October 16, 2016
I live in a great city with many wonderful cultural attributes but it is absolutely a city of literature, not a city of art. The only art museum locally is at the university and their collection is a bit thin. So I packed the car and headed out on a trip to see art.
A few years ago I found myself in Grand Rapids for an event happening during Art Prize. I was vaguely aware of Art Prize and took the opportunity of being in the city for something else to investigate what it was about. I returned to Art Prize this year for another day wandering through downtown looking at this year’s submissions. This year was not as inthralling as the last time but that is the wonder and beauty of Art Prize.
It is not often that you wait in a line to see art, especially contemporary art by people who are not household names.
A short drive later and I am in Indianapolis for my second trip to the Indianapolis Museum of Art. The museum includes 3 full floors of art ranging from old European works and ancient Egyptian pieces through to the constantly changing contemporary art collection. At this museum you won’t find the well known pieces like Monet’s Waterlilies but rather a wall with 5-6 Monet paintings that you don’t find on gift shop items and greeting cards. You can get incredibly close to the art so it is possible to take close up shots of a Monet painting where the brush strokes and nuances of paint colors are clearly visible in a way that could be useful for future color palette building if you are that type of person. Despite the wide range of impressionist paintings that this museum has on display by Monet, Cezanne, Pissarro, Gauguin, and more, disappointingly they had no works from Caillebotte.
The Contemporary Design area of the IMA contains a remarkable collection of household items that I desperately want for my own home. Eames and Michael Graves items fill in around the Sottsass but I am really in a Sottsass mode right now so…
There were a number of Apple Computer items in the Contemporary Design area including a 1st generation iPad (I still use mine daily for music, email, and fiction reading). This Macintosh Plus computer from 1985 caught my eye when I noticed the hand sharpied note on the back that it is “enhanced, and with 1024k” next to the case label of 512k. I took the photo with my phone that has a bonus micro SD card that holds 32GB (32,000,000k) of data.
The main hall of the IMA has a beautiful escalator wall that is open to all 3 levels of the gallery. It was impossible to ignore walking through the American Painting and Sculpture until 1945 area.
July 31, 2016
In the last few weeks I have fallen into a heavy ennui. The last few years have been a roller coaster of more bad than good and the only option was to persevere. It is almost as if the weight of it just came down on me in the last few weeks pushing the feelings of ennui to the front and squeezing out any other feelings.
In May, I became quite sick. One of the symptoms was the feeling of lethargy unlike anything I had experienced before. It took about 2 months before I was feeling almost back to normal and I want to blame that lethargy on why I wasn’t making anything but when I actually stepped back, I realized it had been nearly a year since I had really made anything. This spring I did pick up a few good sets of chalk pastels and I have been drawing. But that habit I have not picked up again since getting sick in May.
It was only in the last week that I started sewing again. I have been so uninspired that I never felt the need to make anything because I didn’t want anything. Nothing is exciting and I haven’t even wanted to go out so making things to wear seemed pointless. Everything in every clothing store looks nearly the same. Why does it matter if I buy it here or there? It is the same item with only slight changes. I did make a set of weekender bags to use for an upcoming trip and I am making a pattern for a new jacket.
Moving forward is moving forward, no matter how long it takes. [File that under “Lies we tell ourselves”]
January 30, 2016
The house I grew up in was built by my father (with the help of his dad) and had a huge greenhouse connected to the back. My mother filled the greenhouse (and most of the rooms of the house) with various plants. The planter boxes were made of bricks and a long series of bins and channels created a waterfall/river when the recirculating pump was turned on. My parents sold that house a few years ago and I know I have photos of the greenhouse somewhere in my things but I for now I simply seek out greenhouses to visit.
I don’t own a greenhouse of my own at this point so small jars filled with delightful succulents and tiny leafy plants will have to suffice. This is only about half of what I maintain including the two orchids from this project that are preparing to bloom again with many more flower buds than last year. These plants typically live in a bright corner of my studio but were pulled into the living room recently when the outside temperatures dipped below zero and the ambient temperature in the studio was cool enough to concern me. What a delightful bit of greenery to pull us through the brown winter.
November 1, 2015
As the trick-or-treating quieted down in the neighborhood and the sky darkened, I sat down in my living room and watched one of my favorite movies.
