by Kerry McFall

“Hi.  Whatcha doin’? Can I play too?  And my brother and sister – can we all play?”  It would be such fun to see what these three could get up to on my desk with my paints and brushes and the paint water and my wine glass and the rest of the mess that I play with all the time now… if you’ve ever seen young raccoons “at work”, you probably have a good idea of what I’m hinting at: pandemonium.  Not to be confused with pandemic… then again, maybe the two words are not that far off: totally unpredictable, potentially dangerous, unrelenting…

This painting was based on a terrific photo featured on the Sonoma County Wildlife site, with their permission.  They have a facebook page as well, which always includes great photography and fascinating details about their various guests and patients.  While I play with my art, the volunteers at humane societies and wildlife rescue facilities all over the world work round the clock to help keep other creatures healthy.  We all have so many people to thank.  I hope they know we think fondly of them and their work every day.

Raccoons have such intelligent faces, and they do look so much like little bears.  Although I’m sure it’s not politically correct, the term Trash Pandas has always seemed to fit their devil-may-care approach to living life to the fullest.  One creature’s trash is another creature’s treasure.  Painting them is challenging because they are 1) furry (which takes a lot of practice and a special brush), 2) intense, and 3) they have odd-shaped little noses, even weirder than dog noses in my opinion.

Watercolor, colored pencil, brush pen on Canson Mix Media 9×12″ sketchbook