Everything Changes

My computer is trying to download a video from iCloud that I need for my Patreon. I tried to do it last night, and nothing was showing up. At first, the computer said it would take two hours (for a 90-second video) and now it’s down to 2 minutes. Wildly inaccurate, if you ask me. But it’s where I’m at…not believing the technology. Seriously, I’m still looking at the weather app for this week, going into October, with temperatures of 104-105 degrees for the next few days. Ugh. I’m gonna die here in the no-A/C. I’d like the app to be wrong, but I’m sure it’s not. And I know the download speeds vary for the internet, mostly because my internet is a cranky bastard (I was gonna write bitch, but no…let’s not land all the bad shit on women…we get enough of it as it is)…yesterday, it kicked me out, or Zoom kicked me out of class 4 times in one 45-minute period. I suspect today will be the same. When it’s warm, it’s worse. Hopefully not, since I’m doing a demo today. Boychild and I set up stream tables in the living room (you know, like you do) and tested them.

The animals were fascinated. What’s really fun is the sand needs to be wet to do this, and it’s supposed to be hot as hell today, and I’m not just doing it today because all the schedules changed, so it needs to stay set up until after I teach on Thursday. Ah. Well. Life is interesting. The cats want to be in it. After today, I’ll move the trays outside until Thursday, although we’ll have to cover them out there as well…don’t need to make a bug nest or some intriguing place for a skunk to poop. Who knows what will happen with them.

I do have a prep period in between the two classes today, and I start with my smallest class…I’m more worried about the huge class on Thursday with a bunch of special-needs kids. It’ll be fine. I’m sure.

Here’s the temperatures…should keep the sand drying out (not what I want, unfortunately)…

So yesterday was like the first day of school again, except now I have three grade levels and three class preps and 40 more kids than I had last week. But I’m not in the classroom. Pros and cons. Today all my peeps go back with actual kids and we’re taking bets (not really) on how long it takes to shut school down with the first case of COVID. They’re in cohorts, so one will go home at a time, but you still know it’s going to happen.

At the end of the day yesterday, after managing a bunch of stuff I wasn’t ready for and also wasn’t completely comfortable with (ah, what’s new, 2020?), I rested briefly.

This space is over-crowded at the moment…and I need to figure that out, but right after that picture, we were setting up the stream tables and then I was running around watering, folding my laundry, making dinner, setting up the slides for today’s teaching, trying to figure out how the fuck far I can get in the lesson in an HOUR. Ugh. An HOUR. Too long. I’m hoping to get them to a certain point and then push them off to finish on their own, but yesterday, they were leaving when I said, hey, this thing needs to be done, and then it wasn’t. Sigh. So conversations need to happen today.

In good news, I think I said this before, but the quilt I haven’t been able to touch in a week (or more?) is tentatively sold. A deposit is on its way with a signed agreement, and as soon as I can get the two things off my shoulders that I need to finish this week, I’ll be finishing that one up.

She’s still in this stage. Not much ironing left…and then stitch down and quilt. Close to the end. Then I need to make some smaller ones.

First, though, I needed to finish this…

There were some very tense moments when she tried to collapse, but I have a strut inside right now that hopefully will help. Also, hopefully, she doesn’t explode in the kiln. I’ve tried to be really good about air spaces and all that. But you never know. Worst case, her parts will be by the side of the labyrinth we’re building.

It’ll be better if she’s whole though.

OK, well now I just need to figure out how to get her to our amazing ceramics person and her kiln before her deadline. I think I’ll need an assist on that. Then onto the fabric piece for SJSA, and then I can get back to the one on the ironing board. Which is sold! Good thing…money is tight right now. Not getting paid all summer is hard.

OK, survive today…only three classes instead of all six. Time to prep for next week, hopefully, or even beyond. Teaching art is still difficult for me (after the first day!). It’s not the same as in person…it’s really hard. Plus I don’t know the program we’re using very well, or any other programs, and there’s the matter of getting kids supplies when they can’t come in or won’t come in, for whatever reason, and what supplies actually exist and how to grade this shit anyway (I really don’t remember what I did a million years ago). It’s a lot of mental energy that I don’t have at the moment. No exercise in the last two days either, and it’s going to be hot as hell today, so that will make it hard. Hoping for a walk, if merely to clear the brain. Everything changes. We adapt, we adjust, and then it changes again. It’s a rough year for everyone…but teaching has been incredibly difficult. I’m not having fun right now, and I hope that changes…it has in the past few weeks been fun again sometimes, but right now…ugh. Nope. Not.

