My weekends are anchored by little league basketball. Both of my grandsons, ages 3 and 5, are playing. Before it turned cold (although today it was 61 and sunny, reasons for it be damn, ya know I wasn't complaining!), I was taking the 5 year old to his bus stop in the mornings and after his bus arrived, I would keep on going (most days) to the studio.
I took much of December off and January's days were filled with more Nana duties in the day and evenings with the other 2 grand-delights. As much as I love them, there is a very good reason for menopause...50something year old women should NOT have day in and night in care of small children. But we now have daycare!!!!!!!! (and the crowd goes wild!!!!!!!!!!). So now Nana and Papa just have the evenings with them. Ahhhh, much better.
Last Friday was an art reception for Hope and Healing. Twenty-one artists donated work to a non-profit that serves women, men, and children who are victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. I sent Urban Exodus (formerly Urban Egression) on "permanent loan". (excuse the bad photography, it's the camera's fault ;D )
Carter and Anaya and my Mother went with me. I could not have had two toddlers in tow without my Mama's help!!! Here is Anaya saying "look look". This is the only quilt she responded to...It is a Penny Sisto quilt.
Carter was going through the exhibit saying "wow, wow, wow". It was mostly abstract work that he liked...the few he said he didn't like were realism in landscapes. Here are snapshots of the two that "wowed" Carter the most.
I'll be returning to some semblance of what passes for normal at the Studio. I was there today for 6 hours...5 of which I hand embroidered 8 of the boats for a total of 13 completed...only 164 more to go. I have to mentioned a breakthrough I had while stitching (Obama is going to beat the pants off of ANY republican candidate! okay, politics aside). My breakthrough was this...I had been isolating embroidery thread colour within colour segments on the boats...and then I thought, why not use the thread across colour segments...use the thread to bridge the segments...here is my breakthrough in a picture:
Seeing one's work hang and in place is just as much a part of the creative process as making the work. Two thoughts, my small and medium sized pieces definitely could use better support when hanging. Because of the size I thought having a bottom sleeve for a slat would be overkill; and I desperately need better lighting in the studio!
Red and Cilium are unevenly shaped pieced as intended...but the others, I'd like to see hang flatter. Not sure if I could have pressed them better after being stored or what...
November will be the last month of regular and weekly time in the studio...from December till March/April will be hit and miss. About 1-2 days a week, maybe 3 some weeks. Hibernation is my vibe til Spring. I don't like it but it is a reality of the season that I have to contend with.
Around noon today, my brain finally kicked in and I was able to paint these 5"x7" canvases and mount the last of the Urban Egression postcards. The exhibit at Iroquois branch library will not go up until after 5 tomorrow. These will be included.
This studio is located just inside the courtyard corridor. It was recently vacated by a business that did something with the Derby events planning. Myself and 9 other artists went in to occupy (ummm, interesting choice of words) the space during trolley hop yesterday. If its not rented we plan to do another 1 day rental for the Friday after Thanksgiving. The location is much better for foot traffic and we entertained visitors with art, cookies and hot apple cider. It was fun watching what people gravitated toward since the art is an eclectic mix.
(click to enlarge)
Its been a busy exciting and overwhelming week so far. I'm still riding on cloud nine from hearing one of the best journalist of our time...Amy Goodman!
She was here for the annual ACLU fund-raising dinner and my daughter said Al Sharpton spoke at St. Stephen Church on Sunday...and Julia Butterfly Hill was here yesterday at Bellarmine University. When I first heard a radio story on Hill when she was still up in Luna, the tree, I was on my way to work and had to pull over to the side of the road because the story, the dedication and the sacrifice, moved me to ball like a baby. The other time a radio story had this effect on me was listening to Regina Carter cuts from her cd Paganini: After the Dream. I didn't hear Sharpton or Hill but the fact all 3 dynamos where in the city so close together, puts some jazzy joy in my heart.
I'm going to hang 3 pieces (Cilium 2, Crowbonics: The Scroll, Crowbonics: The Prayer) in a pop-up group exhibit on Friday for trolley hop and then for the month of November I'll have about 8-10 pieces at the Iroquois branch library. This coincides with the release of poet Makalani Bandele's debut publication, Hellfightin' (Mud Man, my brother, did the cover). Bandele will be doing a reading at the branch and myself and one other artist will be present to talk about our art forms afterwards. I don't know the details really, so I'm rolling with the flow for the most part.
Wishing you peace and joy, beloved...
I let go of the November 7th deadline...it is an annual show and there is always next year...too much had to be done for a new piece to be completed. However, behind that decision, I pulled out most of my smaller works that I have left and will loan them to the Iroquois Branch Library to hang for the month of November along with some of my cloth. I have to put sleeves on some, others will go into frames...I also will be in a pop-up show next Friday along with my neighbors at Mellwood. The pop-up show will be in one of the vacant studios just off the courtyard where a live band will be playing so we're aiming for more visibility.
Below is the 1st piece I was attempting to complete before November 7. This one is done with dye paint...I applied wax over the boats yesterday and scrapped both sides with a mixture of jet black, turquoise, and navy. I have another one that is done with fabric paints which will be the main piece. This one I'll complete for practice and preparation for the other one.
the fabric on the right was using up the last of the dye and print paste...it is stamped with crookedly cut potatoes.
and inspite of me cleaning off the surfaces of my desks earlier in the week, this is how they look now, just a few days later...
and thanks to Paradise Videos for filming and EDITING the short clip of me talking about what I do!
I slept like a rock...heavy and unmoving. In spite of that I still woke on as if on cue, like I do every morning, at 6:30. My arms feel like they weigh a gazzilion pounds and the muscles are inflammed. Still, I wouldn't take yesterday back for anything and I'm still going to forge ahead (although much slower) and head to the gym. I'm up to 20 minutes on the treadmill and get in over half a mile and burn about 100 calories. On three upper body weight machines I'm still doing 1 set of 12 reps. I'm going to add lower body weight machines next week.
Some months ago the thought of "what if I'm physically unable to create like I want to?" "what if I had to give it up?" I tried to give this slow, serious thought but answers were not solid. It was before leaving for Ohio that I decided I would join the gym with Mo, my daughter, after I returned with the goal of improving my strength and stamina. My main motivation was to never have to answer these questions beyond pondering and refocus to turn them around (and I hear Al Sharpton's voice in my head saying "ride this art thing on out, ride it to the very end"...I know, I know...but whatever floats my boat)
Yesterday I started placing free hand cut pieces of contact paper on this...
The plan for this is to block out and go over with dye paint, etc. and then do in again. I want this piece of fabric to take on an archaeological feel to...as if the writing appears embedded in a wall of rock. My plan for today is to finish cutting out slivers of contact paper.
Also, today, Negotiating Territory or Cilium, will hang in a group exhibit in the Pigment Gallery at Mellwood. I'm not sure which she'll select. The Pigment Gallery is reserved for tenant artists but also shows non-tenant artists. This exhibit is a combination and will be up for about a month.
Another bump on the road is losing The Basement Workshop, my sewing space. My mother is moving into a senior living apartment in about a month. My options are either placing my stuff in storage or either we move into a larger space...but in looking, the prices of rental property has increased very significantly in light of the decline in home ownership. The apartments we are in have increased by 30% for new tenants. And housing for rent, pffff, a suitable house, forget about it! Creating visual art requires space and I'm not doing the type of work that can be made all in the corner of a bedroom. I'm not at a panic stage yet as I'm believing that "something" will work out.