But Forget It All, I Know I Will*

March 27, 2017

I spent a lot of time grading student assignments this weekend. I’d like to say I’m done, but I’m not. I think I have 23 to go…which sounds like a lot to the part of my brain that will have to watch all those videos. I’ll get through them, but I wanted to be done. I often want to be done with the work part so I can go on to the art part…a split in my life, when normal people plop down on the couch and watch some TV to wind down, I’m getting up to stand for the next two hours, tracing. Which is in fact what I did…eventually…

I did finish the other quilt; well, the binding anyway. I need to do some other stuff to it. I think. Photos will follow. It won’t be officially photographed until the end of April, with the other one, which doesn’t exist.

I’m reading this book that I’ll write about later…but I liked this quote in the frontmatter with regard to art…

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And that might have been what Marker referred to (haven’t seen the movie), but in the context of what I’m reading, it becomes much darker. I still like the quote though. More about my reading later…not today; got a parent meeting. I’m already behind and overwhelmed.

I drew this Saturday night while watching the band play…

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I had done a drawing back in January and had some false starts in the sketchbook, so I turned one of them into something.

Here’s another false start…

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We’ll see what I do with that.

I had to take a walk yesterday to clear my head after grading stuff. I was getting irritated. Getting outside and touring the neighborhood trashcans is always nice. (I actually do just look at plants and the sky…the dog is more interested in the trashcans.)

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Wildflowers abound.

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I skipped Saturday’s stitching…so I did two yesterday. I started a wacky bird to the right of the tree. It’s not done. And then I did the blue straight line triangle shapes on the bottom. I saw someone else stitch something like them, so I wanted to put them in there. So I did.

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Still not sure I’ll (a) make it all year on this and (b) have room to stitch all year on this and (c) be able to stitch on it during my trip over Spring Break. But that last bit is fixable and the first bit is no guilt and the middle bit is. Well. It just is.

I then continued to trace Wonder Under for the next bathtub…this will be the third one I actually make of the six or so bathtub drawings I’ve done.

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I got an hour and a half or so in last night…there’s only 630 pieces and I have 350 done.

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I’m hoping to be done Tuesday…then cutting them out…then hopefully ironing down to fabric by the weekend. We’ll see. The timing on this one is really tight.

I got this thing called a Rocketbook. You can draw in it with special pens (downside) and then there’s an app that will scan it and send it where you need it…like all the ones where I mark the rocket picture at the bottom, it will send them where I tell the app all the rockets go. So I can have one for drawings and one for school stuff and one for art notes and one for one art group I’m in, etc.

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The coolest part though is that when the book is full, I can microwave it and it will be blank again. So last night I tested it out with a really quick, simple drawing, just to see how it worked. The pens are OK…they’re erasable though, so that’s cool. Anyway…it’s just something techie that I thought was really cool and wanted to try out. Plus I have a staff meeting today and I’m not allowed to bring tech and this is kind of like tech in that I can scan the notes and mark the apple, and they’ll all go to my Google Drive for school, to the folder I tell it to send all my staff meeting notes. And that’s cool. Even though I’d rather just type them. No time.

OK, parent meeting (OMG, are we just realizing our kids are failing?) and school and at some point I get to make art. My daily goal…get all the other shit done (or done enough) so I can art.

*Squeeze, Tempted

I Want a Meaning from the Back of My Broken Hand*

March 20, 2017

I feel like my weekends haven’t had enough art lately. It’s just a lot of work and errands and trying to catch up. Sometimes that stuff is art-related, like this weekend, when I had to pack up two quilts to ship out of here, plus go to a meeting about an exhibit I’ll be in later this summer. But there’s very little doing…and that drives me a little bonkers sometimes. I like those long expanses of artmaking that come with breaks and weekends. A nice 6-hour run of ironing shit down…really helps you get through the week. I think I got about 25 minutes this weekend. Total. Sigh. Maybe next weekend. Life goals.

Whereas my cat has figured it out. Granted she doesn’t have to go to work to support the rest of us. And she’s lying on the drawing for the next quilt.

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Oh, so I got this thing called a Rocketbook, where you can draw or write in it and then basically scan it into your computer. And then when it’s full, you can microwave it up to 5 times to erase everything and start over. This is like crazy science here. But I’m looking forward to trying it out. You have to use special pens, unfortunately…odds are I won’t like them for drawing, but I’ll try it. It sounded so close to what I want, to be able to just download drawings from my head onto the computer. I’ll let you know how it works. You can even code pages to go to certain folders or whatever. So if I wanted to be able to take notes on my staff meetings, since I’m not allowed to do that electronically any more…I could use this notebook and then scan it into a work folder. If I wanted to waste pages on that, right? Well it was a thought. If the drawing doesn’t work out, that’s what I’ll use it for instead.

I am trying to stay caught up with this. I did a rosette stitch row on the left, the darker blue, and then did lazy daisy leaves and a stem in green above it.

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I still need to go back in and fill some of the stuff inside the center bits.

I did a little more on this as well, while finishing up the show I was watching. I don’t like leaving mid-episode.

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Then I went and dehaired this beast again (Kitten really likes to deposit hair on it) and then ironed it, sandwiched it, and pinbasted it. Easy peasy.

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I’m trying to use up weird old fabrics with no other purpose. I really have no clue why I bought this fabric, but I know it was like a million years ago.

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The fabric says 1997…so not as long as I thought, but still a 20-year-old fabric finally getting used. Well hallelujah. Seriously. I don’t know why I bought it. I so never use stuff like this. I was pregnant in 1997. Maybe it was pregnancy brain. Because a baby would want bell peppers and turnips and beets and dancing watermelon ladybugs? I just can’t explain it.

Anyway, in good news, I plan to quilt tonight, although I will probably have to grade first. I did that last night too. I’m permanently behind. WAY behind. Sigh.

So I mentioned last week trying to research some other female or other gendered artists. I started with Toyen, who was born Marie Čermínová, but as an adult seemed to prefer being male. It’s hard to get a good idea of what people wanted or thought if they weren’t big writers. A lot of the information about Toyen comes from other male artists or critics of the era. I can understand being an artist in the early to mid 1900s and preferring male status…because he was able to draw and paint some subjects that women would have been discouraged from picturing. Well, that still happens, doesn’t it?

He was mostly associated with surrealism, with some cubism thrown in, although those teeth in my girdle are neither…well, maybe you could argue surrealism.

Here’s a link to a gallery of some of his art.

Here’s a link to an article about Toyen as a feminist, which other articles have disagreed with. It has a good discussion of why there is so little information about him though, being both Czech and a surrealist.

This article is more background information, with a variety of photos that show Toyen dressed both as man and as woman over the years, which notably is less important than the art itself. But intriguing nonetheless, trying to understand whether the appropriation of male was as a transsexual, or if it was for the freedom of being a male artist. I have to wonder what I would have done in the same situation. I have the luxury of a society that is more accepting of women as artists, even women as artists instead of or at the same time as being a mother. Notice I say MORE accepting…I don’t actually believe a good chunk of society is really accepting of that. But we can get away with it.

Anyway…things to think about. What would you do to be an artist if you had to?

*The Killers, All These Things That I’ve Done