Art. Think Art.

August 3, 2015

So. Yeah. Didn’t get much done yesterday. After cooking dinner for the whole family, I came home and girlchild had a meltdown about going to school (she doesn’t want to go any more.), then I had almost zero energy for anything. I sat a lot. I didn’t even cut stuff out while sitting. Yesterday was a fail on the art completion game. Today may be more of the same. Stupid teeth needing to be cleaned by that woman who will never shut up. Ugh. And then hours of shopping with girlchild to get stuff for school (where she doesn’t want to go). She really is different than the boychild…has a list of stuff packed to ship, a list of stuff she needs, and a list of stuff to put in suitcases. Plus a list of stuff to get when she arrives. It’s all silly stuff like nail scissors. She just uses mine. She can’t take mine though, so she needs her own pair. Her roommates are texting back and forth about buying a mirror (they are all traveling to school). So yeah. I understand why she’s freaked out, and I expected it…but when she says she doesn’t want to leave but she does want to be independent. Oh sigh. Yeah. I know baby girl. I know.

I really really really want to be done with the ironing. The pile in the box still needs to be cut out…

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The empty boxes are covering the loose pieces so a cat doesn’t sit on them, although the two I have now are not really bad about that. Midnight sits on the other table and Kitten sits on the chair.

I did cut out a lot of grays last night…in fact, most of this piece is grays, city grays, road grays, sidewalk grays, smokestack grays. Gray.

Here’s a different view of some of the fabrics…I didn’t clean up last night after ironing…

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I think I only ironed for about an hour and a half. I didn’t even start until almost 11. I think I did some earlier in the day, but not much (I did). I’m 21 hours in. Based on my estimates, I could finish in a couple of hours. I do actually think that’s true.

I cut out nothing yesterday…

Here’s what’s cut out so far…

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That’s 7 1/2 hours’ worth of cutting. No seriously. It is. Sad but true.

School is starting soon. It always feels like it’s looming over me this time of year, even though officially I have Two Full Weeks (that’s nothing…it really is nothing). It’s because the team communication starts (OK, this summer, it never stopped) and we start meeting and doing professional development. Plus we start worrying about lessons and syllabi and all that crap. PAPER! Or how to get it all online instead. Tomorrow, I will be migrating my old school website to my new one. I think. Or they will do that and I will fix what they fucked up? It’s hard to say. Plus there’s an issue with everything being on Google…I hate that I have to sign out of one Google account completely to sign into another one. Why can’t I keep my home Google account and my school Google account open at the same time on one computer? I think that’s idiotic. I should be able to have two tabs open to do that, and not have to keep two browsers open (which is what I do at school when I need to be on two systems at once). Because my school is NOW (after one year? Two? on Outlook?) switching over completely to Google, which is fine, but then they kept the old school email but used the Google password (we had a different Google email last year). SIGH. Much confusion to all my saved passwords etc. on all four devices. Five. (One I don’t use that’s in a locked cabinet at school. OK. Sometimes I use it at school when I’m desperate.)

Art. Think art. School can wait (until tomorrow at 8 AM when I have to be at a training).

Running Out of Flesh…

August 2, 2015

Yesterday was weird. I had a bad dizzy reaction to restarting my diabetes meds for some reason…I had to stop them because they interacted badly with the contrast they used in my fibroid procedure. I was also still really tired…it’s hard to listen to my body when it’s projecting all this exhaustion noise, because normally I don’t listen to it, and the difference is now that I’m still recovering (enough already. I’m ready to be well.).

I wasn’t in the mood for food though, and even less in the mood to waste time eating it. There are so many times when food has been an issue for me that I honestly wish I could just swallow a nutrition supplement once a day and it would take care of that, so I don’t have to stop making art to forage for something I don’t really want to eat (right now, I’m eating a bowl of cherries. No really. I am. Life is not like a bowl of cherries, by the way. Not at all.).

