Man Parts

October 15, 2014

So yeah, I’m known for my naked women. I’ve actually been making art with female nudes since college, so when people get all freaked out about it now, it just fucking confuses me. This is year 29, people. Get over it. Putting clothes on people puts a whole ‘nother meaning into it. I like the idea of universal ideas or personal experiences being shown through the naked body…and my bodies aren’t just naked…they’re god-damned see-through. You can see parts in there! So then you gotta wonder about why I show SOME parts and not others. I wonder if there’s any significance to that (just a hint on that…sometimes no. Sometimes I just likes to draw the inner gutlike workings.).

Anyway, occasionally in my checkered past (and my checkered present), I draw the male figure. I have to admit that usually it’s because I’m pissed off at them. I’ve had some significantly bad experiences with males (shit, should I admit that online? Oh. Well, I guess if you’ve read this blog at all, you probably figured it out. I’m sure it’s all my fault.), and bad things often end up in my art. I try not to make it all bad, though. I’ve got some reasonable males in my life. Mostly. And some of the jerks have redeemed themselves. Mostly. Maybe. But mostly I focus on women because that’s my experience, and most of what I draw is me, my experiences, my ideas. Because, like, I’m the artist. Duh.

Anyway. For the upcoming Expressions in Equality exhibit (which will be at the Visions Art Museum in January), I chose gender equality…because I draw so much about women and women’s lives and women’s rights…I wanted to try to do this. Because despite society and all the dumbass stuff I’ve been reading lately from men who feel a need to proclaim that Men Have Needs That Women Don’t Understand (oh sweetie, we DO understand; we just don’t agree.) and certain political groups’ desires to have control over my woman parts, I do honestly wish/hope/almost believe that there is such a thing as gender equality. I have a whole post that I’ve been working on about this…but it’s chock full of stupid stuff society does and says to demean and fuck over women. And I really shouldn’t be writing ANYTHING about gender equality while I’m watching episodes of Big Love…because it just pisses me off.

So drawing this…I had to be in the right frame of mind…and yes, I warned the curator up front that there would be a penis. Because if I’m going to continue in this vein of it being universal woman…it has to be universal man, and he’s not wearing boxers.

Someone once asked me if I knew how to draw naked men. Um. I get the weirdest questions. I have done life drawing for years. But yeah. Because I have STUDENTS to show me…

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I actually critique their drawings…we get lots of them. It’s the age. For one like that, I always tell them it’s someone who has never seen one before, because that’s not what they look like. That kinda freaks them out, because it’s usually the boys drawing them.

Anyway, so now that you know what the typical day of a middle-school teacher is like (I was gonna put science teacher, but the other teachers on my team get the penis drawings too), know that I am building a man figure now…

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And I’m almost done. Yes, I go to the office with my briefcase full of money NAKED. It’s a metaphor people. (Someone will make a comment. I know. I don’t care.) The real key is that I ironed last night. Yes, I’m still sick. But this ironing/art thing is important. I’m getting there. I’m in the early 800s, so about 250 pieces to go. I’ve been ironing for about 10 1/2 hours, so still on time with the estimate. So being sick the previous night didn’t set me back too badly. I think I can do it. All the poor guy needs is a head, and then I’m up in the tree…and I have to decide how best to iron that, because branches all over the place can be a pain in the ass. Plus all those leaves and hangy things. And at some point, I can’t show you this any more, because I’m supposed to wait until the exhibit opens. We’re getting close to that point.

I’m just glad there’s progress. Work is such a bog at the moment…too much work, too much planning, spending time dealing with union stuff. I was at the school board meeting last night, all in red, like everyone else (we packed the room), because they don’t want to pay us. Last year, the raise got eaten up by health care costs. Probably on purpose. We took pay cuts. Health insurance is going up again and our district doesn’t want to cover any of those costs.

Damn cat again…

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She looks pissed off too. Probably because I bopped her on the nose when she tried to settle in among all the laid-out quilt pieces. What is it with cats and fabric? I just have to sacrifice small piles of it so she can shed all over it.

Anyway. Head tonight. Tree tonight. It’s getting exciting. Sort of. Not TOO exciting.

OK, I had to edit this to tell you that WordPress suggested I tag this post with “naked women”. Really, WordPress? Does that SEEM like a good idea? Technology can be so fucking stupid.


