Well I have about 8 minutes here to write. Fast and furious. It’s been long days at work, interspersed with some tracing and a little stitching with friends. On Wednesday, the union meeting went for almost 3 hours…I managed to get these graded before and during, as I was listening.
This is the only way I can grade art. Lay it out in the spectrum. So different than grading science.
I get an hour or a little more of this done every night…
I’m in the 400s…only 1100 to go or so.
I just have the head to do on the second figure. IDK how many more to go. There’s a lot of people in this quilt.
I managed stitching last night with friends…well I stitched and they crocheted.
It’s nice to hang out with humans who aren’t pre-teens. And cats…
Luna on her pillar. Yes, I had to cover the top because she kept scratching it. She doesn’t scratch the bottom of it. Ah well.
Unit 2 at school is ending Monday.
So there’s lots of panic on the kids’ part to get work done.
Or not. Some kids don’t get the urgency. It’s been a rough week. I’m looking forward to a couple of days off. Parent meeting this morning with someone who will probably be a major issue. Love those. Enable your kids’ behavior. Please. And then trying to get kids through the assignment. I’m tired.
Ah well. It is Friday. Fridays are often tired. Saturdays will be art and more art with some grading probably. Maybe not. That’s something to look forward to. And more tracing. Meditative. It’s good to do that right before bedtime.
Well. Morning arrives bah boom. 12 texts later and I’m sort of awake, although tea takes a while to percolate up to the brain. I don’t know if you know, but I’ve been going to sleep earlier than I used to for about 8 months now. I’m less tired, but yes, I get less done too. I suspect it’s better for my health in some ways, but sometimes I wish I could do art for longer at night and sleep less. Some nights, I barely feel like I sleep, even though I’m in the bed place. That’s probably a different issue.
Last night was Back-to-School Night…I saw a whopping 5 sets of parents…it’s COVID, no kids allowed (which means the translators are all gone!). Plus families can’t always leave kids at home, and some can’t get off work. We don’t usually have a lot, but this was really low. Understandable. It does explain my exhaustion last night and today though. Today is a union meeting, back on Zoom for those, not sure for how long. Some parts of school are easier this year…teaching in person is easier than on Zoom, for sure, although some of the behavior stuff would be nonexistent on Zoom, because those kids just wouldn’t show up. Some parts are just a pain, though. I can’t keep up with the workload, at the moment. I get close and then realize I’m only caught up in one subject, and the other one is yelling at me. I’m not sure when that will change…maybe it won’t this year. Ugh.
So coming home and spending at least an hour making art is one of the things that keeps me sane. Right now, I’m in the tracing stage…I’ll probably be here for about 20 hours or so, so that’s a while on the one-hour-a-day thing I’m doing at the moment. I try to trace at least 100 pieces before I go to bed. Sometimes I do more.
I hate wasting Wonder Under. I try to fill in all the blank spots. Then I remember it’s pretty cheap stuff and it’s not really a waste, because my time is worth something.
And sometimes I worry about how it’s not very environmentally friendly. Sigh. Then I tell myself that making art helps. Me, definitely. Hopefully somewhere else too. Who knows?
Anyway, I’m tracing and it’s like meditation and that’s good. I have a union meeting after school today, so it’s another long one. This week is just bad…but maybe I’ll have time for a walk after the meeting. We’ll see. And maybe I’ll get a lot of shit done at school too and it will feel less overwhelming. I have a list written down. That’s a good place to start.
Progress on the quilt, a good long hike in the out of doors…even some grading got done. I learned that when I have to grade something hard, I should do something else at the same time…like making pancakes for the next three weeks of breakfasts. Pour batter, grade a thing, flip pancakes, grade a thing, remove from pan, grade a thing. Takes care of that need to get up and scream.
So the drawing is done as of Saturday night…on Friday, I added more paper to the top and decided against another figure…
I just needed enough for some weather. I had help.
Not really. I worked on the people in the bubble…
I really don’t understand the need to tell people what to do with their uteri. It makes no sense to me unless you are willing to adopt the child and feed and clothe it and send it to school. Otherwise, why the fuck do you care? When you are the same people who are OK with immigrant children in cages. When you are the same people ranting about having to wear a mask. It makes no fucking sense. And to ignore the male part of the equation is just stupid. Women don’t get pregnant by themselves, and men can get more than one woman pregnant at a time. There’s your problem…right there. Penises and sperm. Start with those if you wanna get all high and mighty.
