From the Ranks of the Freaks*

March 11, 2018

I need to go back and read blogposts from previous months of March, to remind myself that this month is a slog…through grades and assignments and trying not to look ahead to Spring Break, because if you do, you’ll forget about the 7 meetings you have this week. OK, I’m not up to 7 yet, but it’s getting there. And two of them are 2 hours long. I just checked. I’m at 6. 6 meetings. Ugh.

My birthday was Friday and I have to admit it was a rough one. I have a friend who always takes her birthday off from school, but her interactions with kids are not as a teacher, so I think it’s easier for her to walk away from it for a day. Ours requires lesson plans and a hope that shit will actually go the way you planned. The kids singing Happy Birthday was alternately awful and heartfelt. I got lots of hugs. But it was still a lab day…and those are hard. I’m not a big birthday person anyway…I just like a little acknowledgement. Middle school is probably too much acknowledgement.

So I decided that I was not working yesterday. I did do a little work, but mostly I quilted. Which was the right thing to do. My brain is still not happy, but art brain had fun.

Really all I’m doing is outlining. It’s the drawing line brought back in…

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It was a rainy day anyway…

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Sure, I had errands I could have done. I could have graded tests. Ugh.

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It was way more fun to finish the outlining. Besides, I had a plan of getting the binding fabric on Saturday, because we have a thing today that will take up some of the afternoon.

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So I just kept going. It’s meditative. It lets my brain relax.

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I haven’t quilted the outside part yet, but that’s tiny and won’t take long. I finished the shoe about an hour before the quilt store closed, kamikazed over there, and picked out two possible binding fabrics (I’m not good at deciding sometimes)…

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Came home, threw the fabrics in the washing machine, and then headed out to two art openings in the rain. I feel like when it rains, the artists need even more support, because fewer people go out in it. More on those shows later this week. I’m way behind in posting about where I’ve been.

This is Friday night, though. I was waiting for my dinner companion to show up, so I was tracing Wonder Under for the next piece. I didn’t quilt Friday night, because I was tired and that’s when I make mistakes. So I traced. Except Satchemo was pretty convinced it was dinner time (it wasn’t).

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Kitten came out and sat with me for a bit. You can see the reflection of the light table in the window. I love my light table. It’s my favorite piece of furniture in the house.

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And here’s back in time to Thursday night, the opening of #MyVoice/#MiVoz, the 11th Annual Dia de la Mujer exhibit at The Front in San Ysidro.

This piece was fascinating…the three parts kept turning, so it was hard to photograph, but I tried! This is Hidden Treasures by Paola Viola, 3rd place in Emerging Artists.

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Another view as the pieces keep twirling…

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And people are hiding behind, reading the pieces…

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This is Hurts Like Hell by Michelle Montjoy.

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This piece is by Kim Niehans, a fellow FIG member. I was tired, so I was bad about photographing the labels, so I don’t know what it’s called. Luckily, I am computer savvy, so I went to her website and checked…and she is so good at posting her work! I love artists who realize they need to post stuff. This is Self Evident

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This is Gail Schneider’s Sally Yates.

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More fiber! This is Will Work for Free by Cat Chiu Phillips…made of fabric from designer bags.

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And one of my favorite FIG artists, Bhavna Mehta’s work in paper and embroidery, Resist with your voice #3.

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She’s got crazy talent…

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I saw the mural at the San Diego Art Institute for this, but love this print too…this is Arzu Ozkal’s San Diego Women in Resistance.

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Detail shots…

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It’s a beautiful piece…

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This is another FIG member, Judith Christensen, and her piece Women’s Work 2015-2018.

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Each piece is part of a list, lots of groceries and other stuff. We all make lists.

FIG member Anna Stump won 1st prize for Established Artist with her Another Fucking Princess piece that was in our Don’t Shut Up exhibit last year (my piece in this show was also in that exhibit).

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This is a detail of Ingrid Hernandez’ Make America Great Again (MAGA)

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Ah yes, Donald Trump on toilet paper. A classic.

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This piece was resin and leaves, very interesting…Mara Nasland, winning 2nd place in Emerging Artist, with her piece Rising from the Ashes, Stronger Than She Ever Was

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Intriguing structure, glowing with light.

So that was Thursday night. I think I have 4 other shows to post about, but not now. Now I need cat food and breakfast and a plan for groceries and maybe a revised birthday sometime in the future. Like a day where I redo it. Redo’s are good.

*Aimee Mann, Save Me


Allied Craftsmen Today at the Mingei

August 16, 2013

So on Wednesday, Julie, in an attempt to force my brain from its nasty circular crap, took me to see the Allied Craftsmen Today exhibit, which is at the Mingei Museum in Balboa Park (San Diego) through January 5, so you still have time to go see it. It is an interesting exhibit with great variety and some awesome and inspirational work. That link to the museum includes links to all the artists, so to save myself some trouble, I send you there if you are more interested in a specific artist.

