Friday, December 02, 2016

fourteenth orthogonal fourth

"To keep a lamp burning, we have to put oil in it."- Mother Teresa

Back in the day, as they say, the English became quite fond of their pet squirrels and imported big fat grey guys from the US.  All was well until they got free.  Now the English cannot get rid of them.  A pity. They are still cute.

There has been a bit of a mixup on what quilts I am showing in January, but since Hudson River is spoken for I am sending a substitute.  Apparently it doesn't play well with the current arrangement but I have given complete control on moving it or...REmoving it from the line-up.  I offered two alternatives, but I don't think they like either.  So today I continued packing the third box and puling all the panels off the tower-  it appears from the count that I need FOUR more boxes to accommodate all these damn panels.  There may or may not be room in the last box for the stand I made to keep the whole thing off the floor.  If it won't fit I will just , I don't know-  maybe cut off the edges to fit the box?  Frankly I do not care because it's all covered up anyway, just like I am not trimming threads off the spacer rows either.  There will be so much going on with this thing nobody will notice.  Anyway, I got all 10 quilts rolled up into three Sono tubes, not yet labeled because I have to call FedEx for a pickup and keep putting it off.  No way can I ship these myself, too heavy by 10!  I would like them there early so they have lots of time to flatten before we hang them.  Anyway, that was a big job done today, 6 hours total, with much less packing the next batch of boxes because I have the panelsl stacked and ready to go.  My back is shaking.  Will take a rest tomorrow and just work on collages. Heavy lifting collages.  

There is no doubt in my mind that the tower will be sent directly to the NEQM dumpster next April.  I do not want it back.  Ever.

The machine I traded for a serger-  shoot me now.

Now, can I tell you that my teacher actually liked one of my drawings in the Figure Drawing class yesterday?  It's coming back.  I have proportions pretty good, just need to work on drama and volume.  But I left a happy woman because I see that the refresher is working.  I just might stick it out for another semester, but the jury is still out making that decision.  I frankly hate driving down there in the early morning traffic, but I do like doing something besides housework and studio work.  


In what could easily have been snapshots of a normal day at the beach or a hike through the woods, these photos by Nicolas Bouvier (previously) portray figures exploring the Pacific Northwest in stark, mysterious contrast. The French art director and concept designer is a master of teasing unusual scenes from breathtaking landscapes around the coast of Washington. By placing himself in foggy atmospheres and shooting against the sun, his photography turns passersby (and often images of his own children) into anonymous silhouettes. Instead of lugging around lots of equipment, Bouvier carries only a smaller and relatively inexpensive point-and-shoot Panasonic ZS40 or a Leica XVario, preferring ergonomy, simplicity, and design over more elaborate setups


Thursday, December 01, 2016

orthodox fourteen orthodoxy

“Imagination is the Discovering Faculty, pre-eminently… that which penetrates into the unseen worlds around us.”  
Ada Lovelace

The WWI campaign enlisted the help of Four-Minute Men—volunteers who delivered short speeches to rally public support for the war effort. Anti-squirrel talking points were issued so they might convince farmers and ranchers to go out and kill the “little ally of the [K]aiser”:
  • The BEST squirrel is the dead squirrel.
  • The Hotel California board bill for ground squirrels in 1917 […] was $30,000,000—yet unpaid.
  • The squirrel does not recognize daylight saving. He uses it all.
  • He preys on our crops in countless hordes. He fills the ranks of the killed in true military fashion.
  • Why hesitate? We can get ‘em. How? Poison ‘em, gas ‘em, drown em’, shoot ‘em, trap ‘em, submarine ‘em.
  • Are you not willing then to give your whole-hearted support to this state-wide movement to KILL THE SQUIRREL?
I went to my figure drawing class today again, and this time I managed a few more pretty accurate drawings-  now to infuse them with some soul!  I think I am on the right track finally with observations-  one of those things I damn well know and have myself taught for years, but when faced with a human body I lose perspective and follow the lines when I need to get more involved with FINDING the lines and checking intersections and planes and volumes.  The teacher is so encouraging to some of the worst drawers I have ever seen, then takes me to task every time he comes around.  BUT I will not be daunted, I am convinced he sees that I (almost) know what I'm doing, or I did once way back when, and wants me to surpass what I'm churning out now.  Today he kept one of mine for the wall  Finally.  Three more classes in this session, I think most of the people in the class have been in his classes for years now.

You've heard me kvetching about this upcoming show and finally here is the postcard image and notice.  I've been busy getting labels on quilts, getting bindings replaced, and an occasional repair or reno to things that need attending to.  I'm all read now, things will be leaving my studio over the next couple of weeks for the grand opening of out 30 year celebration (even though it's been longer than that...).  Can't wait to see all my friends work hanging together after all this time!  Hope you can stop by the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell MA sometime before April!  

