Monday, March 30, 2009

A Dispatch From the Garden of Entropy

Today is the drop-off day for the big "River" show at the WAAM so "Muhheakannuk" has been framed and is on her way. There is also the submission for the "Small Works" show downstairs in the Founders Gallery. I had decided to not enter some of the fluffier pieces I have been doing recently and get back into the darker territory I began to explore in my "A Child's Garden of Entropy" series. Its much closer to the bone and ultimately more satisfying. It is not, however, remunerative. Not many people want to buy pieces about child abuse, but there you are. Somehow I don't see a bunch of Chinese artists cranking out oil paintings sized to fit over a sofa, on that subject...

I, of course waited to photograph it until I had installed the glass- sorry for the myriad reflections. But since it probably won't sell, will be able to remove the glass when it comes back and shoot it properly- or as properly as I can. It is in an old box I found, the figures are in my button/doll style and the leaves are lovely dried magnolia leaves- I have commented on them earlier. These I gathered at my summer job at the nursery. The title is : "The Garden of Entropy: The Stain." I won't exhort you to like it or enjoy it.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

More Sheep & Goats

Well, the auction was today and I saw several people loading my excess furniture into their cars. I blessed them and wished them well. The furniture served me well and I hope the new owners soon have as many pleasant memories attached to the pieces.

I also called the president of the local quilters' guild and arranged to give them 6 bins of fabric that I had amassed over the years but never used up. That was what I was sorting yesterday. I am keeping 2 bins worth, offering some yardage to friends who might be able to use the fabric and giving away the rest. The quilter's group makes lap robes for local hospitals and nursing homes so I know the fabric will be of use and hopefully bring some delight to someone with the beautiful patterns and colors.

I also spent part of the day painting over the rather lurid crimson the former tenant in this apartment had painted the largest room. In combination with the grey industrial carpet and the dark wood trim it managed to look both overly suggestive and wildly inappropriate (and sloppy too). Right now the walls are white. I plan to paint a mural on them. Since I no longer have a garden or a view of mountains and trees, that is what I shall stencil, print and paint- all with a rather Bloomsbury/Bawden/me twist. I'll keep you posted.

Well, back to my other work that is giving me reproachful looks from the worktable...

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Surprisingly Un-Difficult

This evening I got together with an acquaintance who has a high-end salvage company and who does auctions every once in a while. The business also happens to be next door to where I live now. We met up at my storage unit and he took much of the remaining furniture on consignment for the next auction. I got to the unit early to finally go through some boxes and sort the contents, a task that should have been done before they were stored but time was of the essence.
The sheep and the goats have been separated, one group of reorganized boxes stays with me, the other goes on to ... well, I don't know where yet but I hope not to the dump. As to which are the sheep and which are the goats? Does it matter?
I did take a few moments to listen to the spring peepers and I felt a sharp stab of nostalgia. I used to cherish those first songs of spring and where I am now is far away from such delight.
But beyond that, I was surprised at how unemotional I was at the decision to let go of the furniture. Pieces that had been part of my former home. I feared that I might be pushing myself into a slough of despond but I was clear headed and optimistic. And for that I am very very grateful.
Who knows what my future will be? Is there a home again in the country for me? A cozy fireplace? Spring peepers? A garden? I don't know and for today, where I am and what I have is enough.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

More Birds of Ulster County

I am in the position to not have time to do my art work, my "A"job, because my "B" jobs are piling up and filling my time. I truly am grateful for the income and realize I need to adjust the way I apportion my time away from these jobs- if I do not do my art, the internal pressure builds to a point where it becomes almost intolerable. I used to make detailed plans for my days and I see the necessity for doing so again. Ah well, for the while its either (relative)feast or famine... when I am not earning, I do not have the desire to create. Still trying to make it to that sweetest place where my creative work is bringing in the income and the income is taking the pressure off of me so that I feel secure and free to create. A bricoleur can dream can't she?

Anyway, here are the next 2 in the series "The Birds of Ulster County"-- "Cardinal" and "Owl"

birds of ulster county: cardinal birds of ulster county: owl

Saturday, March 14, 2009


I was sitting in the local Panera this afternoon having some lunch (tomato soup, tomato/mozarella panini, iced tea) when I became utterly fascinated with the back of the head of a baby that was perched in a high chair a few feet from me. This child was slender and way its large, almost perfectly round head was perched on its tiny little neck- and especially the indentation formed between the tendons at the meeting point transfixed me. The little seashell-like ears jutting out on either side completed the composition.
The whole picture was just utterly delicious.

Was I filled with longing to have one such creature of my own? No. I was content to enjoy the sight and let it pass when the parents finished their meal and left. Even if I had such a longing, my biological alarm clock has long since rung and been flung against the wall, smashing into smithereens. No, my appreciation of that tender sight was just that- an appreciation without covetousness, for which I am grateful.

May I be open to more such happenstances, more tiny everyday miracles.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Curse For Our Times

Although I strive for kindness in all things, I do make pre-emptive moves to protect my works. But in the cyber world such protections as copyright registration seem to carry little weight. A friend sent me a link to a Wiki article about "book curses," used in long-ago times when each book was hand-made and was considered a precious object in and of itself- not just for the knowledge it contained (precious enough on its own merit.) These curses were written into the books by the scribes and called down the wrath of God upon book thieves and even book "borrowers" who neglect to return the volume.
Perhaps it is time to update the "book curse." So, here is a modern version:

"For him that stealeth this image from its owner, let it change into a serpent in his hand and rend him. Let him be struck with palsy, and all his members blasted. Let him languish in pain crying out for mercy, & let there be no surcease to his agony till he sing in dissolution. Let computerworms gnaw his entrails ... when at last he goeth to his final punishment, let the flames of Hell consume him forever."

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Out of Touch

Oh the perils of dependence on electronic communications... my computer died about 10 days ago and I was without web-based communications for a week... I was in the process of switching ISPs at the same time so my email had no home from which to retrieve it. Worst of all I couldn't indulge in one of my favorite diversions- Civilization. (Yeah, I know- ) Anyway, it was a real lesson to me about how much time I fritter away being diverted and maybe I should be making art instead or having a social life. Especially since I now have another "B" job (my art being my "A" job) and will in a month or so have a third "B" job at the nursery- and hopefully more web design jobs sprinkled in here and there. Teaching goes until May- for a month or so I will be extremely busy. I vaguely remember being very busy, it was tiring but good...
Anyway, I have a nice second-hand machine now and it is running like a top. I had a few beloved programs on the old machine that were lost in the crash and burn of the hard-drive (do I hear a chorus of "you did back things up didn't you?" in the background. Only a few things, but fortunately Gerry Brady at MacDiagnostics saved my sorry butt.) Especially Notetaker from Aquaminds. They and the other apps' developers very kindly sent me my original registration/license codes so I could get new copies. I would really miss my journals in the form of old-fashioned spiral-bound notebooks. I have a real nostalgia for them and I love the concept of a cyber version of the oaktag and wire notebooks.
So, I am back on the web. I still have some problems with sending email but I am working on those.
Oh- I have a few minutes- I can get on with building the Great Library and eventually dominating the entire world...

PS- Here is the piece currently on display at the WAAM's Small Works Show: ( I also have a piece in the upstairs show but I neglected to photograph it...)

"The Birds of Ulster County: Raven"