Saturday, January 30, 2010

Dreams and Disaster. It's Saturday.

The week zipped by. I got a painful sore-throat thing that's been making the rounds in this house and elsewhere, I've heard. It hasn't been completely debilitating, but came with dreams that were weird even for me. Aubrey had the unusual dreams too. Though her brain is furnished in a style uniquely hers, it seems to contain a number of my hand-me-downs--we share some distinct similarities. So maybe it's that. Still, these particular dreams did seem symptomatic. oddness.

A bit of new work got done anyway (much to my surprise), some of the art is possibly weird-dream-sore-throat-thing inspired.

Today it's all-day disaster B-movies on the Science Fiction Channel.

I am loathe to say "SyFy." I've come to think of it as the "Cruel Ghost of the Science Fiction Chanel" Chanel or just "72." I'm still not feeling that great, so we're having a mostly quiet day. After milk and cookies, we'll get under blankets on the sofa and watch disaster movies Mystery Science Theater style. No popcorn and drinks though, as five- and seven-year-olds are prone to spit takes at funnies.

This group doesn't go out as much as it used to. Just like many people, we're learning to create entertainment at home. Sometimes it works out great! It's not easy to compete with IMAX. But we're learning. Little thanks to Chanel 72.

Now to sit on a sofa full of kids and find the funny in the disaster.

You can't have one without the other. Poppets taught me this.

They really did.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

It rained and rained and rained for days.

Everything got very wet. The kids put on bags to play.

The rain ended today and left snow on the mountains all around us.

I took some Photographs

of the

Poppet Painting Process.

I thought you might like them, even though I combined some of the steps

Today, new work and new music.

Hope your weekend is going well.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Saturday's Practical Matters

Today is quite deliciously dreary. Aubrey and Orion have gone to attend a broadcast of "Carmen" at a local theater. I've just lit a fire in the hearth and am preparing (having coffee) to get back to the very mundane task of resetting the studio for the next wave of work.

Not a lot to think on here. In fact, I try to clear my mind during this sort of task. I'm listening to Loreena McKennitt. That, and my recent re-read of Marion Zimmer Bradley's The Mists of Avalon have me in a mood that is close to reverence. After all, there is something spiritual about quietly attending to practical matters.

There is also something spritual about cherishing the things we own. In keeping, I ask you to look about you and find some dusty, unappreciated thing and remake it. (spouses, friends and pets are not included, please) Either make it look different, or clean it up and find a new use for it, perhaps in a different room. Or do both.
I 've chosen this ratty old basket hanging on my kitchen wall, unused for---a long time. I'll attempt to give it a purpose and new look.
I invite you to join me and send your 'before' and 'after' photos so I can share them here. Send photos and tell us about them to

Now to share some studio snapshots from the week and get on with the day. I wish you a most excellent Saturday.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Weekend Recharge

This weekend was for the 'difficult' work. We've talked about this sort of work before and how it differs from 'hard' work. Hard work is casting and detail sanding twenty Poppets, or cleaning the studio. Difficult work is calculating exactly how to mold a complex original, or how to extract a metaphor hidden in bits and pieces within in a series of works.

Fair enough, the difficult work is sometimes done while wearing a bikini, floating on clear water in warm sun with a cold drink.

I never said the desert didn't have it's good points.

---That doesn't make the work any less difficult.

I came to understand that thinking was part of my job some time ago. And stopped trying to accomplish said thinking while doing other things.

Though sometimes the difficult questions nag, and beg for attention at the most inappropriate moments imaginable. Oh yes.

So, Friday and some of Saturday were spent on the cognitive, the narrative, and the putting ideas into some sort of order.

It was very successful, largely due to the fact that I was able to give it my full attention.

So Saturday afternoon was for cleansing the mental palette. Spencer and I took off to visit local nurseries. We found ourselves at this one---my favorite--tucked into a niche in the mountains. We had a great afternoon wandering among these beautiful living creatures. We tasted tangerines and exotic lemons from the citrus. Our favorite creature was not for sale. Not at all. It was this fragrant eucalyptus, with un-bark soft as skin and even wrinkled at the joints.
We found that a row of double- walled copper pots made a really cool tone drum.

Later, I took photos of this sleepy little Poppet and had an enjoyable phone chat with the Neil.

Now it's Sunday, and it was all day gardening and cleaning, with the occasional stop for music and dinner outdoors.

Tomorrow is a studio day, but not a day to get up at any particular time. So now for a bit of spiced rum, a sit by the fireplace outside under the desert stars, with our mystery cat watching from a safe distance.

Winter in the desert. Reset. Renew. Silly humans!


Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Tuesday morning

Over the weekend pegboard and bins helped me organize the painting room to create space for a kid -friendly corner. I softened the look of the pegboard by rag-painting with shades of sky and clouds.

And kids showed up, as they tend to.

Zoya helps by tearing paper for papier mache.

Poppets watch over all.

I use colored tissue for layers. I've learned that many thin layers create a much stronger foundation than fewer thick layers.
In addition, using up the scrap Poppet Planet wrapping paper in colored layers helps me keep up with how many layers I've applied. Generally, I alternate mixed colors with black.
Another helpful trick is to make the first layer a very bright pink, and the next several layers blac when wiring is involved. That way, as I sand and finish the work, I have a bright pink WARNING that wires are nearby.
I figured this out after accidently cutting through wiring twice. Arrrrgh. In your artist's paper mache, pink means danger.

I ended the work day with a cup of steaming chai tea (thank you MimiKo!) and a spectacular sunset.
As I sat, Mystery Kitty peered at me from a discreet distance, not moving closer, but not ready to spring away either.

Now it's Tuesday morning. It's chilly and I'm more in the mood to curl up by the fire with a warm book than to go into the studio and work. But alas, it's my job to show up and make art.
So off I go.
Hope your day is good. Or at least interesting.
An ad for 'booty pop panties' just appeared on TV.
I'm so disgusted. It makes me want to throw up my hands and quit. Will Poppets one day decide humans are too stupid to watch over?
Is that up to me?
Dunno. In the meantime, I'm going to work. At least now I'm awake.