That’s the Hard Part

January 7, 2018

In 2003, I started writing an art journal to myself, just documenting where I was with certain pieces and shows. I sucked at it for the first two years. I think there’s two entries in 2003 and maybe three in 2004. Then about halfway through 2005, I calendared it. And then started writing weekly because my computer told me to. Occasionally outside stuff slips in, personal life stuff, stuff that doesn’t even make it on the blog. The journal is where I document all the time on any given quilt, plus all the shows I enter and whether I get in or not. I write almost every week…with a few lost weeks due to computer glitches and a few lost weeks due to brain glitches. I started teaching full time in 2003 as well, so there’s documentation of the effect that work has had on my other work. I can search through the main document for mention of the old quilts I just pulled out of the pile to finish…I can find BirdFoot, but not the other one…mostly because (a) if it has a name, I don’t know what it is, and (b) I think it’s older than 2003. Then on top of all that, I’ve been writing the blog since 2004…although again, I didn’t start a regular schedule until 2006 I think.

I’m reminded of all this because this week is the first week of the new year. I used to just keep one huge document, but every time I opened it, it took forever to load, so now I write one year in a document and then add that to the main journal at the end of the year and start a new one. An 11-page document is easier to handle than a 150-page document. I also download a copy of it onto the computer about once a year, just in case the Google Doc (which is where I write now, because I can access it from multiple devices, even if I’m traveling) has some issue and disappears. There’s something important to me about the documentation. I use it a lot to remind myself of how things went, what I was thinking, where I was going.

So where am I at right now, the day before school starts up again? Well my right hand is still speckled orange and red, which will freak my students out (I’m OK with that). The left hand is barely green. I ironed a bit yesterday. I drew a bit yesterday, but more for fun than for an artistic goal. I had a meeting. I’m not ready (I’m never ready…this shouldn’t surprise anyone who hangs out with teachers. We never feel ready. We don’t sleep the night before school starts…sometimes every Sunday night is troubled.). We’ll get some planning time tomorrow, because we’re starting the week with more professional development, so that means we can figure out what the hell we were thinking before break (probably not very coherent thoughts, honestly). I looked at the calendar and my head hurt, so I stopped reading. I need to run some errands today, write warmups for the week, send the parent email, grocery shop, prep lunches for the week, and get my teacher brain out of storage. I can do all of that.

I ironed for a little bit yesterday. The tree leg is horrendously complicated. It’s not hard to do…just time-consuming.

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I went to an art group meeting…so far, being in this group has gotten me into two shows, so I feel good about it. I stitched during the meeting, because I don’t know how to sit still.

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Strangely, now I’m wondering if the face was supposed to be back stitch or running stitch. I finished the Palestrina knots around the body and then started the running stitches.

The meeting was at the Mingei Museum, which is one of my favorite museums in Balboa Park. They’ll be remodeling in 2018 though…so fewer shows. Too bad. They have a great kantha exhibit in there right now, plus a Navaho rug exhibit.

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I had seen this show already, but Arline Fisch is in our group and talked about her work in the museum, which was cool.

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Her wirework is fascinating.

Then I had to hang around for a while in Balboa Park, so I drew in the Sculpture Garden bar area…

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No sunset…too many clouds.

I started working with that skelly back and a front-facing figure, seriously trying to work stuff out, but it quickly devolved into whatever I felt like drawing. Hence the antenna I guess…

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I didn’t really finish, because I had to go wait for my ride. We were going to an opening downtown, so we didn’t want two cars down there (parking is awful) and there was no point in my coming all the way home.

The exhibit was Seeing Is Believing at Sparks Gallery (you can see most of the show at the link) and had some cool work in it…Larry Caveney’s Wonder Woman

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Polly Jacobs Giacchina’s Spiral Progression

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Cheryl Tall’s Couple from Madrid

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and her Horseman.

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Christopher Polentz’s William.