How Art Doesn’t Happen

October 14, 2014

First, make sure the artist is getting sick. And she’s been fighting it for a week, so a week of sore throats and feeling sorta off, and then she thinks she’s better, and all of a sudden, in like 10 minutes, once the kids get out of the classroom, BOOM. That’s it. The virus kicks her ass and takes her down. Really. It was that fast.

So then, our faithful artist comes home (after a long meeting) and sprawls on the couch with tea and a bunch of seating charts, because she needs to adjust seating, and it takes an hour, because she’s trying to think it through, and fuzzy head. Thinking bad. Meds. Must take meds. Drink more tea. Because her evening is not over. Oh no, it has just begun. A fundraiser for soccer at some dive grill in Lakeside.

OK. I can do this. I need to eat and this way I don’t have to cook. Girlchild comes home from soccer and they go…and it’s loud screaming chaos, a million people and some crazy ass woman screaming throughout the room, yelling out raffle prizes (we don’t want any thanks). Order food. Think I’m OK. Eat. Help girlchild with the Democratic Party platform (she is the Democratic candidate for her history class this year…her brother was the Dem campaign manager last year, which pretty much sums up their personalities right there…BUT, he did help her via text with her platform). Head for home, feeling tired, but not uberly (not a word) sick.

Come home, help more with platform, can’t remember what GITMO stands for (whatever…I know lots of things about the world, but I also know how to Google when I can’t remember shit), but I feel somewhat perturbed that I know more about ebola than I do about Hong Kong…although if you know me, that makes sense.

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Your photo today courtesy of girlchild’s Homecoming crew…at least they have fun…and there was no art, so no pictures of art. Because I didn’t do any.

Sitting on the couch, sprawled really, trying to find the motivation to get UP and iron. Really. You can do it. Standing up. Fuck no. Too tired. Too sick. Slam. OK. Think it through. I did think. I thought I could push myself through, but I remembered that it was only Monday, and that I have a whole week of school to get through, and what I really need is to get better, especially since my school day today will start at 8 and go to 6 PM. So yeah. I went to bed. At like 10:30. Seriously. That’s how you know I’m sick. And I slept for about an hour. Before the food poisoning from the dive grill fundraiser decided I should be up again. So I guess at least I’m glad my body is efficient. I was only vomiting for about 45 minutes and then I was done. And I went back to sleep (good thing I went to bed early, eh?).

Giant sigh.

I’m OK this morning. Well, the cold is still here. I still have no voice. My nose alternately runs and stops air from entering my body. But otherwise I’m fine. Cranky, but fine. Just yelled at a cat for sitting on the back of the chair. Yelled at the dog for eating underwear (that’s legit, folks…she eats a ton of that…not mine, but the girlchild’s, because she leaves it everywhere). I’ll probably yell at some kids today because they’re gonna be sitting there, staring at the words, wondering how to READ without actually READING. Because that’s an issue. It tries my patience. And yet I still assign the occasional reading assignment (OK, more than occasional). Like I’m trying to torture them. The LAST reading thing I gave them was about zombies and was a comic book, so you’d think they would have appreciated that. Naw, the same kids who won’t be reading today weren’t reading then. Parents…please please please, make ‘em read. It’s OK. Today is also phone call day. Have the kids call and ask parents to remind them to sign their failed assignments, so I know the parents know…although it seems like some of them must not care. Your child brings home a progress report with 5 Fs on it? And you don’t do anything? Don’t contact teachers? Don’t wait on me…I got 140 of them…feel free to contact me, because I have a list, and I can only get through one or two parent meetings a week, and I already have three for this week.

Yes, we have a list of kids we need to assist, of parents we need to contact, and yesterday, we full on admitted that we can’t do all of them right now…so we prioritized. Which ones could we help the most, which ones needed the most assistance, which ones were MORE LIKELY to actually benefit from our assistance. So your kid with his 5 Fs? He didn’t get very high on the list, because he doesn’t seem to give a shit, but mostly because of you…because we haven’t heard a word from you, we haven’t seen you at back-to-school night, last year’s teachers didn’t beg us to push for testing or meetings, no one cared about your kid…and we CARE, but we only have so many hours in the day. We’re buried this year, trying to implement blended learning and one-on-one computers on a daily basis…and we need you to get on the phone or email and stand up for your kid. Do some of the work. We can’t do all of it. You brought this child into the world…why don’t you care enough to follow up when he’s failing? Yes, I know there are many answers to that, and many of them are endemic to my school population, but we also have great parents who are on top of things and paying attention and doing their job.