Everything Under the Sun

I try not to be the person who counts days from this to that, although I have a Countdown app that always has the holidays in it, the week off for Thanksgiving, three weeks for Winter Break (I know, lucky!), two weeks for Spring Break, eight weeks (unpaid those) for Summer. And then the trips…last year was the Arizona/Utah National Parks in Spring, a couple of winery trips (one right before everything shut down in March), a trip to Portland and another to Joshua Tree National Park. All good. But right now, the numbers in my head are how many days to the election? How many days I’ve been mostly stuck at home (it’s a lot, over 6 months, just like the rest of you)? And the big one, how many days until I can go back to school? It’ll be at least 365 more, I think. That’s the hard thing to contemplate. Up to now, I’ve had a teacher team to plan with, dealing with the same kids, the same schedules, the same curriculum. As of Monday, I have none of that. Or very little. I’ve felt incredibly isolated as it is, but this is throwing me. It’s OK…I’ll get through it. I’ll survive it. I have a job. I’m mostly competent at it. There’s too much right now and I’m so fucking sick of 15-hour days focused on school school school, but I will eventually either get a handle on that time suck or I will quit and copyedit full time while selling one loaf of sourdough bread a week, because that’s all I can manage to make. It’s hard to say how close I am to that moment. I’ll let you know.

So the artmaking is sporadic and I have to fight for that time and yesterday I was told I should be watching education-related videos WHILE I am making art, because that’s time I could spend on school stuff that I’m not. Eye-opening. And don’t think I haven’t considered it. But I’m already in a half state of crying on a daily basis, and I think that might push me over the edge.

This shit sucks, y’all.

And then I wake up this morning, not really sure what I’m teaching today. I’m sure it’s on a calendar or a post somewhere; I just didn’t review it yesterday like I usually do because I couldn’t. And I checked my email, and Bigger in the Outside was accepted into Excellence in Fibers VI

She’ll also be at the Front Porch Gallery in Carlsbad after this weekend with two other pieces of mine. The Excellence in Fibers show was supposed to have a corresponding museum exhibit, but that’s postponed until we don’t know when…if ever. Like many things this year. I guess the acceptances motivate me to make more? They don’t actually at the moment. It’s more a matter of where to put my brain that ISN’T school. Making bread is just as useful a place. Maybe. I don’t know. I know I’m not getting any peace out of artmaking right now, but then, maybe I never did. It’s meditative, and maybe without it, I’d be jumping out the window and running as far and fast as I could. We just don’t know. Because I haven’t stopped making it.

The SJSA Remembrance block is still in progress…I traced it on Wonder Under a few nights ago…it only has 116 pieces, so it’s not horrendous. And then I started cutting them apart one night, Tuesday? And didn’t finish.

Last night was my now-biweekly stitching Zoom, so I quick cut the rest apart, and then after the Zoom call, started ironing them to fabric. It’s not ideal, because I still have the last 80 or so pieces from the COVID Daughter piece on my table, and it’s precariously on my ironing board, waiting for me to come back to it (I want to!), but I got about half the pieces ironed down to fabric.

I quit when I got to the flesh, because I knew I was tired and couldn’t handle it. And I also knew I needed to do schoolwork. Yes, I took a break from about 6-10 PM…and then went back to work. I did also make a trip to Home Depot for new roller blinds to block the AM sun from my work spot and to pick up and drop off stuff at school after hours. I saw two people and waved. That was all.

Anyway, I’ll finish ironing the pieces down sometime in the next 24 hours and then cut them out…I might actually do some of that during gaming tonight. It needs to be done by 10/3.

I’m still working on the clay vessel for the labyrinth…

If I do a little each night, it hardens enough by the next night to support the next few inches.

