Fascinating Poop…

While it is awesome and feels really good to get into shows, the paperwork and the prep to get stuff out of the house and into the world is sometimes a bit much. I’ve got two to get ready before Saturday, but am having problems contacting the person I’m delivering to. They keep emailing me, I respond, I get nothing. Then next week, I’m delivering four, so I’ll get those ready this weekend. They’ve been really good about being flexible, which I appreciate, since I can’t deliver during the regular work day. Two nights ago, I was filling out paperwork online and one cell in the form wouldn’t take any answer. Until I put a blank space after it. Don’t understand that shit. Luckily people are mostly helpful and understanding, and it’s just me losing my mind in the background sometimes quietly and sometimes with some force. Day job does not help.

So yeah, I got into Quilt National with Desert Mother

I think this is the fourth time I’ve gotten into QN with a piece made for (and usually rejected from) another show. This one was too late to enter into the show it was made for. I guess it turned out OK. She was the palate cleanser between the abortion rights quilt that will be at Visions starting this month and the two pissed-off Roe v Wade quilts that have come after. It felt bad to be finishing her during the beginning of the Russia/Ukraine war and all the other crazy shit that was happening, but I needed to make her. So that.

Meanwhile, I’m working on one of the pissed-off Roe v Wade quilts…finally doing stitchdown. I got really stuck in my head about starting this, so hard to get the machine set up (not really) and such a pain to do the stitching (not really). But last night, I finally stitched…

Even though it was less than 30 minutes, it was a start…

I’m figuring 5-6 hours. I could be totally off. But the last one, which is bigger than this, was 5 1/2 hours, so hopefully by the weekend I’ll be done? I don’t have any more meetings this week, I think. I did go to the gym last night, which ate up some time, but I needed it. I need it every week. I got to read my book and exercise. Perfecto.

Tonight is pilates and I have to cook and my parents’ dog will be here, so there will be some adjustments going on, but after that, I should have time to stitch down some more. I’ve just been so tired lately. Anyway. It’s progress. Slow as hell this year getting quilts done. It’s frustrating. I did get good news yesterday that my other 8th-grade co-teacher, the one who will actually plan interesting stuff with me, will be back in a month. Halle-fucking-lujah. Not doing it all by myself! What a concept. Looking forward to it.

Meanwhile, Monday morning, I got to school and this was on my door.

Yeah I figured out who left it (I had two reasonable possibilities), so we ID’d it (tomato hornworm, turns into a pretty cool moth) and housed it…

Our school has a garden that is mostly not doing anything at the moment but producing limes and compost tomatoes, so I’ve been trimming the plants to feed this thing, which must be close to chrysalis stage…

So we’ll see how that goes. It’s very slow-moving at this point. And it makes the most fascinating rectangular poops with ridges in it. Sorry. Forgot to take photos of its poop.

Anyway. So that’s where I’m at. Making art slowly. Exhausted by the day job. Raising a caterpillar.

Cat Interference…

Woke up early, not enough sleep, not enough caffeine, did the Quilt National talk, forgot my headphones keep the sound from showing up from my video, oh well, answered questions…

Photo stolen from the QN Instagram. I’ve actually watched all but one of these. I find them fascinating. You can see all of them (they haven’t uploaded this morning’s yet) and all the artist videos for this year on the Dairy Barn YouTube channel. Also, if you want to see my studio tour with sound (because that was missing this morning), you can see it here.

I know. As a teacher, I should remember how this shit works, but my brain was not awake. So there.

I spent the time cutting out Wonder Under, because I find it easier to listen carefully when I am doing something with my hands…

Which, yes, means I finished tracing last night.

So many cat interactions on this…

It took quite a long time to trace, longer than normal.

More complicated pieces than normal? Maybe. Also maybe that I had to think extra hard about overlaps.

I could just blame the cats. They were in the way.

18 hours and about 6 yards. Now I just need to cut them all out.

Yesterday, the man and I did a little driving reconnaissance for some possible training hikes.

Water is an issue. But he has more physical therapy in store and hopefully will be back on the trail in a few weeks or so.