The Group: 30 Years and Still Quilting
January 11 - April 29, 2017
This exhibition features innovative quilt artists Judy Becker, Nancy Crasco, Sandy Donabed, Carol Anne Grotrian, and Sylvia Einstein. 

Because the stuff I've been doing is mostly fixing things to get ready to ship off, I don't have a whole lot to talk about in the studio happenings department.  I have a new next door neighbor, we said hi, and next thing I know he turned his space into storage so finally I won't be hearing the marital bickering that went on with the last guy!  His wife would come in to help with the books and would start yelling at him about why he hadn't cut the grass or why he didn't pick up after a kid -  every day it was something else, and I never heard a retort or raised voice from him, but every =day she would slam out the door to shake the building.  They aren't there any more, I don't hear anything, for all I know the new guy tis storing dead bodies in trunks but I am happy they are quiet ones!  TMI? 

Let's have an ART PART to cool off a bit!

 Artist Amber Cowan works primarily with fragments of vintage pressed glass to construct complex vessels and sculptures with a multitude of fused components. Pressed glass is created when molten glass is forced into a mold as a way to mass-produce certain forms. Cowan uses these found pieces to create remarkable one-of-a-kind objects that reference the rise and fall of US glassware manufacturing, while simultaneously offering a new narrative. You can see more of Cowan’s work on her website

Monday, November 28, 2016

oursome orthodontist foursquare

The quickest way to double your money is to fold it and put it back into your  pocket.   Will Rogers

Ron LeValley photo, yup, a real professional squirrel portrait!

Agains my better judgement, I dug out my Christmas ornaments the other day and stuck them in piles around the house.  Badda Bing, Badda Done!  Things will be easy to stash away on December 26th, and there will be no discussion about letting it hang around to Armenian Christmas or Ephany or, like a family I know does-  leave it around until Easter because of somebody's spring.  Christmas trees get mighty thin by Easter.  Anyway, here are my Michaels special shopping day wreathes, only one of three for the gates:

Entry way glass trees(these I love and it will be hard to put away but I will!

Dining room-  this was so hard-  I had two garlands of silver colored balls, flipped them down on the table and there ya go!  I did stick some candles into holders but I can't light them-  the AC blows them all asunder and makes a hell of a mess.  Two of them are battery candles, I might pick up a couple more if I can find cheap ones.

And my final coup-  all my silver ornaments in a big gray platter for the living room.  Yeah, it's a pile, but hey...  I tried to get my disco ball in it but the darn thing is 18" across.  It will instead live under the table where it catches early morning sun and sets light points dancing all over the room.  And it sits there all year round because the sun comes up at different angles and the show changes all the time.  One of life's little pleasures, the disco ball...


I spent yesterday afternoon at Home Depot collecting shipping materials-  found some boxes that are 24" long and the different pieces of my tower piece are easy to fold and stack-  I think I probably have three boxes full but if I need more I know where to go!  Nice sturdy boxes I will line with some of the plastic sheeting (like it will matter if they get wet!).  Also grabbed some good packing tape and a giant roll of bubble wrap-  I don't need the protection as much as something lightweight to fill spaces.  So, I am now in the packing business. 
  Now you know where I will be all day-  I didn't like the way one piece was hanging,  little bulge along the bottom border so I took that off yesterday and will fix it up, then do the hand stitching along the Four Turkeys piece I altered.  Only one more piece, the big circles one, to get ready for public consumption and it shouldn't take too long once I get at it.  

I'm getting near the end of my ART PART folder, so I will also mine the webs for more interesting work, but that needs a massive time commitment since I go off on bunny trails finding thing after thing I need to show you!  Currently I am down to POINTY THINGS, here ya go~   



 Originally inspired by the form and function of a sea urchin, artist Jennifer Maestre constructs unwieldy organic forms using pencils and pencil shavings that bloom like unworldly flowers. Some of her latest pieces appear to have grown tentacles and rest atop pedestals like scaley octopi. The artworks are designed to simultaneously attract the viewer but also offer a certain aesthetic defense. She shares in her artist statement:
The spines of the urchin, so dangerous yet beautiful, serve as an explicit warning against contact. The alluring texture of the spines draws the touch in spite of the possible consequences. The tension unveiled, we feel push and pull, desire and repulsion. The sections of pencils present aspects of sharp and smooth for two very different textural and aesthetic experiences. Paradox and surprise are integral in my choice of materials.

Really?  Maybe it should stay in it's crates and lean against the garage wall.  

Saturday, November 26, 2016

orthoclase fourfold orthodontic

“As a leader, your word is only as good as your last promise kept or broken.” 

