Wednesday, September 30, 2020
Pushing away from the status quo
please be counted in the census!
make sure you are registered to vote and have a voting plan in place!
Sarah's milkweed journey.
the first time I did this. Again, the temperance of age! Also, I have a LOT of other things to do (like process a billion milkweed pods), unlike my thesis semester when I cleared the decks of extraneous jobs and relationships to be in production from the end of January to the show opening in April. Even though plenty of friends I had then have fallen away, I am so thankful to the ones that are still here for me to this day.
Thursday, September 24, 2020
A lot of straw on this camel
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
great interview between Audie Cornish and Claudia Rankine. I was also horrified by stories about the abuse of women in woodworking as outlined in this article from a couple years ago. The idea that men would be so threatened by a woman doing carpentry alongside them that they would risk her life and actually break her back? Sigh. This weekend I was happy to take in a concert of all new music through Open Space Music, reminding me of a story that a friend told me about her colleague's recent experience trying to buy a book—
My [colleague B] was looking for Minor Feelings at the Strand bookstore, and she asked at the front desk where to find it. The person who was working said, you need to go downstairs and ask the person working downstairs because it’s really hard to find. There was an Asian woman who was also working at the register, and she said, oh, I know where it is, I’ll help you. It turns out that the book was almost impossible to find, stocked in a place where anybody hardly goes. B went up to the front desk and asked why the book was not displayed in the front along with other books that deal with racial equality and so forth. The man said, we only display books that were published recently. B then told him that the book was published in 2020 and they should have the book at the front. He was very defensive and started telling her all the reasons why they didn’t have the book out.I still don't know what to do with all of this hurt in my body about where we are right now. I know that the twin pandemics are causing my current state of being barely able to stay on top of my life, the weird dreams, the constant clang of things falling out of my head as my mind stops being able to grasp anything for longer than a millisecond. The answer used to be my work, but I can't even see it under the pile of teaching, fall applications, trying to schedule medical appts before year's end, and maintaining my basic life without getting pulled under. I feel desperately sad to miss my niece's transformation from newborn to babyhood and beyond, and miss my mom's cooking. I have to remember that the change of seasons is never smooth, and that the scampering now to see loved ones outdoors before it snows is a real necessity to keep me strong through the winter.
So as not to be 100% a downer, what's good? Watching someone online get really excited listening to a violin/cello duo. Witnessing a composer geeking out on music theory after explaining why it's important to give students a break this fall because they are already feeling so worn this semester. Realizing that I can identify more plants this year than I could in past years, so even if my relationships with people have deteriorated, my relationship with the organisms that keep all humans alive has strengthened. Having too many books to read, so time to crack another one open!
Wednesday, September 09, 2020
Holding space in the stuckness
philanthropy is set up to benefit the very rich, and get tired of walking in my neighborhood seeing all of the yard signs, I try to get away places with a lighter human touch. This is a golf course that has turned into a metro park, and I was amazed by how much it has changed in the last several years: soooo much more vegetation! You can still hear the constant noise of cars as the park is on the corner of two big main drags and very close to the highway, but wildlife is having its way.
goldenrod and aster combo, it's the same purple/yellow principle that attracts more pollinators. Though the actual people walking through this park were not as nice as ones I usually encounter in the street, it's good to have this option a mile away, as the big nature preserve I like to visit requires a longer drive. Right now, I am taking a massive procrastination break from my work, having gone through a couple big deadlines but still with a few more to go. I am attempting the one goal rule by Jessica Abel, and am learning about how much I squirm away from my work, every second I can.
The Long Thread was just what I needed to see and it includes people I admire, like Sarah Swett and Mary Hark.
Meanwhile, the hard work persists. I keep making changes to my syllabus, the readings, the whole framework of my class this semester in artists' books. I keep falling into old traps because I'm so well conditioned by different types of oppression that intersect in my body. I hope it's not like what I just learned from my lawn guy about why my backyard has died: grubs!! AGH. I wondered about the holes multiplying and the dead grass and so on. I wasn't vigilant, I wasn't informed. But now I am, so the repair begins.
Wednesday, September 02, 2020
How could I forget?
I meant to include this, but it actually deserves its own post: Pati has worked so hard to make an incredible video about hand printing that is so much more. All of her work makes mine so much easier, as she goes through the process of printing images without a press and how her mind works when approaching her printmaking and her artists' book making. It's very calm and soothing as well, and is packed with detailed technical info as well as her inspirations from books (real books, the ones you hold in your hands that have paper pages!).
Looking back when it gets unbearable
Claudine Latron in Lille, France. Her converted garage studio is where she makes paper, books, artwork, and moulds. She was generous, gentle, a font of knowledge and quiet energy that makes all of her work possible.
John Gerard's studio. An American who was wise enough to get out of this country many years ago, he makes paper, artists' books, and so much more—including running a papermaking supply business in the German countryside, picturesque and calm.
Peter Gentenaar and Pat Torley, who each make remarkable handmade paper artwork. He does the colorful sculptures like what you see here, and she has an amazing method of pulp painting that allows the most deliberate detail.
Serge Pirard. If only I had not been so careless and erased all my photos from England, I would show you those as well.
Pascal Jeanjean, a French papermaker working in Belgium. Aside from making impeccable handmade paper, he works hard on creating watermarks for his custom paper. This is a wax mould for one.
I had not edited my photos from this visit last year until...today!! I wish I had gone through these hundreds of photos immediately but each day I was so tired that I would just upload to my hard drive and go to bed (except that fateful night in England when I didn't, and then accidentally took other photos over them. Not sure I'll ever forgive myself for that mistake). This was a new camera, I hadn't practiced enough, and things are out of focus! This is what I get for not wanting to just use a phone camera. Oh well. But these mistakes are a little easier to live with now that time has passed and I marvel at the fact that I could travel so easily. I miss that.