Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Bittersweet

The last two-ish weeks have been a mishmash of luxuriating in the the company of family and nature,  speeding through to-do-lists, and giving bittersweet hugs.

We started the month with a lovely week in California, alternating between doing nothing and exploring. I re-read some Harry Potter books, though I had lots of new books waiting for me on my Kindle.  Do you ever do that?  Revisit a particular book or series?  I was in the mood for a good yarn in which good triumphed over evil.  I knew how it would all turn out and that's what I wanted/needed in the quiet moments, when I wasn't sitting with my eyes closed, absorbing the sun and the sounds of nature.  On the flip side, it was also a vacation with LOTS of new adventures.  We went riding on the beach

A view from our ride
and hiked to the top of a mountain.  The rewards for this were a spectacular view and, as we hiked down the other side, a mountain lion which crossed our path about 20 yards ahead of us.  Added bonus: (s)he left us alone.

Can you spy the lone picnic bench at the top?
When we returned, it was a mad dash to run errands and pack because my youngest was heading off to college in Indiana.  I've reached that time that parents are proud of and dread.  Children starting that final march to independence.  We're so proud of all that our children have done and become and will do, but we'd still like to take care of them when they have a stomach ache.  But now we can't.  This is part of the thrilling and maddening end to our being that actual place of solace and support.  Now we're the voice over the phone, telling them it will be okay.    But it's all good.  My daughter is safely and happily moved into her dorm at Notre Dame.  Her new and exciting life phase has begun.

Ready to head off

But I'm not quite done yet.  I am back in California.  I drove home from Indiana on Sunday and hopped on a plane Monday morning to meet my son.  (Sidenote: I was airborne during the eclipse; we crossed its path over St. Louis.  The sky and the plane interior slowly got grayer, as if a major storm was approaching and we were flying through clouds.  Then it suddenly went dark.  It was so eerie and cool!)  My son and I are no spending a few days together before he heads back to school (also in CA).  I am, once again, going to revel in the luxury of doing nothing, and spice it up with periods of actually doing something (though what that will be remains to be seen).  All I do know is that I'm off to a good start. I woke up unexpectedly early this morning and finished my book, The Nature of the Beast, by Louise Penny.  I'm a fan of her Chief Inspector Gamache series and I made the effort to carry the physical book with me.  It didn't disappoint.



I also recently finished The Midwife's Revolt by Jodi Daynard.  I didn't realize that it, too, is a part of a series.  However, this series is historical fiction about women during the time of the American Revolution.  The Midwife's Revolt has Abigail Adams as one of its main characters, though not the protagonist.


I think I may read The Radium Girls next, by Kate Moore. It's an account of what became of the factories full of women who painted radium onto WWII equipment so it would glow in the dark.... as they eventually did from radiation exposure.


What are you reading?  Any recommendations?

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

So, What's New Art-wise?

It's been a while since I've had art-y things to talk about, but that changes today.  


1) SPUN
I'm thrilled to report that SPUN is accepting entries!  This year's juror is Jeffrey Mueller, Gallery Director of the Silvermine Arts Center in Connecticut.  The prospectus can be found here.  Here are the most important details: The deadline for entry is September 15th and works of any size up to 60" (any dimension) are welcome, including 3D works.  I hope you'll enter.


2) Docent Training
I'm heading to the KMA tomorrow for a docent training planning session.  This new exhibition will include a steep cultural and historical learning curve for me.  The show's not posted on the KMA website yet, but suffice it to say that it will be the largest of its kind ever produced on the East Coast.  More details to come as I can share them. But don't wait to visit the KMA until Februarym when this show opens.  Right now there's a fabulous exhibit called Wall to Wall: Carpets by Artists on display.  "Featuring seventeen artists from across the globe, the exhibition reveals carpets to be a powerful locus of meaning today, one that cuts across subjects of design, art, d├ęcor, production, and geopolitics. Wall to Wall proposes that artist-designed carpets play a role in modern art history as a critical form that is becoming increasingly popular in artistic practices."

Visitor interactive weaving at the KMA
3) Studio Time
This spring held a number of personal challenges for me, not limited to my parents' health issues; most notably, my son had to have a painful surgery with a difficult recovery.  I'm happy to report that he's fine, but I didn't anticipate how much time I'd spend on his care.  Some work I had hoped to submit had to be postponed but, nonetheless, I've made some in-roads in the studio.  I'm not sure I'm ready to share a sneak peek yet, but it's exciting to have time to sew again.  Now, I just have to wait for all the yellow jackets who've invade my studio to go away.... with the help of the pest management guy. 

4) Writing
I've been spending a bit of time helping a friend write about her art and, I must admit, I'm enjoying it quite a bit.  It's fun to delve into another artist's psyche to discover what makes them tick.

5) The Garden
My garden continues to enthrall me.  Some years are just magical. This is one of them.

An overabundance of hydrangea blossoms

I hope all's well on your end.  Please fill me in on what's going on!