Filed under: Fleeting thoughts..., Sewing | Tags: cards, fabric, parenting, play dates, scraps, snow, winter
I don’t know about you, but I’m trying to maintain sanity during this absurd winter.
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?
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:
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:
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:
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)
It’s kind of hard for me to discuss anything other than the snow. We have ridiculous gobs of snow.
That’s our deck furniture.
This is part of my son’s school playground.
See that narrow path? These pretty much everywhere. People are scurrying around in these gullies like mice in a lab maze. VERY CLAUSTROPHOBIC.
It’s starting to feel like this:
At least the snow isn’t sticky…and green. Did I mention that it is around 0 degrees right now too? I think that it’s only fair that we either suffer with snow, or suffer with cold…not both. I shake my fist in irrational outrage!(…from inside the house, of course…)
I know. Those of you that live where the weather is reasonable are scratching your heads about why we put up with it. Why do we? 10 reasons why we persist in living in Massachusetts:
10. The funny accent
9. Fall leaves
8. The Patriots (this year, at least…)
7. The extreme sport of driving…anywhere…
6. We like to be surrounded by smaht MIT and Harvard people
5. Our wardrobes consist of chunky wool sweaters AND flip flops (not typically worn at the same time, mind you…)
4. The sarcasm
3. The Berkshires
2. The Cape
1. Bitching and moaning about the weather
Yes, we’re a surly lot here in New England. Don’t bother visiting until…July? October? Just don’t come now. Only insane people visit from January – March. The padded wagon should just pick them up directly at the airport.
Filed under: Fleeting thoughts..., textile forms | Tags: art, artist, groundhog, quilt, seasonal affected disorder, snow, winter
If this post seems grumpy, it’s just S.A.D. Those of us in the Northeast embrace this seasonal grumpiness by complaining about the temperature, the snow, the temperature of the snow, shoveling, lack of parking, lack of daylight, lack of warmth, and the general fatigue and malaise induced by constantly having to spend half an hour putting on layers of clothes to go outside, and another half an hour taking them off when we come inside. There’s also hat head and/or static electricity.
Can we ship some of our snow to drought-ridden California? I’d be more than happy to stuff some into a Tyvek envelope and send it over.
This is what our deck furniture looked like during the blizzard on Wednesday. Hmm. I guess the cursed groundhog saw his shadow the day before. Evil creature! Vile vermin! (Maybe a groundhog can’t be vermin? Too big???) Speaking of groundhogs…LOOK WHAT MY SON MADE THIS WEEK AT SCHOOL:
I might have to keep this FOREVER. I assumed that this was a popsicle. I was told that this was not the case, and that this is obviously a groundhog.
Oh. That clears everything up. I think that the background paper should have been white, not green, just for the sake of accuracy. (Actually, I should think that at the current temperature outside, all groundhogs are kind of like popsicles, right?) Please excuse my blurry image, but THERE ISN’T ENOUGH LIGHT in the dead of winter to take an indoor photo.
Tonight, I am going to the opening reception of a group show that I’m in. It’s being held at the Motherbrook Arts Center in Dedham. I’m looking forward to seeing the work of the other artists!
I may have to gear up my team of sled dogs to get over there. I wonder if I can go through EZ Pass lane on the Mass Pike with sled dogs? Stopping to pick up a ticket will really slow me down.
Can I at least go in the carpool lane? No?
Besides complaining about the snow and doing rainbow loom nonsense with my son, ad infinitum…I also finished up that little quilt that I was working on:
Kind of cute, right? The back:
Now that I look at it again…those scallop shapes are starting to look like groundhogs to me.