And the house is a disaster area. I keep trying to clean up and throw away and organize, and I think I should just set fire to the place and run. Seriously, all those organizing/tidying specialists? I don’t think any of them are artists. I’m sure there minimalist artists out there (and I don’t mean artists who make minimalist art, but artists who only have JUST the materials they need to make art and nothing more, not an extra piece of paper or pen or eraser. Just Enough. OK, I don’t really believe that.), but I’m a collector, a stash-builder, a semi-hoarder. I’ve gotten rid of tons of art materials over the years…in fact, I read some blog post about that where she listed 10 things you should do to help minimize the stash, but I’d Already Done Them. I chalk that up to being 10-15 years older than her, but whatever. I think I’m up for another round. Actually the next art project I’m doing is collaborative, and I don’t plan to buy anything but muslin and some sort of batting/stiffener for it. I’m going to use all my own fabrics. Think string quilt in human shape. I can DO this! We’ll see how that works. I’m thinking cacophony of color…my collaborators may not.

Anyway, yesterday, after helping the kids buy school textbooks (OK, boychild didn’t need any help; he’s on round 3 and pretty smart about it), which really meant standing around with credit card in hand (boychild is buying his own this year), I was finally allowed to iron stuff, so I went for the fleshy bits on the second figure…

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Unfortunately, just like with the other figure, I had numbered all the bits and pieces on and touching the figure at the same time, so I had to sort through pieces 1121-1750 or so to find all of them.

Here’s all the stuff that still needs to be picked out: heart, lungs, piping, roads, electrical thingies (there’s a word for those, dammit…transmission towers)…

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and buildings on the bottom, plus some cars and nuclear power plants.

I didn’t have enough of the fabric I picked for the lightest in the flesh range…

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In fact, after I cut those out, this is all I had left…

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Yes. I should throw those out. I know. I did find another similar fabric for the rest of the pieces that needed to be lightest, so I got all the flesh ironed yesterday…I’m at 19 hours. There was another color where I almost ran out as well. Still not close to done…closer…but no light at the end of the tunnel yet.

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I also cut some stuff out after my dizzy spell…I’m glad I’ve gotten to the point where I have stuff I can do while sitting (or semi-reclining)…

Kitten is in here with me. Yes. That’s an open window. I’m totally paranoid now and when I leave the house, I shut way more windows than I used to. And that’s the slope where I thought I heard her Thursday night as well.

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In the process of trying to clear stuff out of here, Kitten benefits from boychild’s administration of a scratching tool…

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I should take that to school and scare unsuspecting 12-year-olds with it, shouldn’t I. Yup.

So the shopping is done and I have about an hour and a half before I have to start packing up for my parents’ house. I’m hoping girlchild is on her way home from soccer…oops, just got the text. Nope. They won. She’s got finals. If I were feeling better, I would have attempted going to this tournament, but the thought of lugging a chair any distance and sitting in the sun for hours is exhausting.

Gonna iron…hopefully…if not, I’ll cut stuff out. It’s all getting stuff done I guess. Running out of time, of flesh, of pieces? Hopefully by the time I go to bed tonight, it will be the latter…because the first is definitely true.

Back to (Semi) Normal

August 1, 2015

So yesterday was mostly normal. I finally ironed and cut stuff out the way I should have been all week, interrupted by many sessions of Kitten petting and loving. She’s not a lap cat or a cat that likes to be held much, but she did follow me all over the house, even asking to be on my chair with me (which yes, means I perch on the edge while she takes up the rest). She disappeared at about 7 AM this morning when I was letting the Incredible Peeing Dog back in, but girlchild found her (yes, I panicked. Even though every window was closed). She was in the hanging sweater container I use for smaller older quilts. It’s in the closet…perfect size for a small cat.

I’m so glad she’s back. It’s amazing how much emotion we have tied up in these little creatures who are only around for 10-20 years (or in Babygirl’s case, only 2 1/2). Kitten’s 6th birthday is next Friday. She’s supposed to be with me for the next 7-10 years. I hope she knows that.

Yes, I am a crazy old cat lady. But as everyone starts warning me about empty nest syndrome and I start thinking about how to fill all that time with some social stuff, so I don’t go hermit crazy (I’m an introvert, yes, but I still need human interaction beyond my 175 12-year-old students), I realize that I do come home and talk to the animals and they help when I’m sitting there on the couch, cutting out a trillion tiny pieces of fabric. It’s the difference between alone and not.

