Sunday, April 27, 2008

more thoughts on art

Over at The Voodoo Cafe's Blog Ricë Freeman-Zachery has been talking about her trip to California and how the pictures in the LA Art Museum just didn't do it for her

Its interesting timing that she wrote about this now as I've been thinking about the whole "what's art" thing for the past few days

I got a copy of this book for Christmas, and I've been slowly working my way through all 400 quilts, reading the artist statements with each one, examining the descriptions of the materials and the techniques.

Let me say very clearly first that I ADORE this book. It takes you WAAAAAAAYYYY out on the edge of "quilting", and challenges your preconceived notions about just what a "quilt" is.

I must also say, however that there are a number of these quilts that even after reading all the stuff the artist says, I still just don't get it. In fact there are a couple of them that reading what the artist says makes me say even more "HUHH?!"

As someone not having a degree in art, never worked in oils and can't draw a representative picture, I figured it was just that I was not educated enough to understand what was going on.

Guess what -- after reading what Ricë had to say about it and having recently had a conversation with a friend that does have an art degree -- I'm feeling much better about it

I'm thinking that art, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder --

so is my work in fabrics and beads art? I think so. Is it beautiful? Yup, or at least some of it is -- some of it also meets the other definitions of art -- it communicates ideas -- and if I'm doing that, I think I'm doing ok

Monday, April 14, 2008

coming full circle and outsider art

have you ever noticed how things go in circles?

the first thing I remember making with my own two hands as a doll made out of a sock -- she had embroidered eyes and 2 fat braids made out of yarn -- her neck was kind of floppy, but she had that soft "squeezy-ness" that made for a good cloth doll

over the years I've made a lot of dolls -- really detailed Raggedy Anns (and Andys), needle sculpted "cabbage patch" style dolls, porcelain dolls -- and now after having made almost exclusively teddy bears for 25 years I'm drawn back to the human form -- having started a cloth doll again

styles, however have changed -- beaded faces, a woman's form (OMG, she has a bosom! and a woman's hips and tummy, not a skinny pre-teen version!!) and the whole idea is pretty scary --- but fun none the less

and once again we're crossing into unknown territory -- for the past few years my every thought when I've begun a piece has been "will it sell?" -- and I'm trying quite deliberately not to think about that whole issue as I put this one together -- just to express an idea, enjoy working with the materials

perhaps this is my own little ode to outsider art

outsider art was originally defined as the art of the insane -- okay, we won't open that whole kettle of worms -- but I'm thinking Van Gogh here (LOVE Starry, starry night, and yes, I know he was in the asylum!) --

more recently outsider art has come to mean all of those of us that work outside of the standard "paint and sculpture" model -- those of us who are self taught -- those of us who work with fiber and found objects

Hurrah! at least now I'm part of a recognized "movement" --

and still crazy after all these years!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

not again with the water works.......

house + water = pain in the *$$

It seems like it never ends -- the issues with water that is

Friday evening we noticed that there was water leaking around the base of the toilet in the downstairs bathroom

About 6 years ago we had replaced that toilet from what was here when we bought the house -- because it was leaking around the base (and we decided a low flow model was a better choice)

At the time of that replacement, the DH had been through a shoulder surgery, so we hired a local handyman to do the work. When he pulled up the old toilet, we discovered that when the floor had been redone, the ceramic tile had not been taken close enough to the opening in the floor, so the shifting weight of the potty had broken the wax seal -- hence the water on the floor -- so the repair man put in some "shims".

Well, it seams that his shims have now given way and we're back to the problem again.

I'm annoyed.

We went off to the hardware store yesterday and purchased repair items. Since we're going to have to tear the whole thing apart to reset it AGAIN! and because we had started to have some issues with the valve not shutting off properly and the old seat is now cracked, we got all of the necessary parts for the repair man to come and take care of it for us.

Oh yes, and there at the top left of the picture, that brown square? That's a ceramic tile of the kind the floor is made of -- purchased specifically for its thickness and the material its made of -- use your imagination -- that's the appropriate shim!

The truly correct "fix" would be for the toilet to come out and the tile redone in there, but I'm not going there, mostly because neither one of us is strong enough to set a toilet by ourselves anymore and there is no way to have 2 people and the toilet in that little room at the same time.

Anyway, I'm sure by the time we pay the guy to do the work we'll be looking at the $100 neighborhood

Remind me again why I want to OWN a house and all its problems --- geeesh! (guess I should be grateful we aren't looking at a bigger bill than that)

Monday, April 07, 2008

in need of music therapy

My daughter, bless her, knows how to get to me

I mentioned here that she gave me a CD for my birthday that I had been wanting (Sarah Brightman's Symphony)

What I didn't mention was that she also gave me 2 other CDs -- one is the sound track from the new Broadway version of The Little Mermaid and the other is a sound track from Company

I realize that one of the things I miss the most about the fact that she is now an adult with a husband and a home of her own is that there is no music in our house

Having spent the last few days in a funk (because I'm really, REALLY missing the trip to California I was supposed to have made over this weekend), this morning I decided to listen to all of those new CDs again, and I think it has actually helped lift some of the dark heavy cloud

Friday, April 04, 2008

new wallpaper

back in February I submitted a couple of essays for consideration to write for a Denver paper's Op-Ed section on Sundays

This little goodie arrived yesterday, basically a "thanks, but no thanks"

ok, one more rejection slip for the walls


Thursday, April 03, 2008

the final birthday goodie revealed

Every year for my birthday my mom sends me a little check.

To be honest, most years it just goes into the checking account and is used to pay bills or buy groceries.

This year that check met with the unhappiness about a ruined sheet cake and a 40% off coupon from the local Wilton supplier, and well -- I spent it on myself -- sort of

At least from now on I should be able to produce a reasonable sheet cake that can actually be turned out of the pan and turned into a cake, not end up as trifle!

its a good thing!