Monday, October 18, 2021

Mostly blue and gold

I don't know if I've ever felt so discombobulated in the fall, as usually it feels more grounding than this time around. A couple weekends back I decided to visit the museum to reconnect to things outside of myself and my regular concerns.
The Korean gallery had a wonderful rotation focused on gold. The centerpiece was this Translated Vase by Yee Sookyung. These are ceramic fragments gathered from other studios and connected, with 24-karat gold leaf to fill the cracks (an old tradition).
It's different from every angle, and I was so happy to see this work temporarily installed.
In the Chinese galleries is a wonderful show on rubbings. They had images of people preparing paper for large ones, which is very instructive, and the center case was full of the tools and materials necessary for the process.
I keep forgetting to tell my students to visit this show but in a way I wonder why I would bother because they never go above and beyond what is assigned.
Was so excited as well to see the Flower Garland Sutra (Avatamsaka Sutra No. 78). This is from the Goryeo period and this version dated to the 1200s–1300s.
So much work in the papermaking, indigo dyeing, and calligraphy.
300–100 BCE painted clamshells from China. I will never not love paintings and drawings into bone, shell, and any other number of portable canvases that nature provides in spades.
475–221 BCE lacquered wood from China, cranes and serpents that potentially were made to hang a drum in the central gap. I have to get started on a major new bird and feel a little nervous that I haven't even chosen cords to begin.
After the museum, I headed to the hospital to see a lovely cyanotype show featuring lots of friends and colleagues. Lisa Schonberg did this one and is one of the most prolific printers that I've met in town. She works tirelessly and is a great teacher as well. I covered one of her printmaking classes when I first moved here and was amazed by the studio she had set up in a space not originally built for printing.
My images are weird only because I was taking them partly to show the track hanging system to someone else. But these are by Paula Zinsmeister, a friend who also makes a ton of work given that she has a regular job. She always works with plants and natural elements in her signature way and has always been a generous resource for me. I think she took my very first hanji class, ever!
Steven Mastroianni works at CIA and has helped me check out tons of stuff all the time for teaching, so nice about it. Also a CIA alum, he was trained in photography and built a whole greenhouse in his backyard to make cyanotypes (and grow plants, of course). I loved the scale of these and the different effects he used for his imagery.
This is another one of his pieces and overall the whole show is a fun and soothing combination. I enjoyed seeing all of the different takes on cyanotypes by a wide range of artists, but mostly was glad that I've only EVER been to that hospital to look at art, not for medical care.
On the studio front, the glass door next to the space (still part of the building I'm in) was shattered by a city mishap and it took months for the glass to arrive because of supply chain blahblah. Glad that is taken care of and relieved it wasn't on my side but a reminder of why I would never have chosen full glass exterior doors if it was up to me.
On the home front, the new tree lawn trees were delivered today. I was shocked several weeks ago when the stump grinder was hauled in to tear up the tree lawn and remove the giant silver maple stump that had been there for at least two years.
I checked the tag after the guys left and it's a frontier elm. I was surprised any elms could go in at all but it looks like this one is fairly resistant to Dutch elm disease. It looks exactly like a bad art installation right now, just hanging out on an angle with its future stake and protector on the ground where I hadn't watered the grass seed at all.
The unseasonably warm weather finally snapped into fall so today I popped off some more marigold heads. For the studio, I think I want to plant a zillion marigolds—for dye, but also for tea. I saw so much marigold tea in Korea and had plenty as well, since they say it's good for your eyes. Pam had asked for pomegranate peels recently so I gave her a bunch of mine that I had dried and saved from at least a year ago, if not more. She returned with more fruit, so I have been eating seeds and peeling fruit for days. It's like storing future gold and sunshine for when I'll really need it.