This lizard…I think he’s the one I follow up the steps sometimes.

He jumps up the steps in front of me like he’s showing me the way.

Anyway. The day is half over, because of the talk and the car had to go in and a bunch of school stuff happened (that gave me a headache) and then lunch and I had to record a video for another art group I’m in and it only took about 17 tries to get the words right. I’m tired because I got up too early, but will be walking later. And cutting out lots of Wonder Under. And hopefully crossing some stuff off the to-do list because it’s insanely long at the moment. Stupid long. Maybe nap. Nap sounds nice. I tried it yesterday but cats interfered. Ugh. Ah well. Whatever happens, art will be involved.

Check Check Check…

There is an insistent cat head bumping my left elbow as I try to type. I managed to get her away from the keyboard, where she was before, but it’s possible that I’m not petting any of these cats ENOUGH for their preferences. OK, now she’s in front of the monitor, so any typos will have to be blamed on Kitten. And she just whacked me and I’m bleeding. So yeah. Cats. I’m also trying to listen to/watch this week’s artist talks for Quilt National and she’s not happy with my not paying attention to her, so now I’m trying to type with a paper towel held to my wrist so it will stop bleeding. Such a joy.

So somehow, the first week of Summer Break is gone. It’s always such a weird thing, that first week. I seem to waste a lot of time staring at things: books, space, social media, TV, the insides of my eyeballs. This year, I cooked a lot of things this week: wontons (very good), blueberry crisp (very good), lasagne from scratch (very good and will get frozen in batches for future eatings), and lemon bars (we had lemons…they fell apart last night, but they were still warm. I will in fact eat them with a fork if I have to). I’m still exhausted, which might be because I stayed up too late ironing last night and got up early(ish…for break, anyway) to watch the Quilt National thing. By the way, I will be participating in their weekly talks (signups are here) on July 30. You can also see me talk about my quilt here:

I don’t remember what I said. I’m going to watch all of them, honestly…just pick the playlist for this year’s quilts, and maybe even watch the ones from 2019. Why not?! It’s either that or I watch another badly dubbed movie like the last one I watched.

The damn cat is back, headbutting my elbow, decidedly nonapologetic about the divot in my wrist from biting me. My fault for having a calico cat. Feisty beasts.

So what have I been doing? Some errands, some garden stuff. Some house stuff. Some organizing. I can’t quite bring myself to clean out closets yet. I’ve found two things I want to get rid of…the rest is overwhelming. I’ve read a lot. I love reading. I’ve exercised for five days in a row…and my hips are complaining. I think that was from pilates on Wednesday, but I might take today off from exercise, since I know I will be hiking tomorrow hopefully (checks weather app…yes, I can hike tomorrow, as long as it’s not in the mountains, because they have a heat wave and I don’t? Whatever). I’ve also been doing art stuff in between all that, working on quilting a 20-year-old hand-appliqued quilt during the day…

I’m just doing the outlining right now; the background quilting will take a lot more thought and time. I’m not there yet.

I did a little embroidery on Sue Spargo’s Homegrown during book club…

Super slow moving on this one. But that’s OK.

And then I’ve been ironing at night, with a little bit yesterday during my quilt group Zoom.

Some bright colors were added for some small spaces in the quilt…

I’m about 6 1/2 hours into picking fabrics, and not done. It’s not an easy ironing job. So many muted colors that have to contrast with each other. I’m in the 300s somewhere, maybe almost done with them. Yah. Almost done, and I’ve already ironed some of the 400s, so I can safely say I’m at least halfway through. I’m hoping to be done with the ironing Sunday, but I’ve put a bunch of social stuff in the next few days, so I don’t know if that will really happen.

I’m meditating every night, mostly with the help of this cat.

Not help. She hasn’t whacked me for a while though…wait, that’s a lie. She scratched me two days ago because I dared to carry her past the little dog for her breakfast.

Yesterday’s walk almost didn’t happen. I finished making lasagne and then decided to walk.

Which is why I actually ate dinner at 9:22 PM. Not the smartest. Ah well. Routine is not my friend during summer.

