Tag Archives: art

Saw this film: Heart of a Dog by Laurie Anderson

Okay, so I saw this amazing film last night: Heart of a Dog by Laurie Anderson. I really don’t know much about film so I don’t even really know how to write a review of this but I was just stunned and moved and choked up and inspired and awed by this film.

I kind of thought it would be more about dogs, but while I was wrong, I was not disappointed. Anderson’s rat terrier Lolabelle does feature prominently, but this isn’t a narrative film in which a linear story is told (not even in a mixed-time-sequence way). It’s more like… well, like a long poem, or a series of vignettes, or a song cycle. Anderson weaves in Lolabelle’s life and death, her relationship with her mother, her mother’s death, 9/11, the NSA data centre in Utah, dog training, a traumatic childhood accident, film clips from her childhood, her own fascinating poetry-narration, and really incredible imagery.
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Finally got to play with my new loom

First I hemmed the work in progress that was already on the loom when I got it.

First I hemmed the work in progress that was already on the loom when I got it.

Back at the beginning of November, I got a new-to-me loom. It was one of those via-via things: the owner of the loom died last year, and her son was finally cleaning out her condo. The son’s partner is in an artist’s collective with a good friend of mine, who heard about the available loom and asked if I was interested, with the caveat that they wanted it gone quickly.

Did I want it? Of course! Could I transport it, and did I have room for it, and do I really need another loom? No, no, and no. But I really miss weaving. My jack-type Artisat loom is in the Room-Formerly-Known-as-My-Studio, and currently known as my bromate’s digs. There is no other place I can put the loom, since it has to be locked away from the cats (all those strings and threads and ribbons and dangly bits: can you say “vet bill,” boys and girls?). Continue reading

What the heck is the “Vagina Folder”???

Vagina I (16"x16" acrylic and collage)

Vagina I (16″x16″ acrylic and collage)

I was sorting through old pictures on my hard drive and I came across a folder called “Vagina Folder.” What the heck??? But when I looked in there, I saw pictures of three paintings I had been commissioned to do by a woman taking a course on women’s art. So here are three vaginas in multimedia (acrylic and collage). Continue reading

A Doodle A Day (acrylic version)

6"x6" acrylic on canvas (Nov 2015)

6″x6″ acrylic on canvas (Nov 2015)

In one of my previous posts, I mentioned that my friend R. and I repeatedly take the acrylic painting class at Forum Art Centre with David Cooper. Here’s the only thing I have actually completed so far this session. There’s one more class next week but it’s the critique class (with wine and snacks). At that class, we won’t be painting, but we’re supposed to share everything we’ve worked on during the course, whether finished or unfinished. I’ve got eight other pieces on the go, and am hoping to find time this week to work on some of them before the last class. But I’m not going to stress about it; this is funtime!

 

 

Staycation Day 4: I Hid the Lists and Did What I Wanted

There’s not much to add, really. I cleared all my papers and lists off the kitchen table, and then spent a few hours doing this:

Watercolour pencil doodles part 1

Watercolour pencil doodles part 1

It’s been months since I last played around with the watercolour pencils. Not since last winter, I think. I used the notebooks as a way to warm up a bit, and then I did the heart above on a postcard to send to a friend whose birthday is coming up. Then some more notebook doodling, and the heart below (not finished yet in the picture) for my cousin’s upcoming wedding.

Watercolour pencil doodles part 2

Watercolour pencil doodles part 2

Also, I was approached about maybe DJing a rave-themed wedding, which is about a 90% perfect fit with my DJ style and music collection. I hope it works out, although I bet they’ll have second thoughts when they think about their poor grandparents!

Tonight is studio time at the Forum Art Centre where R. and I take an acrylic class taught by David Cooper on Thursday nights. This is the fifth (I think) time we take it together. The class fee includes studio time on Tuesday evenings. So I am considering heading down there for that, although if I take advantage of the cleared-off kitchen table, I could do “studio night” here at home, and not even have to put my bra back on!

All in all, hiding the lists and choosing to just play today was the best idea I’ve had in a while. I even got a couple of errands done and took the dogs along in the car to pick up the winter tires. A lovely day! It’s amazing how much better I feel if I’ve made something. Writing, weaving, drawing, painting, anything. It doesn’t have to be good; it just has to be made.