So after the Wonder Under was done last night, I pulled this out and got a few inches higher.

I’m not going to be able to go high enough to put a full torso in, but that’s OK. I was trying to fall asleep last night (ha! What a fucking joke) and my brain told me how to finish the top, wherever it is.

Here’s my fat cat odalisque.

I want to be more like her.

And the girlchild has been gone for almost three months now, but we are still finding remnants of her cooking experiments…

I obviously don’t clean anywhere near enough.

OK. It’s the Friday before everything switches again and I gain 40 students and two more preps and two more grade levels and minimal support from anywhere, whatever, and grades are due Sunday and I was grading last night at midnight, fuck this job and COVID and the stupid government for not doing its job and stupid people for not wearing masks and staying away from each other and I need to get some exercise this weekend, maybe even this afternoon, plus get everything under the sun done that needs to be done and maybe a little less of the crying stuff because I can’t see to type or grade shit when I’m doing that. Peace out y’all. It’ll be different in a few days.

Send Cookie Thoughts

Hey y’all. I missed writing yesterday. My brain was on GRADE GRADE GRADE mode. It’s been there for 4 or 5 days and I’ve missed some things I should have been paying closer attention to. This school year just sucks. Usually, about now, the school year is calming down, we’re finding a routine, and stuff is getting under control. I’m sure you know the end of that story in 2020. Fuck all that, we’re back in, starting over, fuck the routine, and fuck calm.

Saturday, I ignored school. Mostly. I did a bunch of other stuff, including some art projects I just needed the impetus to get started, so I could then do a little each night. One was the clay piece for our FIG labyrinth…

I used to do ceramics in school and then for a bit after, but I think before the divorce? Or maybe just after? It was hard to find a studio and the time, so it just didn’t happen. Anyway, on Saturday, a super dry and hot day, I started finally. Sliced into the clay, started trying to roll coils and stick them together.

It was much easier Sunday night. I had something started, my hands were remembering how, and it wasn’t as dry out.

I have this clay tool I love, I remember loving it, but I can’t find it. It’s here somewhere, in this house.

She can’t be very tall, so it hopefully won’t take me long. That said, I didn’t work on her at all last night. Last night was kind of a clusterfuck.

The other thing I started was my SJSA Remembrance block, for Nicholas Bils.

I traced his face, and then went and got it enlarged about 150%. Then added it to a larger background.

And then added stuff in the background: his name, his dog, a river (for his dog, whose name was either River or Rio, and because he lived on the water).

And then last night, I started tracing the Wonder Under…

And get that done.

I have fabric for the shirt, but it needs to be dyed. Not sure if I can pull that off this week, so I might change my mind about it. We’ll see. Time is at a premium. Not my choice.

We walked around Lake Murray Saturday night…

It’s too peoply too, but manageable.

It was dusky.

Saturday night stitching was brainless.

Sue Spargo’s Homegrown March blocks. All I can handle is stitching it down.

I only have one done of the four. Don’t get excited.

Sunday, I had an appointment to go to Visions Art Museum to see Judith Content’s amazing work…always better in person.

It’s totally worth it and hopefully won’t close down today.

I was also introduced to Melody Money, whose work I haven’t see before.

She’s got some handwork on there.

Fascinating stuff.

Lots of details…

You should totally go see both these shows.

They’ll be there until January, so even if we shut down museums today, they’ll open back up eventually.

Fun stuff.

Very joyful.

Here’s where I’ve been grading…

Notice the cat? Yeah. It’s a crowded space when I’m doing everything.

Work sucks. I’m freaked out by everything. Everything is overwhelming. Staff meetings make my brains melt. Kid demands made me cry last night. I can’t do more than I am. Yesterday, I walked for 3+ miles to get it out of my head.

I only took the little dog. The big dog is too old for that far. So she was sad, and he was tired. But I needed it.

With that, Happy Tuesday. Love you all. Well, except for the non-mask-wearers. I don’t love you right now. And send cookies. But I’m fussy about them. So don’t really send them. Send cookie thoughts.