Today I ended up with a very long rant, so have used a tiny font so you can skip all of it and get on to the art making part without this distraction.  skip to the second line of stars like this~
This is me making Thanksgiving Dinner, a ghost of my former self dealing with the leftover nuts. Yeah, it's Saturday and I am STILL putting stuff away-  stashing the plastic and paper mache and ceramic pumpkins and replacing them with cheesy silver balls from Michaels.  And yes, those are plastic wreathes on my front door.  
Because I say so, that's who.

I could spend $1500 for a fake pre-lit tree or I could spend $150 for a real tree and then buy enough lights for it, which, while stringing them around the new tree, would dislodge all needles to stick up in the tiny groves between the floor boards.  OR I can ignore the whole tree-thing.
And that's where I stand this year.  I am too old to INVEST in any more Christmas stuff that must be stashed 11 months of the year.

I spent 40 years doing it up big for Christmas, buying gifts, making 10 different decorated cookies to give away, throwing parties for the office, the neighborhood, our friends, the kids.  Hell, I made 6' topiaries out of boxwood.  I decorated the house with amazing things, never the same each year.  I made dough ornaments for the tree, and a scale replica of our Victorian out of gingerbread.  And I cooked Christmas Eve dinner, left halfway through to attend church, race back and finish making dinner for 12 people, usually a crown roast of pork.
And though I am not a church-attending person, I look back on those Christmas Eve services as a respite from all the work I did-  a chance to sit and listen to music.  I'd drift off every year, recharging to go home and finish the prep.  

OK, that's how I feel about Christmas.  Today before I go to the studio, Iwill remove the full sized wooden crocodile from my living room since it doesn't scream 'festive', take down the Indonesian 2' rabbit and stick him in the closet because no garland fits his neck, and take out the collection of steam punk birds on wheels.  No one will notice because I simply replace this shit with shinier shit with fake snow on it.

Alright, here's the truth-  I am a nonbeliever and was always celebrating just the SPIRIT of Christmas, not the religious part.  I was happy with a smile and greeting, didn't care about wishing people a Merry or Happy.  I hated the creche set up in front of Town Hall, but didn't blink an eye with them set up on church property.  I didn't like Christmas parties for the kids at school, that was time to be working, not partying.  Time for that at home, not on the taxpayers dime.
Have I said enough?  Yeah, I know I have.  That should cull the herd of readers immediately-  OK to laugh here..., I am.  So from now on, with all that said, I will return to the (ir)regularly scheduled program:

But first a few words about Thanksgiving food disasters:
As usual I knocked myself out with new ideas for Thanksgiving, but lost it on some of the Old Ideas-  i.e. I used a whole wheat flour for piecrust-  bad move. I was in a hurry and grabbed the potatoes off the stove before they were finished so they were crunchy, and then I made a Verducken, which is a parsnip stuffed into a sweet potato which is stuffed into a butternut squash and then tied all up to roast an hour and a half. Served with mushroom gravy.  Took most of a day to assemble and out of 8 slices there was only one gone, but half remained o their plate at cleanup.  Never again.  Next year it's back to green beans with purchased fried onions.  And whole wheat doesn't thicken gravy very well at all  Both these ww items were discovered too late to go fetch regular old white flour. But I OWE myself a new pie soon, not he gravy so much, thought it tasted interesting with Angry Orchard Hard Cider.  Oh well, Now I am drinking the cider at an alarming clip.
here- ****************************
Needless to say the studio work has suffered this week but I did get one piece entered into H2Oh since it screamed out as not working with the other 10 pieces going to the quilt museum.  Probably doesn't have a chance but if I don't enter the only thing I have to enter, how will it ever get in?  YesterdayI climbed the big ladder up to where the Sono tubes are kept-  on top of the bathroom ceiling.  I pulled down 5 I think, one of them was previously used and cut way down but fits a few of the quilts headed up to the show so it will work,  I think I can fit the rest into 3 more tubes, but need to go to Home Depot to grab more plastic sheeting to wrap in-  not a problem when there is only one or two but to wrap 11 quilts takes a whole lotta plastic!  I told a friend that I am wearing a hoody and dark glasses and a baseball cap to check out, know I will be arrested for buying burial supplies if there is any murders committed within the Palm Beaches!  

Additionally I got the printer AND the computer to work together long enough to make new labels for all these pieces-  had to cover up 4 old addresses from work over the years!  Feels good to get them all done similarly, like a set!  I got them fused on and today I'll do a quick stitch around to make sure they stick. 
Now I guess you earned an ART PART for wading through all that. Today I have picked a series I happen to really like-  guess its the hard pointy, unhuggable aspect that appeals, don't judge...  I ama fan of the rusty nail. And I think you will be too.

