Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Rut, or why you really need a seam ripper and why you shouldn't complain that you don't have one on facebook

Some days are sewing days, some days are seam ripping days.

I think, this is true of everything in life, just in it's own metaphoric way.
Some days are painting days, some days are gesso days.
Drawing day, erasing day.
Playing day, working day.
Cooking day, eating day.
Ok, that last one is a little off.

Life really swings back and forth, like a pendulum.
But is it always a negative to a positive, to a negative, to a positive? Or is it all perspective?
Like this:

I like to tell myself that this is how I see the world. I tell myself this a lot. But does it really mean that I believe it?
Recently I've been in a rut. Get home from work, play with my kids for an hour while we make dinner, eat said dinner, then kids go to bed and I sit on the couch in front of the Holy Glowing Box for a couple of hours with my Sig O. Then I get ready for the next day, and sleep.
Sound exciting? Yep. Here's the thing.
My brain is active and engaged all day. Teaching. Mentoring. Motivating. OMG motivating teenagers is herding cats. I have energy for them, because I HAVE to. They deserve it.  It's the career I've chosen.
My own littles, I have energy for them at the end of my day because I look forward to them ALL DAY, again, I chose to have my two adorable toddlers, and they are so worth it.
By 8 pm. I had nothing left for "me".
Nothing. And before you say, well, you chose that too,  I was really ok with that for a while.
For a while.
Because, some days I sew in my life, and some day I don't. The days I don't, don't define my life though, because I don't see them as a set back. I see them as a hiatus. A brain hiatus.
And I can come back to my painting, and sewing. It doesn't make me not an artist, it doesn't make me anything.
So, remember how I said, I was all good, for a while?

I do believe that Life is all about balance and perspective. So much of being happy with what we have, and don't have, revolves around being happy with where you stand and your point of view. As people, we often get caught up in the lives and issues of others.

Our generation is lost in the minutia of negativity. Whining to an audience that gives thumbs-ups and "likes" and enabling feedback for everything.  EVERYTHING.  

"Praying for you, " "hugs," "OMG." 

When really, we need to be confronting each other, and ourselves, for this behavior.  

"You sound depressed, I'm worried about you. Let's talk."
"I know that thing are hard right now, lets get together and figure something out."

But see, these kinds of words, they require actions. ACTION. DOING something. And the glory of facebook is that no one ever DOES anything. Because we don't have to, there is no accountability. 

I don't like posting negative shit on facebook.
My life does not suck. My kids are kids, they do crazy shit, they frustrate me with their undeveloped frontal lobes. But that is parenting. They are my children. 

My job is exhausting, and challenging and I love it. Some days are hard, some are crazy. But it's my JOB.

And if I don't like that I am not creating stuff, I'm going to do something about it.

So, I am DOING this. 

I've promised myself that I will sew, and paint. at least 3 days a week.

So far, it's been working out pretty well. I've been at it 2 weeks.

Its a challenge to come home and find the brain function to create.

I like a challenge.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Ancient Egypt Comes to Reno

 Here in Northern Nevada, we a re very lucky to have the Nevada Museum of Art, in Reno.
The NMA's most recent special exhibit is a collection of Ancient Egyptian Artifacts from the Brooklyn Museum.
The exhibit here is called, "To Live Forever," and focuses on artifacts primarily related to preparations for and regarding, the after life. It is a very worthwhile exhibit to see, and the kids love it! There are kids activities and art sessions scheduled throughout the exhibit's time here in Reno. There are guided tours, and informational sessions as well. You should check it out. I did. Here is the NMA's page so that you can plan and schedule your visit:
Nevada Museum of Art: Special Exhibits-To Live Forever

In partial correlation, the costumed figure painting class that we are taking had a great Egyptian-esque model this week, Rick.
Kohl make up and all, he did a great job!

Here's my painting:

As you know, it's Gouache, and was a 3 hour session. I always debate about going back and finishing a painting from a live session like this.  I'm not sure why, I guess I could. Any thoughts?

Here's a detail of his(Rick) face and collar. I really love gouache. Love love love. I do need to wash out all my jars though. maybe I'll do that before our next session.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Costume Class Session 1 at the Nevada Museum of Art

On Monday nights from 6pm-9pm the Nevada Museum of Art School hosts the Costumed Figure Painting Class. This class is awesome! Our costume from last week was a Plantation Dress/Gown from the Civil War period. It was made as a direct copy of a dress in a museum. 
 I painted.

Tonight will be session 2. Can't wait to see what our model/costume will be tonight.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

In which I actually paint something. really.

See, I knew you wouldn't believe me.

  I painted this weekend. With OTHER PEOPLE! Actually with several OIL painters. I was the one using gouache. Go figure. A friend of ours here in the NV/CA area had an Arte Al Fresco Day. We all got together and painted from a fantastic model, Carolyn. She does period costuming, and man is she great! She also coordinates the models for the Nevada Museum of Art's Costumed Figure class, which is instructed by Jerry Stinson(also awesome.)
It was a quiet eight hour day, lunch was had, wine was had, and lots of great painting time was had. I am apparently deep in though in the above shot, most secretively captured mid painting by my dear Andrew. My brain was really tired after the whole day making art. So much thinking goes on. Color, lighting, relationships, and then the whole nature of painting itself.

As you can see, Jerry was very conscientious of our model's needs. It is the High Sierra, after all, and the sun is the SUN up here. How on Earth is she holding up that parasol for 8 hours, you ask? She's using a shooting stick for hunting to rest the back edge of the parasol on. Genius! What did I tell you? She's a professional.
So, I painted, and we chatted, and I had quite possibly the best art experience in a long time!
Oh, and uh, here's what I've got so far, just in case you wanted to see.

Thanks, Jerry and Karen and Carolyn, who made it all possible! 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Upon us

Well, honestly, I can't believe that it's June, again. And when it's June that signals the end of the school year for we who are teachers. This year, the end of the year, it kind of sucks, because we've ended up with a budget shortfall/crisis/cluster in our great Silver State of Nevada. Our governor has decided that one of the areas to cut is education. For example, UNR is cutting their budget 49.8%. Aw, no big deal, right? That's only like, what, 72,000,000 dollars? Suck it up UNR. I'm sure you'll still be able to complete with the 1000 other colleges that students consider. Oh... wait.. How many degrees of study and departments have you had to cut?....

It the pre-secondary arena, I have been lucky enough, because really, luck and seniority are all that save us right now, to remain, so far, the Art and Design Educator at my school. They tell us there could be more cuts in July, so who knows how long my little harbor will last. It's not really something I feel that I can worry about though, because I have no real control over it. And I think, that at this point, if my position got cut, I think I'd go do something else other than teach. Not because I don't enjoy teaching, or think that it's important.

I think that I can understand how cuts happen, and the fact that everyone needs to work together to make it work. Somehow, it just feels like a playground brawl. No, it's your fault, nuh-uh it's YOUR fault! And nothing really gets done about the problem, because we're all looking for someone to blame. hmm.. Sound familiar? How about we type in... witch hunt or blame game into google search. So, my point is that this is nothing new to humanity. It is quite possibly/probably human nature.

Some people blame one party, or the other, or one representative, faction, union, or conglomerate or another. In the end though, it's our future that will suffer, and we are all to blame. But there is another even more important part of human nature, working together to solve a problem. And it is one of our greatest strengths as a species, and without it, our goals all just fall apart. How about we use THAT trait instead, eh?

Monday, April 5, 2010


Cut paper and gouache. (coloraid, that is.)