For me, Donnie Darko is the only Halloween movie worth watching. I saw the movie for the first time when I was in college; It was unlike any other movie I had seen to that point and it changed the way I looked at the people and world around me. I have been moving my copy of the director’s cut DVD with me through the last 3 states that I have lived but I had not watched it in years. This Halloween I watched it again. As the movie began I realized I had lost many of the plot details in the several years I went without watching it, so in many ways I was seeing it again for the first time. The characters I liked before, I liked more now; the characters I disliked before I definitely hated this time around (oh Mrs. Farmer). The story resonated with me for different reasons this time but the world needs heros like Donnie. Even if the storyline doesn’t resonate with you, the cinematography and soundtrack alone make the movie worth watching.
October 23, 2015
When I was 14, I decided I wanted to play tennis and joined the tennis team at school. I only ended up playing on the school team for one year because the following year I tried out for and made the dance team. The dance team season began in late April with try outs, practices started in May, we trained through the summer and performed at football games before our state competition in December, then there were basketball games to perform at, and the season finally wrapped up in late February. It didn’t leave time to participate in anything else so for a while I left tennis behind. Never the less, the tennis court is still one of my favorite places to be on a lovely afternoon and I keep finding myself there. I’m lucky to live in a city with a beautiful, huge city park with well maintained courts that are free to use.
Wanna play a match?
March 15, 2015
After getting rid of cable tv two years ago, I began watching more tv out of the UK because of how much of it was available on Hulu and YouTube. It was an easy move from watching British tv to listening to more British musicians. Music influences fashion and my personal fashion is no exception. 1960’s inspired mod fashion comes and goes in men’s fashion fairly often (you can always find at least one male musician inspired by the early Beatles looks) but it is much less likely to appear in women’s fashion.
Despite the lack of 60’s inspired fashion for women being common, I’ve felt the pull to dress more mod and this music is the reason.
And the project by Miles Kane and Alex Turner: The Last Shadow Puppets
How could you watch this era of Franz Ferdinand performances and not want to wear a color blocked mod silhouetted look?
I want to fill my wardrobe with simple dresses with mod silhouettes and dresses with mod color blocking. The green/blue tartan fabric laying on the floor in my sewing room is waiting to be made into a mod dress with lovely white collar and cuffs.
Oh yeah, and then there is the bit about watching Jean-Luc Godard films. If I watch enough 60’s French cinema I’ll remember all the French I learned in high school but since forgot, right?
July 26, 2014
Sometimes the answers to the basic life questions are the hardest to answer. Sometimes the answers are hard to give because the person asking will not understand your answer. They want or expect a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer and if you try to explain your ‘maybe’ they tell you to grow up and do what you are supposed to do.
Most people make the same decisions in life and end up in roughly the same place as the others who choose to make the same line of life decisions. They can answer the yes/no questions with a yes or a no. The thing that the people asking the question don’t want to think about or ask is whether those expected choices make you, everyone, or anyone happy. They are simply expected because they are expected.
We all have the same number of hours in the day. What we do with those hours can have a huge impact on what what happens with our lives right now and with our future.
There is a saying that pops up often when talking with entrepreneurs about making sacrifices now to have a brighter future. We constantly make decisions about how to spend our time. When we make decisions to spend our time in the “non standard” ways we end up in a position where we have to answer those “easy” life questions with not so easy answers. “Why aren’t you dating?” is a tricky question to answer when you spend all of your time working on a project you love and don’t see much gain from putting the project down to date someone who won’t make you feel as great as seeing your project become a success. Not many people understand that perspective.
It’s not that I don’t want to date, my decisions are based on what I value right now. Do I love watching movies, yep. When was the last time I watched a movie? That’s a hard question to answer. I enjoy watching movies and they can be beautiful and inspiring but I would rather spend those 2 hours working on building my projects.
Recently, I watched a documentary on Hulu called The Startup Kids (I was working on a knitting project while watching the documentary, by the way). It was a common thread with the people they interviewed that the successful startups were built on long periods of time when they would wake up, get to work, stopping only to eat and go to bed. A few people mention losing boyfriends/girlfriends in the middle of building their startups and while they don’t seem happy about this fact, they could have made the decision to focus less on the startup and work more on the relationship (but didn’t).
The majority of people follow the same path, some of us just choose a different path. Different does not mean bad or wrong but that is something not everyone understands.