slightly wonky


Small hands
March 5, 2015, 3:09 pm
Filed under: Fleeting thoughts..., Sewing | Tags: , , , , , ,

I don’t know about you, but I’m trying to maintain sanity during this absurd winter.

snow

That’s our walk to school.  This image was taken several weeks ago.  It’s worse now, but I have given up taking pictures.  I need my arms now to keep balance when traversing the treacherous wasteland, formerly known as “the sidewalk.”  What’s even more ridiculous, is that Boston hasn’t broken the record yet for snowfall.  HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?  I don’t remember signing on for the Antarctic here…or was that in the fine print somewhere?  Where’s my lawyer?  Am I not entitled to a team of sled dogs by now?

snow2

This is a snow pile near our house.  The town has started dumping snow in this lot at the nearby reservoir.  Notice the house that is barely visible in the background.  Yes, that mound of snow is probably 25′ tall.  And yes, I am letting my child climb on it as I repeatedly yell, “BE CAREFUL!!!“.  This is my way of trying to avoid being both a helicopter parent and a negligent moron.  It turns out that I am both.

My son recently had a play date that, in typical fashion, spiraled into mayhem.  The mayhem is my fault, which is also typical.  Instead of refusing to allow my child and his friend to play with his chemistry set, I actually said “okay.”  I tried, in vain, to contain the insanity:

mess

This is my son and I admiring his handiwork.  I managed to have the wherewithal to deny them more food coloring. Next time, I’m just going to let them watch TV.

I realize that I made a similar error in judgment a few weeks ago when I agreed to buy my son a “fossil excavation” kit.  You may recall (if you have no life and have read this blog for way too long…) that in an earlier post I vowed NEVER to purchase one of these kits again.  And yet, I somehow thought that this time it would be okay/less messy/better.  Well…surprise!   I was wrong…yet again:

mess2

Yes…this is our dining room table.  Yes…there are chunks of rocky plaster being smashed on the table by my son with his hammer and chisel.  Yet again, I vow NEVER to buy one of these things EVER EVER EVER AGAIN.  I think that when my son develops severe asthma as a result of this “educational toy”, I am to blame.  TV is starting to sound like a “no brainer” to me, both literally and figuratively.

So, I haven’t seen any art lately, as I would imagine that most museums and galleries have given up due to this ridiculous winter.  I know that’s not true, but I also know that I do not have an AWD car, so I am not attempting to haul myself anywhere.  In spite of my general malaise and apathy, I made some cards that I listed on Etsy:

cards

They’re cute, right?  I’ve sewn tiny scraps of fabric onto them.  This is about all that I have the energy to do at the moment.  When the snow melts, sometime in June, I may venture further afield and bring you back images of real art to look at.  Until then, I’m just sewing tiny scraps of fabric onto cardboard.  (small hands)

 



No son of mine shall be a hoarder…

tree2

WHERE HAVE I BEEN FOR THE PAST MONTH???  I was in holiday survival mode.  As you can tell, I survived.  I may have gained ten pounds from eating, but I’m okay.  I just look kind of like Baymax:

baymax

Maybe I should just buy bigger clothes too?

In order to absorb the new toys that my 7 year old got for Christmas AND his birthday, I had to purge some of his older toys.  This had to be done on the first day that he was back at school, as I can’t throw out a single, broken piece of plastic when he is present. He has the pack-rat gene that runs in my family, which is rather unfortunate.

I just put out all of his empty Rainbow Loom boxes in the trash.  I am feeling HORRIBLY GUILTY about this.  If he knew, he would go ballistic.  But they are EMPTY boxes!!!  I feel terrible doing something that I know would upset my child…but if I don’t throw some stuff away (not donate-able), our house will quickly become a scene from “Hoarders.” Where/why am I to keep these boxes that he does nothing with?  I can’t.  I live in fear that he will realize what I have done.  Am I a horrible mommy for doing this?  Stress.  I may have to assuage my guilt by eating some chocolate.  (Be back in a minute.)

