No Time to Think About What She’s Done*

I promised to talk about some of the quilts in my Nida Powers exhibit…so I’m picking this one…the first of the earth mothers…aptly named Earth Mother

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This is also the first of the truly long skinny quilts…I started with a drawing on one page of my sketchpad, and then copied it and taped it to the next page…and maybe a third page. She wears a cape. People want me to explain everything in my quilts and the reality is that I can’t. Even this one, which dates back to 2006, I was journaling then, but often I don’t write down what I’m thinking when I make them. Ah, but I just went and looked and found this:

I meant to write about the 1/22/06 drawing to say what I was thinking when I drew it. I drew two eyes and they were too far apart, so I drew a third eye between them. She’s very calm looking. I think of her as native, earth mother type. I had a lot of problems with the arm behind. Used a bunch of liquid paper trying to decide what to do with the hands. Multiple nipples…didn’t like the placement of the first one, so I added some more. Seemed to go with the Earth Mother theme. Maybe that’s the name for now…Earth Mother. I know I want the feet to grow roots and the ground to be layers with tunnels and things down below. The 1989 tattoo is my marriage. I was thinking some people put significant names and dates on their body as tattoos, and that was a significant date, the date of my marriage. The eye relates back to that Indian (from India) thing of the all-seeing eye or even the evil eye. Her heart shows. The child is almost a Jesus figure, but eyes closed and wearing a diaper. Weird. Lots of decorative drawing. I drew the cape and the vine sort of as an afterthought. The halo is off center on purpose. Lots of religious overtones. I’ve always liked the stories of Mary that are sacrilegious and the stories of Our Lady of Guadalupe, so maybe that’s where I’m going with this.

Anyway, that’s where my brain was 11+ years ago. She is the most calm and peaceful of the Earth Mothers I think. She hangs in my entryway usually and I miss seeing her there. But she belongs in the show. Someone was asking about all the animals in the quilts; they’re all mine. I couldn’t figure out one of the cats in this one though. It’s back when Russia (the dog) was still alive. So I think it’s Willow and Juniper and Limbo, but I’m not sure who the other one is. Maybe Kiwi or one of the other dead ones. Even Russia was dead when I drew this…

So my art goals have been shot to hell otherwise. Yesterday was a lot of driving around and freaking out about black mold…it’s OK. We solved that. We had an expert over here, who scavenged some of our wood stain that was going to haz waste in exchange for his opinions and 9 wood screws.

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The big hole now has a medicine cabinet in it and the smaller hole is still there. I’m going to house animals in it.

Not really. I’m gonna fix it. But don’t ask my dad about it. He’s convinced there’s a 2×4 on the right (there isn’t). I know how to fix this kind of shit. I’m good.

Kitten. Seriously. I have video of her whiskers twitching while she sleeps in this position.

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So I didn’t get much done all day but errands and computer shit and I don’t even know what. The garage isn’t handled totally. The Craigslist ads are ready to be written. I’m posting those later this weekend. Don’t wanna deal with it right now.

Then I persuaded all living things that aren’t cats to go for a walk/hike down in Sweetwater…

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Strangely, cats don’t like walks. Well mine don’t.

Finally! Man. I need those walks. This weird plant…there’s still all new growth down there, minus rainfall.

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Fire hazard is gonna be high from here on out.

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Gorgeous evening though…

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Came back and made risotto (you know, like you do)…and then finally got to the ironing around 9:30. Yeah. Late again. So much for ironing all day, right? Fucked up mess. This is just like being at work.

So that’s what a tornado looks like before I iron it together. The brown fabric has been in my stash since I started making art quilts, like 1990 or so. It actually has some pieces drawn in pencil on the back of it. Fucking nuts. Really. I’m so glad I don’t have to do that any more (because drawing all 1320 pieces on Wonder Under is better? Sigh.).

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I was doing tiny buildings with tiny windows. No, they can’t all be the same color. That’s crazy.

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So I’ve ironed about 450 pieces down, maybe a bit more. And there’s still not a ton of color…lots of gray. Which makes sense maybe. I’ve done both legs all the way up to the pubic area, plus the land area below the knees.

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I’m hoping to do some today as well, but I don’t know how much time I have. Here’s the pile of pieces to be cut out. Silly windows.

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The whole fam went to bed after 1 AM (ugh)…no, the girlchild didn’t stay there all night, and Simba sleeps in a crate because he’s a fussbudget.

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Those faces. Calli sleeps through everything.

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Gonna miss the girlchild. Am not gonna miss her sticky labels from apples that I find attached to the kitchen counter every day.

Haz waste is gone. Did I mention that? Some shit got crossed off the list. Medicine cabinets. Another load of trash is ready to go. At this rate, my driveway is gonna look like Hoarder Central for another three months. That should keep the rabble away. Boychild is painting the fixed door. That’s good. And he’s the one that installed the medicine cabinets. (so he’s also the one that unearthed the black mold…)

OK. Checking my schedule. Going to iron until I’m told to do otherwise.

*Talking Heads, And She Was

Holding Hands While the Walls Come Tumbling Down*

So. A coupla things. I am behind on responding to comments. I’m sorry. It’s my first week of school. I’m a little overwhelmed. By all of it.