I picked fabrics for a little over 4 hours yesterday…including these feather shafts that I wanted to shade from one color to another…

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I finished the larger of the two figures and the bird above her. I’m ready to start the smaller figure. I wanted to be done with ironing today, but I’ve gotten through about piece 1120, so there are at least 700 to go. I don’t have 7 hours today, so probably tomorrow. I have 16 hours in so far…and I guessed about 21. Think it will be closer to 23. Maybe not. There are more Things That Are Alike in the second figure. The first figure had all these tiny animals and plants that needed to be picked out separately. That shit takes time…and sometimes research. What color are a bee’s legs anyway? You’d be surprised.

I was tired yesterday. Didn’t sleep well enough the night before, plus I’m still recovering, and Thursday’s drive all over San Diego County plus tons of walking and stress basically kicked my ass. I took a nap yesterday and when I was too tired to stand, I would go sit on the couch and cut pieces out.

I did about 2 1/2 hours of cutting stuff out yesterday…

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The cut-out pile is on the left…after 6 hours total, it still looks awfully small. The bin on the right is the stuff that still needs to be cut out. You’ll notice that swirly flesh color has been in there for like the last three posts, mostly because I never get DOWN that far. So I’m ironing faster than I’m cutting. That’s OK. I’ll get to the flesh eventually, probably early next week.

August 5 is looming as a deadline (for something?!) because I know I’ll probably be starting work on a new major project with a September 12 (well, that’s the opening, so earlier) deadline, and that whole school-starting thang is popping up as well, and then there’s the two kids I need to get to college. One needs jeans and the other needs Everything in the World. Or is that just what is piled up in my living room? Hard to say.

I have made zero attempts to clean up the house this summer. There is no point until they both leave. Actually, the boychild does clean up after himself.

Here’s all the fabrics I’ve used so far…

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As I’m going through, I do try to pull from what’s already there to tie everything together, so although now I’m working on the city girl, some of those reds and whites and grays and yellows will show up in her as well. I will need more gray though. And I haven’t made a flesh decision yet, but will be doing that probably in the next 20 minutes or so, because the next stuff I pick is her feet.

So there we are. The panicked end-of-summer creativity surge of an artist who teaches science to pay the bills. I’ve mostly ignored school all summer (that is such a load of crap…there have been at least 200 texts about school and a host of emails, plus I did a bit of Google Classroom), and that will have to stop. Damn job. Why are you messing with my ART??? Yeah, OK. Whatever. Seriously though. It’s August 1, and this is the first day I allow myself to consider school schedules and lesson plans and copies to the print shop. My team lost its history teacher (again!), so the three that are left are meeting Tuesday after my first professional development of the year. Next week is an appointment clusterfuck. All the teeth-cleaning, boob-squeezing, meaningless followup with an OB/GYN I’ve never met because I had the procedure done and my insurance has their crazy followup needs (I’ve already seen my primary care doc…so this really is pointless)…all of that is this coming week. I seriously have no day without at least one appointment on it, most with two or more.

Remind me to take up meditation again. Right now, I’m doing the best kind of meditation…fabric picking. Makes me smile.

Kitten: Lost and Found

July 31, 2015

Yeah. I know. It’s early for me (except in about two weeks, this will be normal again…ugh). It’s been a rough 24 hours. So many of us who create have pets, furry beasts who stand on our stuff, headbutt our hands as we’re drawing that crucial line, creatures who mess up or throw up on or eat what we’re working on. I’ve always had cats and dogs in some combination or another, although at the moment, very few of them are actually MINE. I still take care of them though. My current household contains the fewest furry beasts it has since…shit…early marriage? Two cats: Midnight (who is my daughter’s notionally) and Kitten (who is most certainly mine). One dog half time: Calli (most definitely my daughter’s). When girlchild goes to college, the thought is that Calli will have a change in living situation, certainly not trading houses every other day like she does now, but we haven’t determined what that situation will be. There are factors like her undying wiggly love for the man who sticks his fingers in her ears (that is NOT me) and who will be home the most (that IS me). I mean, Calli loves me…but she doesn’t OMG LOVE me. Which is fine.