Still not helping, Luna.
Saturday we hiked 7 1/2 miles in the Lagunas, which was really nice.
The weather was pretty chilly when we started…
Beautiful blue skies once the clouds went away.
We started at Penny Pines, hiked to the Big Laguna Trail, then cut across…
through Horse Heaven Campground, across the road, then picked up the PCT on the other side.
I’ve done the section north of Penny Pines toward Garnet Peak, but not this piece…great views of the desert on one side, the mountains on the other.
It was definitely warmer on the desert side.
Saw a family hiking this trail…guess they don’t read.
Took me forever to see this stick insect. The man saw it right away.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen one in the wild. It was a good hike and we were back at a reasonable time for me to get some work done, which I also needed to do.
Hey, there’s a Swallowtail cocoon on my lemon tree…
And one of the caterpillars is still feeding…
So many of them disappear; I’m assuming eaten by birds.
I started this drawing on Thursday, the night I forgot to prep dinner, and then finished it Saturday night.
Kinda like it. Not sure what it’s about. But it feels huggy.
Then filled in the background on the big drawing…finished!
Although I ended up adding some lines last night just to break up some pieces more logically. Then I numbered it last night…
Which took an hour and a half…
It’s got 1513 pieces, but I know I have some a’s and b’s in there because I missed things the first time through and wanted the numbers to attempt to make sense.
My dad gave me an article about the guy who helped make the Texas Abortion bill and how he thought about getting around all the challenges. What an ass (the guy, not my dad). Seriously, couldn’t he do something with his skills that might help humanity? Save the planet? Cure disease? Not create a larger unsupported, sometimes unwanted, sometimes unneeded population? That men aren’t responsible for? Yeah. Not a fan.
Well the next step is to trace. First, though, off to work on very little sleep. I’d like to thank my brain for the first hour or so of not sleeping, and a small dog for the last hour or so. He will adapt to our new morning schedule, I think, but it will take a while. Until then, I will either need more caffeine or many naps (not likely).
I leave you with this drawing of magma that looked an awful lot like COVID…
One of the reasons I have a hard time sleeping is that Art Brain doesn’t get a lot of time during the school day to process ideas. She tends to start at about 10 PM and since I’m going to bed earlier this year, it doesn’t leave much time for the work of it. I fell asleep last night to her taping more paper to the top and right side of this drawing so she could add storm clouds and another figure. She and I will talk later…I know she’s frustrated at only drawing for an hour a night, but last night, I was exhausted when I got home (at almost 6 PM) and had forgotten I was in charge of dinner (never defrosted, let alone marinated meat), so after food was handled (we went out) and my non-Art Brain had a chance to decompress, there was only an hour and a bit before bedtime. And I was exhausted. So I went for the sleep.
I woke up this morning with the drawing stuff still in my head, but now it has to wait until tonight to get drawn and/or decided. Tape more on top? Definitely. Not sure about the other bit. I’ll think about it.
I have been drawing for about an hour a night, though. Some weeks, I get to make art for 10+ hours, some even 18 (OK, that’s when I completely blow off work on the weekend, which I pay for later)…this week is a solid 6 so far. Not great. Could be better.
I roughed in some stuff on the right side when I started this, then started adding protest signs.
And a white woman with cash…because they can always get an abortion, right? If they’re rich enough? That’s one of the many things wrong with this system of Christian ideals. They are only for everyone ELSE. If my precious gets pregnant and that will affect her future, we’ll find a way. I hate that shit.
And then last night, I kept working on that right side. I think there’s going to have to be hand embroidery on this thing for some of the smaller writing.
I’m ignoring all the deadlines popping up. I might even be ignoring size restrictions for some big shows. Not sure. Nah, it’s still smallish. Ha! Not if I add more at the top and sides. Ah well. Sometimes art just needs to be made. Sometimes they never get into a show. It sucks. But it needs to be made.
I still need to add the entire landscape behind the women. The bubble gets none of that. They live in their bubble world. We get nature. Fuck ’em.
Sometimes I write notes on the drawings as I’m going along…apparently a cat objected to my focus on human rights…
Nova. Seriously. So I’m back to covering up all the edges so she doesn’t get excited again. Midnight used to eat my drawings. Annoying.