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David Cuzick’s Stop Yelling at Me #2

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Marissa Quinn’s Connection In-Between…

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And Alexander Arshansky’s Life of Pi

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Perry Vasquez’s Florbeza dominates the front window of the gallery…

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It was an interesting show. I went because of the surrealism aspect, although honestly, I’m not sure how surrealist it really was. Lenore Simon’s show is still there, so that was nice. We had a good dinner at the same place we keep ending up at when we’re in that area and then hightailed it back here for an early night. Sleep has been the mantra this break…which should tell me something. But trying to fill weekends with art seeing and making seems like a good goal for the next few months. The stress of work is always there…being able to mentally escape it for a few weeks is a relief. Now to continue that mindset throughout the rest of the school year. That’s the hard part.

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Again. As Usual.

May 18, 2016

Busy day yesterday. One car in the shop. Got a ride home and the second car’s battery was dead. Got that replaced, then drove out to UCSD to pick up a dog that needed a home…this is Simba…

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A very tired Simba. I’m sure coming here was probably a bit overwhelming. Another dog, cats, a yard. He’s been pretty good about it, although I don’t think he’s eaten anything yet but two chicken treats, and it took a while to get him to go to sleep in his own bed.

He needs some shots and to be neutered, which girlchild will handle when she finally gets home.

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Simba showed up because of the girlchild and one of her friends…and it’s funny, because I just had this conversation with the boychild, who would love to have a cat, but can’t have one in the dorms and doesn’t want to get one until his living situation is more stable. And sure, shit happens. You could have pets and then have a stroke and be in the hospital for months. So have a plan for that. We have multiple backup plans for pets in my small family circle here in San Diego. And I suspect most of my friends know (from past experience) that I take rescue animals most of the time. Some of my best pets started out as an oops that some kid picked up outside a grocery store, a freebie that couldn’t be in the apartment or whatever.

Anyway, between the car and the puppy (because he is still a puppy), I didn’t get any art done. I was so exhausted by the time I got through dinner, I couldn’t focus. So I eventually went to bed.

However, I have some photos from a couple of openings I went to last weekend (there were 4 in two days…I actually missed the 5th one due to exhaustion).

First of all, I went to the Allied Craftsman show at Sparks Gallery, in downtown San Diego. I know a few people in the show, so I wanted to document for the two groups I’m in with them (I still have to write posts for those two blogs…tonight!). But I also saw this artist at the show…by Alexander Arshansky, this is Native American

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His work is very detailed…this is Born in Fire

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His work was upstairs in the gallery, separate from the Allied Craftsman show, but definitely a joy to look at.

You can see all the Allied Craftsman pieces on the Sparks Gallery website. Here are two quilts that were in the show, the one on the left by Viviana Lombrozo and the one on the right by Charlotte Bird (who is in one of the groups I’m in).

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Below, in the middle is Jeff Irwin’s Circulation, flanked by his Pump and Vanishing Point plates.

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I photographed other work, but it’s for those blogposts. I’ll link to those here once I actually get them written.

Then I went over the the Cohort Collective’s show at Subtext Gallery, also downtown. The show is called Tiny and the pieces were all…small. These are all by Dolan Sterns, Creatures of Dirt

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They seem to be on old metal lids, apparently done in white out and ink.

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Stearns is a skateboarder and usually does much larger pieces…on walls. Like the whole wall.

There were two pieces by one of my favorite fiber artists, Jaclyn Rose…this is I-breathalyzer.

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And Leave the Way You Came In

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Then a new artist for me, Christopher Konecki…this is Last Glimmer (of Hope)

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He has a wide variety of work…this is Staying Inside on the left and a side view of the other one.

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And then he and Spenser Little teamed up for some great little pieces…this is Cat on Leash

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Mermaid Bubbles

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And my favorite, We Used to Write Love Letters

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A detail of the wire work…

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Then Spenser Little’s wire work…this is Multiface

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Mini Deity Number 2

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His larger deities are bloody amazing; the detail is boggling.

This is Mini Deity Number 1

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And the back side of Schizophrenic on Coffee Multiface

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It’s amazing how little line you need to convey expression. The Tiny show is up until June 10. It really is a tiny show, but there’s a lot of value in seeing it.

Well. Art tonight? Maybe. We’ll see. I’m a little buried at the moment by life. Again. As usual.