A Denver Home Companion | spun at the denver art museum
A Denver Home Companion | spun at the denver art museum
A Denver Home Companion | spun at the denver art museum

what fun to be invited to the media preview of the denver art museum‘s new exhibit, spun: adventures in textiles! last wednesday i (along w other bloggers and newsies in denver) got a sneak peek of what’s on view starting may 19.

the show runs 5/19 until 9/22 and showcases a “wide-ranging look at textiles from pre-Columbian weavings to Navajo blankets to an examination of clothing in art and photography.” it was beautiful. pieces that are part of this can be found campus-wide through the large (and wonderfully laid-out) museum.

i didn’t see everything (babysitters and nap time and other tasks and events called to me!) but what i saw was quite amazing. the colors and uses and histories and evolutions of the items in the galleries tell so many stories and instruct the viewer on the deep and rich narrative of the cultures and customs of the times they’re a part of. the exhibit shows actual textiles as well as paintings that address their uses. there’s also interactive stations for children and adults alike. i am very much looking forward to bringing ramona to see it.

if you go (and you should!): they are building a three-story community quilt, planting a garden to use the plants for dying fabrics, and will have a new activity every weekend. the focal point is Cover Story, examples of all the different ways textiles cover our lives and what textiles tell people about us, our homes, and how we feed our spirits. part of this is also how we carry things and the rites and rituals in creating sacred spaces.

for more information on visiting the museum, please see visit this page.

A Denver Home Companion | spun at the denver art museum

 photos of the exhibits c/o denver art museum. outside shots are my own.

A Denver Home Companion | clyfford still museum
A Denver Home Companion | clyfford still museum

yeehaw! i am delighted to introduce you to a new sponsor here at A Denver Home Companion: the Clyfford Still Museum! i’ve been there a handful of times but really fell in love with it when i finally got to take ramona with us on a family date. watching her toddle through the big rooms with the high ceilings, stopping to point out animals and, mostly, odd shapes that caught her eye. the Clyfford Still Museum is truly a magical place, for adults and young ones alike.

i’m hoping that if you live in the denver area you already know a little something about this place that has gotten much deserved press and applause. however, if you’re not in the know and/or are not from around here, here’s the gist:

The words legendary and unknown aren’t often used to describe the same artist. Clyfford Still is considered one of the most important artists of the 20th century. He originated the abstract expressionism movement and influenced the work of contemporaries such as Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko. Yet, most people have never heard of him. At the height of his career, Still severed ties with the art world, and continued to paint. At the time of his death, Still’s personal collection of work contained over 2500 pieces of art or 95% of everything he ever made. That collection is now available to the public to view at the Clyfford Still Museum in Denver. Visit the Clyfford Still Museum, and experience a life in paintings.

the building is quite stunning inside and out, and it has a nice green lawn right outside the front door — not to mention its proximity to the denver art museum, the central library, and the cherry creek trail,

in celebration of this new sponsorship, the Clyfford Still Museum is generously offering one reader of A Denver Home Companion a membership to the museum! if you’d like to enter for a chance to win, simply leave a comment below. 

you can gain extra entries in the following ways. please leave an additional comment w a link for each.
  1. tweet this giveaway (don’t forget to mention @eopower!)
  2. pin this giveaway 
  3. share this giveaway on any other social media platform (instagram/blog/facebook)
entries are accepted through 4/15. the winner will be announced on a post, tuesday 4/16. make sure you check back to see if it’s you to claim your prize. this giveaway open to residents of the state of colorado.
psst: the clyfford still museum has a free day with lots of family-friendly activities coming up on april 28. make sure to stop by!
thank you for supporting the sponsors that help this little blog keep going.