This is what I started at dinner.
Trying to keep the weekly drawing practice going, in between trying to manage art and art supplies and science and science supplies and grading and contracts and getting tested. I’m hopefully going hiking tomorrow. And then I’ll grade and hopefully get the drawing ready for the next stage by the end of the weekend. It’s got 6 hours into it so far. For those who want to know how long things really take, I’m betting there’s at least another 2-4 hours to go before she’s done.
So I’m going to drive off into the rain (rain? We have rain?) and get through the day, persuade a bunch of 11-year-olds to actually FINISH their art and not just take the fastest route to done, try to keep track of 100+ 12-year-olds who want to partner with ALL their friends, and somehow manage to get some grading done in between all that (ha! whatever). Nature and art this weekend, though. Yes, grading…but the others too.
So. If you have a meeting after work about a kid, but you also have your exercise class, which is part of what keeps you sane and healthy, do you (I’m not skipping the class, y’all) dress for the class so you can stay longer at the meeting? Or leave earlier to go get dressed. I’m leaning toward the latter. The former is more efficient and makes more sense, but probably the latter is more professional. Or just send notes to the meeting and know your co-teachers will say the same stuff you do, because it’s not like the kid is different in his other classes. He’s pretty consistent. These are the things that keep me up at night…that and my natural distrust of the white male politician. And a sense of overwhelming dread that accompanies my workload.
It’s a good thing I’m drawing an hour every night…that’s my goal anyway. Draw for an hour, meditate, attempt sleep. Repeat. Some of the “drawing” is just staring at the paper, which is also allowed.
Not sure if it’s the future mom or the fetus who isn’t ready in this figure. Maybe both. That night, there was thunder and lightning galore, and Calli lost her mind over and over again. So I didn’t sleep much either.
The left side is coming along…
I will give them a natural landscape to be in, a green space. The bubble on the right is harder to draw.
I think I have most of the figures on the left done. I’m trying to refrain from more details. There’s enough. I got myself all tied in knots over shadows last night…drawn shadows. They just got to be too much. So I got rid of a bunch of them.
I also entered another show, which took over an hour, although that “family friendly” tag is in there, so who knows what will get in, if anything. I did get into two things yesterday, which is nice. Swallow Me Whole will be in Fiber Art Now as part of Excellence in Quilts…
And Wise Choice will be going to San Diego Mesa College for their Sowing Seeds exhibit.
It was part of the Earth Stories exhibit and hasn’t been seen locally, I think. It traveled a lot and then got rolled up. It’s all about birth control and giving women the right to plan families and childbirth…ironically very similar to what I’m working on in the current drawing. Things don’t change. I wish they would, but they don’t seem to.
The symptoms from the booster seem gone now…a little fatigue and feeling like I was coming down with the flu, plus a sore arm. I think I’m good now. And more protected, which is a plus.
OK, with that, I have two meetings today during and after school, an exercise class, and then hopefully some delightful drawing going on. One can hope. The drawing itself will be delightful…the things I am drawing are not so much. I probably have to grade some things too. At least it’s nice and cool for a few days…no more lightning, but drizzly clouds. I’ll take that.
Saturday was already sorta packed…I wanted to go to a show that was closing that day, plus I had a meeting, an actual in-person meeting. I totally spaced on the fact that it was October and there was a women’s march. Damnit. I meant to look it up, but apparently I’m off the information list or something, and I missed it. Sigh. I did come home after everything I DID do and start drawing an angry quilt in response to the crazy Texas abortion ban. It’s been in my head, drawing and redrawing itself for days, so I finally started to vomit it on paper. With a pen. Much cleaner that way.
I tried drawing part of this in my sketchbook earlier in the day, but eh. Not so much. And my evening was kind of irritating. I almost just shut down and did nothing. My brain was in a bad place. But then I got up and cut the paper and started sketching in pencil, getting the broad idea of where things were going, and kept going from there. This was about an hour in…
And then last night, I started in on the details…which is the one problem with drawing full size…I put too many details in and they’re small…
I’m trying to remember that. But maybe I don’t care as much as I should. I just want a project that takes up all of my mind after work and keeps me going for a while, and work is taking up too much time and brainpower. I need something to counteract that. Big complicated quilt to the rescue!