Quickly…

This is quick. I need to leave. Oh wait. I really need to leave. Never mind. I’m bringing it with me. Openings that are only 14 hours apart. Hence my headache. No wine at the last one. Nothing but coffee and yogurt at this one. Ouch.

So this is from last night’s opening of That’s What She Said…Artists Speak Out, at the Martha Pace Swift Gallery in Liberty Station. This is a Feminist Image Group (FIG) show and is up until January. There’s an opening every first Friday that I’m going to try to be at, so plenty of time to see this show.

I have two pieces in the show…this is All Stacked Up in My Head…

At some point, I’ll get an official post up for this one…not sure when.

I came home late and graded and went to bed, got up this morning and drove to another opening…Metamorphosis. This is Allied Craftsmen, another group I’m in, with the Mingei Museum, which is currently under construction, so the show is at the San Diego City College Art Gallery until December. This is the member preview…the real opening is Thursday from 5-7 PM. I’ll be there too.

My piece is way down on that wall.

I’m staring to lose track of where everything is. That’s Womanscape.

I also found out yesterday that Swallow Me Whole won 1st place in the Surface Design Association show Beyond the Surface…so that’s cool.

Meanwhile I need to grade like crazy today, hopefully engage in some actual art making time, and go watch the man perform. Exhausted already. Plus still have a sick kitty. It’ll be fine.

You Gotta Wear Those Shoes*

It’s Friday. I’m not sure where the week went. My weekend is looking a little crazy. Mostly because I didn’t do all the things during the week that I should have done. Typical. It’s OK. I’ll get caught up on the things that need doing. Delivering things here and there. Cutting stuff out. I think I can get it all done. Maybe. I really want to be ironing things together on this quilt, but I was tired last night (seriously, three meetings in one day, just 11 hours on campus or at the district office. It’s FINE.). I cut stuff out, but gave up early. I could have stayed up later, but I don’t think it would have been good for me today. I only have a little left to cut out though…

About half a yard. Maybe less. I have about 7 hours in so far…it MIGHT take an hour to finish…probably less. So that’s tonight…and then sort them. And then the fun part…cleaning my office so I have room to iron to fabrics. My second Patreon video might run a little late this month. If I start ironing tomorrow, I can probably put a video together early in the week. More importantly, can I hit my deadline? I think so.

Seriously though, I’m overwhelmed and buried by all the things. It’s going to get better. Soon. At the science curriculum pilot meeting last night, we decided to cut the pilot short…before we killed something. I think this is a good decision. It won’t solve all the issues we’re having this year…a lot of that is the kids…but it will help our sanity to teach the things that we know work and that make sense…because if I can’t understand what the question is asking in a 7th-grade curriculum, there’s a problem.

Weird things I do for science teaching. We need two buckets for next week. I have two, but they’re stickered. I did pull off the mostly inappropriate Jane’s Addiction sticker. Part of Greenpeace is still on there.

I figure they can survive Greenpeace. They’ve probably never even heard of it. Does Greenpeace show up on Fortnight? Because that’s the only way they’d know.

My two pieces have been hung in the That’s What She Said show that will open October 4th in Liberty Station (the one on the left)…

And the one on the back wall…

Interesting trio. This is the Martha Pace Swift Gallery in Liberty Station, just behind Solare (a restaurant). The openings will be from 5-8 PM every First Friday through January. So that’s 4 possible openings to come to. One of the things on my to-do list is to make the 4 Facebook events for those. It won’t take long…I just need to do it.

I really want to spend some time drawing this weekend. I’m hoping that happens. But first, off to school (no meetings today!). I think today involves 90 ice cubes and Dixie cups. Don’t even ask. It could be ugly. Or it could be interesting. Hoping for the latter. Really, it’s just water. It can’t be that bad. (Laughs hysterically because has been teaching middle school for 17 years and knows exactly how bad it might get.) I actually think the kids are starting to realize that their teachers aren’t kidding. I see improvement. I may feel differently tonight, but lately, it seems like they’re getting it. We’ll see (knock on wood).

