Sunday, April 30, 2017

pearl concerned skip

Dear paranoid people who check behind shower curtains for murderers: 
If you find one, what's your plan?
(Internet question)

Squirrel Taxidermy, bet you thought I was finished with that, eh?

Couldn't take the terror of facing the unquilted quilt 
today so I played hookey and went to the MAUL to see the giant Lego displays.  Well, I was blown away by the life-size models of superheros and cartoon characters and little kids getting their pictures taken...and a giant open room through the whole mall covered with tables full of Lego and games and racetracks for Lego cars.  
It was really fun~ until the mothers with the little kids got wary of me talking to them. It was innocent enough since I didn't know which character was which and asked for clarification.  Apparently that's akin to walking into the mall with a shotgun because the moms completely freaked at some old glasses-wearing lady talking to their kids from maybe 15 feet away.  Unarmed.  Sigh.  It wasn't like I asked to show them a puppy in the stairwell.

My fave, loved that he was coming off a life-sized roof top.  Check the tiny hand reaching out the window to touch his foot!  I'm surprised I didn't get arrested for taking a picture of this hand without permission-  Really I was sensitive to that but she popped up just as I clicked.

still don't know which one this is, my source of that info got pulled away by his shirt, meanwhile he was taller than I am, and his mother outweighed me by maybe 200#s.  Weightism, so sue me.

Big guy, little kid.  This one looked more like a topiary than a superhero.

Not Batman.  Your guess.

Maybe AssssMannnn?  What's the A stand for?  

There was only one 'woman' I saw, Snow White-  a direct take from Disney.  There was a little girl posed with Scooby Doo, and other cartoons and I'm sure I missed a lot since I only did half the mall before loosing interest in this and trying to find a sun visor.
So, that was the sum of my Sunday.

Closing shop now and going to find an ARTY PARTY for you before I get the vapors and need to lie down.  Had a few too many chili peppers tonight and my lips are burning, might need some EMT's.  You know what?  This is the perfect place to talk about Marisol, my very first art hero.  

Marisol Escobar, whose penetrating and playful, large-scale wooden sculptures were their own unique blend of Pop and folk art, died on Saturday morning, April 30, at the age of 85.  Marisol was a star of the New York art scene in the 1960s, breaking through with a 1962 solo show at the Stable Gallery that featured her bright, boxy sculptures of people representing a range of American life — everyone from the Kennedys to a dustbowl farm family to the artist herself. The works, which combined painted and minimally carved wooden figures with found objects like shoes and doors, were funny but incisive, simple-looking but expertly made. They helped launch a career that included great artistic success and stardom, followed by decades of obscurity and, more recently, a revival and renewed appreciation of her exceptional work.  When I was a kid took art classes on Saturdays at the Albright Knox and while I was waiting to be picked up I would wander alone through the galleries and find out who was there-  this woman was by far my favorite.  I also fell for Charles Burchfield's watercolors and Clifford Still's abstract expressionism and still love both of them.  They taught me how varied and wonderful contemporary art could be before I even went to college!
Marisol Escobar, whose penetrating and playful, large-scale wooden sculptures were their own unique blend of Pop and folk art, died on Saturday morning, April 30, at the age of 85.  Marisol was a star of the New York art scene in the 1960s, breaking through with a 1962 solo show at the Stable Gallery that featured her bright, boxy sculptures of people representing a range of American life — everyone from the Kennedys to a dustbowl farm family to the artist herself. The works, which combined painted and minimally carved wooden figures with found objects like shoes and doors, were funny but incisive, simple-looking but expertly made. They helped launch a career that included great artistic success and stardom, followed by decades of obscurity and, more recently, a revival and renewed appreciation of her exceptional work.
The renowned Venezuelan-American artist Marisol bequeathed her entire estate to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo.
(announced today via the New York Times)
On Tuesday, the museum announced what it described as the largest gift of art in the institution’s history. Marisol, a major pop artist who infused her work with folk imagery, died last year at the age of 85. She left her estate to Albright-Knox, which was the first museum to purchase one of her works. 
The artist (born MarĂ­a Sol Escobar) trained in Abstract Expressionism under Hans Hofmann in New York, later shifting her practice in the early ’50s to incorporate a combination of pre-Columbian folk influences and assemblage, in part as a response to her mother’s suicide. The estate includes 100 sculptures, over 150 works on paper, thousands of photographs, her archive, and her Tribeca workspace. The gift is a major addition for the Buffalo museum, which will name a gallery in her honor.


Go read about her, her work is wonderful and can be enjoyed on so many levels.    I found pages and pages of her work on Pinterest too.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

sin oxen oxeye

The autodidact is often suspicious of outside authority. He or she values creative invention and takes confidence in the idea that the personal path is the best one. “All education should be self-education.” 

