Tuesday, January 29, 2013

"Standing on the Edge": the process

I've been working on a painting since about June. As usual, it has been a long and complicated journey. There have been various titles running around in my brain, but the piece has managed to get itself named. Back in the fall I was part of a storytelling event with a writers' group I belong to (Souled Out Artists). They suggested using my then-incomplete collage for the graphic on the program. Since I feel like my collages are really just visual stories, I was happy to do it. And so it's called Standing on the Edge—which was the name of the show, which ironically got its name when one of the writers suggested it from looking at the collage. It's like looking in a mirror at a mirror. So thanks Kevin for the title.

"I never walked near the edge, used to feel for the ledge."

I'll restrict my comments to talking about aesthetics and not about psychology, though I love hearing the stories that people see in the work, so feel free to comment if you like.

I'm sorry that I didn't take a photo of the original piece-of-crap painting I was covering up, but it was of a bridge in a park in Worcester. I made it when was a sophomore in college. I probably didn't photograph it because it still embarrassed me.

You'll have to forgive the conditions in which the photos were taken—I wasn't always painting in the studio, so the lighting varies. Still, you get the idea of the elements that changed. In watching those elements, you can see where the the struggle kept happening—the collage seems almost unchanged but for these two or three spots on it. I wanted to pull my hair out.

These frames show the major changes in the project. They don't include the final piece. I'll put that into another post because I haven't photographed it yet.

Here are a couple of outtakes so you can see more details and a faster progression.

Friday, January 25, 2013

"I'll Follow You Into the Dark"

Okay, I'm a bit sentimental—I'll admit it. Around here we've taken to loving Death Cab for Cutie's I'll Follow You Into the Dark. It's mushy, it's gushy, it reeks of sappiness. I love it. I saw on iTunes that there's a video, so I decided to check it out—it sealed the deal. I love to draw. I love drawings on impractical paper. I love stories. It's all right t here. What are these people trying to do with this heart-wrenching love song, kill me? If you've not heard it yet, here's a link. I think it will be on this family's playlist for a while—probably until the end. I'm such a sap. Somebody shoot me.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

What I've been up to

You may have thought I had fallen off the planet—no hat posts, not even a painting. What happened to the milliner from Maynard, Mass?

Oh, what a year 2012 was! There was just way, too much healthcare. In fact, by the time August rolled around, I thought I might explode if I had to pay one more copay. But in the early September I had an MRI of my spine (I have some various spinal cord conditions), and that MRI made my neurologist send me to my neurosurgeon in Boston. The neurosurgeon decided that it was time to clean some things up. So I spent eight days around Thanksgiving in the hospital—it was ok. My husband brought me a latté every day, and brought his laptop so that he could work and still be nearby.

I had similar surgery as a child, but I'm far from being a child, and I forgot how much it would hurt. Still, it ended and here I am. I'm still recovering—the neurosurgeon says that it will take 12-24 months for all the nerves to heal up—but every day gets a little easier. I'm in physical therapy two times a week and am both making progress and learning a lot! While in the hospital and when I got home, many of our friends and family pitched in to help us out with childcare, meals, you name it. I am so grateful for that—I was able to rest for a good period of time.

I haven't made any new hats yet, but I did get my last shipment of ten or so out to the Peabody Essex Museum before I went into the hospital. I've gone to the studio a handful of times, and in that time I've been working on a painting. I should be finishing that one soon, and when I do, I'll post images of how it progressed.

In the meantime, here's a link to a video of coverage of the Hats exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum. Sorry I can't embed the video—you'll have to click on this instead: A Party on Your Head I still have to get myself out there one more time to see it again.

Linda Hartigan, the Chief Curator of the museum, who we see at the beginning of the video, bought one of my more interesting hats from the PEM boutique in the first days of the show. I felt honored to have it go to her. (The photo in this post is of the hat she bought. You may recall it from my February blog post Pretty Things). I love this hat.

Do yourself a favor and go see the show. You'll find my burgundy hat under glass in the American Gallery on the first floor.