Hmm. Maybe I need some fresh air? I may have to put myself in a Tyvek envelope to be mailed to California…it’s warm there, right? I’ll say “hi” to the California raisins for you…
Filed under: Fleeting thoughts..., painting | Tags: art, artist, gallery, Nemo, ninja, painting, snow, Somerville
Sorry for no post last week! I was adversely affected by Nemo: i.e. trapped indoors with nothing to do other than try to entertain a housebound 5 yr old whilst not destroying the house or my sanity. So, we did survive Nemo. It wasn’t pretty. Gobs of snow. This is the view of my husband’s excavation from the basement door…
Hmm. That’s kind of a lot of snow for one storm. This is our back deck:
That’s our deck furniture…a table and a tipped over chair (blown over by the wind). That looks like AT LEAST two feet, doesn’t it???? The neighbors across the street:
Don’t pity them too much. They hire a service to come and clear out the driveway and the sidewalks, etc. Our service was my husband, who unburied us…maybe we’ll hire someone to do it next time? (eh, honey?) Pshaw! What’s the fun of being a New Englander if you can’t gripe about the weather whilst heaving wet heavy snow over a five foot wall of ice? Needless to say, I was going postal with cabin fever. At least we didn’t lose power…I would have just stayed in bed all day if we had! (just kidding, honeeey!!!)
The following weekend, my son and I walked through the blustering cold to a nearby friend’s house for his birthday party. It was so fun, albeit total chaos: twenty kids tearing around the house screaming while shoving cheese and crackers into their mouths. My son, so practical, gave me his half eaten crackers/cheese to hold so that he could run around more easily. Everytime someone introduced themselves and shook my hand, they ended up with a palmful of crumbs. I had a glass of sangria to get me through it.
One of the activities for the kids was to make paper bag puppets. You know…like the ones that advertise Fandango:
Notice that his nose is a croissant. You can see the ad here. Ridiculous right? Anyway, the kids made paper bag puppets. Can you guess what the theme of the party was?
No, that’s NOT a woman in a niqab. It’s a NINJA! Isn’t that hilarious and adorable????? Like THIS:
But not like THIS:
Luckily, our kids haven’t gotten into this level of commercialism yet. Coincidentally, NPR did a segment recently on the history of ninjas. You can listen to it here. I learned that ninjas were meant to be spies, not so much warriors. And definitely not turtles. There is no mention of turtles being ninjas in Japan in the 15th century. You have to wait until the 20th century in the U.S.A. Well, AT LEAST the kids learned the names of famous artists: Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello, and Michelangelo! Too bad that they think they’re turtles with nunchucks (or “nunchuku” for you purists out there…)
With every day that passes, I’m more convinced that we’re all going to hell in a handbasket.
As I managed to get out of the house this week, I went to Brickbottom Gallery in Somerville to see a show that my advisor is participating in. The show is, “Surface Matters: Exploring the Sense and Substance of Paint.” It features the works of: Adria Arch (my advisor), Ron Brunelle, Jessie Morgan, and Diane Novetsky. I have some images from the show:
Adria Arch, Exhale 2, Acrylic on panel
This is the work of my advisor! She works with other people’s doodles, manipulating and arranging them into new colors and configurations. It’s like a graphic language of the subconscious. Fascinating! More:
Adria Arch, Triangle Tangle, Acrylic on panel
This is a very large diptych. I LOVED the colors in this one and the repetition of the shapes at different scales, colors, and layers. These panels are built up a bit, almost like the layers of encaustic, but with acrylics.
Jessie Morgan, Night Tide #925, Mixed media on plexi
This artist had a really interesting process of somehow squeegeeing large swaths of color on slick plexi. The ridges of paint are visible, and it seems that she uses both sides of the plexi. The colors in this piece are gorgeous. You can’t tell from the photo, but there are subtle horizontal bands of a pale green that are embedded behind the dark vertical layers. This is a rather large piece…maybe 48″x48″?
Ron Brunelle, You Speak My Language, Acrylic on wood panel
This work also had the look of encaustic. He gets and amazing amount of layering and color in his work. His work also made me think of the rich and saturated hues of ceramic glazes.
