Into Quietly

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ZIA is currently at Aqua Art Miami with Anne Hughes and John Vlahakis.

Ahh. Now, I’m tying up the ends of 2012: paperwork for some summer classes, writing a few final reports and recommendations, and beginning some web site updates (after one entire day doing Absolutely Nothing. Nothing! I wasn’t sick, I read, drank lots of tea, kept the hearing aids off and stayed away from the computer. It was bliss).

I’ve decided to initiate an idea that began to insert itself into my consciousness last July: I’m thinking I’ll try to stay home for six months. If I do travel, I’d like it to be for personal pleasure and enrichment (such as a couple of get-togethers with artist friends that are currently under discussion). Of course, if some too-tempting opportunity pops up, I reserve the right to change the parameters, but I am now, officially, not pursuing anything within that time frame (even as I begin to schedule previous 2013 commitments). It feels right, right now, and freeing.

hanj

Homes & Gardens

As I get older, it takes me a bit longer to recuperate from teaching trips but I still want (very much) to do them. I already have some excellent 2013 classes booked!

These two shots are Before The Weeding that just took place…

After a few days’ readjustment (which, for me, means No Schedule and No Alarm Clock) I’ve been working on the Task List slowly but surely: unpacked until fall residencies, almost done with one written interview, and have gotten two new entries published on MakerCentric, one about WSW (and its exciting news) and another about new stuff at the Morgan.

I love every ever-changing aspect of these Nigella plants, which originally came to me from Jeff Chiplis’ Cleveland garden years ago; they thrive here.

I’ve worked a bit more creating space in the clogged-with-eventual-yard-sale-stuff house, and on getting the studios set back up.

Cleveland-in-Chicago kozo! Just for reference, the peak of the curved fence behind it to the right is 8 feet. When I put it in the ground last year it was 6″ high.

I’ve also spent a day, pleasantly, working in the gardens (where I discovered I need to move some volunteer plants even though it’s not exactly the optimum season, which commits me for another day or two). I’m trying to be smart now, by scheduling two days in the fall for cleanup and seeding for spring, and scheduling a week in the spring for (hopefully) the last of the major plant moves, switching out several species from shade to sun and vice versa. And, most importantly: after a lot of discussion with the folks at the Morgan, I’ve written in my first fall kozo harvest! Already! Exciting!

Tom’s personal Cleveland garden-in-progress (phone shot).

I missed a lot of my favourite blooms while I was on the road: the purple coneflower, many of the lilies, including my favourite red ones, primroses, the dark purple liatrus bottle-brushes. It’s just a Chicago city lot, but the gardens give me such peace; they ARE home.  Visiting everyone else’s gardens on my travels is another stabilizing feature, and I realized in Tom’s lovely urban garden space that, though I am in Chicago, my gardens are rooted in Cleveland.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Cleveland style, Chicago architectural bits: home.

MakerCentric

My hat’s off to Karen Green for her lovely installation of 18 copies of (S)Edition!

After a follow-up session with 2/3 of the class (three folks were working as Studio Assistants at Arrowmont, and one had already left) and two margaritas with my fellow instructors and a lot of other Arrowmonters, I packed up my room, loaded the car, got a good night’s sleep, had one last Arrowmont breakfast, hit the road and drove all day with a couple of stops just to get the kinks out; and Paul had a late dinner waiting when I got home last night …perfect!

Two-thirds of us Friday evening – before margaritas!

I’m back in Chicago for 10 days, with lots and lots and lots on my plate to be accomplished during that time!  The Swiss Army Subaru is not even unloaded yet.  I do have to say (and I’m saying it over and over) that my experience at Arrowmont was: stellar.  Tonight or tomorrow, I’ll sort through all the photos and show you some of the fantastic work that was made in the class.

But first I want to introduce you to my new, photo-based blog (yes, I am insane): MakerCentric, where I’ve already posted some of the highlights from Arrowmont.  I’ll let the blog explain itself; subscribe if you think it’s something that interests you.

I’ll be back here very soon with the promised art images: you will be absolutely delighted.  I was!

Below: we had to be out of the studios by 6pm and we were.  I returned to photograph a few extra things for MakerCentric at 6:10, and this is what I found. Ha! (The next class in the studio begins tonight).