Frustrating Vacation Days

This is my third day of a five-day “vacation” in which I am just staying at home and trying to catch up on my life. I had a huge long task list involving some cleaning and organising, some art-making and writing, some (limited) socialising, and some progress on contract work and paperwork.

Saturday went really well. I met with the bank about the mortgage, sorted through all of the stuff in my front alcove (which is supposed to be my Reading Corner but has slowly filled with books and bags and baskets and bird cages), freecycled a bunch of books and other stuff, brushed the Fluffy Dog, wrote a blog post, and came up with a grocery list. Super productive, and I still had time to do some reading and kill a dragon or two in Skyrim while finishing off the bottle of wine I’d started on Friday.

Sunday was slightly less productive. I did get grocery shopping and dishes done, and sent out another invoice (yay for income!), but the big event of the day was a combo art playdate and doggy playdate with J. at her place. I love spending time with J., and the Fluffy Dog loves spending time with her new little rescue dog, but we got no art done. As a visit goes, it was lovely as always: we humans drank London Fogs and discussed the state of our psyches and the world around us while the two dogs (one 80 pounds and one not even 8 pounds) gnawed on each other and played adorably. But the thing is, I got no art done, and I had been looking forward to that for days, anticipating our playdate. This is the first time we’ve tried to combine the two (art and dog playdates). Maybe over time, as the novelty of these two dogs developing a friendship becomes more mundane, we will be able to do both. But I think that for now, I will have to just accept that when the dogs are involved, art won’t really be on the table.

The thing is, that doesn’t leave a lot of time for art-making now. Today has been mostly given over to waiting for and dealing with contractors. Electrical estimates this morning, and now I have been waiting for over three hours for the drain people to come and clean out the main drain. The appointment was for between noon and 2. I called at 2 to ask for an ETA and they said 45 more minutes. I called again at 2:50 and they said they couldn’t tell me a time because there had been an emergency and the guy got his machine stuck in a hole. Sigh. It’s 3:10 as I type this and they just called to say the technician is on his way, so I live in hope but I am not holding my breath.

I can’t make something when I know an interruption is coming. If I have 20 minutes or an hour or (happy day!) four hours scheduled, I can use it to make something. It doesn’t matter how short the time is as long as I know it’s mine. But in a circumstance like this, when I’ve been awaiting the doorbell’s ring since 11:45, I can’t put my head into that space. So I’ve sorted through paperwork and pulled the things I know I’ll have to work on later. I’ve replied to a few emails. I’ve sent another invoice, and after the electrician left I zipped over to the hospital to pee in a bottle for the urine metanephrine test. At 4:45, I have to be at The Forks to meet S. for coffee and I had been planning to walk over, but time is starting to get short.

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Two polite young men showed up and cleaned out the main drain. This is a major deal for the household. We used to get it cleaned every two years, as we have massive oaks growing along the sewer line and roots get in there. Last time, we left it for two and a half years…. and had a sewer backup, rendering our former tenant homeless and leading to a five-month, $15,000 renovation. The nice young men (a white tattooed supervisor and an earnest brown apprentice) did find a fair amount of roots in there even though it was last cleaned eleven months and three weeks ago.

The main drain access is in my tenant’s suite, so I had to be present while the guys were down there. How odd to be in someone else’s space like that, in a power position (I, Landlord), seeing their things and the intimate details of their daily life, the apple on the counter and the scrub brush in the sink and the knick-knacks and baby pictures.

Now it’s time to let the dogs pee and I probably have just enough time to walk to The Forks to meet S. instead of taking the car. Yay for beautiful autumn walks! Perhaps that will make me feel less time-wasted and frustrated, and maybe I can get back on track for Day Four of my mini-stay-at-home-vacay.

My Very First Art Lesson (in which I learned I’m no good)

When I was six, I learned that I would never be an artist.

Like any other kid, I loved to draw and fingerpaint and glue stuff onto other stuff, especially if beads or glitter were involved. In the homes of my grandparents, my father, and my aunt, I was surrounded by evidence of art and artists: my great-grandfather was a master painter back in the Old Country (Denmark), and my grandfather had been apprenticed to him. My grandparents met when my grandmother took a class with the master painter, and my grandfather would offer to walk her home and carry her painting gear. The walls of my grandparents’ home were filled with paintings and drawings and woven tapestries and other work by my grandfather, grandmother, great-grandfather, aunt, and other artists. Every bit of wall space was filled. Continue reading