The closing show I went to was Paula Kovarik’s exhibit at Visions Art Museum…
It was a fascinating show. I have seen some of this develop online, but it’s so much better in person. I’m glad I made it to the show. I did say to the volunteers working there about 5 times that they need to make hours that working people can get to, more than just 10-2 on Saturday. That’s a really rough time for me. If I want to hike, I won’t make it. If I have anything else I need to do, it’s during those same hours. It’s hard, because I know they’re making financial decisions as well, but it’s been near impossible to get there until this weekend. It was totally worth getting up earlier and getting out of the house before I usually do. Saturday is my relaxation morning, the only one I get, so I give it up to very little.
Her work is fascinating…I probably said that already.
The stitched line…
The 3D shapes…
Cutting things up and making them into new things…
The hint of traditional quilting but really not…
Fascinating. Like I said.
I just walked around and enjoyed it…
More than once…
Yeah, that phrase pisses me off.
Crazy amount of details…
If you ever have a chance to see her work, you should. I did listen to her talk back in early August, when the show opened, right before school started (hence my inability to get to the actual show). And I bought her book. Fun stuff. I’m always inspired by how other artists do the work.
I stitched a little on this at the meeting I was at, until I volunteered to remove paper from pieced blocks…
And I drew this at dinner…
The weekend also included a negative COVID test after two positive cases in my classrooms, and a COVID booster. So far, my arm hurts, but nothing else symptom-wise that I’m noticing. Good news.
Nova support on the drawing front…
Although some of her support is not really supportive…
I need those.
And to finish with this…
I wish I lived in a ‘socialist’ country that cared about the health of its people. Sigh. My biggest retirement expense will be medications.
OK, long busy day, already feel tired. Could be vaccine; could just be life. Hopefully energy will rebound at the end for more drawing. I’d like to get done with that stage and onto the tracing. We’ll see how that goes.
Today I am efficient and on task. I finish many things. I make sure I leave my Friday classroom ready for Monday morning so that is not as stressful. I come home. I maybe exercise my dog and my self and maybe even another dog. Because we have an extra one at the moment.
What a dynamic group they are. It’s actually really hard to get them in one photo because they are all needy and jealous of the others. This was as close as I could get so far.
School is…sometimes fine, often overwhelming. I like teaching in person better. The kids and rocks…you know, rocks seem pretty boring until you listen to a bunch of 12-year-olds try to describe them and figure out what they are. We do a ton of hands-on stuff that our official adopted curriculum doesn’t even attempt to do. Hence our disdain for it. All that is exhausting on our part, though…prepping it, managing it, putting it away. So I’m kind of looking forward to a week when I don’t have to do all that. Well, until I’m in the middle of that week and a whole class is waiting for me to give them the answers. Then not so much. But hopefully today will be OK, fairly chill. Do this, finish that, do this other easy thing. We’ll see.
Teaching art is more of a challenge. I wish I could go watch the other teacher and see what she does. I feel so disorganized and ineffective. But then they do some cool stuff and I think, well, it can’t be THAT bad. Yes, some of them are just talented (and some aren’t), and some work hard and that gets them close (and some don’t). Just like science!
Anyway. It’s October now. Still a chance of hellacious temperatures (supposed to be over 90 degrees today), but hopefully all the beginning-of-school stuff will calm down. Wait. Except I have 5 or 6 pandemic contracts to do by Monday. And three kid meetings next week? So not so much. I was hoping for a week without a positive case, so I wouldn’t feel like I had to shove COVID testing into an already tight schedule. Yah no. That’s a no. Got tested yesterday.
I did finally photograph this.
She needs a name and a label, and then I’m mailing her to my patron on Patreon…hopefully this weekend.
Also this weekend? Starting a drawing for the new quilt. I stared at a bunch of artspeak statements and titles last night and was decidedly uninspired by two of them. Whatever. I will have to write statements that explain how I met those themes at some point, but not today. Today I can grab my sketchbook and just draw for a while. Hopefully. Looking forward to that.
Hey. Wednesday here. I’ve got some warmer weather and a crazy schedule, but I am also halfway through the work week. Plus grades are done (for now), so that’s a relief. The fact that you actually finished them an hour after they were due? Eh. Minor issue. She’s not processing them until this morning. I think. It’ll be fine.