Anyway, the point of all this is that sometime between 3:30 AM Thursday morning and about 6 AM that same morning, Kitten escaped. She was devious about it, using her claws to pull a screen corner out of the frame, not ripping it, but pulling the spline out of the groove. So even though she didn’t wake me up by headbutting my boob and face and hurdling me 1700 times while meowing, I figured she was asleep in a closet somewhere. She does that sometimes. We didn’t think she could have gotten out of the house. There were only two windows open, and because of how she pulled the screen, we didn’t notice it until 11 AM. At that point, all three of us had searched the house, opening cupboards (she’s gotten stuck in those before).

I took this the night before…

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She was sitting so happily while I cut stuff out and Midnight was happily next to me on the couch and I thought, you know, even though both my kids are going far away to college and I’m going to be terribly horribly alone on the human front for the next four months (which alternately sounds wondrous and horrifying), at least I have these two sweet cats and some of the dog and that will do.

So when we couldn’t find her outside either, realizing that the last time she got out, I found her cowering on the deck, frozen like a bunny in the lights, we all pretty much panicked. She doesn’t come to anyone except me, and that…well, not all the time. We knocked on neighbors’ doors, put a Craigslist notice up, made fliers, posted them all over, then went to every vet and shelter and one pet store. Because the little beast won’t wear a collar, and when we got her, microchipping was bloody expensive. Now it’s incredibly cheap. So if someone found her or brought her injured to the vet (or just to the vet because she was lost), no one would know who she was. We cancelled all the appointments we had yesterday and did random walkarounds, but mostly sat around depressed, because what can you do but wait? She’s a hider.

At night, the kids went to their dad’s and a friend came over and helped me look again. No sign. I finally tried to iron at about 9 PM after getting absolutely nothing done all day. The night before, I managed a bunch of trimming, because I was too tired to stand any more (the doctor’s visit kicked my ass…driving plus stairs plus giving blood. Crazy shit). But all this is cut out…

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That’s about three hours’ worth I did there. Doesn’t look like much, but there’s about 60 black triangles for the damn snake.

Here’s what was left to cut out after all those hours…

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I have Netflix on while I iron, but I heard noises on the slope behind the house and so I paused it and started to chirp for Kitten, thinking it was probably a skunk or coyote or raccoon. But she answered. Or I thought she did. I grabbed shoes and a flashlight and ran out there and called her and walked around through all the spiderwebs, but no more mews. I figured I imagined it…we have hawks and owls that can sound like cats and god knows what else was out there with me. Or she was in a tree or hurt or trapped or hiding or I didn’t know what. So I came back in and ironed some more, and there’s more noise outside, and I chirp again, and dammit if she doesn’t meow again (or so I thought, because I really did go to bed thinking I’d hallucinated the whole damn thing). I was out there and all around the yard, the house (I have over half an acre of mostly wild untamed jungle), flashlight, I swear every spiderweb wrapped around my body, and I can’t find her. Girlchild is texting me from her dad’s, wanting to come over, and there’s no point, because when I’m standing out there, dead silent for 15 minutes, then chirping and calling, there’s not a sound.

If she’s out there, she doesn’t want to be found. Yet. There’s nothing I can do. Worst feeling ever.

So I went to bed. Not well. Not sleeping much. She sleeps with me every night. At that point, I’m sure she’s been gutted by a coyote and I just can’t find her dying body (trust me, I tried) or I was hearing things, and I would be sleeping without my baby (ah, sigh) for EVER. Not a good night.

Here’s what I got ironed last night.

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More little stuff. I’m missing an artery (kind of a big thing to lose, yes). And those raindrops are still MIA. Bastards.