This was me at pilates on Wednesday when the instructor told us we could do whatever we wanted with the balls we’d been using during class. Hmm. I did not throw it. I just thought really hard about why I was an adult and shouldn’t throw it.

Hey! There’s the girlchild.

Great picture. Love that face. Boston looks good too.

OK. I need more caffeine. And a shower. And to pick up a library book. Because I don’t have enough books to read. Plus make art. And check off about 20 things off the to-do list. By the end of the week, they freakin’ accumulate and I can’t handle it any more. Check check check. Plus tune out the neighbor woman behind me yelling at her screaming children. I’m thinking the ones below me must be at camp or something, because it is surprisingly quiet down there, except there’s the new house being built two properties below that, so there is NEVER NOT hammering going on except when it’s dark. Hallelujah for sending kids to camp though. I think I need to win some money and buy a second home somewhere with a massive amount of property, away from people and roads and builders and everything but nature. I would really appreciate the shit out of that space, but it would have to be real close…like up in our mountains, because otherwise I would never have time to go there. I could have a second studio there with a separate stash of fabrics, yeah? So I wouldn’t have to haul shit up there all the time. It could be the OTHER project that I only work on when I’m there. OR…get a little trailer and drive all over the US during breaks and make art in the trailer in campsites all over. Yeah. Both of those.

Buy Art…

Someone asked me to post the pieces that got into Quilt National and Visions over the years.

2013 Quilt National: Spread Out on the Pavement

2017 Quilt National: Beyond the Concrete

2021 Quilt National (yes, it appears to be every four years…creepy, huh?): Fire and Water

And Visions 2012: Sediment

I enter both shows every time, if that helps you at all. Lots of rejections over the years. One year, the Visions reject made it into Quilt National; another year, vice versa. It’s all OK.

So today’s topic is Top 5 Gift Ideas. Y’all…go buy art. Small business art. They don’t have to be quilters…they can be printers or ceramicists or painters. Buy small if you have to. Commit to one piece of art a year, if you can. I buy one SAQA auction piece a year. It’s my donation, plus I’ve gotten small art by artists I really enjoy, some I knew of before the auction and some I didn’t. Buy prints if you can’t afford the art, or even cards. Send them to everyone you know. So many small businesses, especially in the arts, are struggling right now. I wish I could do more, but I try to buy some every year. This year, two of my family members are getting original art from people I know. It can be a knitted sweater or an embroidered landscape, or a drawing, a bowl, a mug, jewelry, whatever. Just buy art. This pandemic has been devastating to so many people. I know as an artist that so many depend on classes and conferences and show venues, and so much of that has dried up. Sign up for a class, if you don’t want to buy art. Find ways to put your money, even if it’s a small amount, in the hands of an artist.

I worked with my co-teacher today for four hours, masked, in a room, away from each other, with the door open.

We got January planned, although then I came home and spent like 3 hours making digital versions of stuff so my kids could do the same stuff as the kids in a physical classroom. I’m still ahead, though…further ahead than I’ve been all year. I’ve always been starting to plan on Thursday for the following week, usually finishing Sunday night. I need that to chill out a bit. I need to be a little ahead of the game. Tomorrow, we’re doing it again, trying to get February planned. At least the pieces will be in place. Details to follow. I need to make a bunch of videos.

Last night, I stayed up too late, but I finished trimming all the pieces.

That’s almost 16 hours of cutting in the last week. Tonight, I sorted them…

Took me about an hour and a half.

I can start ironing tonight. I won’t get much done; it’s already late, but I can start.

Last night, I drew…

Tonight, I did not. There’s a lot of stressful stuff going on. I’m not forcing myself to draw if I don’t have the mental space. I know there’s a place for that kind of thing; making myself draw when I’m not in the mood makes my brain be more creative, solve problems, but there’s a need for self-care at the moment. So I’m just going with it. I can draw tomorrow night if I want. There is absolutely no point in beating myself up about what I can and can’t handle at the moment.

Be like a cat.

Sleep well.