My son’s latest, and most crazy ambitious Rainbow Loom project is making a life-size Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III out of those silly rubber bands.  For those of you that don’t know, he’s the main character in the How To Train Your Dragon series.  FYI…He’s a kid/young man.  Did I mention that my son wants to make a life-size version of him? LIFE-SIZE.  So far, he has only completed the eyebrow:

eyebrow

 

Yes, that’s me holding the Rainbow Loom eyebrow up against my own eyebrow to show you that it is indeed going to be life-size.  NIGHTMARE.  Why can’t he build Lego spaceships, or something reasonable like that???  Why can’t I be the only crazy person in the house?  Do we really need two lunatics under one roof????

Is it just me, or does that rubber band thingy look like ramen noodles?

My 2015 New Year’s resolution is to be less messy.  Does that give you any indication of what kind of poor role model I am?  Sigh.  I have already cleaned/purged the downstairs…so I am doing SOMETHING about my resolution.  Notice that I started with the easier task of purging my son’s broken toys, rather than purging any of MY art supplies.  Hmm.

Here in the Northeast…it’s been rather BRISK:

dashboard2

It slipped down to -2 on the 0.4 mile drive to school.  We normally walk, but I didn’t want scowls from the principal because my son turned into a popsicle on said walk.  Brr! Perhaps we should have made a roaring fire in the fireplace with the ridiculous pile of Rainbow Loom boxes that I just threw out?  At least they would have been put to some good use.

Why aren’t my extra layers of fat keeping me warm?  Maybe I need more?  Send hot chocolate and donuts, pls! My Baymax body thanks you!!!

 



Verklempt
September 5, 2014, 10:34 am
Filed under: Fleeting thoughts..., Photography, travel | Tags: , , , ,

You know those bumper stickers that say, “I survived blahdy blah“?  I feel that I need one of those for these last three weeks of summer vacation.  I have a bumper crop of gray hairs as material proof of the ordeal.  (Because I have frizzy hair, my gray hairs look EVEN WORSE than most people’s…pity my hideousness…)

During this three week period, I noticed that the words “play date” would often put me into a mild panic.  It might be because most of my son’s play dates usually devolve into complete pandemonium.  Can one use the word “tsunami” as a verb…as in, “My son and his friend have “tsunamied” the house?”  Possibly.  (An image of our post-play date living room could be used for the wikipedia entry.) I spend most of the time being the “house goalie,” trying to deflect the path of destruction that my six-year old son and his friends are typically on.  Sometimes, I can calm their craziness with a bowl of cheddar goldfish and lemonade.  Sometimes, I just rock absentmindedly in the corner as I clutch the bag of cheddar goldfish for dear life.

I’m not really cut out to be a mom, but I’m doing my best.

I had the bright idea of taking my son to NYC for a couple of days, in order to show him some tall buildings and to escape the craziness at home.  The trip actually turned out better than expected, as I was worried that he would hate it for some reason.  We didn’t get a chance to visit anyone, as we weren’t there long enough, so we just ran around…the two of us.

a-pool

I had the bright idea of finding a hotel with a pool.  That large object at the top of my picture is my finger, not a flesh-colored UFO landing on my son’s head.  This was the first thing that we did in NYC.  I know…not very NYC…big whoop.

a-empire1

We went to the top of the Empire State Building.  He liked it, but didn’t like the crowds of people.  I bought the  “express” tickets, as we would never had made it if we had to wait in line for hours.  Actually, “I” wouldn’t have made it.  I would have just slipped back into my catatonic state again, much like my reaction to play dates.

a-empire2

My son had the wherewithal not to practice parkour when we were up there.  Apparently, he does have a sensible bone in his body!  I take no credit for that.

a-dino

We spent the ENTIRE DAY at the American Museum of Natural History.  That’s a fantastic place. I normally avoid places where lots of people and kids congregate, but this was really cool.  (Probably because it didn’t feel like there were lots of people and kids there.)  They had an amazing exhibit of LIVE SPIDERS.

a-spider

I am deathly afraid of spiders…so these huge, hairy ones petrify me.  Yes, that’s my finger in yet ANOTHER photograph…but this time to show scale.  (don’t all professional photographers do that???)  That thing was HUGE.  Beyond gross.  It’s so enormous that I can’t even call it a spider, but must refer to it as a “thing.”  You couldn’t pay me to touch one of those creatures.  I stopped myself from yelling, “SO BEYOND GROSS!!!” at each of them, so that I would not taint my son’s opinion of them.  Those things have eight eyes, so I bet they could see my revulsion.  If one of them had jumped or made a sudden move, I would have lost my mind.