I organized the fabrics finally…before I started ironing (they’re a mess again now)…

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I woke at 1:30 AM and 4:10 AM and then at 6 AM I hear yowling. Holy crap, where is that? A mom’s adrenaline rush would probably restart the walking dead. I opened doors and called out and listened, and then found Midnight growling, half yowling at the window where Kitten had escaped (now closed, due to screen issue…we left it open all day in case she came back, but didn’t want Midnight escaping). I went out the front door…there’s a ledge on the front of the house (apparently for rat races…or lost cats) and there she was, Kitten, meowling at me (yes, that’s a word…it’s that weird meow they make when they’re hurt or scared), but terrified, won’t come to me at all. I try inside at the screen; I try the deck, for the other side of the ledge. I’m sure my neighbors were amused, because I did not get dressed for this (I don’t sleep totally naked…it’s OK…and honestly, I don’t fucking care.).

No luck. She won’t come; she’s frightened even of me. I bring food out and she comes close and I almost get her, but she bolts. SHHIIT. Then Midnight is guarding the screen, so I try to shoo her off, but she’s determined to protect me from intruders (funny how the mouse that came in that same window one year did not get the same treatment). I pick her up and she bites and scratches me (seriously?), so I drop her and yell at her until she runs to her mom’s room and I shut the door.

It takes another 10 minutes of coaxing and then waiting, and Kitten comes back in…the same way she went out…through the screen. And she’s dirty and skittish as hell, but goes straight for the food bowl and lets me pet her and feed her and holy shit.

She’s back. She’s fine. She’s not hurt.

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Blurry because she is cleaning herself…

And I don’t know if escaping again is on her agenda, and yes, she’ll be chipped as soon as I can get her in (although I don’t think that would have helped in this situation), and now we have to take signs down (that’s a good consequence), but my baby is home and I am slightly more sane than I was yesterday.

No sleep, very little food, kinda weepy, but slightly more sane. Hopefully ironing today to make up for yesterday.


Just Plain Tired…

July 29, 2015

I’m taking a break from ironing, mostly because I’m tired of standing. I’m actually just plain tired. Today was a harder day for me. I had to go to the doctor for a followup and that meant driving and walking and stairs and waiting and standing and then more of all those things when they decided I needed to give blood and try to make another followup. I even took a nap after dinner (which both boy- and girlchild made, although their dad had to berate gently for that to happen). I set the alarm and made sure I didn’t nap more than I’m supposed to. But I’m still physically exhausted right now. It’s OK to sit down for a while, and maybe I shouldn’t try to iron any more tonight. Maybe I should just go settle down on the couch and rest.

But I feel like I lost yesterday somehow. I made no art. I did a million other things, but art was not apparently on the table. So I lost a day. No time for that. Not with all the days I’ve lost so far.

So I managed to iron today. This was a snake I had seen online…I liked the coloring, so it became the snake around her legs. Bright!

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All those little pieces to the right were the ones that weren’t so easy to locate, the shadows or the pointy shapes. It’s a complicated snake.

Then I ironed a lioness and a cat and a small landscape. That might have been it. It doesn’t sound like much, but the snake alone was about 150 pieces. I have 10 hours into the fabric part, still probably less than half, and the large figure still isn’t nearly complete. There’s a spider and a bee and some plants, and then the huge bird and all the seawater and sealife that makes up her hair. Probably there’s about 800 pieces ironed, maybe a little less. Like I said, less than half.

Those are all the things in or on the body that still need doing, plus the bird is in its own bin…

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And I still have 5 lost raindrops. I have faith, though, because I found the lost bird in its nest. Those raindrops are hiding somewhere.

It’s almost like I’m running on a treadmill though…like I’m not getting anywhere. It’s just endless work on this one figure. I know it’s not, but the pile doesn’t look much different. What did I actually DO for three hours today? The logical part of my brain will start to argue about how the entire snake was in another bin, not on the table, so it does look like I did almost nothing. But I look at the calendar and hear the countdowns and planning beginning with my fellow teachers, and it’s my late July, early August panic. The knowledge that I never ever get enough done during the summer and I’m running out of time and school is going to kick my ass and I’m not going to get done in time.

