slightly wonky


Quelling my kindergarten conniptions…
September 13, 2013, 12:11 pm
Filed under: Drawing, Fleeting thoughts..., painting | Tags: , , , ,

Well, this is has been my son’s first week at kindergarten, and ALL IS WELL.  No major disasters/meltdowns/hysterics.  I haven’t gotten any disgruntled phone call from his teacher yet, so I feel that everything must be going FABULOUSLY.   Hopefully, my child’s rather grouchy side (understatement) has somehow NOT surfaced.  He’s kind of Jekyll and Hyde…sometimes the most loving, polite child…sometimes devil spawn.  I struggle with the devil spawn side of him, especially when it comes out in public, or with friends.  I feel like I should wear a t-shirt that says, “I know…I’m sorry!!!,” just to make up for all of the times that he’s rude/grouchy/unfriendly.  Sigh.  I think that I am starting to feel my gray hairs growing in.  Is that possible?

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But, I know…what’s not to love, right?  That backpack is bigger than he is.  So cute.

Lucky for me…he likes to make weird stuff, just like Mommy.  Here are a couple of recent examples:

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What are those bizarre creatures???  WHO KNOWS.  They’re adorable, though.  I must keep them.  FOREVER.

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Hilarious, right???  He decided that his Godzilla head needed a block body.  I love this.  So cool.  What’s not so cool, however, is the pigsty that we call a living room.  I clearly have no shame to be able to publicly post this picture with my living room as a clear disaster zone.  I hope that those of you with kids will have some empathy for the tornado-like effect that 5 year olds have upon a household.  Notice the empty 2 liter bottle in the plastic crate.  That bottle is apparently part of one of his “creations”, and it cannot be thrown out/recycled.  Sigh.  So now we’re literally keeping trash along with our toys.  Great.  I feel like Sisyphus shoving this mound of toys/blocks/trash up a hill, only to have it come tumbling back down on me.  Next time that happens, I’m just going to take a nap underneath it all…

I did manage to get out this week to see some art.  WOO HOO!  I went to see the work of Michele Lauriat at the Cornelius Ayer Wood Gallery at the Middlesex School in Concord, MA.  Her work is STUNNING!  Everyone should go check it out.

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Michele Lauriat

She does GORGEOUS, large scale paintings/drawings of natural scenes in an abstract way.  The is an enormous amount of layering and mark-making.  She tends to pull out certain parts of a painting into deeper colors and higher contrast as focal points.  I could seriously have stood and gazed at this piece all day.  It’s really so beautiful.

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Michele Lauriat

This painting is enormous.  I’m sorry that this is not a great photo…(which is why you must go see it yourself).  Her work totally sucks you in, as you become mesmerized looking over both the work in its entirety, and the amazing details.

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Michele Lauriat

Stunning, right?  You can’t see it in this photo, but the darker area in the upper left is just amazing.

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Michele Lauriat

She also had some very interesting pieces that have an irregular silhouette.  I wonder if she made a larger work…decided what was really capturing her attention in the work, then painstakingly cut it out as the finished piece?   I LOVE IT.  The beautiful and delicate edge to the paper is now part of the work as well, as opposed to being just a neutral boundary.  So cool.

WHEN, not if, you decide to see this show…I’m going to give you some direction as to how to find it on campus.  There seems to be only one main road into campus, which terminates into a large, one way loop.  JUST BEFORE you start to enter that loop…look to your right.  There will be a gap between two brick buildings.  Walk between these buildings and go straight down a staircase.  There will be a gray building in front of you.  Enter that building through its far left door, and you’ll be there!

Well, I’ve decided that I’m such the super-mom, as I managed to get my kid to school with a healthy lunch AND visit some art this week.  I’m ignoring your comments that I’ve forgotten about the living room.  I’m just going to lie here underneath all of the junk and take a nap.  Wake me when it’s 2:00 so I can: 1. pick up my child from school.  2. maintain my self-proclaimed title of “Super-mom” in spite of evidence to the contrary.

Oh, and if there is an annoying advertisement at the end of this post, I apologize.  Looks like WordPress is going to sully my blog artistry with tawdry ads.  Fascists!  So be it.