Don't know if you remember, certainly I don't expect that of you, but I was quite pissed on one of my trips back to Boston to discover TY had tossed out some big flat mover's boxes for pictures that contained an unframed silkscreen I quite loved.  But hey, he was trying to help and had forgotten that was a 'SAVE' pile until I found what to do with it.  I internalized my wrath like the little guy above, then forgot about it.
This past week I was trying to decide what to do with a nice watercolor of our old house-  she did a great job-  my mom had commissioned it for us but unfortunately the house was painted pinkish mauve at the time and it looked pretty icky with all the red I have.  I don't know what happened to the frame, it may have been something my dad made because it was a particular shade of Early American wood orange.  Anyway, gone.  But tipped, out of the back between the illustration board an the mat was my silkscreen picture of the cowboys!  Sorry the Mulberry paper was translucent and something dark was under it, probably the house picture..

We bought this 45 years ago from the artist because it so much looked like my Grandpa Pete, aka Rattlesnake Pete.  We also got another one of a Victorian guy with a giant rabbit and a third one that is long missing of a giant rust colored chicken.  So yesterday I hiked down to Michaels to get a cheap frame job.  

I had to wait a long time, only one gal on the desk and a couple ahead of me were indecisive and wanting a 5 or 6" gray driftwood frame on a small oil painting.  I couldn't stop myself and told then the frame was too big and really didn't go with the bright colors in the painting. I got a better look at it and the man proudly announced that he did the painting-  the wife chimed in that it was a PBN kit.  Oh gees   I put on my faux face of admiration and told him what a good job he did staying in the lines.  He got quite puffed up.  Truly I had never seen such a finely drawn scene in PBN-  you really couldn't see that sort of posterized design.  So, I didn't lie and told him he must have a steady hand.  It cost them $300 for a frame and they thought that was a bargain.  Then the wife started telling me about his eagle picture that he gave to a son, a flower for the daughter and on and on.  

I think I got so flummoxed that I got a frame I didn't love.  

Big news here is that I finally got to the studio for half the day.  Nothing changed, no elves, no gremlins. The AC worked, the lights went on, and I worked a couple of hours on the quilting on the Hurricane piece.  I don't love the job I'm doing but can't figure out how to make it easier.  Since it IS of a hurricane I am exempting myself from clean lines-  ruffled and shredded edges are OK.  'Cause I make the rules, right?  I'm somewhere between 3 and 4.

Time for the ART PART if you're inclined~

Adopting traditional decorative motifs found on Ming Dynasty ceramics, Chinese artist Lei Xue sculpted these humorous smashed aluminum cans that bridge the gap of some 600 years of art history. The pieces are part of an ongoing series titled Drinking Tea, and unlike the mechanical process of producing cans, each object is sculpted and painted by hand.   
 Compare and Contrast with Liz Crain's Rusty (ceramic!) cans, also hand painted.  I love the ones with the bullet holes!  She is not making them any longer, is searching for a new fascination so I am really glad I gabbed some of her other work last time I sold a quilt!

Have a weekend where you get some real beer cans collected!  I'll do my best

Thursday, April 27, 2017

countervail countrify countryman

“Artistically I am still a child with a whole life ahead of me to discover and create. I want something, but I won’t know what it is until I succeed in doing it.” (Alberto Giacometti)

Another day, another dollar, right?  Not if you're me.  I heard a small crash last night coming from Rat Territory (under the kitchen island) and was so happy-  a bit later I heard wood brushing against wood so I had visions of the trapped rat (as in 'trapped like a rat') dragging the trap along the floor trying to figure out what to do next.  I went to bed happy.  This morning I was up at 5 skipping around the kitchen thinking I had the 'all-clear' signal and heard a huge SNAP! I was surprised, but still happy (as in 'if the right one don't gotcha, the left one will')  and waited for the Rat Cather to give me his daily call.  I heard from him about 10, and he was on his way to grab our furry enemy and dispose of the evidence.  He pulled the dishwasher out and... NO RAT.  The traps hadn't been sprung, the bait wasn't disturbed.  We had again...been had.  

Well thanks Henry-  but I am still gonna get this rat no matter what you say~ thinly discussing your quote as about squirrels when we all know you mean RATS.

So, again I wait for that SNAP! and meanwhile I am going on with my so-called life which these days includes my SEVENTH load of laundry which I hope is the last of this batch.  I next have to wrestle the duvet back into it's cover, a task I hate to the moon but nobody else is here, or capable.  And that's Day 14 since I've been at the studio.  I may as well sell the place and go back to working in the bedroom.  NO!!!  I DIDN'T SAY THAT!!!

