Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Togetherness and ART

For the second time in my life, I've been living alone for
an extended period, 7 years next month. It's nice to be
near enough to three of my brothers and their families
to trade visits. Hugh and Connie came over for the
long weekend, and we "did" Port Townsend on Saturday,
with a delicious dinner at the Fountain Cafe. Port Williams beach on Sunday...we walked further than I'd ever been up the beach, and they'd never been to this particular beach. I love all the choices of places to go in this peninsula. Salt water has been calling me all my life and it's wonderful to be here...even though Vermont tugs at me, too. If I could only figure out a way to live bi-coastally.

At the very end of the beach, we found artifacts from some mysterious undersea event. I took lots of pictures, including close ups of textures, which I may use some day in other Art. More on that topic later, when I show you the finished pieces that I started in Anne Grgich's class. 

With Hugh and Connie, we explored, Ate, and then back home to cook. Hugh helped me with fixing my mailbox that was run into in our one snowy period during the winter. My brothers all know how to build things and fix things, and learned by doing, which I'm trying to catch up on now.

I had the right idea about how to fix the mailbox: deconstruction and reconstruction, but it was good
to have my brother's helping hands. Here he's decorating the Hot Flash doll I brought to the beach 
with an attractive shell. I see his hands and my hands
in the same genetic pool...the ties with family are 
so strong and so important...or maybe we're just
lucky to like each other and love being together. I 
love having the company and also love having my
own life and space again. I see how Hugh and Connie have interwoven their personalities and interests
over the years. Each path has benefits.

Making the initial cuts

Hugh is demonstrating another unique skill: de-boning a  chicken, which he learned from Julia Child. He has even done Turkeys!

We made a selection of delectable veggies, and lots of garlic, for this 40 clove garlic chicken.

Ripping the bones out


A sharp knife is vital to this operation.  

The bones went right into the soup pot...wonderful aromas!

Ready for the oven

He spread the boneless chicken out over the 
new potatoes and 40 cloves of garlic--really!

He cooked the greens in the chicken and garlic
juices and we played several rounds of May I. 

I had a quarter of a rhubarb custard pie in the 
freezer for desert.

Too bad I didn't spend more time focusing!

It was Delicious! Back on my spartan diet now...HA, HA! Today I made myself a Chinese pork, eggplant, pepper always reliable sensual pleasure--FOOD!

The Art Part of this post below:

Anne done in her style

Previously I posted the pieces I started in a class with Anne Grgich in Bainbridge.

Here's my portrait of Annie, and her photo.

The real Anne, an awesome teacher!
You'll have to flip back and forth to see the
early versions and finished ones. There is an addictive quality to this process: Collage, drawing, painting, mark making,
separated with layers of watered-down
white glue.  I love the mysterious surface. It's hard to know when to stop.


Pink Face

Pink Legs

Fish Face (fish on the forehead)

Mask Face (a mask under it all)

Punchella Face, scissor nose

Puzzle Face

Many threads come together in each
 Art Adventure!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Traveling Solo

Shannon Hastings Lind and Avery
Since I moved to the West Coast almost seven years ago, I've lived alone, and now can't really imagine sharing my space and time with another. Artists of all sorts, especially need room and time to spread out and grapple with the new ideas as they come.

I've been reading GOING SOLO, and apparently I'm part of a growing trend of 28% of the households in the US. Of course we have to have enough money to be able to afford a house for a family of one...and sometimes we may get lonely...or worried about becoming sick or dependent alone. As a veteran of two long-term live-in relationships of over 10 years each, I know that it is certainly possible to be very lonely living with another person, and there's no guarantee that our needs will be met as a couple, or even recognized.

Linda Crow, photographer, patron of the Arts

After taking a workshop on Bainbridge Island last weekend with Anne Grgich, it has been delightful to be home painting, doing collage, reading, arranging rocks in my yard, eating, and walking. We Singletons can and are creating new systems of support and companionship. Book Group, yoga, Mac users group, dinner out with friends, events at the library and the Fine Arts Center...and all the good causes crying for volunteers. 

Boomer women are pioneers in so many ways, we'll invent ways to age gracefully and with support, too.

Diana Somerville, science writer and crusader

I did some more work on Diana's portrait yesterday and like it better. I always work from photographs or drawings, and sometimes get too fussy or harsh, and have to go back and add layers to smooth things out. The color of the under painting matters, too. 

I'm working on a series of 100 Hot Flash Women, in the best sense of women flashing with energy and ideas. My great niece, Avery, will be the youngest woman in the group, only a matter of weeks old when her photo was taken. And I remember her mom as a child. Her grandfather is my next youngest brother...the thread of history.

I'm enjoying going places alone, too. The sunny outdoor vegan pile of veggies and tofu last weekend in Bainbridge. My sketchbook/journal, and a break from the intensity of class. I keep promising myself that I won't buy any more books...but I got 2 new ones. The fancy clothes and household Stuff don't tempt me. Books are tools for mental travel and inspiration.

Funny to think about a "Bucket List." I'm happy that I've always gone ahead and done the things I've wanted to, even if I have to pinch pennies now, and travel only in my mind and via computer, and other people's trips to exotic places, like David's to Thailand.

Port Townsend with a lowering sky and storm approaching. Something in me has always yearned to be near salt water. I love the beaches here and frequently find rocks in my pockets from my travels to all the different places where I can hear the waves and the rocks being tumbled and polished like me, being worn smooth by life.

Anne Grgich, famous artist, generous teacher

After long dark, dark, dark winter, giving myself the present of a class, to get away from flat essences to exuberant layering...and still there's the connection of the faces, and of all the layers I do in my fabric work and paper dolls.

Arlinka Blair introduced me to Anne's fantastical faces back in the early days of We Folk of Cloth, must have been early Nineties. 

Anne has lived a pure artist life, although her work was "discovered" and celebrated early on. She uses inexpensive white glue and trash to build layers of mystery. 

Fish, phase 1

When I left my previous life to move west and live alone, I thought I would be willing to live in a hovel, just for the opportunity to make art. However, I am now enjoying making art in my lovely home, a studio in every room, and so understand the need to keep plugging away at my day job. Where else would I get to meet so many interesting people and ask them prying questions?

I'm going to post tonight the early stages of the Seven(!) pieces I started last weekend. Stay tuned, and you'll see them finished...if I can ever stop adding layers.

Glove. Grief, phase 1

I hadn't added the "grief" yet when I first photographed this one. The hand shape is from edema gloves at work.

Pink Face, phase 1

Thank the goddess for digital photos--perfect for recording stages of work!

Pink Legs, phase 1

This one was most influenced by/ an homage to Anne's work. I think the face on the left is a photo of one of her faces, and now the yellow parrot from a party napkin has been submerged. Anne says it's possible to cut or scrape away layers, but the white glue seems to be very strong.

Punchella face, phase 1

A sheet of yellow, from which round yellow stickers have been removed, to make an over all pattern. I want to get out of my usual box, but not copy Anne slavishly.

Art making is a series of bold leaps, sometimes too far, then rushing back from the precipice.

Puzzle Piece,  phase 1

Oops, I forgot to take a picture of one of them, that started with a photograph of a mask. Too bad. 

I'll show you one more piece, a mixed media nude, worked from something I did at life drawing back when I lived in Burlington, VT. The painting, mixed media, collage are all on some kind of a continuum. I need to keep working to find out where it's going. 

Male Nude, mixed media

I'm still making dolls or "dolls" too, and have started a series of 100 women or icons or totems. I'll post them on my Hot Flash blog. Be sure to sign up to follow me in both places.

Make ART, play Outside!