OK, well it’s already past 10 and I need to be up sort of early for lesson planning. Hopefully the rest of the day will let me get some grading done and get a walk in. Tonight, I’ll iron a bit and get my ass in bed earlier than last night. And hopefully I’ll sleep.

All About the Sky…

December is the month of Instagram’s Top Nine…always interesting to see what OTHER people liked of my posts. When I was younger, I’d listen to the top 106.7 songs (radio station) of the year. Do they still do that? I realize with the whole work-from-home thing that I am never in the car, never listening to the radio. That was the only place I listened. Interesting. So much new music could be coming out and I wouldn’t even know. For the daily blog challenge, today is the Top 5 books…probably not fiction, which is good, because I don’t think I could take it down to 5…like ever. My head has so many books in it, I wouldn’t be able to suss out this one from the next one. The top 5 books are the ones I’ve loved the most recently. I just finished Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir…great book, second in a series, but I think the second book was better than the first, and I loved the first one (Gideon the Ninth). But you’ll have to like some sci fi/fantasy to read it.

So probably, this being a quilty blog challenge, we should talk about quilt books. Probably most people would talk about how-to books or pattern books, but I’m of the opinion, being an art quilter, that you should peruse quilt art and fiber art books, or even just plain old ART books. Tickle the mind with inspiration and ideas and signs of others’ creativity. Book catalogs of the big artsy quilt shows, like Quilt National and Visions…I read those like novels, staring at the photos, reading the statements.

Compilations of many quilts, especially when they expand on the artist technique or intention…

You know, I love picture books.

I don’t want to know how to make that quilt. I’m fascinated with the why and the thinking behind it.

They don’t all have to be quilts to be inspirational…branch out.

I sold most of my quilt how-to books and pattern books years ago. I kept a few, Baltimore Album stuff, some historical ones, some embroidery how-to books, but mostly I have art books now. And I thoroughly enjoy them. Over and over again.

I should be doing schoolwork right now, but I did a lot of that today. Grades are due on Tuesday, though, plus I need to put together posts for next week for all three subjects/levels, plus finish grading all the panicked late work kids are doing, and do some weird engagement thing that I still don’t understand. So it makes sense that my brain is completely shut down at the moment, talking itself in circles actually, trying to decide whether hopefully cautious makes more sense than cautiously hopeful. Fuck me.

I ironed the sky last night. I made a run of 17 sky fabrics.

I pick out my favorites and then try to make them all work together, and in the end, they mostly do. I had a quilt drawing pop into my head just now when I was thinking about this run of 17 fabrics. And it was all about the sky. In a week, well plus a day, I’ll have time to draw it.

Sky pieces ready for ironing…

Fun stuff.

It’s only 10:30 and I’m exhausted. I’ve been exhausted for weeks.

Hi Nova. You are a sweet slightly cross-eyed cat.

I feel like I’m going cross-eyed with tiredness. I’ll go to bed a little early tonight. I still want to iron tonight, and I’ll have to work my butt off tomorrow getting stuff done (what’s new?). But I need a break from school and Zoom. I need a moment with my fabric, y’all.

I’ve Gone to Ground*

Oh brain, mush brain, brain with few thoughts, brain that is still making my left eye twitch like a motherfucker. Oh brain. Stahp It.

So the plus is that it’s apparently Saturday and I finished the copyediting project…sent it off to the author this afternoon, about two hours ago…and then paced crazily around the house, trying to focus on anything at all. Nope. Not happening.

It’s apparently July too. So that’s a thing. June was a freakin’ blur. Still have three community quilts to finish. Tomorrow. Today I am done with shit I have to do.

Yesterday, I copyedited…I went to a beach bonfire in between two sessions of staring at tiny letters with new glasses, which caused a weird 3D thing in the middle of the computer screen…it’s still doing it, but I figure I’ll get used to it. I quit copyediting at around 11:30 PM because my left eye was vibrating too fast for me to be able to read well. Sign of tired eyes? You think?

Then I did a bunch of purplish and pink lazy daisies in the bush on the bottom right, to fill in the empty spaces.