Seriously. I hear this in my head every summer. It’s a drumbeat. I go into hermit mode. You can’t barely get me out of the house, out of my office even. I don’t want to talk…it distracts me from the (insert appropriate word here…ironing? sewing? quilting?). And I look at what I haven’t even come close to finishing, and I know that I need to get up tomorrow morning, while I’m fresh, and NOT listen to the siren call of fabric pieces, but quilt that commission piece NOW. Get it done. Seriously. Out of here.

Aargh. I’m so tired. And yet, when I lie down, I can’t sleep.

Here’s all the crazy piles of fabric I’ve used so far. Totally disorganized.

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Much like my brain. Usually I have them in neat piles by color.

Here’s the pile of stuff to be cut out. As soon as I finish here, I’m picking it up and heading to the couch.

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I will still be working on the quilt. I just won’t be in here. This part is addictive, I must admit. It’s so purely creative and enjoyable. Hard work, but enjoyable.

Tomorrow I can pick out the spider and its web, the bee, the plants. I can even start on the giant bird. Maybe. I’ve got a lot going on tomorrow too.

I am glad I get to be an artist though. I think I’d be really bored if I weren’t.



July 28, 2015

Good morning. Ugh. Between my uterus speaking to me in the middle of the night and the dog needing to pee, I’m feeling like a new mom. Something’s waking me up every two hours and then won’t let me back to sleep. Otherwise, though, I was much better yesterday, after ditching the mind-bending opiates that weren’t kicking the pain. I was up more, ironing more, and resting when my body said it was time (going to get pet food kinda kicked my ass). And now I have stuff I can cut out as well, so I’m not wasting time (in my mind) when I’m just sitting on the couch. Progress!

I don’t do sick well. You might have noticed.

The night before, I managed to get all these flesh colors and pieces sorted out, but it wasn’t even all the way up the torso and I had to stop.

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In a previous quilt, I wouldn’t have stopped, but I really am listening to the body. Pushing it a bit, yes, but listening. Two and a half days on the couch were enough for me. Then I got up yesterday and sorted more…

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but as I went through and picked out what had to be flesh colors, I realized the figure on the left had almost 1100 pieces in it (it’s big) and about half those pieces (maybe more) weren’t flesh. They were heart or lungs or the vast number of bugs, mammals, and plants that I placed all over it. The spider and its web. The thistle. An entire rooted tree with birds nest. So. I started putting those in groups on the table by what it was…a pile of heart and blood vessels. One pile of clouds and lightning bolts and raindrops (5 raindrops are currently missing in action, documented on a post-it). A pile of hair, including the top of the head, the eyebrow, and the pubic hair.

And then I considered what to do with the flesh of the second figure. And decided one thing. Fell asleep Sunday night and decided another thing. Waffled over it all day yesterday (still don’t have a decision…honestly). So I stopped and started ironing the first one…

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And honestly, now that I’ve ironed one figure, the two lightest fabrics in the run? I don’t think there’s enough of them to cut out the second figure from the same fabrics. Which is OK. It’s not like I have a shortage of flesh-colored fabrics. I can replace the first two in the run or I can pick a whole ‘nother run for the second figure.

So at some point, I had a box full of stuff to cut out…

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And honestly I had overdone the physical, get out of the house and act like a normal human being stuff, so I sat down on the couch for almost two hours to recover, and cut stuff out…

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Then made dinner and put it in the oven and then sat down again…still running a fever on and off (it’s OK, it’s another acceptable symptom).

I could have ordered out. If I’d had more than 20 hours’ notice of the procedure, I would have cooked some stuff and frozen it before all this happened. Girlchild was at soccer practice last night. I could have pushed her to prep the meal, or even the boychild, but I didn’t have the energy. I had picked an easy meal on purpose. Plus leftovers. Because I’m not particularly hungry these days. I eat because I know I have to, but girlchild ran to the store yesterday because I expressed an interest in popcorn (of all things) and all we had was kettle corn (bleck) and a year-plus-out-of-date packet of the normal stuff. She ripped them out of my hands and came back ten minutes later and put it in the microwave and cooked it. Sounds silly, I know, but food. Right now? Yuck. I guess that’s the “poor appetite” symptom.