Yeah. That’s what I’m taking to school with me today. And hopefully, by 6, when I get out of the school board meeting where I have to show up dressed in red so the school board realizes we’re pissed off that they won’t cover our health insurance increases and they won’t give us a reasonable wage out of the huge chunk of money they got from the state, hopefully when I’m done with all that, I’ll be well enough to make some art.

But first I need to cough up a lung.


Hello Monday…

October 13, 2014

Hello Monday. I was not ready for you. I finished a bunch of stuff this weekend, but not enough (it’s never enough…isn’t that a song? Of course it’s a song.). I don’t feel prepared to face what you will be throwing at me today. For one thing, my voice and throat are significantly challenged (not a good thing for a teacher on the first day of five days…it only gets worse as the week goes on). I think I am officially sick, but with some really low-level viral beast that won’t just come out and make me actually ill. It’s content to lurk in the shadows and make things feel slightly off. I have a formal teacher observation today, though, so I’m thinking through how to teach this lesson without speaking…can I do the whole thing with hand motions? I think I can. At some point, when you’ve been teaching long enough, you can do just about anything.

I worked on the male figure in the quilt last night…I wanted to get it done.

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Looks a lot like the female side, eh? Thought I could do it all in one evening, because it was less complicated than the female…plus I started earlier. Here’s all the 600s laid out.

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I finished the 500s and 600s and did a few of the 700s. OK. Well, I got a significant amount of him done. I balked at the hands (hands are hard. I was tired. Tired and hard do not go together.). I got his sixpack done.

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So tonight I can do the hands and the briefcase and the head maybe. It’s good progress. I’m getting there. It’s moving along.

At that point, I should have been smart and gone to bed. It wasn’t super late though, and I wasn’t tired. At all. Even though it was almost midnight. So I decided to watch the rest of the episode of Star Trek that I had been ironing to, and to work on some hand embroidery until the episode was done, and then maybe I’d be tired…

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Yeah. Right. Made it through a whole ‘nother episode after that before tired hit. Something to do with the cat on the back of my neck? By the way, Data appreciates the embroidery.

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It still wasn’t super late, but it wasn’t early. I seem incapable of going to sleep, or even to bed, at a reasonable hour. Seriously, that damn cat is on the back of my chair right now. Gives me a crick in my neck.

We did have soccer yesterday morning too…not super early, but early enough to set an alarm.

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Everybody loses to this team. They’re good, sure, but they’re also pushy…and not in a constructive way. In a hand-on-the-back kinda way.

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Our girls held their own, though…still lost, but only 3-1, and as you can see above, when their girls threw themselves into ours, most of the time, ours did not fall down. I think girlchild dropped about 4 of their girls just by continuing to stand upright.

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It’s amazing to me to watch 17-year-olds who are about to go to college and play soccer with big scholarships (because one of their worst offenders will probably do just that) and they’re winning by being bad sports. Play the damn game, little girl. When you get beat, you don’t run into someone because you’re pissed.

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Of course, that’s not true. That is what lots of people do…and not just in soccer. You get pissed? You get hurt? You try to take the other person down.

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Soccer as a metaphor for life. Damn that pink vibrates…will be glad when we get back to our normal uniform colors. And one of their parents actually had the balls to come over and tell our girls to calm down? The ref was a good guy, though, and did a good job of calling the dumbass maneuvers.

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So a successful game, even if they lost. You gotta lose sometime, right? Not the green team, apparently. They tried to justify their girls’ behavior, saying “well, if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” Um. So when you break someone’s leg? Will it be a problem then?

So. Yeah. I’ve been sitting with Monday for a while now, and it’s still a petulant whiny beast. I’m not sure I want to spend the rest of the day with it. It’s like an immature 7th-grade boy. Ugh. I got no choice. I gotta deal.


