Books and more books and a carpet page spree
Some options to choose from; namely, three
A book of carpet motifs, an e-course in analytic style
Immerse yourself in patterns and let them beguile,
And finally a live class, the first cohort's in May
TALES classes are also here to stay
Spring shifts to writing and words with my offspring
New ideas of schooling where ideas and art are king
Waking in 1001 Nights as the days get longer
Thinking through my research as ideas get stronger
The theatre as lessons and Paris as a class
Ancient Egypt dwelling and we're not leaving it fast...
...we are staying in Ancient Egypt for a goodly while as there is so much to learn there, and for me it's such a visually spectacular culture that also looks so modern, maybe because the motifs look timeless. The other thing that's timeless is of course patterns. This year's Carpet Pages offering takes the form of a teaching and learning project since teaching and transmission are a core part of my artistic practice. I was interested in making an old-style textbook, a traditional manual to see what can be taught in just words and pictures. Here's my Make a Carpet Page e-course: https://vaishaliprazmaricarpetpage.thinkific.com/courses/make-a-carpet-page
Take the Carpet Page e-course
...slowly trying to build a comprehensive picture of the Indo-Islamic book arts, of which carpet pages are a central concern alongside painting. I'll run live classes which will use the e-course as a textbook, only one set of classes per year, and only for a couple of years. So this is a rare opportunity to make a carpet page alongside me. The first cohort begins in May...
Be part of the first cohort of live Carpet Page classes
…and lastly, as an optional or stand-alone preparatory class, make your own sourcebook of carpet page motifs (this is in April). It'll be an electric blue leather cover which my husband and I will make for you to complete. It really is turning out to be the Year of the Book for us, as we are making many books this year...
Book the Books
...In summary: 1. The stand-alone Make a Carpet Page e-course, which has been a long time in the making (5 years! on and off, of course) starting in April. 2. The live classes which start in May. 3. The preparatory class to make a book of carpet page pattern motifs. You could do 1, 2 or all 3 - please visit my website https://www.vaishaliprazmariteaching.com if you need any help in deciding, or email me. I'm really excited about all these books! One of my research methods is to think about the codex form (as opposed to, say, the scroll) so all the hands-on work is invigorating. The 1001 Nights were not, contrary to popular opinion, first oral and then written down and 'solidified'. They grew up in parallel to each other; they existed in book form for centuries before Galland got to them...
Page control: Download free Geometry of the Page resources here
...the other upcoming Book making series is a set of calligraphy primers, thinking about word and image and text. Most of 'the book' as a manuscript book is not primarily images, it's handwritten text. It's handy that in parallel my eldest son is starting to properly learn to write English letters (he's been doing Chinese characters for a while) so I have a first-hand view of how a child learns to first write. It's not dissimilar to teaching calligraphy, in which we also group letters by shape, not in alphabetical order. It's a real family affair - thinking about the kids' education and transitioning the little one to learning, and involving my husband making the book covers and me (and you!) painting them...
...Delacroix also painted a book cover - in oils. The Musée Delacroix was a bit boring (no offence). I guess the best Delacroix paintings have already been taken out of his studio-house and into museums worldwide, so we are left with... mostly his house! And some random leftover paintings. Still, it's interesting to see the 'lesser' works, let's say. I learnt that he adored the theatre, and he had some wonderful things to say about painting.
Going to Paris again after a long hiatus was a reminder of why I love oil paint - it's like real life and its capacity for magic realism is so huge, whereas water-based miniatures are like jewels and a bright childhood - this doesn't diminish them in value. They are of equal value for me and I suppose I'll be twanging between the two for the rest of my life...
…we passed by Deyrolle on the way to the metro. Little one was asleep on my back and woke up to a raging lion coming at him and he thought - meh. He knows what his parents are like! Imagine going to a school like this, with a black bear as a teacher and a camel as their assistant. What memories you'd make! I love the look and feel of a school. I chose my secondary school based on the fact that it was made of bricks and felt suitably old, as opposed to a more modern shiny plastic one. The Musée des Arts et Métiers has got to be one of our top museums in the world. Delicious miniature architectural models (who doesn't like?) showing engineering and construction, looms, machines of all kinds including cameras and typewriters. My husband felt old as many of the gadgets he grew up with were in the museum! I felt proud as I own a Blick!! Like the typewriter floating beneath. In the early days we decided to be a couple in part because we both collected typewriters.
In April we're painting machines for the TALES classes - the infamous Elephant Clock and Peacock clock of Al Jazari the polymath who wrote: 'The elephant represents the Indian and African cultures, the two dragons represent Chinese culture, the phoenix represents Persian culture, the water work represents Greek culture, and the turban represents Islamic culture.' We'll also throw in an April fool falling down the stairs (or being thrown - a classic punishment! We don't do this nowadays thankfully!) and on April Fool's Day a teaching reversal of sorts where my kids teach with me, expect some merry spring chaos. More info here: https://www.vaishaliprazmariteaching.com/book-online...
