Ornamental Plaster Sculpting, Mural Painting, Faux Finishing, and Imaginative Interior Design.

Ornamental Plaster Sculpting, Mural Painting, Faux Finishing, and Imaginative Interior Design.
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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Introducing Ruth Krug and Nona Flores

Okay, back again.  Friday's deadline was met, but today was another full day, so it's another crazy-late night for this 8:00 pumpkin.  Oh well, with no ominous deadlines looming tomorrow morning, I can sleep in 'til 6:00 a.m.! :)))  Now, let me tell you about two more of my classmates from this summer's France excursion, Ruth and Nona.  These were the two quietest women in the group, but not for lack of interesting stories.

Ruth was the very quietest, and while some might mistake her quiet ways for shyness, I can tell you she isn't.  People often assume introvert types are shy, but shy comes from fear, and Ruth is not afraid.  She traveled alone to France, and spent time on either side of our week long class exploring Toulouse, Carcassonne, and Castres. Ruth is a keen observer, and a kind soul.  She may not have been as rolicking rowdy as some of us, but she had just as much fun.  Sometimes I wish I could be as quietly observant as Ruth, as I think I'd learn a lot more.  Oh, well, I bound through life with eyes wide open, and mouth open wider (either gulping it all down, or exclaiming on all there is to discover), and that has its good points, too, I know.

Ruth's quiet ways made her welcome wherever she went. 

Ruth claimed to be just an aspiring artist, but she understates her talents.  Unfortunately, the photos I took on our last day, when we all showed off our creations are really bad.  I'm not sure what I had my borrowed camera set on, but most of the photos from that day are beyond tweaking.  This is, sadly, the only one I got of Ruth that's clear enough to print, and it doesn't show much.  Sigh.
Ruth shows off her altered board book

Ruth could teach me a lot about photography, which is certainly one of her artistic talents.  She shared a few pictures with us via email, so I can at least show you some of her artistry outside of class...

Ruins at Albi

Shop window in Toulouse.  I do wonder why it's in English, though.
It just occurred to me that if my memory of a conversation serves me correctly, ultra-quiet Ruth did say she was a university librarian for many years.  Of course she's quiet!

Nona's career has been centered around academia, too.  She did retire, but was later lured back to assist a professor, and it seems she's back to nearly full-time employment.  Still she makes time to create a lot of intricate art.  Nona, like Beverlee (who you met last week) has taken this class more than once, and in fact took two weeks of it, this year.  
This is Nona's photo from her 2011 France visit.  She had intended to make it a tradition of sorts, and get a shot of herself in the sunflowers again, but due to a very late spring, they were about 14 inches tall.  I thought a shot of her ankles in the same sunflower field would be kind of funny, but she wasn't enthusiastic.
One of Nona's projects was this book cover, made with baked polymer tiles mosaiced onto one of those book-shaped boxes.  
Here's the inside...

Nona made a doll both weeks, and this one is Crepe Suzette, from her second week.  The lower body is a vintage tin, picked up for 3 euros from a very young flea market vendor who refused to budge on the price.  It was worth it for the cool factor alone, but the fact that once pried open it revealed a 50 franc and a 100 franc note, both from 1936, added to the thrill of the find..
Crepe Suzette

Those who read this blog regularly may recall that the mouse featured at the top of the right hand column, Madame Lucie Bonnard, came about as a result of a pre-class assignment (to write a paragraph of a biography for an imaginary character) that got out of hand, and turned into a children's book.  Turns out I'm not the only one.  Nona ended up starting an art quilt based on her character, and the story that got away from her.  Turns out, Nona is a serious quilt artist...
I didn't get a shot of those quilt blocks, but Nona sent me this photo.  It's a quilt she made earlier this year, using  floral photos she took and printed to cotton, pieced and then embellished with beads and quilt stitching.
 I once wanted to be a quilt artist, but after sewing one meticulous block, I realized there was no way I was going to have the patience to make umpteen more.  Nona has the patience I often wish I had.  Check out this impressive beauty:
This traditional quilt, pieced by Nona in 2012, was machine quilted by Sue diVarco, and has just been juried into Lark Publication's Showcase 500 Traditional Quilts (to be published).  
 I enjoyed seeing Nona's artistic process and her beautiful creations, but I have to confess that some of my favorite things about Nona are her impressive education and her warm way of sharing it.  Nona knows the history of seemingly everything (I can so hear her telling me to edit that--I said seemingly), so whether we were all talking about a place we wanted to visit, or somebody's great-great-great granddaddy, Nona could put things in historical context.  It was like looking at a snapshot, then being able to lean in and see what was going on outside the frame.
Nona on the steps leading back out of a convent garden that I would have entirely missed on my own.

On the day we visited the very old town of Albi, I got to hang out with Nona, since she and I both wanted to see the fashion museum.  It was one of my favorite days of the trip.  Albi was gorgeous and old, and perfectly picturesque and interesting, but what made the day especially memorable was seeing it with someone who really knew what we were looking at.  No long dissertations, but interesting commentary on the whens and whys of things.  It gave some substance to all the eye candy, and I enjoyed Albi in a far more memorable way than anywhere else.  Being a passing tourist is not at all my preferred way to experience travel, but if I could travel the world with Nona, I might not mind doing it at tourist speed.

There are three more classmates to share with you, and for those readers who are into polymer clay, they are names you probably know.  Julie Eakes, Judy Belcher, and the blogger who connects us all, Cynthia Tinapple, still to come.  See you back here Friday morning!

1 comment:

dayle doroshow said...

You are amazing DM the way you capture the true and beautiful essence of these wonderful ladies! Thank you!