*Patrick Sweany, Them Shoes

Because I’m Easy Come, Easy Go*

I have all these videos I usually have to watch for school, kids explaining their understanding of this topic or that vocabulary word. It gives me an idea of what they’re thinking, makes them practice verbalizing what they might know, and gives them some experience with talking to others without the chat factor. The kids don’t much like taking the videos, although if you put them on YouTube and get them to talk about video games or their favorite anime, then they’re fine. It’s only school that makes them incoherent…or for some of them, just amazingly intelligent. The kids who would never ever raise their hands in class, who never say a word, are sometimes incredibly competent on video. But I have to watch all of them, and that takes time, and I can’t (usually) do anything else while watching them. Sometimes I can sew, but not always. And I wanted to work on my drawing this weekend…but I also wanted all these videos out of the way. So I watched WHILE I drew. Really, I did, and it worked. I was probably a little slower at both than usual, because I did have to type in scores and pay attention to the words at least (not the pictures)…but I got both assignments done and I feel good about that. One more thing to check off my list. TWO more things…

I also got some of the holiday shopping done, although I’m still flailing on at least two people. So there’s that. I did a lot of grading. Oh! I went to the FIG opening at the Lyceum, although we didn’t stay long (someone was tired)…this is the downstairs gallery at the theater, the play is “A Doll’s House, Part 2,” and this is our Women: Poetry and Art exhibit.

It can be seen whenever the box office is open, apparently. Or before the show opens each evening. It’s a nice exhibit. Each piece is either based on a poem or the poem is based on the piece. Some of us wrote our own, but most used other people’s work.

This is my piece Sweet Delicious, based on a poem I wrote a long time ago.

So the opening was nice…some of the artists read their poetry as well. There’s another poetry reading on Thursday, but I’m already booked that night. 

Mostly, though, when I wasn’t grading stuff this weekend, I was drawing…so I added paper on all four sides, some more than others…and started to fill out Head number 4…which apparently needed snakes for hair.

Like you do. That was Saturday night. That was also when I cut this section out because the hand that was there sucked that bad. This thing has a lot of hands. 

It’s OK. I came back to it Sunday. But first I worked on the arm of Head 4 and the body of Head 3.

Here’s Head 5 swallowing Head 4, although the size is not that much greater…if at all. And the sun. This whole piece is currently upside down to the orientation of the whole thing.

Mostly I think this drawing is about anxiety and life sort of taking over, feeling like you can’t get it all done and you’re getting swallowed by it all. But it’s also really disorienting. And sort of frightening. The thought of being swallowed by a giant toothy mouth is scary.

I guess that’s where I’m at right now…although she seems to have it all together. Tea, cat…what more could you need?

There’s lots of snakes too. Not sure what to say about that.

There’s the redraw where the crappy hand was before. Much better.

There’s a lot going on in here.

This is the body and the hand to Head 3. 

And then I tried to photograph the whole thing. Well it’s not dark enough ink for you to see all of it, but it’s big…and this is the correct orientation. I think. I could change my mind later. Maybe there will be a sleeve on each side, and you can decide how you want it to hang?

I think it’s about 64″ wide x 55″ high. Now. 

Of course, the next step was to number it. Well…to START numbering it. I got about an hour in…and then quit (to go to sleep…it was late). I numbered by figure, so hopefully that will make sense when I iron it together. But probably not.

I always try for logic…and mostly fail. I numbered 3 of the 5 heads…and kept track of pieces for each. 

Interesting bit that…the smallest does have a lot of pieces for its size. I counted the things that were on it. The smallest one includes a tea cup and a rug and a cat. The next one has a tree, a bird, a bird’s nest, and some sort of ivy. 

This is most of Head 5…not numbered yet. It probably has the most pieces in it. It’s also one of the biggest heads. I think technically Head 4 is bigger…

But fewer parts of Head 4 show? Maybe? There is an arm. 

Anyway, I’ll finish numbering tonight and hopefully start tracing. Looking forward to this one, even though it’s weird. I like weird.

*Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody

I Blame It on My Own Supply*

Interesting couple of days. I really really really wish I didn’t understand HTML. Because I spent about an hour last night editing it…

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Why? Because Blogger is a piece of crap sometimes. Sigh. Some bug in the fonts was driving me nuts, so I just went in and deleted all the code until I could make it work. Just so I could write a post about the Night Stand exhibit I’m in with Feminist Image Group…go check it out. We’re having a pajama party (no really) on Thursday, aka an artists’ talk, but not really? But if you want to hear the artists talk about their pieces, that would be the time to go. In your pajamas. There’s food.

This might be the closest I got to making art this weekend…photographing the cat next to the cold iron.

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Oh wait, I did buy background fabrics. I couldn’t choose. I will use the others (I use blue a lot for some reason), so I’m not worried about having extra, but I haven’t made a decision yet.

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Which is fine, because I still haven’t cut out the last yard. Tonight. Hopefully. I went back to school yesterday and graded more science units, plus spent about 4 hours on that post (resizing photos, pulling all the text, editing the text, at least I didn’t have to type the text, fussing with the damn stupid code. See a non-copyeditor would have said “Oh Well” and moved on because they wouldn’t have known what to do.).

I don’t think this is art. Although it seems like it.

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But I did make it to art on Saturday night. This is amazing work by Marianela de la Hoz, currently at ArtProduce.

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Her work is tiny and delicate and incredibly detailed…

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And political on top of it. This is Paradise Lost and the Big Bang.

The detail on this piece…The Absurd Monologue Between Adam, His Image, and His Likeness

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I stared at this one for a long time…

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The skulls alone…

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Behold the Man I…no joke there.

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Definitely fitting work for the times. I really enjoyed this show.

Anyway. So I’m still not getting art time in, although my plan is to spend almost all of next week arting. I now have two full drawings in my head, and I still need to start ironing Wonder Under to fabric this week. Somehow! Seriously. I’m not enjoying this. My chiropractor is gonna have a field day with my neck and back this week. Deep breaths. I can survive this week and have a week off with all the goodness that I can save up until Winter Break. I can do it!

*AWOLNATION, Sail

You’re My Wonderwall*

Exhaustion hit yesterday. I went to bed early even. I have to listen to the body sometimes or face consequences. Part of the exhaustion was an opening after school of the new exhibit I’m in at the Women’s Museum of California. It’s called Night Stand: Bedside Imaginings by the Feminist Image Group…strangely, I have a nightstand (it’s one word, dammit) and a bed in the show, one of only two beds…and one of the things I’ve found about trying to take photos of 3D art, even a quilt lying on the bed, is that it’s hard to get a decent picture…gallery lighting doesn’t help.

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It’s an old army cot…one I actually slept on a couple weekends ago while camping. The quilt itself doesn’t come all the way down…it’s just the top part. Begging the question of…what the hell am I going to do with this after this show closes? Dunno.

Here’s a long view that includes pieces by Stephanie Bedwell and Jeanne Dunn, as well as my nightstand with Prudence Horne on the right…oh, and Irene Abraham’s nightstand in honor of Barbara McClintock.

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This show kind of morphed, I think, after the first discussion of trying to do something like Judy Chicago’s Dinner Party (copyright issues) and then somehow got to WomanHouse…although I think I missed that meeting.

Anyway, Prudence and I worked on a nightstand that started out about the fact that we read ourselves to sleep, so our nightstands always have books on them, and then the stories you’re reading about end up in your dreams, followed by hey, some women writers have to write under pseudonyms…having to hide who they are to do what they love. So we put names of women authors with their pseudonyms (which we crossed off…it’s not who they are)…

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It’s a weird little beast, but I like it.

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This group often challenges me to do things I don’t normally do.

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I sold a pile of coloring books at the show, and there are more at the museum. I’ve been paid back at this point, which is good, and now we can start saving for the next exhibit, which is coming up all too quickly, and which I am heavily involved with. You know, in my spare time.

So that was my excuse for exhaustion. Teaching all day, then going almost directly to an opening for three hours. I got home, ate dinner, and went to bed essentially. Sad but true. We did talk at the opening about that…if I went to all the openings I got invites for, or even just the ones I wanted to go to? I would never get any art made. So sometimes we have to just stay home and hunker down.

*Oasis, Wonderwall