Art Weekend

October 12, 2014

I wish it were MORE of an art weekend, like a retreat somewhere with a hot tub and a great natural outlook and lovely meals cooked by someone else and lots of creative time away from my house, which cries out to be cleaned. Because I know those exist. I also know I can’t afford them. So I take what I can get: SAQA opening Friday night. A friend’s husband said my piece at the SAQA show was the tamest thing he’d ever seen out of me. His wife said someone was looking at my quilt and mentioning mental illness, which is amusing, because HER quilt in the show IS about mental illness (it was juried into the show I created called I’m Not Crazy), and Eyeball Tree is about harvesting organs…yeah, it’s weird, but there’s no nudity and them’s the rules. And it’s NOT about mental illness.

Last night was the opening for Quilt Visions (whatever the name of the new version is), and I’ll write about that later…I’m a gonna REVIEW that sucker. Because I’m not in it. And there’s a good reason why. And then it was the second opening (my SIL says I’m not allowed to call it a Soft Opening, because that’s gross) for the Fence/Barda show with a slide show from one of the Mexican artists. So it was a busy night. Weekend. I talked to lots of people about art. Generally that’s a good thing, but my head does it’s weird-ass thing and turns it into sad. I did my best to ignore it. Came home, persuaded myself to start ironing, despite exhaustion. Seriously, I think I’m fighting off a virus. Been exhausted all week, sinuses are clogged up but not like a cold really…maybe it’s just allergies, except I don’t have those! Yeah right. It’s something. I slept a lot Friday night and then woke up and went to the gym, came home, ate and showered, and fell asleep again. That’s telling. Of course, I didn’t sleep WELL Friday night. Or last night. Can’t tell if that’s hormones or stress (can you really separate those two?). Either way, same effect. Napping…when you have time? Might as well nap. I didn’t really have time. I never do. I’m buried in papers that need grading, so I made a concerted effort yesterday and will again today. I need to get caught up before Houston, because the week after I come back, grades are due again. FUCK! And I have another unit finishing up with a test and a journal unit to be graded, which is not a small number of hours. Sigh. What life?

So it makes sense that I just scheduled a hike for next weekend. It’s been a LONG time since I’ve hiked. I’m getting the nonhiking jitters. I need to get out in my boots and pee behind a bush in the middle of nowhere (OK, you’re right…I could do that in my backyard, but it’s not the same). So this balance of sanity and crazy workaholic, school crap and art crap…it’s feeling like a rush, not a good rush, the rush of someone chasing you into a dark alley. I need it to stop. To slow down. I need some relaxation time. I need to learn to do that on my own and not depend on someone else to be the calming influence. To be the relaxation for me. Because I don’t have that and I don’t see having it in the near future…so it has to be me. I have to be able to walk into the house with all my crap and sit down and relax all on my own.

I probably didn’t fall asleep well on my own when I was a kid either (I didn’t. I actually remember that. Hours of tossing and turning and reading books under the blankets.).

So. It would help if I wasn’t chastising myself for not ironing Thursday and Friday nights. I did finally iron last night, because that voice was in my head screaming at me about blowing stuff off (see, I do it to myself…on the other hand, I get stuff DONE.). So I ironed for a couple of hours…

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Still on the female figure. I’m going to do more tonight. I swear. Despite all the work crap hanging over me. Despite a really messy house. I asked the girlchild for 30 minutes of cleaning help today, and I swear she spent 30 minutes telling me why she couldn’t give me 30 minutes. Next time I should just hand her the vacuum and set a timer. No words. Let her scream at me. Maybe she’ll move the vacuum around while she’s screaming. I could push it into her hands, plug it in, and turn it on, and then run away. If I were fast enough and planned my path well enough, I could get her to vacuum the living room.

It would probably be easier to go out on the street and wave a $20 around to get someone to help. And I don’t have it this month…after I pay the Visa bill from hell, we will not be able to buy groceries for the rest of the month. Fun stuff!

I did finish the female figure last night…

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Well, except for the fingers of the left hand, but that’s because they wrap around the hand of the male, and I need to iron him together before I can do that. So he’s next on the list…I’ve been ironing for a little over 7 hours and I’m around piece 570, so about halfway on pieces and halfway on my predicted time. The male will be easier. Female holding baby? That’s a lot of overlapping pieces. The male body is less complicated.

