Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Lodi Cemetery: Twice the Lentils at Half the Price!

Another packed work day, where it felt like I only had access to a few brain cells by early evening. A bit too tired to call people, too sick of watching bad TV to mold into my couch; I knew it was gorgeous outside, but was (/am) still avoiding my lawn mower, which was not working the last time I checked.

Self, I says, why don't you go back to the cemetery? That doesn't take too much thought. So I said, sure, I can be tired for that. And I did, it was not mentally taxing; it was, in fact, lovely. The short drive out through some countryish parts was done properly, with all the windows down, the music loud but barely understandable. The breeze whipped my out-of-tune singing/crowing out onto the road, and likely into a ditch, where it should be. I am a huge fan of solitary car singing.

I approached the headstone rubbing a bit better this time around: papers cut closer to the needed size (but don't you worry! Still totally unwieldy!), more drafting tape, fresh two-packs of conte crayons, a cardboard to tape finished papers onto --and finally, my last-minute point of pride: partially used bags of lentils and dried beans. You know, like bean bags! I was quite pleased with myself on that score. And they were certainly needed, as the breeze toyed with me anytime I held a piece of paper.  Next time: handy wipes, for all the blackened fingers. Which, let's face it, I should probably just carry all the time, in my car. Who needs a child to buy such things? Apparently not me.

But the day, the early evening: glorious. Beautiful clear sky, warm sun, lush grass. If anything, I should have brought a picnic. I pulled 6 or 7 copies of this one headstone, which had caught my fancy from a couple weekends ago. Maybe the proper term is a stele? It's four-sided, with inscriptions on each side. I originally assumed it was in honor of one person, but 6 family members are listed. With the exception of one five year old, all lived at least 60-70 years, with lives collectively spanning from 1780s - 1880s. 

So I think I mentioned this previously, but I intend to use at least one of the rubbings for the Reclaimed show, to be somewhere in Wyandotte (invite from Perfect Laughter). The parameters were pretty loose, so I opted to go with reclaimed imagery, both through the cemetery and through woodblocks I have carved at earlier times. I already mix up snippets of older and more recent prints, mainly through cards -- but at this point, I have never really attempted a full-on mixed media piece. But here we go! I bought mediums to mess with acrylic paint, a wooden...structure? It's like a canvas, but wood. I don't have the lingo down. I peppered the Utrecht guy with many more questions than he had probably anticipated when approaching me. And now I have several points of attack! Of course, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing and it could all wind up looking liked an addled* after school project, but I have high hopes.

*high rotation word this month! Fifty bonus points.

I have a couple framed items which would certainly fit in with the show's theme (like so ), but
it's almost like someone gave me permission to try out all these new things. I *had* to buy all these mysterious art supplies, it's for my homework. It's an assignment. And especially since I was a self-imposed "good student" since an early age (but damn that Mrs. Sudler from third grade, I never liked her) and since I didn't have the art school experience of dipping into every media and her sister, thank goodness for requests.

So, no cemetery shots from today, but here are a few rubbings/woodblock snippet exercises. Please keep in mind this is the doodle stage, as it were:


 We'll see what comes of it. Good to play around a bit~~


  1. How is it that you could be outside in the evening without being eaten alive by mosquitoes this week? I can't even get mail from the mailbox without bring along a half dozen back into the house!

    Cool to see the preliminary stages of creativity! (I'm liking the second one at the moment.)

  2. Speculating on an answer to myself... maybe it was the lentils? Have a great productive weekend M, like I know you will!