Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Salt Shaker and a Scarf Stroll into a Bar...

Two days in a row where I gradually notice ink smudges on random body parts -- my own, not anyone else's--, so it's been a pretty good weekend. I seem to be falling into a Sunday evening blogging habit, at the front end of which, I feel compelled to provide tiresome disclaimers about how there are so many more things I need to get done before the weekend's over, there are so many things that REALLY need ATTENTION but it was good and blah blah blah, so lord help my lovely little handful of readers. But doesn't everyone feel that way? We waste time constantly, we piddle away our potential...and yet very few of us are struck down by lightning. How is that? And how is it, coming from a family unaffiliated with structured religion, I have such a little deep-seated scowling Puritan streak residing within  me? Backpedal: I know, harsh viewpoints can come in any stripe certainly, faith doesn't have to fuel the fires...

Aside from that usual self-imposed pressure of not doing enough in certain areas, it was a kick-ass time with my friend's printing press. While I normally work on pulling prints for one design at a time, this time it was ramped up: my 3-year old penguin design is almost completely sold through and what with an upcoming two-day festival, I felt the need to bring in a variation of the popular guy; same for  Geese Suspect You Are Withholding; and then, as always, I was dying to pull prints of the newest. So I blanketed her space with 50+ penguins, 50+geese and 25 Cakeasaurus/Sharks.
By the time I got to Cakeasaurus, there was limited room. Draping got creative. Damp sheets hung about an old cow stuffed animal, slouched against framed prints, covered bins of rubber bands... Hopefully the studio mistress won't feel a burning need to work in there in the next day or so, or she'll be vexed at every turn by my inky leavings.
Curious about the pretty flowers holding the print aloft? Glassblower Barbara Yerace did those. All ready for a collaboration!
But before I got to the point of turning out the Cakeasauri, I discovered through my first test that an eye from one of the three sharks had utterly disappeared. Fine yesterday, gone today. This happens and it drives me insane. Especially so today, as this morning was a losing morning: my kitchen shears have vanished-- horrifying-- my salt shaker scooted off to god knows where and one of my favorite scarves must have slithered under a large piece of furniture (yes I know it's summer, but I am like an 80 year old woman, I get a chill and I dislike it).

So: important wooden snippet, mysteriously shaved off. I congratulate myself on finally bringing wood glue with me, hack a little piece from the backside of the block and then spend the next ten minutes shifting the glue-ey nibblet from one thumb to the other; shifting the mass to the block; cleaning the block of excessive glue gunk, which dislodges said niblet. Niblet makes a break for the floor, where it remains undetected and craftily dries. I turn over the woodblock and hack a second tiny niblet. Then I place a leaning tower of heavy things on top of the block and search out some fish chowder downtown, while it dries.

When I return, the second eye seems as serviceable as the first. Having moped & pined through a few Beth Orton CDs and gothed (mildly) to Florence & the Machine, I decide to dive into my friend's Sedaris book on CD, Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk. Additional studio score! I have been meaning to read this since it came out. I certainly don't need to give you a blow-by-blow, Sedaris gets enough attention. The short story collection is almost as funny as he usually is (Me Talk Pretty One Day is my favorite); and I think his portraits of the more unpalatable aspects of humanity (as seen beneath an animal veneer) are spot-on. After awhile, though, the harshness and lack of compassion kind of wore me down. Regardless, as with any good humorist, the details he uses to convey dynamics, or the absurdity of a situation/our assumptions/self-serving blind-spots -- slaying. I have a soft spot for a doomed turkey who becomes enamored of bathmats, after seeing one drying on the clothes line: "Think of it! It's like a TOWEL. For your FLOOR." Poor turkey.

But to return briefly to the lost items (still AWOL, btw), I find that losing things, like clumsiness, seems to come in waves for me. Is that heightened misplacing a signal to slow down? An indicator that too many balls are being juggled? Or merely that one is under-caffeinated or in the case of keys, reluctant to leave the house? This sense of momentum suddenly hit me the other day: Russell show in two weekends, another big show at the end of October, off-on selling at Rust Belt Market, my ongoing project which is slowing --and then, there was this, on Saturday: I came home to a packet from the University of Michigan Hospital in my mailbox. I had applied to exhibit through their Gifts of Art program, but had heard nothing. The hospital has nine galleries that exhibit throughout the year, with daily collective foot traffic of 10,000 -- so, a pretty good venue, right? With a nice mission to boot. But based on the silence, I had already moved on. A bit obtusely, I fingered the envelope and wondered why rejection would require such detail. Which, outside of an unchecked sadist operating below an employer's radar or a spurned ex with too much time, it wouldn't. So, apparently I'm going to have a show there, from mid-December -- which is SUPER-EXCITING! -- but also necessitates all kinds of framing and forms and checklists.

Busy-busy-busy! From this midpoint of 2011, I can safely say this has definitely been a year of stepping outside of old comfort zones... Happy week, All. 


  1. Who says we don't suffer for our art! Glad your eye surgery was successful (they are after all oh so important).

    Several other thoughts:
    1. Sunday evening posts - how lucky my Monday mornings are now.
    2. Have you heard Florence and the Machines contribution to the Buddy Holly cover CD - I'll have to go out to my car to retrieve the title (these things my brain seems to misplace on a more frequent basis)
    3. Congrats on the Gifts of Art - I'd love to go see it with you or any of your fellow followers in December - FWIW, I've bought art from GoA before so I hope this is a good venue for you as well.
    4. Yes, Sedaris get's enough attention but I don't mind; he gives me hope that there is still room in the world for the quirky the irreverent -and better him than so many others.

  2. Congrats on the UMH show! And as a fellow beat-myself-up-for-being-a-slacker type, I would just add that, if one must piddle potential away, at least it's probably better to do it outside of one's comfort zone, rather than inside...

  3. SBS --1. xoxo!
    2. Yes, that cover is so fun!
    3. Thanks, I'm really excited. I just need to get my ducks in a row, I think one of the five panels could be all cakeasauri, it would fun to have the new one framed a bi larger than the others. Would like to include Lost cake Anxiety, but I think maybe that's to anxious? and a mild dig at disorders-RX pairings..
    4. He's great live, too! Have seen him a few times.

    Thanks, Jennifer! Yes, here's to discomfort...