Molly is not herself today, hasn't eaten since yesterday's breakfast, and not even drinking water.  I am wetting her face and head every now and then since it's so hot out, dragging around s soft towel for her to plant herself on where she can see me.  It's so sad, her tail is down and she just stares at me when I give Pepper a treat.  Don't know what she got into, or what got into her, but I hope she snaps out of it.  I can't leave her alone and I have 100 things I need to do.

though truthfully there ain't any party around here today

Oh look!  I think this one is made from linoleum!

Working with recycled wood doors and paneling pulled from old houses, Belgian artist Stefaan De Croock aka Strook (previously) constructs both large and small-scale geometric portraits. Each piece is designed individually using multiple fragments of cut wood which he mixes and matches to form a sort of color palette. He also creates similar works on canvas.  (Go look at these-  way cool!)
Strook’s most recent piece was an enormous wooden assemblage for the Crystal Ship, a new art festival in Ostend, Belgium now in its second year. You can see more of his recent work on Instagram

Guess I'll go see what's on Netflix

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

cotton cottonmouth cottonseed

“I seem to be two people. One who does not paint and one who does. The one who does not paint assumes that the one who does can paint anything. The one who is the painter sometimes finds it difficult to live up to that faith.” (Mary Pratt)

Squirrel Underpants, thank yew Archie!

I have been so swamped with 24/7 duties for 2 weeks now that I haven't had time to even think, let alone blog.  First week was having the kiddos here and spending all my time hiding the fact that we have a rat still in residence.  Hard to do with the dishwasher in the middle of the room so the Rat Guy can come by and check his traps.  I did get caught by one of them, so the Rat Guy and I decided he would now be the dishwasher repairman.  Frankly I think the Rat ran out for the week once he understood all the noise and confusion because we had nary a bite the whole week.  Not a nip.  Not a snap of the 20 traps we have stuck under and around everything.  I am feeling more and more like those old women who sit in a lawn chair to keep the Hoarder Junk guys away from her house.  Imagine myself shaking my rake at them that they CANNOT have the rat traps they want to steal from me.

The good thing is the poor Hoarder is supplied with psychological help, I am not.  She has an exasperated family standing around wanting their childhood back the way it should have been before mom started crapping in plastic bags and saving them.  I know for sure my kids wouldn't stand around trying to be nice, wearing blue surgical gloves and Japanese face mask..

 I am NOT a Hoarder, I promise.  Granted I hold onto some things a bit too long but not things like chicken wire and tar paper.  I do have my collections but they are cleaned semi regularly and culled out a little bit less than they should be.

And now I have my new Warby Parker glasses that work so well!
OK, So kids were here for a week and we swam and cooked and swam and cooked and stayed up way too late.  I then took the plane back to Boston with them so I could have a day of downtime before the program at the museum.  I have to admit I was getting excited about it, and my long time friend Lisa asked to go with me to see the show.  (And stop at the Eileen Fisher outlet on the way).  So we got to Lowell and it was freezing cold and blowing like crazy-  got inside and there were lots of people milling about.  Finally we herded them into the room where we were to talk and I found Susan who had driven down from VT to see the show.  I was SO happy!  Then after we started talking the door in the back opened and a few later arrivals entered-  one wearing a coat I had made years ago out of the ties from Lisa's husband!  She was thrilled, Diane came in and pirouetted in the coat which I haven't seen in about 20 years, and I cracked up completely.  Diane was  in the first group I found when we moved to Jupiter 20 years ago, but in a short time she up and left for CT so I only see her rarely any more except on Facebook   Then there was a woman whose collages I loved when I met her because we in the same book-  she started making quilts, I started making collages!  there were all sorts of 'layers' of these people I used to know and I was having such a good time-  of course I don't have a clue what I said.  Then it was over.  Boo hoo.

We are taking a skeleton sample to the Quilters Connection guild show in early June, and there are a few other irons in the fire we are waiting to hear about so it ain't over 'till the fat lady sings!  I now will go back in June for that and hopefully see a few folks I didn't have time to see.
But one thing I DID do was head into Boston with my SIL to eat at Eataly.  Fabulous, I had such a good time wanting one of those hams to fall on my head!  I'm gonna get back there as part of the next feel-good trip!  In the condo, late at night, I got all the stainless switch plates installed, and the paint job looks wonderful.  Baby steps, next project will involve a new bed and couch so I'll order those to be delivered this summer.

Yakkedy yak.  Sorry, I arrived home to a screeching mess throughout the house-  all sheets and towels needed washing, windows are smeared with goo up about 30", dogs have been neglected, and the refrigerator is overflowing with mystery leftover boxes.

Whew, how 'bout an ARTY PARTY and then I will get out of here quickly to get back to work at the dryer folding stuff:

 Moscow-based embroidery artist Lisa Smirnova continues to stitch beautifully rich illustrations of people, capturing the subtle details of eyes, hair, and shadows, thread by thread. Smirnova brings an almost painterly quality to her embroideries that are each infused with bright splashes of color and occasional patchworks of materials.

