Saturday, September 29, 2007

Current inspiration

From Federico Fellini's "La Dolce Vita;" costume design by Piero Gherardi. Still recovering from a bumpy bike ride with Chris. We walked towards the storm and rain clouds, and biked back, saying hello to the cows and horses. Joy arrives tomorrow!

Friday, September 28, 2007

All ends are burning

I finally caught on fire today. This was my brilliant idea of pressing long sheets. They slid to the bottom when I was setting up the tripod. But they survived.

I carved these out of potatoes. Good god, did I do that TODAY?? See? I can't even remember doing it today but I'm pretty sure I did. If I think really hard...I've lost all sense of time. It's a temporary alphabet for a very specific text. You'll see the answers tomorrow.

Jacklyn's snake got a hat courtesy of Chris. Isn't it swell? I did crazy amounts of potato stamping after making paper. Which I did after going to town. Where I got a few more things to start my fast this weekend.

I had to run after flyaway paper today. Belinda watched as I ran across the lot whenever I saw something that looked like paper in the distance. Tonight, I made keepsakes: a set of paper samples, personalized with names and icons I made for each resident. I'll give them out next week when we do a presentation to the community in downtown Sheridan. Props to Jami for telling me last year that giving has a lot to do with my artwork and process. I still don't get it, but whatever works, right?

And, Terttu posted one of the portraits she took of me and little sis!

Monday, September 24, 2007

My favorite recipe in the Jentel cookbook

[I am here until October 12 at Jentel Artist Residency Program, 132 Lower Piney Creek Road, Banner, WY 82832, USA.]

Friday, September 21, 2007

No rest for the papermaker

Yesterday was our weekly trip to town for groceries and other tasks. I barely made it back in one piece from dehydration, lack of sleep, and sun. Lynn took us back on the scenic route so that we could see the town of Wyarno, which has two houses, a bar, and a post office. It looked like a few houses on the side of the road. Apparently it had been for sale for a little over a million. We also saw Ucross and lots of stunning topography. I kept wondering what it was like way back when this entire area was underwater. Then I did no studio work whatsoever except my daily mail art. I tried to strip the sagebrush stalks but after losing a few layers of skin on my fingers, I gave up and just cooked it.

I had to stay up late to cook, and couldn't be away from the pot for very long. Once I was tired of that, I went upstairs to watch "Rebecca" with Joanna and Chris, which was a riot. Today, I tried cooking the sagebrush leaves but the smell was getting to Marianne, so I took it outside on the grill, which has a separate burner. Go, propane tank! It was pretty exciting to do all that stuff outside. It's more fun that way (and protects residents from noxious fumes).

The trip threw off my momentum and I've just been laying around reading a lot. I stayed at the house in the morning to do laundry, fiber rinsing & cooking, yoga, and realizing that I've been eating vanilla yogurt (I thought it was too sweet to be plain!). I got back into the studio today to make the leaf paper. I keep forgetting to plug another show I'm in that opened last Saturday in Amherst: I have three knit books in the Fiber + Book exhibit at the Fiber Art Center. I hear that it looks great!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

My first harvest in Wyoming

I harvested some sagebrush today! Chris and I hiked into the 1,000 Acres this afternoon and I clipped along the way. It's stunning, and I was grateful for her company. Otherwise, I wouldn't have gotten very far from fear. We talked a lot about the possible rattlesnakes that would strike and how we would do the sidestep dance to save ourselves. I'm modeling the glamorous orange vests we have to wear when we go out so that people can see us. We met some cows but they weren't interested in us. And that's a Jentel hat.

The studio smells amazing right now. I don't want to leave just to stay in the aroma. I stripped all the leaves off of the stalks and have to steam and strip the bast fiber next. I was afraid that there wouldn't be enough for me to harvest, but once we got well into the hills, there was SO MUCH out there. We also saw a big patch of cattails next to the first hill. I'm sorry I didn't bring my boots, but I definitely want to harvest some of that, too. I had just told Chris about how cattails had been in my path since Mexico, and then she pointed and said, "what's that??" Jackpot.

Thank goodness Chris is also well-versed in papermaking, and from plants. That helps a lot. I think I'll make one more batch of paper tonight to round out the one I made this morning. I did some ink drawings today and started to make postcards, which I taped up. I've sent something out now every day and hope to continue. But trying not to overwhelm myself with mail art this time around. In general, I'm taking it easy.

p.s. - here is a short video of the creek.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Courtesy of Rebecca: more botas!

[These are Jill's boots. I don't know how they survived all the rain and river and mud and so on. They are like her, seriously hardy.] I'm too far gone to do my own images so Rebecca's will ride me through until I get on the road. I am sitting in a food coma right now after a really good dinner at Angelica Kitchen w/Gili and Pauly. Oh, my. No blood is running to my brain after so much food. I am so happy they have that tangy basil dressing on the menu now. Yum. But it's quite hard to do anything except lay down or roll around in this state.

[These are Gaelyn's boots. She was in my dreams last week and was our resident anthropologist.] I tried really hard to do Fulbright essay revisions today at a coffeeshop, but all I could do was fall asleep on my computer. So I gave up and instead ran errands. And I spent a looong time looking for all my toiletries for my trip. Somehow, I thought that all I had to get was lip balm. But then I remembered about shampoo, and toothpaste, and other fun things like Emergen-C (so much more pleasant to drink vitamin C rather than take the capsules). I wanted to get a million more things, but had to restrain myself. If I can, I might try to get a stainless steel pot and meat tenderizers tomorrow, but that is not as glamorous or fun. Though it IS for papermaking, which can be fun.

[This is my favorite image: the roof tiles.] Gili told me that Duane Reade carries the goat milk lotion that I like best, so we searched two but they only carry the gross scented version. So I'll have to order the unscented kind and have it sent to the residency. Tomorrow I pick up stamps so I can mail lovely things to my lovelies. And if you want to mail anything fun to me, I will be here from Sept 15 to October 12:

Jentel Artist Residency Program
132 Lower Piney Creek Road
Banner, WY 82832

The goals for my last day: stop thinking/stressing/spinning over Fulbright entirely b/c clearly I need some time away from it. I'm choking under my own pressure. And pack generously! So that I have everything I need to stay warm.