Monday, January 1, 2018

A New Year - 2018


Gosh, it doesn't seem that long ago when we were all fretting about the impending computer disasters that would happen at the turn of the new millennia clock.  On the flip side, for me, it also seems like 2017 was a r*e*a*l*l*y long year and that it took forever to reach its close.  I'm not sure I want to spend too much time thinking about the difficult episodes.  Not a lot of fun in that.  And not that much fun to read about, either.

I do want to think about what I've learned, how it's all going to help me moving forward and how it collectively might manifest into a productive new year.  I'm not going to share all my personal goals with you. I mean really, who wants to hear about my drawer reorganization project?  Or my goal to start to put some of our loose photos in photo albums?  But here are some of my art and art-related goals, with the understanding that I use the term "art-related" fairly loosely.

1) A Return to Quilt-Making
Last year, well, nothing got finished.  Quilt-making just had to go onto the back burner for a slew of legitimate reasons.  I'm hoping that this year will afford me more time.  I'd really like to get back into my studio and sew, ideally to finish a few things I started and to create some new (larger) work.  But if my time has to be reallocated again, I'm going to adjust my output expectations.  Perhaps a shift to small projects that can be worked in tiny spurts of time.   This would probably mean more handwork and I'm interested in that possibility. Maybe I'll do it anyway.

A detail of a project I'd like to finish in 2018

2) Docent Training
I have a whopper of a project coming up with the Katonah Museum of Art in relation to an exhibition that I hope everyone will come to see.  The exhibition is called Long, Winding Journeys: Contemporary Art and the Islamic Tradition.

Artwork by Ala Ebtekar, Zenith V, 2014.  Acrylic over cyanotype on canvas
This will be the largest exhibition of its kind EVER on the East Coast, possibly in the entire United States.  The curator, Elizabeth Rooklidge, has gathered together the artwork from contemporary artists of Middle Eastern and South Asian descent who have explored Islamic visual traditions in new and exciting ways.  I can't begin to tell you how much I've learned!  I truly mean it when I say that everyone should make an effort to see this.  In the West we have a limited knowledge of and appreciation for contemporary art coming out of these practices.  This will broaden your understanding of art today, and that which was created millennia ago.  As docent trainer, I've had in insider's peek at the development of the exhibition, and my understanding of the history behind these practices has exploded.  It's so exciting!!!  There will definitely be more on this in the coming months.

3) More People Pictures
This is, admittedly, a somewhat selfish goal.  I'm terrible at remembering to take pictures when I'm together with my family and friends.  I look back and see lots pictures of tables after the fun gathering, but not very many of the folks who were actually there.  And the ones that I do take aren't really share-worthy.

A picture of a fun post-family dinner
This goal is also about expanding my photography skill set.  That doesn't mean I'm not going to continue with all my nature pictures.  I absolutely will.  But I'd like to take a stab at capturing the people that I'm with and/or see on the street.  An offshoot of this will be expanding how I see things, which I don't think is a bad thing.

4) Blogging
This first post of the new year will be my 700th blog post since I started.   It's been a mixed bag of posts; for the last two years, I've averaged one blog post every two weeks.  I really do miss writing when I don't do it regularly, and this blog seems to be a good vehicle for practicing that craft.  I'm hoping to blog more, even if it's just snippets and bits, or just posting a picture with a brief explanation of the when and where.  Maybe that's a good side goal: that if I don't have time for writing, at least I share my favorite picture from the week.  What do you think?

And now, it's time to sign off.  I have some more docent writing to do while watching college football games with my husband.  (A good way to hang with him and multi-task.)  We'll be watching alone because our eldest is on her way back to Chicago, the youngest is hanging with friends, and our son is in Dubai having the trip of a lifetime, visiting his best friend/roommate who lives there.  I received this picture this morning.  I'm not sure what he's standing in front of.  Olives?  Dates? At the very least, this is a cool grocery store produce section. I can't wait to hear his stories when he comes home on Wednesday.

Until next time, thanks for reading.  Be well. 

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