My favorite art magazine is one not commonly found in the U.S. because it is published in Britain: Selvedge. This is a bi-monthly magazine about textiles--in fashion, in vintage shops, in their native lands, in history, and in shows. The first issue I ever saw was in a Borders Bookstore and it was an instant love affair! I say that because at $25 an issue, I must have been insanely in love with it to have paid so much. (The price has since risen to $30 an issue.) I have been reading it for four years and I still jump for joy when I find it in my mailbox. You see, I did the math and realized it was quite affordable if I dropped the other mags I was getting by subscription, and just subscribed to Selvedge. Here is a peek into their fall issue.
If I hadn't been in love with it before, I would have fallen for it when I saw that cover with the beautiful African women walking by the edge of the sea in their white dresses. That particular issue had wonderful articles in it about rugs woven from plastic:
African block printed fabrics:
Seeing samples of these gorgeous block printed fabrics is nothing compared to seeing them on real women in the marketplace:
I am so glad patchwork dresses are coming back--I always liked that look! These dresses are by an English designer:
I don't want to create the impression that Selvedge is all color photos--there is a lot of real content to read that has expanded my knowledge base about textiles. It's not fashion fluff, and the ads in this magazine are small, discrete, and beautiful, positioned mostly at the front and back of the magazine.
Another issue featured the work of Momo Wang. What a wonderful cover, yes?
I've always loved indigenous textiles and wanted to wear these types of garments. Probably something left over from a previous lifetime.
Garments like these seem like they would be incredibly cozy and comfortable.
Selvedge is published on a heavier than usual matte paper. Along with the luscious color of the photographs, there is much discussion of textiles, the roles they have played in history, their place in the lives of indigenous peoples, and how they are created. It usually takes me about 3 hours to read my way through an issue, and the time is well spent, as I get many ideas for my own art-making. Oh, if only I had six arms and hands so that I could knit, crochet, weave, and sew some of the incredible items I have discovered in Selvedge!
Inspiration in art-making comes from many different sources, some in the outer world and some in the inner world. It is always fun and exciting to read about and see what other artists are doing, not to copy them, but to ask oneself some questions. What does this spark in me? Why do I find this exciting? How could I do something like this or in this style in my own work, in my own unique way?
"Artists constantly borrow from one another and are inspired by one another--but it never comes out the same way twice! Isn't that an amazing idea to contemplate? It means that it is virtually impossible to "copy" another artist. We are designed to be unique." --Alice Ross