a-museum

In spite of my stress at seeing the spiders, the museum was generally calm.  See how it doesn’t feel crowded?  That kind of tourist attraction…I can tolerate.  For some reason, the Museum of Science in Boston is always a madhouse.  I can’t go there.  I’d rather remain dumb in my living room than go there and learn something.

a-centralpark

We also had some time in Central Park.  Hallelujah!  Something that mommy will let me climb on!  I would just go into another mild panic when he ran out of view, but I had no bag of goldfish to clutch and comfort me.

a-btea

And, of course…bubble tea.  Luckily, it was noisy in that cafe.  The hipsters wouldn’t have appreciated our loud slurping to eat every last blob.

We got back from NYC, and almost immediately left for a week at the Cape.

a-beachagain

a-surf

a-ptown2

Of course, that last picture is from Provincetown, and, of course, my son found that wildly entertaining.  We tried to get tickets for the show, but were told that it was only for cool people.  (Just kidding…about the tickets…)

We found some neat stuff at the beach:

a-hairy2

Okay…so, I obviously added the eyeballs in Photoshop.  But isn’t this rock BEGGING for eyeballs???  If this were a Pokemon, it would be called “Flobu” and it would do 30 points of damage by either sitting or shedding on its opponent.  (Please send help.  I think that I’m still recovering from 24/7 mommy duty…)

a-sunset

We caught a pretty fantastic sunset over the water one evening.  We also ate gobs of ice cream.

So, thank god we’re back home and have returned to our normal routine.  Now, you can be sure to have more blog posts and more minutiae!  I’m thinking that the topic of my next post will be:

Q-TIPS: THE CONTROVERSY

Are you a user?

What’s your tip of choice?

Are you careful?

Or, do you use them with reckless abandon?

Discuss…a la Linda Richman.

a-linda

 



Who the hell would want a carnivorous plant, anyway?
December 5, 2013, 4:17 pm
Filed under: printmaking | Tags: , , , , , ,

We would!  No joke…I bought a VENUS FLYTRAP!!!

a-venusEww…right?????  You’ll notice that some of the little “mouths” are closed.  Why, you may ask?  Well, because we were told to feed it little balls of HAMBURGER.  I’m not kidding.  So, it’s digesting hamburger blobs.  I love how my husband is vegan, yet we have a carnivorous plant.  I’m not sure how happy it is with the burger bits.  I mean, are they going to dissolve?  Or, does it spit it out when it’s done with it, like “plant poop?”  No idea.  It was kind of disturbing to watch it clamp down on the hamburger bit.  It looks so coy, with it’s sassy green “lashes.”  But don’t be fooled…it’s looking for MEAT.  If you’re a product of the 80s, this is likely the first thing that came to mind…

little_shop_horrors_xl_01If this starts to happen, I’m stopping the hamburger balls (aka a mini-meatball) STAT.

Does anyone else out there completely ignore their landline when it rings? I do.  99.9% of the time, it isn’t someone that I want to speak to.  Considering that I rarely check our voicemail, it’s a bit of a black hole, really.  Why do we have it?  Well, it’s kind of like a technological pacifier…it makes me feel “safe” that we can always make a phone call, even if  our cellphones are lost/not charged/left in the car.  Does that make sense?  No?  Well keep reading, if you find making sense boring…

So, I’ve managed to tear myself away from staring suspiciously at the Venus flytrap in order to go out and see some art!  (Or, “aht,” as this is a Boston ‘burb.)  My advisor, Adria Arch, recently had a show at Bromfield Gallery:

a-arch2Adria Arch, Bromfield Gallery

a-arch1Adria Arch, Bromfield Gallery

a-arch3Adria Arch, Bromfield Gallery

a-arch4Adria Arch, Bromfield Gallery

The show was fabulous and ran from October 27 – November 30.  I was hoping to post about it earlier, but something awful happened recently (see my last post), so I got a bit sidetracked.  Arch’s work explores the innocent, yet sometimes revealing, doodles or marks that people make.  She magnifies these marks so that they command attention in a way that is unusual for something typically done without conscious thought.  She captures every nuance of the mark, both in paintings…and now in plexiglass sculptural works.  Arch has a great deal of experience in installations, so these newer plexiglass elements allow her pieces to be unfettered from their typical painted fields.  Beautiful!