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Then I did nothing. Eventually I managed sleep. Got up this morning and went back to the computer for more. Meanwhile, boychild and the ex worked on cleaning up animals…Simba got a flea bath, Calli got combed. I think Simba’s getting fleas removed here…it’s been a bitchy year for fleas…

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Then the boychild washed both cats, brave man.

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The cats have an appointment next week to hopefully get a prescription flea med that will work better than what’s not working now.

I ordered new quilting gloves, Machingers, the other night, because I realized my old ones were getting really gross and dirty with the pastel and stuff that’s all over the community quilts.

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I usually replace them about once a year anyway…so it’s time.

Kitten recovered from her bath…

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That’s what old pieces of smallish batting are for, right? Covering papers so wet cats can lie where they like?

Then I eventually made it back to numbering this…

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Yeah, it’s more pieces than I expected, and yes, I added the damn spaceship. I’d like to think aliens aren’t adding more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, but maybe they are. So this one is ready to trace, as soon as I get the community quilts done. Let’s not talk about what else I need to do next week. Let’s just have a little happy dance about finishing the copyediting. Now I can pay the mortgage in the summer. No paycheck after the one I picked up yesterday until the end of August…it’s always a rough time of year. I’d like to say that I want more copyediting work, but if I don’t get a few weeks off, I might go nuts. Been working way too hard. Need some time with art and books and drawing and regular exercise and spacing out. Please.

Oh yeah, and here’s a video of me talking about my Quilt National piece, Beyond the Concrete…it’s a little zoomy around in blurry space at times, but just look away if you get motion sickness and listen to my crazy voice…I especially love where it froze on my face for the preview here…I’m singing along to some song, ooooh ooooh, surely.

Ooooh ooooh oooooh.

*Zero 7, Destiny

Art Brain on Art…

I’m posting at night just to confuse you. Plus my brain has absolutely no freakin’ idea what day or time it is anyway. I think I have to be up at the equivalent of 4 AM again tomorrow too. I think. I survived two flights and a lot of driving in circles.

We made it to Nancy Crow’s Art Barn this morning…


Then had a nice lunch. I recorded a video about my quilt, and then enjoyed two openings, one for artists only, and one for everyone. Then a banquet for the artists, where I really enjoyed talking to other artists. It’s always nice to hear how others make. And why. And with what. Talk of solids. Hand-dyes. Drawing or not. Design wall or not. Windows in the studio or not. A studio? How big. Where. Do we stitch by machine or hand. When did we learn to sew. What did we do to get to this point in our art.


If only I could figure out when to be hungry.

We call the hotel The Sticky Place. That’s not a good thing.

Ohio is beautiful and green. 


Quilt National is amazing. And overwhelming. I couldn’t even read artists’ statements. My brain was trying to process images and people and the big picture. My brain drew 17 new quilts while I wandered around. This afternoon. This is not my first time at Quilt National …but it’s only my second, and I missed the last opening, due to a canceled flight.


More about the art later. Right now it’s late (in some time zone) and I’m tired, although I wanna be drawing. Gotta be up in the AM though, so to bed it is. Sleep sweet sleep…let art brain mull over the lines and colors while my body rests.

I Bleed It Out*

OK. So I’m in this weird place between pieces. You know when you finish one, take a deep breath (and I can’t do that yet, because there are three things I need to fix on it, plus I have to do the final iron and dehair for the photographer…once I finish this post), and then you’re flailing a bit…like WTF do I do next? Man I wish I had time for that sentiment at the moment. In reality, I have one that technically is supposed to be done next week (ha! It’s OK…really, I don’t have to finish it until the end of October), another collaboration with the same deadline (also not happening), and then the deadlines mellow out. A bit. Not really, because I have that awesome solo show next July and I need to make things for that. Before March. I think. And there’s one for December, but honestly, December sounds like it’s a million miles away at the moment. It’s OK. I know it’s not. But my brain is resting a bit with the lack of urgency. Don’t worry. It’ll get back there. Plus I have school kicking my butt.

