Making Changes – Easier Than I Thought

Just a quick note here at the beginning to say thank you to those who read this and contact me via my website or private message or facebook. It is a way for me to just talk to myself and articulate where and who I am at the moment. Nice to know that someone else is listening. Thank you.

This is not a change. It is a constant every day. Lee feeds the deer and they arrive for a feast on corn and bird seed. Every morning. The ever so slight change is that once in awhile now I have to remind him that they are waiting. Another small change.

We are cleaning house. Closets filled with things we have not seen in years. Only looked at long enough to see which closet to hide it in until….later. Now it is later and we wonder why it is still here. What is not thrown out or pawned off on friends and relatives goes to the trash or lady at the trash that is happy to receive goods for free. She is nice to Lee and we are happy she can find a way to use what we and others no longer want.

When we figure out her hours at the dump site we will be able to give her bits and pieces more often. Until then the boxes and bags ride around in Lee’s back seat of the truck. He can still drive, but only to the dump because it is such an automatic constant in his life. But each time he leaves without a phone (that he quit using months and months ago) I wait just a bit anxiously until he returns the truck to the garage.

The small journals for the likely last artwork about my times in Australia are all bound in leather.

I cut the covers and straps all the same size and then caught the coptic binding on the first and last sections of each journal (top and bottom) by going through four holes in the leather at the spine section. There is a square knot on the outside of the bottom spine. So from the back there is a stitched rectangle that holds the pages close to the leather and I do not lose the first and last image of each book. Here they are with the pigment pages coptic book.  And now all I have to do is figure out how to make the map that will fit with the journals and pigments into a satchel of sorts. Something that represents travel. I have put them aside until there is more time to think on this.

I have cleaned up my extremely messy watercolor box/palette and ordered more of the lovely Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolors. They are very nice and “slur” across the page. Some are quite expensive but for small works like I do, they are fine and will last quite a while. It hurts to take a wet paper towel to the porcelain palette inside the paint box. I keep thinking that all those colors caught on the wet towel could have been used and am tempted to not clean them up. But actually they are all a bit muddy by the time I finish a session painting, so better they get tossed. More colors have been added since this picture and there will be only the blending section and one row of tiny wells not filled with paint by the time my new watercolors arrive.

My studio is getting cleaned out. The works done for one gallery show have been given to the John C Campbell Craft Shop for arrangement and sale in the near future. Here are some of them.

They are varying sizes and part of a series titled, “Mixed Messages”. I will probably not make this work any more. It is the framing that gets tedious because it must be framed and framed in deep frames with shaped back grounds to house the added elements. I love doing them but they end up in my studio waiting for some place else to go. And I am tidying up. When the burn pile gets going later this year, some will end up there. Others will be given away to good homes.

One of my favorite giveaways was this piece to a progressive school in South Carolina. Young students came into the class from summer recess a few years ago to find it on the wall. They were asked to write about what they thought the painting was “saying”.

The school also got the boat that is in the 48″ x 48″ painting. Their responses were wonderful and I hope the school continues to use this work to inspire thought and story telling.

And I suppose that is what my work is largely about – story telling. I remember many years ago when teaching at Arrowmont and having to give a talk about our work as images filled the screen. A fellow instructor asked to present before me because he said, “Sandy always has a good story with her pieces and my work is just the work.” His work was and is masterful wood turning – no story but tools, a great eye and beautiful design.

Bags of trash went out of the studio this week. Why do we think we are going to use this scrap of something some day. Most of us aren’t going to and should have given it away long ago when it might have done some good for somebody before it gets crammed in a corner and rendered unusable.

One thing I did find tacked to my wall is this enlargement of the only drawing I did on my iphone. I had turned it into postcards and mailed it along with the word “WRONG” to every Republican member of Congress when this pathetic man took office. I used it for a pattern to make pincushions that give great satisfaction to those of us who made them and keep them full of jabbing pins.

But now I look at this and think how I can use it in a book form. Maybe a flip book where he finally, FINALLY disappears. Maybe make his mouth blather on like he does….maybe the word, “lies” continually coming out of his mouth.  If the pincushion gives me so much relief from the pressure of having the despicable man in office, the artist book could be just as rewarding.

I suppose that does it for now. The dump lady has two boxes of books waiting in the studio for Lee’s next delivery. I have a box of weaving/textiles books for the folk school. Later this week I will cull through all the others and box them up as well. Why did I think that I needed to own these books? It was excusable when I was teaching, but not now as I pull away from the classroom teaching and work more with students who do not need the inspiration of others’ works.

Anyway, I will be back later.

Til then.