Second, I don’t think SAQA should pull the whole People and Portraits exhibit from the two remaining AQS shows. I think the artists and their family, friends, fans, and future fans deserve to see the amazing work in that exhibit, and I would never wish for their work to be pulled because of mine, even if mine being pulled is a crazy thing. I hope SAQA keeps up the banned quilt commentary in Chattanooga and points people to SPOOL Quilt Store to see my two quilts…because it’s nice of them to show my work and they deserve the extra business.

Third, someone objected to my calling out Fox News in a previous post. It comes to mind that maybe most of you don’t know that my work has been involved in previous kerfuffles, and every time, I’m hopeful that it will never happen again, because the world will become more tolerant and wonderful and amazing, like I want it to be. Yeah. I’m like that.

Fuck that. I have a legitimate beef with Fox News for reporting my work in the No Place to Call Home exhibit as pornography or inappropriate or any other host of words they used, when one woman called them because she was shocked I had shown a vulva in my work (she probably called it a vagina…most did), and had them come to the show and interview her. The Mancusos left the work hanging (although apparently someone put a piece of fabric over the offending vulva in Virginia), and let it continue on the quilt circuit, where there were no loud obnoxious complaints. Which is how it should be. That was back in 2011. And it reminded me that I had a brief moment of Oh Shit when SAQA announced the current exhibit was traveling with AQS. Because yeah. It’s happened before, but for a real thing, not an imaginary one.

And Quilters Newsletter Magazine reminded me yesterday that my quilt Disrupted (from the Sightlines exhibit, another SAQA show that traveled all over) had a complaint after they published it in their magazine in the December/January 2012 issue. The woman said it was like something out of Playboy magazine. QNM supported me across the board with months of positive letters about my work. That quilt got pulled from a museum in Missouri because something about school children. They did pull it before the show opened, though, but no one told me about it, which is a whole ‘nother issue that I believe has been remedied. Which is a good thing.

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That’s Disrupted. I’ve never seen anything like that in Playboy, but then again, I don’t really check Playboy out, so maybe it’s changed since I last saw one in oh about 1988, because I did this art project then using porn magazines. When I was in college. A million years ago. Maybe it’s gotten more arty, more surreal (please don’t give me shit for giving Playboy shit here).

So this is nothing new. And no I don’t like Fox, but I do like QNM. And no, I don’t like AQS. Or Playboy. But I love Mapplethorpe (look him up if you don’t know). So if you object to something I say, feel free to ask me why I said it, instead of calling me out on it. I’m a deep thinker, a reflective person, and if I call out a person or a thing, there’s usually a damn good reason for it. Just ASK. I can’t re-explain the last 10 years of my quilt life every time I post. And yes, I’ve been blogging since 2004. I also don’t like Trump or anyone else who badmouths women or children or refuges or people of a different race or any other made-up construct that people use to create hate and divisiveness.

In other news, I lied. I have a quilt with a shitload of penises in it. I totally forgot about it…it’s called Absolutely Nothing and it was made for an exhibit called Women at War

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Oh yeah, that’s a woman and she’s standing on a pile of men, who all have penises. OK. I think I only count four penises. But still. Them’s not imaginary penii. Them’s the real-ass thang.

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I had something to say with this quilt too. Shockingly. What’s amusing to me is that I’m cutting out fabrics for a new quilt right now and I’m doing more of those stacked rocks…and I think I’m using two, maybe three of the same fabrics. In the rocks. There’s no penises in the new quilt. Sorry. Because I don’t usually do a whole lot of penises. DAMN. There’s five. I suck. Five penises. OK, sometimes I do a lot of penises. Once.

Yeah. The title comes from the song War…what is it good for? Absolutely Nothing. Say it again. Plus all those woman-at-war-in-society issues.

What I really wanted to show today (before I went off last night and typed all that because I couldn’t go to sleep until it was all out of my head) was my newest quilts, one of which is huge, one of which is just plain weird but needed to be finished, and one of which reminds me of sending my daughter to college.

This is the huge one. It’s not named yet. It’s obviously an Earth Mother, but I’ve used that title before. I’m still thinking about it (no, I don’t need help. Thanks.).

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She’s got a ton of detail going on in her…

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And she took me most of the summer to complete…

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She’s like the Earth Mother for Ventura of last year, except without worrying about nudity or politics, like I had to for that one.

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Because yeah, I put a homeless woman in there too. It’s a big problem here in Southern California…and it’s not that I want to get rid of them. I want us to help them, help those who want homes, help those who want stability, realize some will need to live out on the streets, but most do not. Stop pushing them out of our communities because it scares us. Open our community arms and take them in and care for them. All the things an Earth Mother should do.

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This is the weird one…it’s called No Service. It’s been hanging around as just a top for so long that I couldn’t take it any more and finished it.

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And this is the one that reminds me of my daughter…hence the name Earth Daughter. That and she’s obviously a smaller version of the Earth mothers. I drew her on the plane after I left my daughter at college for the first time. Three-thousand miles away from me.

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She’s not very big, but she still has all the plants growing in her.

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One arm tree, some thistle, sunflowers, and cactus arm. Yeah. That’s my kid. A 4-leaf clover for good luck.

Anyway. I have a ton of school and art-group work to do this morning, but then I’m hoping to iron more on the new quilt. I did start last night, but I’ll save that for later. Plus whatever the owl background decision ends up being. And that’s where I’m letting my head stay for a while. And then I’m gonna go hold hands for a while.

*Tears for Fears, Everybody Wants to Rule the World