Book the TALES
…We study things deeply in the TALES classes, concentrating as my son is here on these beautiful coloured moths. The other wonderful teaching tool, in my opinion, is the theatre. I learn so much every time I go - it's entertainment and learning at the same time. We saw Philip Glass' Akhenaten because I'm trying to learn about Ancient Egypt as much as possible. It was a spectacle of an opera and had a huge cast. Opera and ballet are not theatre of course, although according to my husband's father who is a theatre director, they have the bigger budgets because they are more popular. ? Is this true? I find them visually stunning usually, yet I generally prefer the theatre. I can get into it more.
And you can get into a toy theatre even more - for the Slade's Colour and Poetry Symposium this year I gave a talk on the traditional colours used in painting toy theatres. It's here: https://youtu.be/P003b3FkvMo and it's just under 17 minutes. They used just 4 colours! I gathered all the information I gleaned from my Pollock's Toy Museum residency and reading around the subject (on which there is not much), so it's all collated in this free public talk now on YouTube...
Watch the Toy Theatre Talk
...and this is an exhibition at the Fondation Cartier - Fabrice Hyber's paintings and show which he envisaged like a giant classroom. What a dream school - he poured all of his learning and knowledge into these paintings which we all spent time in front of (and that is saying something - kids usually walk right past as they aren't immediately arresting like sculptures!) I loved Fabrice Hyber's concept and 'painting school'. The paintings themselves are like lessons in how the artist sees the world, and the show itself was set up with real classroom tables and chairs. Assemblage is pretty uncool I feel but he doesn't care, he sticks in real plastic food onto his canvases and a real working clock mechanism in another. I LOVE this feeling of being against the grain. My own work is deeply uncool - or maybe it's too cool for school. Giant, inspirational works brimming with joy - this is what painting should be. 100% recommend for Paris friends, as well as the Fondation Cartier's idea of pairing experts to give classes together inspired by the themes in his works. This is the kind of workshop atmosphere of sharing and joy I aspire to create in my own classes. I'll post more of his works on the Forum for unParis friends to linger over...
...I also took a great many photos of the Islamic gallery at the Louvre which I'll post. I am attracted primarily to colour so I noticed the beautiful blues, greens, turquoises and nacre colours which it has in common with the Ancient Egypt section. Ancient Egypt at the Louvre: you think the Brits stole a lot. They did - but the French had Napoleon... Egypt in Paris was quadruple the size of the British Museum. I'd never been through this section before and there was so much to see! Does anyone know what the meaning of these spoons carved like a swimming woman holding a duck represent? The captions didn't say...
...if you do, please let me know! Come to a monthly miniature meeting, so-called because of the natural attractive alliteration but that expands into art, literature, books, travels and anything. The Zoom link is via the Forum https://www.miniaturepaintingforum.com or here's the direct link:
Monthly Miniature Meeting 18.4.23, 6-7pm London time - all welcome
Vaishali Prazmari is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting
Topic: Vaishali Prazmari's Monthly Meeting 18.4.23, 6-7pm London time
Time: Apr 18, 2023 18:00 London
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Meeting ID: 852 7285 1597
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Join the free forum
...We wandered into Paris' oldest church at St-Germain-des Pres so I could see the wacky painted columns as inspiration for my Memory Palace (ongoing), and so we could all admire that blue and gold starry ceiling (didn't make it to Sainte-Chapelle and Berthillon, that's for next time!). It's inspired me that columns look good carved and also when they're painted. If you're inspired to pick up a brush and paint, have a look at The Perfect Brush: https://www.theperfectbrush.co.uk/shop ...
More brushes and beautiful tools here
…I took a finished miniature book to Paris. It felt good to have it in my [very uncool, the way I carry it around my bum] bumbag as a kind of book talisman. The kids and hubby enjoyed dancing in the metro. They also enjoyed the Cirque du Soleil, because they enjoy any circus at all, but I need to introduce them to some fringe circus which is just as good - sometimes even better - but without the marketing budget (I recall the Ethiopian State Circus we saw last year which was a bunch of guys and gals leaping over each other, through fire and with hardly any props and with immense joy!). The little one even enjoyed his second haircut, despite squeezing his eyes shut at times. They especially enjoy hanging out with each other watching Chinese cartoons (secret to becoming bilingual = watch cartoons!) by the fire in the living room. There they are poking out of the cardboard box house they'd made for themselves...
...Walking in the Jardin des Tuileries on a stormy-sunny spring day. I need to streamline our family travel - we used the buggy we lugged 0% of the time, and just wheeled them around on their suitcases if we needed. If you have any tips, please share! It's never going to be elegant, efficient travel with the two wildcards that are our kids but it would be good to be even more honed than we already are...
...A Sphinx Bum to end. Everyone was clamouring to take photos of the Sphinx at the non-bum end and I thought I'd just go round the back and have a look. Unglamorous, uncool and a totally unrestricted, uninterrupted and perfect view of the posterior of its gluteus maximus in marble. Savour the Sphinx Bum. Sphinxifically thinkifically yours,