Soggy Saga

The reception for The Leaf and The Page Friday night was lovely, just completely enjoyable.  The space is huge, so even though there was a very large crowd, it wasn’t  uncomfortably packed. I knew two of the other artists, Carolyn Ottmers and Andrew Young, from my grad school days, so it was a bit of a reunion, and I saw several more people from way back, and met many new folks.

I was kept pretty busy schmoozing, so I still haven’t gotten to see much of the completed show. I plan to make time for an extended visit. Curator Doug Stapleton did a fantastic job; his wall statement about my work was sooo much better than even the newest one I wrote for myself (that I have yet to publish on my site).

Paul went with me (I rarely ask him to endure openings, but he liked this one); we walked to the el under dual umbrellas, in steady rain which never ceased, and we stopped for a carryout dinner in the neighborhood on the way back.  We’d have eaten somewhere nicer in the loop, but we wanted to get back before the weekend el repair shutdown began.

The rain kept on, and Saturday turned out to be the wettest day Chicago has ever had.  Freeways have been flooded and shut down, and people have had to evacuate as rivers rise.  The O’Hare el tunnel flooded, and it was shut down. Today, we’ll get the remnants of hurricane Ike that devastated Galveston and Houston.  For us, that translated to some basement seepage, so parts of yesterday were spent addressing that, in my studio down there.  We’re fortunate to have only had that (knock on wood). I had left an empty 2½ gallon bucket on the back porch on Friday morning, and now, Sunday morning, the water level in it is ½ inch from the top.

I e-mailed folks in Texas, to check on them in relation to Ike.  The gallery folks replied to say that they were fine, and all that happened to Austin is that they got some much needed rain, and that they sold another one of my pieces, woohoo!

For me, selfishly, the rain is good.  It’s the first time I’ve been able to physically slow down since I hit Chicago after returning from Jentel, to hang out at home and write a long (and probably boring) blahg. Tomorrow, I’m installing the show in Evanston, booking an October trip to Toronto, and working on another quickly upcoming show in San Francisco, plus finishing a presentation for my Friday class and other school stuff.  It’s absolutely fantastic that my artwork is getting this attention.  But, after eight months of being on “my time” I’m finding it difficult to adjust to the pace of school, particularly of having a job plus a career.  It’s not devastating, not even close, and I’m not complaining. But when my mind has a few seconds free to wander, this is where it goes: 


…or to Lewis. And then, I’m jolted back to:

One more rainy-day detail that Aimee sent from Korea, that we both found hilarious.  She’d been corresponding with someone in the states who I haven’t met. Somehow, my blahg was mentioned, and the person asked her if I had written this book. I love it. (And now I’ve gotta buy the book).

And EVERYONE: click on Aimee’s name above, to see the EXCELLENT papermaking video she’s just made, on the making of traditional Hanji paper (and it’s captioned!)

4 thoughts on “Soggy Saga

  1. Hey, Melissa, that was ME! Don’t buy that book, if you promise to take care of it, I’ll send you mine on loan. It’s brittle and yellow, and was much loved in the day. I guess I was 11 when I bought it. Two summers later I was in Philadelphia (I’m from NY) wanting to go to that big concert I heard about in NY. Guess what that was.

  2. Your blog posts are NEVER boring!!! Never fear on that front.

    As soon as I saw the picture of the full bucket, I cringed. Any more home disaster stories and I don’t know what I would have done! I’m totally thrilled about how much attention you work is getting (and agree that good curators rock…esp those who can really WRITE). It’s a nice testament to how things grow and flourish when you give them the time and space to do so.

    And a note on the video: it’s actually ONLY captioned!! The noise is just working or people talking randomly; I was in no state to do sound editing or voiceovers. I figured that the visuals were most important w/an explanation of each step. Beyond editing, the most time went into compression: preparing it for web w/o losing all the text to pixelation. So I’m glad that all the time that went into it pays off for the viewer!! Thanks for the shout-out!

  3. I’ll second Aimee on the non-boring posts (as opposed to mine, which are severely dullsville), and contribute a “Yeehaw” to the video — it’s brilliant.

    Built my paper safe last week, and now have a place to put all my papers in one place.

    This may be dangerous…. 🙂

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