Carry on…



CAA New Member Show & makin’ stuff

Is there anything more annoying than a sluggish computer mouse?  I think not.  I may have to fling this one into the backyard with the lawn clippings…

How has my week been?  Perhaps I can summarize by asking if you can you guess what song my son has had on repeat today?  No, not “The Wheels On The Bus.”  No, not “If You’re Happy and You Know It.”  He’s been playing the brooding Godzilla theme song all day.  Why…WHY, you may ask?  Well, because he listens to it (with the volume WAY UP) and then pretends to be Godzilla knocking down a block city and stomping on matchbox cars, that’s why.  Most of his peers are interested in Skylander Giants, Ninjago, or Spiderman.  My son finds those marginally interesting, but his heart belongs to Godzilla.

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Sigh.  He’s kind of a social outcast with his Godzilla obsession.  As a worrier, this concerns me.  Why can’t he just like Batman like all of the other kids?  In addition, I am concerned that he will want to BE Godzilla for Halloween.  This would be totally beyond my non-existent costume-making ability.  Maybe he’s settle for a green sweatpants/sweatshirt combo with some strategically placed tie-hangers on his back?

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No?  Oh well.  I give up.  I’ll worry about that again in half an hour…

So, I had a meeting this week at the Cambridge Art Association about an upcoming group show.  While I was there, I got to see the New Member Show that was up.  This is an exhibit of the people who were recently accepted into the Cambridge Art Association.  Congratulations all!  There was some great stuff to see:

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Elizabeth Hardjono, Silence, Magnesium Plate Etching

Ahem.  I love this.  This print is sooooo beautiful.  I wish that the artist had a website. (HINT HINT) I’d love to see MORE of her other work.  Don’t you LOVE the delicate figure?  Isn’t the composition amazing?  I love it.

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Lynne Klemmer, Intuit Images: TD Woman #5, Gouache / Pigment

This painting is so different, yet also beautiful.  Great colors…great form and markings…I love how it fills the paper…look at her face!  I’d love to see more in this series as well.  You can check out her website, but it seems that this series of paintings are not up yet.

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Tom Stocker, Tom + Sally, Acrylic on Canvas

No, these aren’t fabric, they’re paintings!  This artist’s technique is inspired by textiles, as I learned from his website.  The images are comprised of tiny blobs of multicolored paint, gridded much like needlepoint.  No joke.  Isn’t that amazing?

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Conny Goelz Schmitt, Luftschloss, Mixed Media

I was SO excited to see this beautiful piece, as I know this artist!  (Does that somehow make me more important?)  She participated in the Artist’s Professional Toolbox program with me at Montserrat College of Art.  He work is amazing.  She often works with materials from old books as well.  Great job, Conny!

What have I been up to?  Well, not much…

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I’ve discovered how delicious cinnamon toast w/ butter and an iced coffee is for breakfast.  I may have to make this my meal of choice for the whole day!  Who needs vitamins?  That’s what Flintstones are for!

I’ve also rediscovered how I love to make weird stuff and mail it to people.  My latest:

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This is one of those “fortune tellers” that we used to make as kids.  I kind of made mine a photomontage.  SO MUCH FUN.  I know.  I’m brilliant.  What?  The living room is a mess?  No one has fed the fish today?  Why is there spilled iced coffee on the dining room table?  Pshaw.  Don’t bog me down with such BANAL matters.  I’m makin’ STUFF.

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What’s this mess, you may ask?  MWAH-HA-HA!!!  It is an INSANE little patchwork project that I’ve started.  LOOK AT HOW TINY THOSE PIECES OF FABRIC ARE!  The small squares are 1.5 cm x 1.5 cm.  I kid you not.  CRAZY.  Luckily, I’m nearsighted.

Umm…if you’re wondering how my latest drawing is going…it’s coming along.  Sloooowly.  Well, I don’t like to rush perfection.  (That’s a joke).  Actually, the truth of it is that I have A.D.D. when it comes to MAKING STUFF.  Does anyone else have that problem??????  What’s the opposite of A.D.D.?  O.C.D.?  Sometimes, I do wish that I had O.C.D. about cleaning stuff, as I’m particularly weak in the housekeeping department.  (I’m not making light of O.C.D….that’s serious, and I’m not.)  I do SOMETIMES make an effort not to be messy.  But, as I just finished reading, Coming Clean: A Memoir, by Kimberly Rae Miller, I feel like the queen of cleanPlease read this book.  It is a heartbreaking memoir of a woman growing up with a father who is a hoarder.  Not just messy, like me, but an actual hoarder.  It’s an AMAZING read.

