A list

7 things I did for myself today: 

1. I looked at the bent coat hanger and the half empty bottle of draino we’ve been administering to our shower drain all weekend and I called a plumber. He was talkative and tattooed and oh so much better at unclogging our pipe!

2. I played the piano. 

3. I put on earrings.

4. I laughed with my coworkers.

5. I listened while my daughters talked about the paths of their day.

6. I performed a brave and wonderful food experiment that is baking in my oven right now. (Thank you to all the hippie veggie food explorers who have gone before me. Thank you Yumm sauce!)

7. I am sipping a small glass of whiskey with an ice cube in it, and writing this list. I am grateful.



Art and Eggs

I have a show up in Morning Glory Cafe this month.  Treat yourself to breakfast and have a look see!


My inner girl scout

Something in this collection of little stitched leaf shapes has me recalling my polyester green Girl Scouts of America sash, with it’s crooked rows of bright embroidered badges.  I loved the sash and it’s accompanying book of badges.  I loved the system of selecting, earning, receiving, and Yes! stitching on each badge.  I would run my hands across the tight thread surface of my fire safety badge or my cooking skills badge and know it represented my expanding knowledge and worldliness.  I would lay the sash across my bed and revel in the pretty colors and bright details.

I learned some weird things in Girl Scouts (like how to drain a soda can while its still inside the machine or how to make a serious weapon out of an oreo cookie), but I also learned about the rewards inherent in completing a task and I definitely grew my appreciation for stitching small bright bits of fabric into place.


Everyday everywhere

It is important to know that you don’t have to be painting the frescoes on a cathedral ceiling or sculpting massive public installations to recognize yourself as an artist.  Art can and does happen everywhere and everyday in countless small ways.

These past few months of school and grant work have swallowed most of my personal creative time.  I usually get two long days a week of stitching, piecing, drawing, and making, but as I look back across the recent months, I only worked in the studio for little 2-3 hour chunks.  I was not operating in a creative vacuum.  I was making plenty of music, podcasts, and artwork with my students, but that work is not my own.  

With school out and the aftershocks receding, I am feeling that familiar gathering of energy.  Like rising water, an expanding balloon, a ringing in my ears, I feel it and ‘wonder of wonders’ I have time to respond.  

I started small yesterday, by painting a blue wall in my bathroom, then framing and rehanging old work.  The taproot of my creative self is about making something I want to look at.  There is great calming, healing medicine in aesthetically beautiful spaces.  After painting and hanging I sat on the edge of my bathtub and drank in the vivid color and curious forms of this old work in a new light.  My effort was no magnum opus, but it was aimed at beauty.  I felt the same bath-like flood of brain juice I get after hours of studio work.  I am still peeking into my bathroom as I pass down the hall, getting a rush of satisfaction at the new beautiful space I created.  We can be artists everday and everywhere!


Loosing Things

This month’s issue of National Geographic has an article about the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which the federal government recently reopened to oil drilling.  What the f?$$?... The images of sweeping tundra, blue ice worlds, and the rare and regal species that inhabit that fragile landscape leave me feeling sick and defeated.  Why am I not there, flinging myself beneath the treads of digging machines?  Why am I not out chanting and waving my protest sign on Pennsylvania Avenue?  Why am I still driving a car to and from work?  I have no good answer to these questions.  I can only say that I feel so small and the problems seem so large.  I know that so many others feel this impending sense of loss.  The radio tells another disheartening story of environmental protections dismantled as we shuttle ourselves to work in the morning.  We relay the troubling news to a coworker.  We carry it like a wound.  We are bearing this collective burden.  It is heavy and overwhelming, and I wonder, when the unraveling gets to a place where it begins to tangle our daily lives on more than just an emotional level, when we are breathing polluted air and drinking polluted water, will we all collectively sigh and say “we should have done more”....?


moon over porta-potty

As the political and social climate in this country grows increasingly volatile, I find myself frequently brooding over what, as an artist, I can and should be doing.  I lay awake at night scheming elaborate, frightening art installations involving icebergs, skeletons, semi-automatic weapons, and live rabbits.  (Those ideas never pass muster in the light of day.)  I write songs about thoughtlessness and rivers on fire.  (You can listen to those songs on soundcloud.com/thankyou-einstein).  I take odd photos like this one of a porta-potty in the moonlight, that somehow seem to me like messages or metaphors.  Is the porta-potty our humanity?  Is it a different, rarely documented angle of the white house?  Is the moon representing hope? Does it symbolize ambivalence?  I really can’t say.  I only know that my typical urge to build lush bright images of thriving root formations and curious creatures has been replaced by something morbid and unsettling.


Got to be starting something...

It is time for me to start a new body of work.  I feel it.  I know it.  I need it.  The thing is, the looming, vacuous, terrible thing is, I can’t find an idea.  I’ve tried long walks on the river, sketching pages and pages of rough awkward drawings in my sketch book, scouring the web, lying awake late, but I am not receiving insight.  Blahhh!  Merrr!  Fleckgh!  This is a sloggish murky feeling.  SO, to all you shimmering, hovering, luscious ideas out there,  I am available and interested!