Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Old Man and the Sea

by Ernest Hemingway.

I'm old enough to say, I'm surprised I haven't read this book yet.
I happened upon several books while working on my cross stitch (thank you Audio Books!) and one of them was the Nick Adams Stories, a collection of short stories by Hemingway.  The prose is so calculated and clear and the story is fortifying yet unsensational.  I have only the phrase: "I love this."

So, I'm looking up all the Hemingway there is, and I'm starting to work through it.  Beginning with the Old Man and the Sea.  It's a short read and I'm half way through and I don't want to not read it.  It's the same clarity and precision and the same wholesome humility.  The Old Man is the sort where you feel compassion aching in your chest, but you're not sure you'd be willing to be there with him. 

His knowing of his craft and of the sea are so hermetic and also familial, he seems the fanatic, though he's the most grounded.  He knows that about himself. 

Hemingway has the coveted self-knowledge and entails a freeness of living that I have wanted myself.  Selfishly, I'm getting back to this book now...

There are several classical illustrations by C F Tunnicliffe and Raymond Sheppard.
So nice to look at.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

October and November

I got busy.
busier than normal and then I had to decompress after all the business.

Most of October I did one of 3 things: Worked at Pablo's coffee where I always work on the weekends, worked weekdays at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver where I do install on contract a few times a year, and worked on a large cross-stitch.  I also spent a few days with my amazing, artful friends, Nina and Craig who visited from Wisconsin and I also did the work of GroundSwell Gallery because we had another opening (as we do every month).  Here are a few notable pictures from that time:
MCA's Postcript show up through Feb. 3, I helped hang the many grid layouts

Lindsay St. Antoine opened at GroundSwell Gallery Nov. 10,  I bought this painting.
field trip to Clyfford Still Museum with Christian, Nina and Craig.
Pablo's Coffee...  mmm, latte.  I can sling a lot of lattes in 5 - 7 hours
This is the project that it's been all about for the last 8 months.  Showing one more week at Redline Gallery for the Art by Craft exhibit. (click image to see full size)

The month of October was especially important for completing this cross stitch project.  Spending Time, a double portrait of my husband and myself created from a photograph that I took and then pixilated.  Each stitch recreates the image pixel by pixel.  Formally, this work nods to early American needlework and the tedious work of commemorating family through stitches.  Conceptually, the sustained work of cross stitching over 8 months, spending time with the image of us together, builds to a meditative practice.  I felt the work became compulsive as the deadline for the Art by Craft exhibition neared, though I doubt it would have been so, had there not been a deadline.  This piece is immediately very personal to me.  Maybe that's obvious, but unlike other artwork that I have made, I feel more protective and private about this.  I want it to be as simple as it is and as monumental as it is without elaboration.

Also installed at this exhibition, the Tinnient Campana installation (previously installed at Forest Room 5 in September). 
Tinnient Campana also on view at Redine through Nov. 29 (click image for full size)
This artwork refers to the proliferation of ring tones without bells in modern culture.  The bell itself (like latin and other obsolete forms of communication have done) is gradually becoming a lesser known object or tool for communication.  Lovely in tactile forms and unique resonances, I wanted to make the bells for this installation out of adoration for the antiquated object and recognition for its outmoded-ness highlighted by our dear cell phones.  Tinnient Campana literally means, ring the bell, and our unknowing of that meaning may leave us hesitantly reaching for the bell as though to ring it, unsure of our intuition.

This installation is difficult to photograph because it is about 25 ft. long in total.  Eventually, my website will be updated to include best images.

Last note:  Because I needed to get back to it, a thank you to Mark Bystrom for noting that my blog has been ignored since early September.