I have been sorting through more than ten years of digital files gathering all the individual artist’s statement for the Left Turn Lane exhibition at Studio 1317 in Ventura, California. One thing popped up. I think it is interesting. The copyright date on it is 2002. I think it speaks volumes to the situation we see around us today. The shocking part, for me, is how badly we have forgotten this part:
‘This work built in July 2002 shows strength, forthrightness, and confidence. It fairly shouts it’s message of kindness and hope.”
We have completely forgotten the things we learned about the fall of the twin towers in 2001
LIFE AFTER THE FALL
I had been reading Ethics for the New Millennium, [by the Dalai Lama]. The words were soft and gentle. The whole tenor of the book exuded serenity, plain common sense, and goodness.
And then the towers came down. I had turned on the TV to check on the weather for a friend who was sailing in Long Island Sound. It looked the work of a professional sapper; only later would the shoddy materials and construction methods become known.
Shock followed shock and sadness compounded. I firmly believe that each and every human acts from good intent. I also know that good intent can become twisted into horrible things. I know that even fanatics have ethical systems and that they expect good to come from their actions. It was hard to remember that teaching. It is still difficult to understand how we can go so wrong.
And now, eleven months later, I have been asked to provide this message again. The form and format and text are the same. But it is a very different work from How Did It All Go So Wrong. The work built in September 2001 shows a spirit crushed and frightened. This work built in July 2002 shows strength, forthrightness, and confidence. It fairly shouts it’s message of kindness and hope. The message is still the same: we are all one.
I give you the words of His Holiness, the Dalai Lama.
The border to Experimental Zebra. If I remember correctly, there are 92 zebras stitched in the border of this quilt. Each was stitched in a continuous line on a bernina 1031. A xerox pattern was used and stitched through. It took longer to tweezer out the bits of paper from under the stitching than it did to actually do the stitching.
The full quilt. The color patches are rough cut and raveled and then stitched down in a random pattern.
Yesterday I went through all the tubes. I pulled fourteen pieces of The Left Turn Lane. I need to put down a sheet to ensure the lack of cat hair and unwrap and unroll all of these works. I still don’t know if I will put them in the giganto suit case that went to Val d’Argent in 2006 or into one shipping tube. I fly from Tucson to Los Angeles and them by road to Ventura next week to deliver and help hang the exhibition.
Lynn Creighton, at Studio 1317 asked me for The Left Turn Lane for the month of February, 2013. The first friday opening is Friday, 1 February 2013, from 6pm until 9pm. Please pass the word.
The scud missile system of quilt storage:
Built of SonoTube ® years ago and dragged back and forth in several moves. I’ve found that this is the most efficient way to store dozens of large quilts. Each quilt is rolled around a swim noodle that has first been wrapped in clean muslin. Roll the quilt face out. Wrap the rolled quilt in clean muslin, tie the ends, and place a label on the tie on one end. Make sure that everything is well covered in muslin because the tubes are lined with a construction wax that allows for the removal of the cardboard from the concrete columns the tubes are meant to form.
It’s a real boost to walk into the east room and see Aurora Horribilis hanging above the iron bedframe. It’s been a few years since I’ve seen it regularly.
If memory serves, Nancy Erikson told me that it was made during the crisis caused by the Valdez Oil Spill in Alaska years ago. I look at it and I see the bombs and intercontinental ballistic missiles and thing of NORAD and the DEW (distant early warning) line of defenses.
What’s with us as a culture? The more nonsense we generate about defending ourselves the more we antagonize the rest of the world and the more we need to defend ourselves. There is some flaw in logic, here.
Enjoy the image and don’t worry about all my little quibbles.
Moving from one house to another is always difficult. I am finally beginning to get the quilts in my collection hung. This one, Flying Dreams, by Marion Barnett, has been hung above the tv (obviously) in the master bedroom. It’s a lovely piece of silk and lots of stitching on a backing of canvas. I hope Marion knows how I treasure it.
It came to me in a very small manila envelope years ago. I unfolded it, steamed all the creases out of it, made a template of a wooden door skin to hold it in it’s proper shape, and faced it with hand dyed cotton. It had been rolled and stored in the years since I left the house in Green Valley, Arizona. Settling in to this new house meant mating up the wooden template, the art work, the ironing board, and my needle and thread.
Mission accomplished. Hung where I can see and enjoy it.
I grew up, in the 50s, in agricultural middle america. Farms and hay mows and barn cats, vegetable gardens, chickens, herds of sheep, the occasional steer, and a dog or two were the definition of my life.
Cats are cats. At least that is what I thought before I found myself raising Siberian kittens. That was the beginning of my most recent education. Alley cats and moggies are cats. Siberians are a natural forest cat that is intelligent and athletic, a people cat with attitude and personality.
Miss Blondie. Genetically her DNA says she is black. The polygenetics of breeding mean that several genes that haven’t been identified yet combine to make her what is known as a golden. To me, the best way to describe a golden is a strawberry blonde with black tipping.
Another golden, Callie Cat, Callie Cat, little Russian alley cat. Another example of “catitude.”
Charoit Zarnitsa of Krasnaya Taiga, a black classic girl, the foundation of our breeding program.
Keep in touch. We will have kittens available in the fall of 2013 for sale for indulging yourself for the year end holidays.
It looks as though it’s been almost a year since I have posted on this blog. In the meantime I’ve been doing life. That has meant various things.
It meant driving along the Pacific Ocean from Ventura, California, to Santa Barbara on my way to the Schott Center to study printmaking with Siu and Don Zimmerman at Santa Barbara City College. It meant running away to Matillija Hot Springs up in the mountains, inland, with my friend, Phoebe. It meant standing on my deck and looking out over the Santa Barbara Channel to the Channel Islands. It meant going to Brophy’s for happy hour.
It also meant a quick trip to Helsinki, Finland, to pick up a Siberian Tom Cat for my KrasnayaTaigaSiberians.com breeding program. Cat’s name is Ajax and he was kindly provided to me by Merete Vuortenmaa; I carried him home in the cabin of the plane. For those who have missed out on the last few years, I am now known as both an artist and as the cattery KrasnayaTaiga.
Then, last summer, life changed. It was time to straighten out my budget. It was time to stop paying rent and settle down and settle into my own space once again.
Fast forward to the first of October, last year: Sam and I moved into our own townhouse in Tucson, Arizona. More space, less maintenance than a free standing home, a homeowners association that takes care of the streetside landscape, a two car garage, and once again, my own laundry facilities. And more space for KrasnayaTaiga.
Life is beginning to come back to it’s proper shape. Printmaking classes at Pima Community College start tomorrow. I think I will leave you with some of the photography I did in the last year as a basis for carving linoleum blocks. The series of blocks were focused on the theme of birds of paradise. In most cases this is a tropical plant with a striking bloom; some are small, others are giant.
I will see if I can begin to publish both the images of the printing plates based on these photos as well as images of the resulting prints.