Check up

We are closing in on the end of the 2nd month of 2013.

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It is that time of the year where the good intentioned resolutions are losing ground or already abandoned. How are your resolutions (if you made any) coming along? I am doing better with some of mine than others. I need to get back to my goal of being in studio somewhere close to 30 hours a week on creating something, I did fine the first few weeks, then lost ground the past few. Some of it was life intervening and mixing up the schedule, some was weather and some was just schlumpiness on my part. Time to get up and get going, I need to go back to my mindset of even a few minutes creating will pay off. Time to get out and go to a museum, a show, to go anywhere for inspiration.

I am also working on being more social and doing some networking, that is probably the hardest for me as I am happy by myself, and with the circle of friends I have. But, I am working on it. It is something I find difficult as often it will go like this (as it did yesterday):

“Hello.”

“Hello, that wind is sure strong today!”

“What do you mean?”

At which point I wonder what I said, because “Hello, that wind is sure strong today!” was what I thought I was saying but maybe I slipped into some extinct language without realizing it. It is disconcerting, and happens regularly with common small talk. This does not encourage me to strike up conversations and socialize. Maybe people are just too distracted to go passed the hello, I have no idea.

Morning coat

It snowed the whole day yesterday, yet very little accumulated in spite of the amount that came down. Even the branches seemed to shake off the piles of flakes. Overnight though, the flakes clung more tenaciously which resulted in a gorgeous morning view where every branch had a fresh trimming of snow.

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Now, just a couple of hours later the same branches have only scraps of snow on them as clumps drop to the ground in the warming air. Spring is circling around us looking for a spot to land. The snow knows this, but can’t help putting on a few final displays to delight us with the artistry.

 

Such a hopeful idea

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Having read Adam Hochschild’s book:   To End All Wars: a story of loyalty and rebellion,  all I can say is

“Phew, thank goodness mankind learned not to make that mistake again!”

What a shame that isn’t what actually happened. Then again, I guess if a roomful of people can’t agree on pizza toppings and what to chip in for it I shouldn’t expect much when it comes to larger more tricky issues. It is hard to get along with people; even our own family members can drive us to distraction at times. And some families don’t allow you to step away so everyone can cool off or so you can go your own way. The global community is no different, just bigger and more fraught with tribal, historical, religious and economic triggers. I think as humans we actually foster the “us against them” mentality, look at the high school grudge matches that go on for years between sports teams. Look at the old Coke vs. Pepsi advertising campaigns. Everyone loves to put forward their selection as the “right” one, and to denigrate the other. It is crazy. Hochschild’s book covers this from the front lines to the home-front with those who objected to the war. He is able to weave both together telling a story we all know and can still weep over today. It is a book that really makes you wonder why we do what we do, and why we don’t seem to ever conquer that side of ourselves.

Rethinking things

I think it is amazing when someone looks at something and sees it in a whole new way, that was there all along but overlooked. The two pieces I have here are an example of just that. One, the famous Nude Descending a Staircase by Marcel DuChamp and the other a brilliant re-conception of a nude descending a staircase as envisioned by Arno Rafael Minkkinen.

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Simply amazing, and why had no one else thought to do this? This is the sort of thing that makes me take a second look around to see what connections I might me missing. Sometimes when I am in the flow this is easier than when I am rushing or out of sorts, but I do try to pick up the threads that are just out there waiting for someone to grasp them and make use of them. Looking at design or architecute magazines always gives me a new view on everyday things. Fine Homebuilding, HOW, Dwell are just a few examples of ones that I find particularly energizing. I need to make sure I keep my eyes searching out the quirky, fresh images that are around each corner.

Personal wealth

I always feel so rich when I leave my local library, toting books that will give me so much more than what they cost.  My library card is the best card in my wallet, no high interest rate, no junk mail and no limit! What a great deal.

This is my library:

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 It was built just a few years ago as a gift to the town by a local company. Prior to that it had been housed  in a building that had also boon a gift many, many years before. That memorial library was like a little jewel box, wood paneling, a fireplace all the touches you would expect to find in an old building. But it had reached a point where they had outgrown it and needed a more accessible building. This is the result thanks to the incredible kindness of the company, who saw the need and took on the task. Attached to this building are a senior center and a community gallery space. I am at the library a couple of times a week to stock up and to take stock of what is going on. If they were open today, I’d be there!

Studio progress

The sandblasting in the basement is over, and soon new studios will be popping up like crocus. I went in and put all my pieces back up after I gave the space a good sweeping and dusting. It wasn’t as dusty as I feared, but needed a good swipe anyhow. I even put up my new curtains, being especially careful as I perched on the ladder to reach the top of the tall, tall windows. All went well…phew! Love the look of them too, and the filter the light nicely. Then I placed the soda bottles my daughter filled with tinted water back on the sill with the three bobbin spools I salvaged from the trash from the basement. So, now I am back in business so to speak, and need to restart my creative engine.

2-12-2013_043my windowsill

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All in all it was a productive couple of hours, and I was able to get out and about and get some photos. Weekdays at the studios tend to be pretty quiet as everyone has their own schedule to work around.  Usually after I eat my lunch, or while something is drying, I will walk through the levels and see what is new. It serves 2 purposes 1) six flights of stairs to get to the top and then back down is good exercise and 2) I can socialize with other artists who are in studio. Both of which are things I need to do. Often there is the bonus of chancing upon a good image just waiting to be taken.