So I’m sticking to my Friday night goal of having it all ironed down. I picked Friday, because I figured I could get it sandwiched and pinbasted over the weekend, but I just realized that I have to stitch it all down first, and I don’t think I figured that into the calculations. Fuck! Seriously running out of time. Maybe if I get it all stitched down by Friday the 24th and sandwiched and pinbasted over that weekend. Then starting to quilt the week I go to Houston. Might work. Tight, though.

One of the annoying things last night is that I kept losing pieces. So I’d cut another one out, because I couldn’t find it (I think exhaustion was part of this), and then I’d find the damn piece in the wrong pile. Gaarg…

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So annoying when I do that. Yes, I get annoyed by wasting that tiny piece of fabric and the tiny amount of time it took me to retrace, recut, reiron, retrim. They add up, though. It’s time I don’t have to waste.

Anyway. So I’m still trying to figure out how to pull off a REAL art weekend…not any time soon, for sure. Too many other things impinging on my time. At least there’s some progress…

 


Recovery

October 11, 2014

I apparently needed some recovery the last two nights. I got home from the drawing thing relatively early (well, for normal people, it would have been bedtime), and I couldn’t focus on ironing or grading (the two things that currently rule my world), so I made a cup of tea and took it to bed with a book. That is one of those things I love to do, by the way, and I rarely do it: read in bed with a cup of tea. I try to fit it in to my weekends, at least once on the two days, but honestly, sometimes it’s just not possible (like this weekend, for example). I’m feeling incredibly overwhelmed with work and life and even art, working my butt off in every realm, so it made sense to just take a break from all of it and read about somebody else’s world.

I was hoping I would be less useless last night, but ha! Oh yeah. So I went to an opening after school and counseling, not a short drive, blood sugar not great (I did not plan well…I plan better for hikes than I do for social events). The SAQA regional exhibit Shades of Passion opened officially last night at the Poway Center for the Performing Arts. It runs through October 29 and is open Tuesday through Friday from 9-5 and Saturdays from 11-3, although I suspect most people see the work when they are there for a performance or event. I think my piece might confuse a few people…

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Eyeball Tree has no nudity, so it was really my only option for entry. There’s a size and content restriction, so I often struggle with finding work in my collection for this show. I do try to have a few smaller, nude-free pieces around for stuff like this. There’s another one I know is coming up next summer for Ventura’s public buildings, so I will need to think about making a few more next year (after I finish the crazy that I’m working on now). That is probably the closest I get to changing my work for upcoming shows…I go through my drawings and find the ones with no nudity and make one or two of those if I like them. Or I don’t. It’s interesting, though, that the two pieces that did get into Visions and Quilt National were both minus nudity.

It was early when I got to the opening, so there weren’t a lot of people…mostly women, some wandering around and asking if this art quilt thang was a new thang. Um. No. But thanks for coming. My pictures are crap and I didn’t even try to write artists’ names down (I blame exhaustion)…

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But there is some very nice work in the show…

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As always, I’m never really sure how the theme pertains to what’s hung.

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But it probably doesn’t matter to those observing.

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I didn’t even get pictures of all the quilts…too many people in the way.

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But it gives you an idea of what’s there, in case you want to stop in and take much better photos than I did.

I have two more openings tonight, one the second soft opening of the FIG show at Art Produce and one is QuiltVisions, which I’m looking forward to, mostly to see what got in, but maybe to see people as well. Depends on how social I’m feeling. Hopefully more social than last night, after more than 8 hours of sleep.

Because what I did when I got home? I waffled. I sat down on the couch and arranged the stuff to be graded. I ARRANGED it. I did not start grading. I made a cup of tea because I was tired. Then I started reading my book. And I kept meaning to stop reading and do some grading or ironing, and then I got distracted by weird bills from Cornell that said the boychild had gone to the doctor, when he says he didn’t. Money’s tight. I’m not paying for someone else’s STD testing. (that’s not really what it was, but you can mess with the boychild pretty easily if you want about that stuff) And then the girlchild came home from Homecoming (came home from…that’s funny) and we finally got the lizard off the ceiling after three days (it’s a really high ceiling…it took a box, a bench, a stepladder, and a duster). And then I was going to try (after second cup of tea) to iron. And then I was just too damn tired. So I went to bed. And about 14 things woke me up in the night, so I am still tired now, but I obviously needed all that sleep.