But you know that place. You fold up the quilt you just finished and you pat it once or twice, look around the studio and think, oh god, this place is a mess, and start to tidy. And then hopefully by the time you’re done, the next project is nicely settled in place, ready to go. I know for most of you, that’s not how it works. You take days, weeks, sometimes even months between projects. But I was talking to my counselor about this, that the one thing that saved me after the last breakup and the kids leaving for college was my ability to MAKE…and not just to make, but to throw myself so deeply in it that I was lost, that I couldn’t even feel the bad shit weighing on me. It was the one place I found peace. And it’s often hard to leave that place…to go out into the world. Even though I know I need to do that…not just for work and food, but to socialize, so I don’t hermit more than I already do.

So I’m really looking forward to meeting some of my online quilt art friends at Quilt National, because some of the ones I’ve never met will be there…but also hopefully to make it in time for the opening this time (my flight got canceled last time). Something to look forward to.

Meanwhile, I have three quilts this weekend that need labels and two that need shipping right away. The other can wait a week or so. And the school workload is crazy. So that. Plus finishing the coloring book. And I don’t even know what else is on the list I started writing last night.

So I sat down last night and finished sewing sleeves on.

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I got into the habit of sewing on bottom and top sleeves on all my quilts…they hang better that way. In fact, in the photo below, the quilt you can just see the bottom of? It needs a bottom sleeve so it will hang better. Maybe someday I’ll do that, but since it’s pretty much aged out of the exhibition circuit, probably not. There’s a black cat in that photo too. Basically whenever I sit on the couch to sew or cut, I get surrounded.

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I knew this quilt would need ink. I just like how it separates sections.

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Some just have a little ink. Some none. This one had an hour and a half of ink.

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That’s kind of a lot…but hands. Overlapping.

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And I debated the rocks…but couldn’t stop.

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You can’t just ink one. Anyway. She’s done. She has a name even, but I’ll wait until I have official photos. I think it’s been a while since I updated the Recent Work section on the website. Oh yeah. Like April. OK. So that’s on my list when I get these photos back.

What’s funny is that I always try to make a new quilt for Visions and Quilt National when they come up. I don’t really worry about whether they get in, because it just motivates me to make a big complicated quilt every year. Really, every summer, I do it anyway. But in the old days, when I only made one big one a year, that was my motivation. For the big shows. The big shows I never get into. So I made one for QN. And it didn’t get in. Which is totally OK, because the one that did was made for ANOTHER show, and it didn’t get into that one. So it all works out in the end.

The dogs in the morning…waiting for me to get my act together and put them where they belong for the day.

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And because I know you wanted to see the branch that came down in the night…in the daylight…it ain’t small…

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Gotta do something about that. Probably soon. Sigh.

Oh and I hadn’t opened the most recent SAQA Journal (been a busy month). Someone had told me about the cover before I received it (Jill Kertulla’s baby being born), which is awesome. But then I looked and the Turmoil exhibit was in there. Over the years, I’ve kind of gotten used to having exhibits in magazines and NOT being in there, although a few have popped up. But usually the nudity throws them out.

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But not only did they put in Jill’s Baby Quilt above, but they put in my Goddess of Never-Ending Chaos. Full on vulva shot folks. I wonder if SAQA gets complaints.

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I hope not. I guess we’ll see how this exhibit travels. At least mine isn’t alone in it’s female part goodness. Hopefully that will help. I won’t be in Houston to see this exhibit, unfortunately, but maybe it will come out to California some time.

OK. I need to really finish that quilt (just need one line I missed and two places that need to be sewn down better. And then prep for photographer. And then head in the game for the next one.

*Linkin Park, Bleed It Out

Hello Ohio…

So it took me a while to process this, but I got into Quilt National. In fact, I read the email at school and thought, wait a minute, what? Because I had just looked at all the upcoming deadlines and notifications, and figured it would be a while before I would know anything. And this is the coolest part…it’s a quilt with multiple female organs in it. You know, boobs! And uteri! It’s not a pretty, easy quilt. So I did a tiny happy dance in the halls at school, and then flipped the bird with both hands at AQS. Well not really, because there were kids in the hall. But mentally.