I’m currently (like while I write this) trying to upload two videos and combine them into one for an assignment we’re doing today, so the absent kids and those who need more time will have access. I should have done it last night. I spend a lot of time in the Forest of I Shoulds…and I shouldn’t. So it will either get done, or it will be two videos. It’s still processing, so there’s that. At some point, it’ll be done, and hopefully that will be in the next 20 minutes. Ha! A reminder to always do the stuff the day before. Except when you don’t feel like you can. Then don’t.
I’m trying to finish up some smaller projects before drawing the next one. And then I realized there’s a deadline potentially coming up that I said I’d deal with and now I’m not sure I want to. Whatever. I haven’t decided anything yet.
But I finished the Patreon reward quilt…put a binding on it Monday night…
And then forgot to take a final picture of it. OK. That’s about where I’m at right now. I need to put a label on it and then mail it.
I also finished the Social Justice Sewing Academy block and will be mailing it off as well…
It took me a while to get it done…
When I first requested one, it was summer 2020 and I thought I had time.
It arrived a week before school started. 2021.
Which is fine…I just needed the whole 30 days (plus a few more).
It gets mailed this week too.
When I finished the to-do sewing last night, I was going to grade, but then I decided to do this instead.
Relaxing stuff. Learning how it looks. OK. This is cool.
The parentals’ dog is here.
The cats don’t appreciate her. The dogs are OK with it. She’s excited to be here. Hopefully she’ll only pee on the carpet once (that already happened…I think she was excited).
OK, so I have pilates and book club today, this time for real. So I’m not expecting much to happen on the art front. But you never know. I could get back inspired (and not exhausted). I’ve got 8 minutes for this video to process…and I think it’s gonna be a no-go. Ah well. It is what it is. And I have my booster shot scheduled for Sunday…so my left arm will hurt like a bitch on Monday, but otherwise, I’ll be more protected again. All good. Then on to the next quilt! I sense drawing in my future. THAT is good news.
I’m loving this cooler weather. I actually wore warm socks to pad around the house, albeit with shorts on, because it’s not flannel pajama weather yet. Quite. It won’t last, of course, but it was nice this weekend to go out hiking with a bit of a chill in the air. Hell, it was just nice to go out hiking, even if it was only 3 miles. I’m fighting for work/life balance (and mostly losing). Here’s the hike view, though, so I don’t forget…
That was Saturday evening, around 5:30 PM.
Friday, after work, after entering a show, I got in the car and drove to Carlsbad, to the PHES Gallery opening of the Allied Craftsmen show. It’s a nice show in a nice space. My two pieces are here…
I lurked behind people and listened to them talk about the pieces. That’s always fun. Although I didn’t get home until after 10 PM, so that was also exhausting. I also got news Friday that two of my quilts at The Studio Door sold, so that was cool…not enough for a new sewing machine or to trim the trees, but it’s a start. It’s always a good thing.
Saturday, I got up early, because my brain knew how much work was on my plate and wouldn’t let me sleep in. I started by cleaning up, ironing, and packing up the quilt to go to the photographer at noon. Then I pieced the two blocks I owed for the community quilt my guild is doing for Quilt Con…they were due at noon to someone’s house, so I dropped them at 11:45 (I was early, c’mon), and then dropped the quilt at the photographer’s. Here’s the blocks…
They had given us some extra fabric to deal with the long pieces in the center, but I fucked that up and ended up having to do some improv piecing, which wasn’t hard and will probably add to the final design…I’ll post it when we have it.
I graded after piecing and before driving to drop things…and then I came home and graded until my sourdough dough was ready for the bulk stage. Then I went to school to deal with the stuff I’d left there…all the late Unit 1s that I had to rip out of kids’ hands (just a little more time! Dude, I need to do progress reports now, not later) and then all the stuffed animal drawings.
Guys, grading art is so hard. Sometime Friday night/Saturday morning, when I wasn’t sleeping, I figured out the best way to handle it…lay them out based on the rubric…who hit all 4 points, who hit most of them, who hit a few of them, and who wasn’t hitting much of anything. Yeah. It worked. I printed the rubrics and graded the obvious As first…they had all the things I asked for. I can’t say the middle lows were easy to grade…they weren’t. But I wrote suggestions, and with some, offered that if they kept going at home and improved it (like actually finished it), their grade would improve.