While in college, artist John Bisbee was scavaging in an abandoned house looking for items to incorporate into a series of found-object sculptures when he kicked over a bucket of old rusty nails. To his astonishment, the nails had fused together into a bucket-shaped hunk of metal. He had an epiphany. Bisbee has since spent nearly 30 years using nails as his sole medium to create geometric sculptures, organic installations, and unwieldy objects from thousands of nails that are hammered, bent, welded, or fastened together in a seemingly limitless procession of forms. His mantra: “Only nails, always different.” He shares with American Craft, “A nail, like a line, can and will do almost anything. What can’t you draw with a line? The nail is just my line.”

But in this case I think it does!
, going to push publish now.  Be back soon!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

fountainhead orthicon four

"Art floods from the soul, the dust of everyday life"
-Pablo Picasso

Feeling Stepped-On

I can't believe it's been so long since I've updated around here.  I have to admit this last week has been pretty busy with more 'hurry-up-and-wait'-ing, but the good part is I have gotten a lot done in the studio.  Today I sucked it up and cut up another older piece that I was saving back for a bed someday-  and I finally decided I don't NEED another quilt so out came the rotary cutter and 24" ruler, zip zap and I have NINE new pieces for the tower.  When I disassemble it I'll intersperse this new quilt into different sections.  Wish I had maybe two or three more-  seems that sitting still the hundreds of layers have compacted and I've lost about 4 inches.  The new quilt will only bring back about 1 1/2" but it's something.  I may have to resort to some spacers, I hope not, since I really don't want to cut up any more at this point.

I have all the ones for the show lying flat on one of my tables and I've been going over them clipping loose threads and changing my address on the labels BUT that looks awful so tomorrow I'll make a couple of sheets of new labels without addresses so they won't have to be changed 'next time'.  As if...  So, things are moving forward but you wouldn't know it unless you speed up the camera!

Right now I have the slow cooker going with a faux cassoulet and a pan full of neck bones roasting in the oven, and some leftover ravioli draining in the sink.  I did the big Thanksgiving shopping today and spent the afternoon looking for places to put it all.  The cassoulet will be something to eat UNTIL Thanksgiving.  My friend who gave me the recipe freezes individual portions for the future.  HA!  So that's the plan with this big crock o' stuff.  

(posted as proof I have showed up)
I can't say that I love my figure drawing class, but it's like medicine-  I know it will make me better as long as I take the abuse  medicine, so I won't complain.  The point is that I have a commitment to show up and draw for 3 hours so I do.  I KNOW everything he's talking about, same stuff I heard back in Art school Fiffiffiftttty years ago.  In fact I am probably a contemporary of the teacher's, but I don't want to find out, so haven't asked yet!  He has a really annoying way of standing behind me while I'm drawing, then tapping me on the right shoulder to get my attention so I turn that way, but he's over my LEFT shoulder so I crash into him every time. He isn't pleased with my work so far and I don't quite get what he is saying because he will give me two completely opposite thoughts on the same drawings.  Wish he would go work on other people more!  He has some odd people modeling, so far there have been both a man and a young woman that both have gorgeous bodies, long and lean like dancers.  But those people aren't fun to draw-  you really can get into fat old women or wrinkly old men or contortionists of freaks much more easily.  Meanwhile just watching those beautiful bodies is frustrating to the max.  

Anybody interested in my agave plant?  It seems to have slowed down a bit, not growing nearly as fast as the last one.
The whole plant, now about 10' tall, the second picture is just the top of the stalk, and the last one is a closer look at the blossoms. I'd love it if this plant didn't die after blooming!  We'll see,

Not interested in Agave?  That's OK.  I still have some ART PARTS to show you, so here goes, in honor of the amazing Moon last week:

New Moon is an interactive shadow and light sculpture from artists Caitlind r.c. Brown and Wayne Garrett (previously) that was installed twice in Lexington, Kentucky back in February of last year. Built from 5,500 burnt out incandescent bulbs donated by the community, the sculpture allows viewers to manipulate phases of the moon using a large turnstyle. The piece is the fourth in a series of installations using re-appropriated light bulbs, more of which you can explore on their website.

Here's a whole website on forced perspective photography

ummmm, mashed potatoes!

CLOUD is a large scale interactive installation by artist Caitlind r.c. Brown that appeared September 15th as part of Nuit Blanche Calgary in Alberta, Canada. The piece is made from 1,000 working lightbulbs on pullchains and an additional 5,000 made from donated burnt out lights donated by the public. Visitors to the installation could pull the chains causing the cloud to sort of shimmer and flicker

Social reform has never been more important. Or as designer Debbie Millman put it:

Go forth.