Then I managed more ironing of all the bits…here’s the pile of fabrics now…

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The iPad is for looking up things like ivy and wolves for approximate coloring. I do my research. The thermometer is there too…I keep taking my temp to confirm that it’s not a hot flash…it’s a FEVAH!

And here’s the new pile to be cut out…lots of little bits now…

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In fact, I have one whole box that is just the snake wrapped around her legs…it’s that many pieces…

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And another box that is just the giant bird above her hand…

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And here’s the rest of the stuff in or on her body that is not flesh…

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Well, except all the stuff in and on her legs (a moth, a wolf, some plants), because I did those yesterday.

Usually I know how many pieces I’ve finished, because I go in order. I have no freakin’ clue how many are done. I know I’ve done all the flesh pieces through 1100. And I’ve done some of the non-flesh-colored pieces on the way there. I did about 4 hours of picking and ironing fabrics yesterday, with almost 7 hours total into the fabric part. Probably there’s a good 14 more hours to go. I should be able to get that done this week.

I only spent about an hour and 15 minutes cutting pieces out yesterday, so there’s a lot more work on that section. That’s OK, though…I can sit down for that. So I’m stronger each day, but still definitely recovering.

So I ran into a post by someone who’s been on my blog-reading list for many years…Kate Kretz. She makes beautiful work that is sometimes challenging (for some, not me). Actually, I like the word ‘disturbing’. I don’t think that word is BAD. I think there are times we SHOULD be disturbed by what we see and read and even think. I believe artists SHOULD disturb. I think the first pieces I saw of hers were the mouth pieces done in hair embroidery, and that’s when I started following her blog (that’s 2006?).

Yesterday she wrote a post on shocking art that is right on. I’ve had a few people over the years accuse me of making work that shocks on purpose, that I’m TRYING to piss people off or upset them or whatever, and I try to explain that I’m really never thinking about the work in that way, and mostly people nod their heads, like SURE you’re not. But I’m really not. I draw from a place in my head where I don’t even consider my audience. I don’t care who they are or what they might think. They are so far away from my point of view that they might as well not exist. I don’t make art for y’all. I make it for me. Now once I’m making it, sure, I’m putting it out there and entering it into shows (and getting it rejected more times than not), but that’s the other part of the artist brain…trying to figure out where it fits, making sure it’s out there, that people eyeball it. The one I’m working on now? It’s not that controversial (I think), but someone’s panties will get in a twist about it, I’m sure, just like some of the other work I’ve made. Anyway…great article.

Now back to recovery…and artmaking…temp’s gone up a full degree since I started writing this. Sigh.

Sorta Standing…

July 26, 2015

So I think I spent about ten hours yesterday in this space…doing some hand stitching on all that stuff over there.

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I can’t show you pictures of that stuff until it’s published, but it’s more Sue Spargo blocks. It’s easy and brainless…I’m just stitching wool pieces down, not doing the embroidery yet. I had no brain power for that.

I was determined to stand today. It didn’t have to be long, but I wanted to get something done. It always helps when Calli covers half the floor.

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Kitten had the chair. It’s a good thing I didn’t need to be sitting down.

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I ironed all the stuff on the bottom of the quilt, at the base of the two figures.

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Here’s all the fabrics I’ve used so far…

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Lots of colors already. And here’s all the pieces ready to go…

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I could start cutting them out tonight I guess. If I can sit up again.

I only made about 55 minutes of standing, and that was pushing it. Sad but true. I’m back on the couch now, lying down, because even sitting up is too much. Aargh. I stopped taking the heavy-hitting meds, because they weren’t helping much and I think they were messing with my sleep. I sleep more on the couch than in my bed. So I’ll try Motrin tonight instead. It’s kind of amazing how tired I am with no actual wound or stitches. It’s just dying fibroids making me sick. Poor things. No really. I’ve had these things for over 20 years. They show up in my art, in the uteri of multiple quilts. They’re my little alien beasts. The doc says I’m really good at making them…there were over a hundred of them. Impressive, eh? And now I’m killing them. Weird to think of it that way.

Anyway. The healing process continues. Too slowly for an impatient person like me. I just want to make art. I don’t do a good job decorating the couch.


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