I will iron today. I will grade today. I will get caught up on something. My goal of being ironed down to the background fabric by next Friday? Um. I don’t know. I’m hoping I can pull it off, but it honestly means I will probably have to get at least 4 hours done this weekend, which I can probably do, unless my brain wanders off and reads a whole book in one evening like it did last night. Stupid brain.

And all the rejection stuff in my head, because rejection is not just living in my art at the moment, I’m just pushing it off into the corner and working. Because if I get enough work done, whether it’s grading papers or ironing tiny pieces of fabric together, I think the rest of it will matter less.


Spending Time with Ink

October 10, 2014

So first of all, as I wrote in the previous post, I really didn’t expect to get into Quilt National or Visions or any of the others that regularly reject my work, but I’ve entered a LOT of shows in the last 9 months, and I do get into a few (SAQA’s regional exhibit Shades of Passion opens tonight with one of my pieces…with NO nudity), but they’re not challenging shows. Some have suggested other shows to enter, and I appreciate that. I do always have a run of show-entering after another rejection. Those pieces are now free to go exhibit elsewhere, and I try to get right on that. So yes, more entries in the next few weeks. As far as the art world is concerned, I do enter art (not quilt) shows…but I find that there is a massive prejudice against fiber art in the other art world, especially if you’re not being innovative with technique…and my technique is born from the quilt world. It’s my imagery that messes with their heads. But being involved with local female artists, I can tell you that just doing female nudes in certain parts of the country will cause an issue. So there are many reasons why my work doesn’t fit into some neat category. And I’m OK with that most of the time. It just gets old to continue to make work that you know is good, that you know is different and challenging and creative…and to have nowhere to show it. I don’t need a tribe to belong to…but I do need a place to exhibit.

Anyway. Moving on. As part of my attempt to remake my life, I sign up for weird shit sometimes…so last night found me in the basement of some downtown building, in a comic shop, sitting at a table drinking Stack wine (have you seen it? It’s very cute.), drawing, while surrounded by nerds. And geeks. And artists. And you could tell most of us were artists (some were attached to artists), because at some point, the room went dead silent…because we were all drawing. A strange social event indeed, but relaxing.

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I did really have a plan for drawing. I have another show coming up that needs a new piece, but I haven’t really fleshed it out in my head, so I just drew kinda like Faulkner writes, without ending my sentences for days…

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That’s how my brain works. How can I fit more things on this page? This drawing is like a Faulkner sentence. I even went back and added more at one point when I was contemplating what to do for the last drawing.

And a few people came up and commented and were appreciative, which is fine. It’s not why I went there. And ostensibly, I failed at the part I meant to do, which was socializing, but there were reasons for that.

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This one actually is prep for the new piece I need to do. Although I’m going to lose the cape. The rest might work, though…but bigger? Maybe. I don’t think I’m allowed to go bigger. We’ll see. Did you know when you Google “hands on hips pose woman,” you get a million images of Wonder Woman? Like that’s the key phrase for her. Like people can’t remember her name. “You know, that superhero woman with her hands on her hips?” Sigh.

I did draw though. So no, I didn’t iron anything last night, because after two days of science professional development and getting up early for that and not getting enough sleep, I was dead tired. I came home, ate some sugar (hello depression!), made a cup of tea, and read myself to sleep.

Oh, yeah, so this drawing. I started drawing this guy across the room because he had an interesting face, and I actually did a pretty good job of capturing his face and expression…like I think he would have liked to have seen this…but THEN…

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Some guy showed up who was friends with the two guys sitting next to me, and started talking about all the women he was fucking and how this one had sort of propositioned him, but she admitted to having sex with 30 guys so far this year, and he wasn’t sure he wanted to, because she wasn’t the right body type for him, but “if she had big tits,” he would. Sigh. So I had to write it. I actually sat there for a couple of minutes and asked myself if I was going to defile the drawing of the nice guy (I don’t actually know if he’s nice) across the way with the crap coming out of this little boy’s mouth, and it’s funny, because I think the other guy at the table, who had been sitting there near me for over 2 hours, I think he was embarrassed, because he realized there were women listening to this guy run on about girls and tits and all this crap, and hell, I would have been embarrassed if he were my friend. So after I wrote it, I decided to pack it in. It was after 10 and I had school in the morning and I was tired and I didn’t want to pay more for parking and little boys. So I left. I said thank you to my host, though. And Batton Lash drew me.