Nancy Diessner was also showing at the Bromfield.  She is a printmaker who’s subject is often animals, both domestic and wild.

a-diessnerNancy Diessner, Bromfield Gallery

a-diessner2Nancy Diessner, Bromfield Gallery

a-diessner3Nancy Diessner, Bromfield Gallery

I love this new series with pairings of delicate images.  I think that’s a nose on the right…amazing!

While I was wandering around the other galleries, look what I found at Carroll & Sons:

a-bdp1Boston Drawing Project, Carroll & Sons

WOO HOO!!!  You’ll notice my drawing folder featured on the middle shelf, second one from the right.  I was SUPER EXCITED to see it on display like that.  Having anything up at Carroll & Sons would pretty much be the apex of my career, so I think that this is as close as I’m going to get, realistically.  Anyway, I’m happy.

I also went to the Boston Printmaker’s Biennial at 808 Gallery at B.U.  I LOVE THIS SHOW.  So much variety and so much talent.  I love that gallery space, but it is kind of a pain if you are looking at works behind glass.  The glare is pretty distracting:

a-francisCate Francis, Around The Tree

Now, that’s an amazing print.  Unfortunately, it’s hard to see.  I love the graphic quality of this paired with the warm, Japanese paper.  So cool.

Because the glare was so difficult, I’ve selected images to show you of prints that didn’t have much of a glare problem.  There were lots of beautiful prints, but I won’t bother with the ones that have too much of my silhouette ruining the image.

a-iancu1Raluca Iancu, Corroded Mammoth

This is an enormous, and simply gorgeous print. It’s beautiful.  I love the limited palette.  She’s a virtuoso.

a-bricher1Naya Bricher, Mini Fridge

This is so amazing.  I think it’s an aquatint.  Doesn’t she capture the light and feel of the ubiquitous mini fridge?  Look at the Pur water pitcher!  Look at the Glad storage containers!  Brilliant.

a-talcottJulia Talcott, Portable Color Trap

I am especially fond of this print, as we have one as well!  I’m not sure how many she printed, but isn’t it amazing?  The image looks tipped because it was above me when I took the photo.  I love the bold, mechanized quality of it.  It simultaneously has both flatness and depth.  Fascinating.

a-korman2Louise Kohrman, …Forever on the Mind

a-korman1Louise Kohrman, …Forever on the Mind (detail)

Isn’t that so delicate and amazing?  Kohrman’s work always seems to have a kind of etherial quality to it…lovely.

a-kernan1Catherine Kernan, The Heart of the Matter

This is an incredible and enormous print. I’ve actually taken classes with Kernan.  She is very skilled and knowledgeable.  Her prints are obviously gorgeous.

a-mazure1David Mazure, Defeated/Amputees (WAR)

What you can’t see is that there is actually recycled rubber tire flocking on the black areas.  Amazing!  It looks like ornate wallpaper, yet there is something very dark about it.

a-corcelleChristiane Corcelle, Boundless

I’m sorry that this photo isn’t great.  Both the glare and the height which it was hung make it a challenge to see this well.  This is the work of a printmaking teacher that I had for several months.  She’s super talented, and works a lot with carborundum collagraphs.  I believe that there are actually strips of paper collaged on, which you can sort of see here.  I like the contrast between the delicate paper strips and the heavy inked area near the top. Lovely!

a-welden1Dan Welden, Fairly Squarely

Dan Welden actually invented solarplate printing (I believe.)  This looks is a solarplate intaglio.  I love the heavy black area with the gray, scribbly zones…it’s kind of crackling with energy…

a-miranda1Ibrahim Maranda, Mapas

Oh. My. GOD.  His works were GORGEOUS.  I wanted to own all of them.  ALL.

a-miranda2Ibrahim Maranda, Mapas (detail)