Sent to me on the inter webs:
 Old age is not as bad as I thought. It's a good feeling when you just don't give a hoot anymore and you feel happy just to wake up in the morning.
And now we are again back to our regular programming!  

Saturday, April 15, 2017

ovenbird over countersunk

 “Great art must be a living thing or it is not art at all.” (Bill Reid,  1920-1998)

Kiss on one side, kiss kiss on the other side.  

Just noticed my stats have gone up a bit from a long slow period-  guess some of you don't have any Easter prep to do!  I've been dyeing eggs with a 3 year old-  he was great we got a dozen done without any patental help. Anyway, welcome back!  I'missed ya. 

Did I tell you I got my new glasses the other day, wore them home (after not having them on and hitting a wall while p-ulling into a parking space- see?  I DID need them) but TY hated them immediately.  Thankfully they weren't what I have been known to pay as I am not at the age where I buy green bananas any more, and he told me to get a second pair.  TWIST MY ARM!  I went to Warby Parker 'cause my daughter told me to and found 5 airs for them to send for try-on.  I LOVED one pair, liked two more pair, felt neutral on the fourth pair and the fifth pair was an immediate 'no' for being too small for my gigantic face.  So I started with the neutral pair-  he loved them.  Then I escalated to the two frames I really liked, he went so I saved the ones I loved for last and.. he hated them!  So, neutral it will be.  It happened that those are the ones my daughter liked best too but they are the same color as my hair, same color of my eyes-  like I said~~~ neutral.  They are on their way now.

Kids are here, the baby is delicious-  such a sweet natured little thing!  Mister is tearing the place apart, nothing he won't touch and rearrange for me.  I'm not one of those 'don't touch' grandmas-  generally it's OK to touch stuff but he doesn't quite get the concept the it's MY stuff, not his.  Yet.  Anyway, he is way cute and we are having fun with him and listening to his stories and 'deals' of trying to get just one more inch from all of us.  Yeah, it takes a village, but this kid might possibly need a whole city!  He is very funny, just what I need as my mind goes into overdrive from not being able to work in the studio.

I have my bag packed ready to head back to Beautiful Downtown WATERTOWN-  for the first time I am anxious to get there to see the new paint job contracted for from afar, but since we bought the condo on line I guess buying a paint job on line isn't a stretch.  TY sent off the key to the condo and I sent off my paint numbers and away he went.  The cool thing was that he took down my wall of pictures in the front hall, patched and painted the walls, and then replaced them all on new nails-  he sent me a text with a picture and it looks wonderful!  OK, it's gray, how wonderful is that?  Not much, but whatever I painted it is ready for a buyer just in case.  

The real reason I am headed back north is to be there for next weekend's Panel Discussion at the Quilt Museum.  Our show class the following week and I have't seen the whole thing hanging yet-  it was mostly done but the lighting hadn't been added so I want to get there early and poke around-  lots of work by the others I hadn't seen, as they haven't seen mine either. We need catch up time!  If you're in the neighborhood I'd love to see you stop by-  please find me if you do.  I've been planning my bit of the talk from inspiration I gathered from Spinal Tap last night.

I've started making the dog treats I found online the other day-  so simple- 4 ingredients if you get fancy!
1 c. whole wheat flour  
1 c. rolled oats
(or just use 2 cups of ww flour or any combo you want!)
4 oz. pkg of baby food (I go for anything that is in the store that is a bit of chicken or turkey
4 more oz baby food-  this time I add pumpkin or squash mixtures
(OR it could be 8 oz of 1 flavor if you want)
Mix it all up, drop by 1 Tbs chunks onto cookie sheet, bake 20-25 min at 350.
The dogs absolutely love them!

I am so tempted to go for the big quilting machine...  Anybody know how they hold up for resale? Anybody want to go in halves?  Anybody want to send me money?  Oh well.  I still want it.  Maybe I can sell of other stuff in the studio taking up my emotional space.
not the one I want, thank yew.

Ive added a few new collection for the ARTY PARTY-  hope they tickle your funny bones! Or something.  The point is that there is art wherever you look, it just may have to be rearranged in your head!  Here you go:

Oakland-based artist Gabriel Schama (previously) continues to produce intricate relief sculptures by layering pieces of laser-cut mahogany plywood. Some of his most impressive new works see mandala-like shapes contained within the silhouettes of people’s faces, a striking idea that imbues each portrait with an unusual sense of motion and personality. Other pieces seem to utilize religious iconography or patterns from nature like reptile scales or leaves. Schama is soon to release a new collection of work for sale and you can learn more via his website.