A Denver Home Companion | clyfford still museum
A Denver Home Companion | clyfford still museum
A Denver Home Companion | pints pub
A Denver Home Companion | noble swine supper club

yesterday, after ramona’s nap, the three of us got all dolled up and headed to a special free day at the clyfford still museum. ramona loved the tall ceilings and big rooms and we followed her closely to make sure she didn’t get too close to the beautiful canvases. she was none too thrilled when we whisked her away for some pints and half crisps at pints pub. until she tried a crisp. and then she was in heaven — a girl after her father’s anglophile heart. then we dropped ramona off at our friends’ house so jp and i could have a date night at noble swine supper club. jp and i were half of the original partners of this underground denver supper club but haven’t been involved in over two years. it was really fun to be at it again, but this time dining instead of cooking or serving. our friends do really amazing things, especially for the denver food scene!

A Denver Home Companion | Wave by Suzy Lee
A Denver Home Companion | Wave by Suzy Lee
A Denver Home Companion | Wave by Suzy Lee
A Denver Home Companion | Wave by Suzy Lee
A Denver Home Companion | Wave by Suzy Lee

 

my mother, a lover of the ocean, sent this book, wave by suzy lee, to ramona and me. there are no words to read. only the most beautiful charcoal and acrylic illustrations of a curious girl and a playful wave.

thanks, mama, for this token of love that reminds us of you. your gifts are always so thoughtful and beautiful.

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Hello, I’m McKenzie of Oliver and Abraham’s. My husband and I are part-time sheep farmers. I also draw, so with the slowing-down season this year, I decided to focus my energy on opening an Etsy shop to sell some of my art, and eventually, we’ll be able to offer handspun yarn from our sheep and alpacas.

Over the past couple months I’ve learned a lot about my own creative process, and I thought I’d share a little bit about it here. I would say the most important aspect of having the inspiration to draw lies in my surroundings. The view from my desk is full of sheep. Grazing sheep, sleeping sheep, thirsty sheep, headbutting sheep, humping sheep… From my window, I am always able to get a little dose of reality, no matter how wrapped up in my head I get.

When I start drawing, I rarely have a goal in mind. But when I do, I use pencil to sketch out the symmetry. I prefer diving right in with a .005 Micron pen though. Then I erase my pencil lines and start filling in with watercolor using these tiny brushes. I’ve had the same old watercolor paints for years now, but these seem to be pretty close. I usually mix the colors up on the side. Adding gray to any color gives it a softer look. I also recently discovered the most perfect 5″x7″ watercolor block. The nice thing about it is that there’s no grainy texture. That used to bother me a lot about other watercolor papers. It’s pure white and is glued together on all four sides. One corner is free so you can tear out the image when it’s dry. Because of the tightness of the paper to the pad, there’s no warping.

A lot of people have told me that using watercolors is hard. I guess in the sense that if you have no initial lines to define your image, it would be challenging to create them using only watercolors. But filling in Micron pen lines is relatively simple. It’s time consuming, but if you consider it a form of meditation it becomes addictive.  You learn as you go. I remember the very first watercolor painting I did. I must have been three or four years old. I painted a cottage in the woods on a tiny square of paper. I remember being sofrustrated that the lines in my head were bleeding together on paper, but there must have been something appealing to me about the medium, otherwise I wouldn’t have picked it back up.

Today, I find it fun to experiment with color and texture. I also love to finish a painting with white India ink. It adds a much needed sense of dimension and brightness. You have to practice with it first though! It spreads really easily so you have to control your hand to the max. But don’t be afraid! Sometimes your mistakes can turn into the best part. In the birth announcement you see above, the flowers with the big black centers were a mistake. I opened up a pen and the ink came spurting out. At first, I was devastated (read: threw the pen across the room in a fury) since I’d spent the entire day working on it. I stepped away, came back to it calmly, and at second glance realized the dots had fallen among the leaves in a beautiful way. I think art should be embraced with the Japanese philosophy of “wabi-sabi.” Finding beauty in life’s imperfections…

Emily, thank you so much for having me over to your blog! I can’t wait to see your new restaurant grow!

:)