I know some would just give everyone an A, but this is an academic class and my kids feed into the REAL art teacher (I just play one on TV), and she will hold them to these high standards. Plus this is probably the hardest project we will do. So hopefully the next one will go better. We’ll see.
After 2 1/2 hours at school, I had what I needed, and that’s when I came home and hiked (what I REALLY needed). At dinner, I drew before the food came…
This is the beginning of an idea for the next quilt.
Sunday was more grading, lots more. But Sunday night, I got a chunk more done on this…
It’s taking me forever because of the other deadlines I have. It’s almost done, though, and should be on its way to the Social Justice Sewing Academy this week sometime, assuming I can get to the post office before it closes. I wanted all the things done before I started drawing the next quilt.
Cats are weird, y’all.
I’m gonna shove my face and use the wall as a pillow.
Am I done with grades? Nope. Wearing my Nope shirt today too. Had one kid constantly emailing me all weekend. I stopped answering. I’ll get through the last bit of it today and post grades. Hopefully some of them will learn not to do stuff last minute…luckily it’s a progress report and not a final report card. Then I will have my first chiropractic adjustment in forever, hallelujah. And maybe I’ll get to do something besides school tonight…maybe. I’m still two weeks behind on assignments, so that’s a thing I’ll be doing all week. Plus making videos for this week…kids are still out on COVID contracts. Ugh. Yeah. It’s been too much school lately. Need to get to work on changing that. Again. Still.
Hey. Friday. You’re here finally. Thank you for coming. Can I get you something? A cup of tea (because we’re all exhausted here)? A donut (because it’s been a rough week)? Maybe just a hug (wait, no, are you vaccinated?)? It has been a trying week in science…hopefully next week will be a little easier (fewer lab materials to fuck with). I still have trays of sand in my room trying to dry out, ironic on a week when it was almost 100 degrees out. It’s OK…today I have to tape a bunch of containers so they don’t fall apart in class and remind myself to buy new ones for next year, and then keep kids from fighting over dice, but also follow the game the way they’re supposed to, plus deal with an aide who keeps taking her break in the middle of a lab (ugh, really?) and then doesn’t talk to me about it (oh honey, please). I wonder though…I don’t get a break during the day? It’s because I make the big bucks, right? I don’t need to pee ever apparently because of how much I get paid. Yah, thanks to my co-teacher for coming down during her prep and watching my art kids so I could pee before I burst. Sigh.
Being back in person is nice because the hands-on stuff is way easier in person…but the behaviors of kids who didn’t have the opportunity to misbehave in person for 18 months is trying. Plus the hours of lesson planning and pandemic contracts for kids who are out and grading because kids are figuring out that grades are a real thing. I’m going to be grading all day tomorrow to catch up. Maybe Sunday too, although that’s when I usually make all the posts for the week. We’ll see how that goes. I did take a break last night for about 2 hours to stitch on Zoom with friends, and managed to finish the binding and sleeves on the newest quilt…
She’s going to the photographer this weekend, hopefully to be seen in a venue near you soon. I haven’t figured the hours taken to make her yet, but I’m sure it’s a lot.
Then I ate dinner and worked until almost 10:30, making a doc and posts for next week. I got tested for COVID again too. Although there have been no known positive cases in my class this week (yet…still have today to get through), the man has symptoms (with two negative tests) and his positive exposure was more exposed than mine usually are. My kids mostly wear their masks and I always wear mine. So he might not be playing in a show tonight…better to be safe than sorry these days.
We are doing Back-to-School Night, but with one parent per family. No kids. Sounds exhausting.
Also this is so so true…
Some things never change.
So for quilting, I have a small Patreon reward quilt that needs a binding on it, then I have to finish two small community blocks for my quilt guild, and then the machine goes back to Mom, hopefully Saturday or Sunday. And I draw the next quilt…after I finish embroidering the SJSA block and send it off. I don’t know what the next deadlines are on my list, but I’m leaning toward another women’s rights quilt. It’s largely drawn in my head…just need to get it out on paper. But first? Work. Be efficient. Get progress report grades done. Try to relax a little this weekend (not sure when or how) and maybe finish my book…reading has not been happening enough and it sucks. Next week should be more chill…hopefully.