His works are crazy, multicolored, multilayered smashups of marks and images with a “graffiti” sensibility.  STUNNING.  I could have put a chair down in front of these works and looked at them all day.  I didn’t do that, as I had to get back to the Venus flytrap to be sure that it wasn’t eating the house.  You know how it goes…

This is kind of a long post, so I’m feeling a bit worn out.  I’ll finish with a hilarious drawing/installation by my son:

a-spidermanHe stuck this on the front panel of a wood bookcase.  LOOK AT SPIDERMAN!  DON’T YOU LOVE IT???  WordPress actually provides a way to set up a “poll.”  Part of me is tempted to set up a poll with the question, “Isn’t this AWESOME????”  Of course, the only right answer would be “yes.”  Those who answer “no” will get the stinkeye from me, his adoring yet slightly unstable mother.

I hear scratching sounds in the living room.  Gotta go…it might be the Venus flytrap (soon to be…the Venus mommytrap.)  At least I have a landline so that I can call for help from the depths of its jaws, right?  The cord will come in handy as something for me to anchor myself to when the plant decides that I’m next on the menu.  See?  Landlines DO serve a purpose!  Told ya so.

October 27 – November 30, 2013
October 27 – November 30, 2013


Yes, I’m still here…sort of…

Yes, I am still here…although my focus on art has taken a serious hiatus.  I recently stopped sending my son to the preschool that he has been attending, for reasons that I will not bore you with.  In a nutshell: I have no regular childcare now.  SAVE ME.  My mom has been exceedingly helpful by coming to watch my son while I attempt to run errands, like picking up six of my drawings from the framer, or having a series of stressful portfolio reviews.  I am CLEARLY not cut out to be a 24 hr.-a-day-stay-at-home-mom.   You know those blogs where all of the photos are dreamy and misty, and where the author is a stay-at-home-mom who makes muffins from scratch with wild blueberries that she just picked whilst her brood of delightful children invent delightful games with rocks and sticks?

This is not one of those blogs.

I feel that having a child is one of the universe’s ways of telling us that we have stuff we need to work on…and it’s only by being confronted with such issues as a parent, that we will ever attempt to work on those things we need to.  Am I being too vague?  Okay.  Basically, I have a very short fuse and an excess of buttons that are easily pressed.  My son, whom I love dearly, has been, besides “my little love”, the one impetus for me to excruciatingly stretch my fuse and reduce the tsunami normally unleashed when my buttons are pushed.

a-dino

Sigh.  I love him, AND he can seriously drive me cuckoo for Cocoapuffs.

a-cocoapuffs

Yes, my eyeballs explode just like that.

My mother and I recently took him to the MFA to see the samurai exhibit. Great idea, right?  Aren’t I “Mom of The Year”?  Hmm.  The universe told me “no,” as I hopelessly overestimated my own brilliance and the attention span of my five-year-old…

a-mfa

Seriously.  What is not to love, right?  The helmets especially were…AMAZING.  It’s hard to believe that anyone wore these, as they are so fantastic, intricate, and other-worldly.  I especially liked the room where several were set up to be “on horseback.”  In spite of the similarities between his Lego “Ninjago” figures and these REAL suits of armor, my son gave up halfway through the exhibit and wanted to leave.

a-ninjago1

SERIOUSLY.  Is there ANY comparison?  Sheesh.  Maybe if they could have had someone walking around in a samurai outfit…kind of like a “Late Edo period Chuck E. Cheese”, the show would have been a bigger hit with my son?

a-chuck

No?  I’m not sure what would have scared him more…a masked samurai walking around or that big rodent?  The kid in this photo doesn’t look too sure either…

Besides being a well intentioned yet hopelessly idealistic parent these past few weeks, I also attended the reception of one of the group shows that I am in.  It was the “New Talent / New England” juried show at the St. Botolph Club in Boston.  Nice!

a-botolphThank you to Kyla P., Karen S., Karina C., Marcus S., and Charlie S. for coming to see it!  I really appreciate it.  I also appreciated being able to go out and have a good laugh with friends, as that doesn’t happen often enough, IMHO.  My friend, Kyla, brought me something that evening that she had been meaning to give me for weeks:

a-peepReally?

I don’t remember anyone saying ANYTHING in my professional development class about bringing stuffed animals to show openings…do I really need to be holding a deranged stuffed Peep while I am trying to carry on an intelligent conversation and look remotely professional?