Of course, I start with the one piece where I didn’t get the artist’s name…and I went through the website and couldn’t figure out which one it was…but it’s what looks like wooden balls the size of bowling balls with stains and paint rubbed onto them and animals wood-burned into the surface. I know there was some reference to constellations as well. If Julie remembers who it is, I’ll edit this.

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Arline Fisch’s crocheted metal neckwear…

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Viviana Lombrozo’s Markings…a quilt that curves out from the wall.

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Kathy Miller’s two pieces Speak Softly to Me

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and Character Map, both using a twine/fiber made from Japanese calligraphy pages.

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My camera was being its usual bad self, by refusing to let me see anything in the viewfinder. Annoying.

Both Miller and Linda Litteral are in my women’s art group, FIG. I recently posted about Litteral’s paintings after a visit to her studio…here is some of her delicate ceramic work that those paintings reference…

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The faces repeat around the bowl as they did around the paintings…

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And the insides are carefully glazed as well. She calls these Possibility Bowls.

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Julie really wanted me to see these pieces by Sasha Koozel Reibstein. This is Inadequate (with thready pulse)…

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and Inadequate (with jagged breath). The ghost image of the ribcage is to show that “we are sometimes inadequately equipped to defend ourselves from emotional blows.”

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Yeah. You got that right. Here is a detail of some of the stitching.

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Truly beautiful work.

I liked the finish on this piece by Warren Bakley…this is Winter Landscape #1. You can’t really tell in the photo, but the glaze is cracked.

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This is Cheryl Nickel’s DNA Mobile

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And Gail Schneider’s animal leg…wish I could tell you which one this is…possibly one of the two Emus?

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Joanne Hayakawa’s Inhale…Exhale…ceramic lung paired with lung formed of thorny rose stems, with a background of drawings related to the lungs.

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Hayakawa also made this Crow Tea II, a tea set with crow as teapot, exploring what the crow means in our culture.

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Is it the harbinger of doom or something else when we drink tea from the crow? As someone who uses crows often in her work, I can tell you they mean many things.

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Jeff Irwin’s Jumping Deer Trophy…a porcelain deer that seems to be made of wood and jumping through the wall.

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Charlotte Bird is in California Fibers with me. This is one of the three pieces she has in the show, Living Fossils 3.

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Julie and I had a discussion about the prevalence of teapots in ceramics…and why. These are seemingly fairly useless as actual teapots, unless you want your tea to fly off without you, which is not to say that they are not beautiful in their own right. These are by Kathy Kapolka Grudzas, who says these are metaphors for the balance in her life.

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Upstairs is an exhibit from the permanent collection of the Mingei of animal art…called Menagerie. These two were perched up high on a divider. They are by Ricardo and Miguel Linares and are called Alebrijes, from a dream of their father/grandfather, Pedro Linares.

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I liked the shape of this bird.

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This is a tapestry woven under the direction of Joseph Domjan. It’s called Fire Peacock and is based on a woodblock that Domjan created.

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The museum had a wall covered with batik tjaps that was nice to look at…

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I have a few of these somewhere in my house that have never been used. I should just hang them on the wall as art.

The Mingei always has great stuff in their shop. The glass reflection on this piece is unfortunate, but really, I just want the story behind it. We have a cobra-like snake tail coming off some sort of demon…the cobra surrounds the head of a woman.

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The demon holds the hands of a child, while standing on the back of a man who is holding the child’s legs.

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Yes, there is a drawing in all that somewhere…but I don’t want to copy it. I just want it explained, and then maybe I will draw my version of the demon pulling people apart.

Julie and I wandered the park a little bit, since it was a nice day. These are cocoons of the caterpillars I saw back in June when I was here for my science program…same bush and everything.

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Most of the cocoons (chrysali?) had already hatched, but there were a few caterpillars who had procrastinated…

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There was also a butterfly or two, but having a shitty camera did not help and they were all blurry.

Christmas gift for Kathy: New functional camera. But I also need a new down comforter. Which one? They cost the same, neither cheap.

Anyway, it was 2 hours where I could think (mostly) about things besides being depressed…although I never seem to leave that behind. It’s always knocking on the door, reminding me that I would have come here with someone else, that something large is missing. I seem to be unable to deal with social situations well…they suck my energy in a disturbing way. I am trying to stay positive about school, since constantly assuming the worst is not allowed, but I feel incredibly drained after social interaction, even in a professional development environment where I don’t even really need to speak. Everyone says I will be better, even using the word “happier” (does such a thing exist?) when school starts. No, I will just be distracted. Maybe that will allow me to recover better…who knows. Maybe I will just come home and crawl into bed, pillow over the head, blocking out the rest of the world. There’s just no way to predict what will happen. I guess my move from negative to positive thoughts includes this intermediary step…from negative to NO thoughts. Positive thoughts require me to have an emotion that just isn’t there at the moment.

It’s a nice exhibit…intriguing and strange and interesting. It’s open until January. Check it out. Good for the happy and sad.