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Hmm.  Maybe I will go and clean up something just to reassure myself that I’m not a hoarder…starting with my spilled iced coffee and the fallen block city that my son so lovingly toppled over this afternoon…then I’ll likely get distracted and start making stuff again…SEND HELP!



Transforming the mundane and Godzilla…

Well, it’s BALMY in BOSTON.  I think that we’re at around 80 deg F and 80% humidity.  SOUPY.  I feel like I am sticking to everything, and that’s not only a result of my poor housekeeping skills.  Has anyone else noticed that it’s difficult to get a dried Rice Krispy off of the floor?  Well, I have.  Thank god I don’t bother with manicures, or else our floor would be a minefield of dried krispies.

I stopped by the deCordova museum to see the work of Tony Feher.  Now, let me just preface this discussion (one sided, of course) by noting that I am not usually very interested in found object sculpture.  I know…I’m a philistine.  Anyway, so I wasn’t sure what I was going to think of  Feher’s work.

WELL…I LOVED IT.  LOOK AT THIS:

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Mountain Home, Tony Feher, 2004, plastic containers

I know.  I KNOW what those are…but I love that they’ve taken on this ethereal form.  They look so pure and delicate, and yet solid.  It’s a modern Mayan temple in miniature…well, not really.   Here is an overview of the main room of his work:

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Tony Feher at the deCordova Museum

Each piece is quite simple, typically using only one or two types of objects, but the reconfiguration is fascinating.

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Tony Feher, Sharadiant, 2000, mop and broom handles with rope

I love this too.  It makes me think of a Dan Flavin piece that’s turned off and seen during the day.

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Dan Flavin

I know…I know…they are NOT even MARGINALLY related.  What can I say?  These are the associations that I come up with.  Speaking of associations…what do you think of this?:

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Tony Feher, Come Out And Play Stephen Jay, 2013, painter’s tape

Yes.  That’s tape.  TAAAAPE.  Now THAT made me think of Van Gogh’s Starry Night or wavelite crystals…

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Swirly!

I’m sure that you’d rather see more of Feher’s work, rather than my bizarre and boring associations.  Fine.

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Tony Feher at the deCordova Museum

This is Feher’s installation in that great stairway at the deCordova.  This space is pure genius (thanks to William Rawn Associates), as it creates this really unusual installation space.  I love seeing what different artists do here.  Feher has taken two liter bottles and filled them with colored liquid.  It’s often hard to get a good photo of this space, as it’s so narrow.  It’s 21st century stained glass, right?

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Tony Feher, 8 White Elements, 2001 and Honcho Grid 1, 1999

Yes, you are looking at a tower of styrofoam packaging.  I can’t help but think of an architectural model…perhaps for the New Museum in NYC?  Hell, Yes!  (that expletive relates to the New Museum…I’m not normally so brash.)  The grid in the background is made from plastic straws and polyester thread.  BRILLIANT!

I love how simple and elemental his pieces are.  I love how these mundane objects feel truly transformed through their reconfiguration.  He doesn’t cut/break/bend the objects…he just puts them together so that they form a new, single object.  There’s such clarity to his work.

Speaking of clarity…oh wait, I never have clarity.   Nevermind.

I’ll segue by my household’s own transformation of the mundane into…well, it’s still all mundane.  My son is obsessed with Godzilla.  A friend of mine is moving to TX, and she let me take some of her boys’ old toys.  WELL, we got a small Godzilla set…and the rest is history.  Godzilla is the perfect combination of dinorsaur-ish creature PLUS a force of ridiculous destruction/demolition.  Greaaaaat.

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My son doesn’t seem at all put off by the idea that this is simply a person in a lizard suit lumbering around a model city.  Perhaps that’s because he’s used to me lumbering around the living room, stepping on Lego buildings, and growling?  I have better skin than Godzilla, thankfully.   (Check in with me again if I make it to 90, and I may not be able to say that, though.)

This is a drawing that my son did in homage to the great beast:

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Let me describe this for you…the lower left has a monster truck parked next to a skyscraper.  The tall thing on the right is Godzilla’s leg, with monster toenail.  Yes, he’s SOOO HUGE that he can’t even fit on the page.  Priceless.

I’m also hoping that my toenails did not provide inspiration for this drawing…sigh.




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