Of course I did.  Kyla, thank you for coming to the reception AND for reminding me why we are friends in the first place.

Now, if I can just hold onto this thing for a few days before my son absorbs it into his growing harem of freakish toys…

Is that selfish of me?  I’ll just go look up this kind of “typical parenting dilemma” in my growing pile of parenting books…

 

 

 

 

 



Dino-disaster and hands-off
January 11, 2013, 9:37 am
Filed under: Drawing, Fleeting thoughts... | Tags: , , , ,

So, I recently brought my son to a dinosaur exhibit at the Boston World Trade Center.

Total.  Parental.  Hell.

a-dino1

I imagined that there would be oh…50 or so of these large scale dinosaurs to look at.    Great.

There were actually more like 15, which only filled 1/5 of the expo hall space.  What was in the rest of the space, you may ask?  Well…the rest of the space was devoted to:

1. A store where your children could obsess over dinosaur paraphernalia,

2. A dino bouncy house, for which you had to stand in ANOTHER a mile long line to BUY tickets for (because the tickets that you bought to get into it didn’t count), and

3. A dino mini-golf area, where you also needed to stand in the four hour line to BUY more tickets.

It was a total dino-scam.  Do NOT go.  Luckily, my son didn’t want to do the bouncy house or mini golf.  He did want a mini paleontologist kit, though.  I thought it sounded harmless enough…you dig out bones from a block of something.  Cool, right?

a-dig

Oh…SO unbelievably NOT cool.  SO MUCH FILTH.  There was dust EVERYWHERE… thick, reddish plaster dust EVERYWHERE.  There was so much dust that I thought my son and  I would develop black lung and/or a nasty rash.  I am the worst housekeeper ever, but even I was in a filth panic.  Me!  Parents…do NOT buy this gift in the winter.  This is an OUTDOOR gift.  Actually, you may want to just forget it altogether.

DO NOT BUY THIS, EVER.

Yes, my son did work on it from 11:30 am – 3:30pm , with a brief break for lunch…but still.  It was NOT worth it.  I suggest that you be the slacker parent and neither take your kid to the dino-scam exhibit, nor buy this educational toy.

Consider yourself warned.  So there.

I had high hopes of going to see some art this week, but it didn’t happen.  I did install a cabinet door myself, though! Only 17 more to go!  Woo hoo!

Here is a recent concern of mine that I’d like your feedback on:

My son can sometimes be a happy normal kid, and draw stuff like this:

a-aliens

These are aliens, I think.

Or, he can be kind of high strung, and draw things like this (on the other side):

a-hand

(I erased the background scribbles from the other side for clarity)

Do you think that I should be concerned?  Who was this for???  Me?  What was I not supposed to touch?  Wha?  Thoughts?

This drawing, and other instances, sometimes make me feel unwanted.  Example:

a-legoship

This lego ship is apparently using the couch.  I guess I’ll just go sit on the floor with the red plaster dust and be sure not to touch anything. Is he trying to tell me something?

Don’t mind me…I just work here…

Just so that you don’t feel totally gypped from seeing any art, I’ve found this cool artist online:

a-tower

Sagati Keita

Original Drawing of [Expedia City Breaks:Paris], 2012, pen on kentboard, h.42×w.29.7cm., Ogilvy & Mather collection

Kind of crazy, right?  Look at this detail:

a-keito

Sagati Keita

Detail of Original Drawing of [Expedia City Breaks:Paris], 2012, pen on kentboard, h.42×w.29.7cm., Ogilvy & Mather collection

ISN”T THAT SO COOL????  He/she draws these incredible images with tons of doodle-esque characters!  AMAZING!!!  Isn’t that incredible??? Talk about skill.  I would like it more if he/she would not choose these famous images, but instead drew images from his own life.  What do you think?  Comments?  Isn’t he/she SUPER TALENTED?????  Check out the website here.  Also, if anyone can clarify if Sagati is male or female, I’d appreciate it.  (ありがとう)

Wish me luck avoiding the flu epidemic here!!!  I’m going to go now and order a haz-mat suit online.  I hope that I can wear it on top of my snuggie!!!




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