All of the artists have visual depth/layering in their works, without necessarily building up a lot on the panel surface. I think that they’ve all honed some interesting techniques. I really enjoyed this show…so go see it if you’re in Somerville!
Ahh…Somerville. How I miss your grittiness. This was nearby the gallery. You might want to bring a ninja with you if you go after dark. If you don’t have an actual ninja to bring (who does?), you’ll have to channel your “inner ninja,” whatever that is…
Filed under: Fleeting thoughts..., printmaking | Tags: Big Bird, drypoint, new england, printmaking, snow, Snow removal, weather
The snow is…ridiculous. I have done nothing productive this week…on account of the blizzard/ice storm/feverish & snotty preschooler. I have some pictures of the snow nonsense to make all of you not in the area cackle with schadenfreude. I’m glad that I also got a parking ticket the other night for being PARKED IN MY DRIVEWAY. Apparently, I was interfering with snow removal. Maybe we should have our driveway shortened. I wonder if the telephone poles nearby also got a ticket, as they are as close to the road as my car is…
I will hopefully make it to my TWO art classes this week. I may actually be able to do something productive, besides shoveling, cleaning up, being Big Bird, cooking, reading stories, and general domestic nonsense.
my husband’s car:
the neighbor’s house:
Okay. So, I have done some work. Here are a couple of drypoint plates in progress. They may be printed tonight. Right now, my son is laughing to himself. I have him home because he’s “sick”. I must go check and see what destruction is afoot…
Filed under: Fleeting thoughts..., printmaking | Tags: art, cabin fever, cambridge, education, printmaking, snow, Visual Arts
Today is a snow day here. Schools closed…cars buried…cabin fever…
This is the first moment that I’ve had to think…my three-year old son is not one for just lazing around. He’s a man of action, and he expects a partner in crime at all times, namely, me. I’ve been Big Bird, Elmo, someone named Harry, Richard Rabbit from Peppa Pig, and countless other characters during our playing today. In other words, I’m fried.
My snow day today also meant that my printmaking class today was cancelled. Oh well! But I DID have my other printmaking class last night. It’s at a fairly new arts center called Maud Morgan Arts in Cambridge. I’m taking a class called Print Sampler…with FOUR different, highly respected printmakers. Each teacher will teach two, non-consecutive classes. Last night, we have a fabulous teacher named Jan. Her last name escapes me right now. [edit 1/26: Jan Arabas] Truly, in one class I already feel that I learned SO much. Who knew what kind of fun stuff you could do with a brayer? I do wish that she had brought some images of her work, just for inspiration. The group seems varied and nice, so I think that it will be great…assuming that I can attend all of the classes.
Last night, I also had a drink with my dear friend KP. She’s the one who finally pushed me to get this blog going, and who is a constant font of thoughtful and kind guidance. Anyway, she pressed me to have my posts share more information…not just the images. One question she asked was, “why printmaking?” Good question…I don’t have an eloquent answer. So, what is printmaking? In essence, it is transferring ink from a matrix (copper plate, wood block, etc.), to another surface (typically paper). This impression from the matrix is a print, and it is this process that sets it apart from painting, drawing, etc. etc. So, why printmaking? There is something amazing/unexpected/mysterious that happens when you make a print. Until you actually press the paper to the matrix…you don’t actually KNOW how the print will look. Obviously, skilled printmakers probably have a highly refined sense, and know exactly what they will get. But even then, I still think that there is something (and I hate to use this word) “magical” about peeling back the paper for the first time to look at a print. You control so much of the process, but there is a final toss of the dice that adds a fascinating twist. This twist can be VERY frustrating. NUMEROUS times I have imagined how I believe the print will turn out, only to be surprised by the actual result. Again, with years of experience this surprise lessens/disappears, but undoubtedly the excitement of pulling the print remains.
Here are pictures of the snow, the toys we played with endlessly today, and the print from last night…each a moment in my past 24 hours…stay warm!