Now I just need to figure out how to get to the opening. Minor issue.

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It’s cool though. I’m really happy. It’s one thing to get in once with a quilt that has no nudity in it (I know, you didn’t even know I had those…), but to get in a second time with two angry Earth Mothers? I’m good.

Meanwhile, this quilt is going to the photographer tomorrow and I’m still sewing bindings…

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With all the animals around. Actually, I finished the bindings and I’m on the sleeves…

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But I hit some exhaustion line again last night (must listen to body)…

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Although looking around me, I’m the only one NOT asleep. So yeah.

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More murals…there are two here. The one on the right is by Cinzah. It’s about “the impact of the global shark finning trade on shark populations. An estimated 1000,000,000 sharks are killed for their fins every year. Over the past 15 years, shark populations have decreased by 60-90%.” So extinction?

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Plus his sharks are adorable.

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I think so.

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Especially these two.

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And this guy…

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The other part of the mural is by n30n3, an artist from Mexico focusing on the importance of ocean exploration and discovery…

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It’s a really long wall…

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And the light was difficult…

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So that’s two today because I missed one today.

Now I’m going to go teach about elements and keep doing a little art dance.

A Rejected Quilt

First of all, I get rejections all the time, and not just in the art world. I’m actually pretty inured to them and take them mostly in stride, and I did this one as well. I didn’t expect to get in. The odds are against it. That said, it’s been I think 8 rejections in a row, with one acceptance that was kind of a given. The piece I’m working on now is an invitational and I was invited almost a year ago, and yes, I’ve been in shows…hell, I’ve got a piece opening in Houston in 2 1/2 weeks. But almost everything I’ve entered since January this year has been rejected.

So you do start to question what you’re doing. No, I’m not going to change and make pretty landscapes or abstract depictions of my feelings towards nature (psychedelic, man), but it’s impossible to be human and NOT say Fuck You a lot and growl a bit and complain about the universe being out to get you, even though you know that’s not really the case. And to wonder if you’re doing it right or whether you’re just wasting everyone’s time, including your own. I mean, maybe the world would be a better place if I spent all that artmaking time cleaning house instead. Or curing cancer.

And when you’re done grousing, you keep working on the fucking masterpiece that is on the ironing board right now, because it DOES have a home, an exhibit (Thank you, Sheila, for believing in me and my work. It’s much appreciated).

Meanwhile, here’s one of the quilts that Quilt National’s jurors rejected…the one I spent all summer on. The one that tears me up just to look at it.

It started out with the nickname of Menopause, because it started out being about THAT. I was having major symptoms of perimenopause, with irregular periods and hormones that were fucking with my blood sugar and my mood (I’m not sure why I’m saying WAS instead of STILL IS), and I was dealing with a severe case of depression brought on by some shitty stuff that happened that was completely unexpected and devastating and basically destroyed some part of my self in my brain, or drove it so deep that I couldn’t access it. Whatever. I’m not sure she’s all there even now, but…anyway. I started drawing in December…and continued in January…and it became this thing. This banner for who I was at the time…for who I didn’t want to be in some ways, but in others? Dammit, she’s standing strong. Leaning a bit. Not happy about it. But she’s upright.

And now, from the other side of the abyss, this quilt…it really holds so much of what I was feeling and experiencing…

CON6137 copy small

That it might be a good thing it didn’t get into Quilt National, because then I would have had to try to explain it in person, on video, and I would not have been able to stand up and do that.

CON6138 copy small

There’s so much sadness in this piece…

CON6139 copy small

And anger. And honestly? So many pieces…

CON6140 copy small

And it’s made and now I don’t know where it will ever be seen, because it’s kinda big…

CON6141 copy cmall

And more than a little scary…

CON6142 copy small

And just a bit in your face.

This is You Make Me Wanna Die

Nida009 copy small

It’s 40.5″ wide and 80″ high. And it came out of my head. And it got rejected. And it’s OK. I know it’s a fucking awesome piece. And I hope sometime in the next two or three years (before it ages out of the entry pool) that someone else figures that out.