There are worse ways to end the day. This drawing is actually from Wednesday’s union meeting…yes, after 7 hours in a training, I had to hang around at school for 45 minutes and then go back to the district office for a 2-hour union meeting. UGH. Brain dead much? Rough week.

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I did iron Wednesday night, though.

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Legs. Female legs. They look remarkably like male legs (in my drawing at least). I had hoped to get the whole female figure ironed Wednesday night, but I graded stuff and spaced out a little (left most of my brain at the DO), and got yelled at by the girlchild, and made dinner (a damn good dinner too, so there). So I didn’t start ironing until after 10 PM, which is late for a 2+ hour session. And I was exhausted. But still stayed up way too late. I’m not very smart sometimes.

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Or my brain just messes with me.

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Uterus in color.

Ball of cat.

Oct 10 14 002 small

Lizard on ceiling.

Oct 10 14 005 small

Too high up to get him down. He’s still there this morning.

I think I just ran out of words. Or energy. Or brain power. Whatever. I drew. Remember I said I would draw once a week? Well, I did.


A Rejected Quilt

October 8, 2014

First of all, I get rejections all the time, and not just in the art world. I’m actually pretty inured to them and take them mostly in stride, and I did this one as well. I didn’t expect to get in. The odds are against it. That said, it’s been I think 8 rejections in a row, with one acceptance that was kind of a given. The piece I’m working on now is an invitational and I was invited almost a year ago, and yes, I’ve been in shows…hell, I’ve got a piece opening in Houston in 2 1/2 weeks. But almost everything I’ve entered since January this year has been rejected.

So you do start to question what you’re doing. No, I’m not going to change and make pretty landscapes or abstract depictions of my feelings towards nature (psychedelic, man), but it’s impossible to be human and NOT say Fuck You a lot and growl a bit and complain about the universe being out to get you, even though you know that’s not really the case. And to wonder if you’re doing it right or whether you’re just wasting everyone’s time, including your own. I mean, maybe the world would be a better place if I spent all that artmaking time cleaning house instead. Or curing cancer.

And when you’re done grousing, you keep working on the fucking masterpiece that is on the ironing board right now, because it DOES have a home, an exhibit (Thank you, Sheila, for believing in me and my work. It’s much appreciated).

Meanwhile, here’s one of the quilts that Quilt National’s jurors rejected…the one I spent all summer on. The one that tears me up just to look at it.

It started out with the nickname of Menopause, because it started out being about THAT. I was having major symptoms of perimenopause, with irregular periods and hormones that were fucking with my blood sugar and my mood (I’m not sure why I’m saying WAS instead of STILL IS), and I was dealing with a severe case of depression brought on by some shitty stuff that happened that was completely unexpected and devastating and basically destroyed some part of my self in my brain, or drove it so deep that I couldn’t access it. Whatever. I’m not sure she’s all there even now, but…anyway. I started drawing in December…and continued in January…and it became this thing. This banner for who I was at the time…for who I didn’t want to be in some ways, but in others? Dammit, she’s standing strong. Leaning a bit. Not happy about it. But she’s upright.

And now, from the other side of the abyss, this quilt…it really holds so much of what I was feeling and experiencing…

CON6137 copy small

That it might be a good thing it didn’t get into Quilt National, because then I would have had to try to explain it in person, on video, and I would not have been able to stand up and do that.

CON6138 copy small

There’s so much sadness in this piece…

CON6139 copy small

And anger. And honestly? So many pieces…

CON6140 copy small

And it’s made and now I don’t know where it will ever be seen, because it’s kinda big…

CON6141 copy cmall

And more than a little scary…

CON6142 copy small

And just a bit in your face.

This is You Make Me Wanna Die

Nida009 copy small

It’s 40.5″ wide and 80″ high. And it came out of my head. And it got rejected. And it’s OK. I know it’s a fucking awesome piece. And I hope sometime in the next two or three years (before it ages out of the entry pool) that someone else figures that out.


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