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.
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?
March 17, 2014
Spring is nearly here and all I can think about is wearing lightweight dresses and spending time on the beach. In the part of the country I live in currently we had a colder than average winter. It seemed to bother those around me much more than it bothered me. I like the seasonal transition due solely on my excitement about styling my next season outfits. In 6 months I’ll be thinking about the layers of tights and sweaters I will be donning. Right now I keep thinking about hats to protect me from the sun and adorable shorts with light weight shirts.
January 11, 2014
I’m not one for New Year’s Resolutions. If you think you need to make changes in your life there is no point in putting off making changes until January 1st of any given year. With that being said, there is something refreshing about beginning a new year. One has 365 days to claim a particular activity, change, or accomplishment happened in a universally understood frame of time that can be viewed consistently in relation to current time to place it in an appropriate context. It makes telling the story later on easier.
Much of my life has been in chaos over the last 6 months. I have hardly had time to make much of anything. However, I am getting back into things. With +6 months of pent up creative energy I have become a chronic project starter. I’m feeling impatient. I want to start working on all the new ideas while not completing many projects. But I will get there, I will complete each and every one of them.
The brilliant thing about moving is you have the opportunity to develop new and better habits. For me this means better organization of my work space and materials, and not getting into the routine of distracting myself. For the first time in my life, I do not have cable TV. I’ve been without cable for 3 months and I’m so far down the rabbit hole of bizarre TV on Hulu and YouTube that I never want to return to “normal” TV viewing. Shows and videos I am watching are inspiring me think about life things in new ways and are changing how I view my roll in the world.
And with that, I’m not going to declare that I am beginning a new phase in my life because no matter what time keeps passing and I keep evolving. I am the sum of all of my influences and those influences grow and change with every day as I move through the world and this life. I’m not going to say that 2014 is going to be the best year yet because there is no way to know that. All I can do is continue to work on my projects and attempt to have a positive impact on the world.