Away-from Homestretch

 

ajoomchishadow

Joomchi shadow! Intriguing…

I’m wrapping up an explosion in the studios, a number of new things being worked on at once. Sweet studio hours have been woven in with pup training, sleep / eating schedules very different from mine, still way too much admin, medical visits, laundry, all the essential ephemera of life. It will all come together tomorrow and Tuesday (when cleanup will also – definitely – need  to happen), Wednesday is reserved for a big fat pile of tedious postponed admin, Thursday for packing and Friday: the road.

astudiosketch

I’m really looking forward to the workshops, and absolutely eagerly to the many friends I’ll be so very glad to see…and of course, this show, which will open while I’m in Rosendale. At the same time, I am having small wistful twinges about leaving. My presence at home is a boon to our current situation, the wee gardens are at peak (we’ve just begun to eat the burgeoning tomatoes that taste like the sun), and Chance is at a point in his schooling where he’s slowly beginning to realize that walking at heel is his job, and that the world will not end if he ignores squirrels while doing so. I’m truly becoming a confirmed homebody (well, and home studios-body: that’s essential). I know for certain, though, that I’ll come back replenished, renewed and refreshed.

abackgarden

These lovely purple French hollyhocks aren’t supposed to be here; they’re growing in the wee spaces between stone pavers, outside the garden.  I decided to let them.  They’re gorgeous and very very tough and hardy: Chance crashes into them multiple times daily, retrieving his ball, so they protect the actual garden.

apalimpsest

A joomchi palimpsest…

Tightrope

 

CVA_ReMorse

Today’s photos are courtesy of the Center for Visual Arts, Metropolitan State University Denver. I purely love this installation of Re:Morse; it’s the first time a venue has chosen a vertical strategy, though I always suggest it.  And also, the dramatic lighting.

In our ongoing at-home situation we are trying – and mostly succeeding – to keep stress at bay. But, every once in a while there is a bit of blind-siding. We’ll be told one thing, and assured that it is gospel. We’ll make decisions based on that assurance, only to have it completely change a little further down the road, when it would be incredibly difficult to make alterations to the decisions we’ve made. It’s…frustrating, and can get to me. I need to remind myself that I survived a few years of remarkably similar disruption and sabotage at a job, and that what is happening now is at least not deliberate, and the people involved are not malicious in intent. I’ll have to make that a mantra, I think.

CVA_LISTEN

This is the first time LISTEN has been installed by someone else; interesting to see…

In any case, that lovely balance I enjoyed is gone now. Still, things move forward slowly. They have to. Less than two weeks remains at home before the teaching trip, with, of course, tons to get done.

CVA_FandD

The backing on Force and Duration cracked during shipping (eek) but fortunately not enough to prevent its being installed.

Last week, as you can see in the new header, I took some time to install one of the ear-fungi at home; over the last two days, I watched as it survived some copious rains and pretty good wind.  It’s giving me useful info already. More pictures here.

Midweek Equilibrium

 

aaaamulb1

A bit of that lovely ‘fat’ mulberry bark harvested last fall, to sculpt with…

Working away on the next show and loving it, loving the techniques and materials I’m using, loving being in the studio and knowing that it is My Primary Job to be in the studio right now. And still: that balance. Delicious!

aaamulb

…and I even got a good bit of this year’s crop trimmed, though my neighbor inadvertently cut down all the growth from one tree; I’d forgotten to tell him I wanted it.  Fortunately, it was a small one.

In between, during drying times or times I’ve simply needed to sit for a bit, I amazed myself by working on…web site updates. I am either re-developing some efficiency, or have been thoroughly re-trained to sit quietly and type, cut & paste by all the digital paperwork of the past few months. In any case, besides messing about with the home page, I now have the Project Journal for The Monitors up-to-date and published, and only three MakerCentric updates to go before the entire site is completely current. Shocking! However, finishing the journal made me want to make more ear-fungi too (I have plans for them), so we’ll see.

aaaacook

The new ‘no dogs’ cooking station (Chance does actually respect fences as boundaries, ever since knocking this former kitchen gate down and scaring himself mightily. He doesn’t even challenge the flimsy green plastic ones around the garden. This one is anchored more sturdily than it looks.

Out in the world, I am SO excited about this! HUGE congrats to the Eastern Paper Studio, and huge props to Aimee and the Morgan and David and the funders for pushing this through.  I so hope I get to use it this summer in Aimee’s class: fingers crossed!

aaaamazingtail

A fantastic tail, still being written.

Last but not least: hooray for Chance, who went through his first fourth of July quite calmly (whew).  Now, if I could only elicit that stoicism from him in the presence of squirrels…

Quiet fireworks

4th1

This is how it was in the studio all this week, beginning with some storms that scrubbed the air clean and soft, and made the light in my upstairs studio equally so.  This week, I did – finally – experience the Productive Balance that I have wanted for the year, and it was blissful.

4thPup

It wasn’t a 100% balance, which is never to be expected, but it was mighty fine (the imbalance centered around the kitchen sink). But there was daily dog training. Chance is now mature enough to patiently (if a little dejectedly) lie outside the studio or office to watch, while paperwork caught up to the new plan in our lives between studio sessions, the switch nicely dictated by drying times. And there was time for shared meals, the occasional evening pack walk, daily maintenance of all kinds.

Yet, I was able to get lost in the studio, in the work, in the music of color, the dance of the dyes into the paper. I made a series of five of these pieces at Ragdale last fall, and they have been hanging where I could see and think about them daily.

4th2

Now the piece is done and documented and the digital paperwork is totally caught up and celebrating with tonight’s fireworks awaits.  There’s a little Italian community nearby that does an impressive display I can see easily from my front porch. Tomorrow, a day for the garden while fiber cooks for two and half more weeks that I hope will go much like this.

Fittingly, just as I finished the piece, something else generated at Ragdale arrived by actual mail. I am loving the (colorful) cover of the Spoon River Poetry Review, and am looking forward to reading, particularly with the breadth of focus on the poetics of emplacement that is one of the publication’s hallmarks. Editor Kristin Hotelling Zona chose the image after an excellent conversation about just that in the Meadow studio last year.

SRPR

For now, it’s quite interesting for me to experience this work transformed in format. The scale of the image is very close to the actual size of the piece, which I just handled a lot while packing to ship. The cool smooth texture is not what my fingers expect…which I am enjoying.