Who is Sue and what is Suelandia?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Vocations, Avocations, & finally, a vacation!

Hey people.  Exactly a year ago I was preparing for my first solo show at my best gallery, a place in Hudson WI (Seasons On St. Croix) that has been selling my work for almost as long as I've been making it.  What does any rational person do when they have a limited amount of time to make enough art to fill a room?  Oh-- make a giant, time-consuming, practically impossible to deliver item of course.  This here thing.  (At least Ray now has a peaceful haven in which to groom himself.)

Here's what you see when you're sitting under it.  I thought it would be super cool to put over a bed too.  Who knows?  Someday when I'm old and gray and don't weld anymore, maybe I'll be really glad no one bought it so I can go to sleep every night pretending to be some feral woodland creature.

Fast forward a year, and, I'm getting ready for my second solo show-- same gallery, and need this one to be bigger and better, because, heh heh-- that's how I roll.

In school I used to be accused of being lazy.  (Actually, things would be said like, "If you worked half as hard at just doing your assignment as you did figuring out ways to get out of doing it..."  To which I usually replied, silently, "I'd what?  What??  Be super boring?"  Yep.  Incorrigible.) 

Turns out, I just have an unnatural aversion to doing what I'm told.  Left to my own devices, I actually get kind of psychotically competitive with myself, and work really hard.  Not lazy.  Just... entrepreneurial? 

So I want this show to be the best I've ever had-- with TONS of pieces.  That means I won't get wrapped-up in another overly large project, and am trying to keep things reasonable.  but I have to admit-- happy as I am with how this piece came out, so far entitled-- "cool hangy thing", I am bummed it took me all day to make.  I've got a lot of art to make and only about 4 1/2 weeks to make it in people!

Yesterday I busted out the wing on the right.  The one on the left is the first piece I ever, ever made-- before I even had any notion of becoming an artist.  It was the first thing I'd done in years at that point, that made a bit of juice flow through me, some electricity.  It was very spontaneously stuck together back when I was just learning welding etc, and it set my course.

Making a couple of mates for it, using some chrome bumper parts seemed appropriate for this show, which is the 10 year anniversary of the gallery.  Kind of revisiting my own artistic roots.

Here's one I finished the day before.  I've been working with this piece of steel, and kind of hoarding it, since last winter.  (The paint froze to it when I first started fooling with it.)  I like it.

I still don't feel right just hanging up the 2-d painted steel and going "Tah-dah!  It's a painting folks!"-- because i don't consider myself a painter.  I've just figured out some ways to make painted rusty steel look pretty cool.  I feel the need to add a 3-d element to them.  Dan thinks this completes them too, and makes them more unique.

Whatever-- I like how they come out.  

So that's what's been going on vocation-wise.

Avocationally--I've been pretending to be a mountain bike racer for the last few weeks.  This is such an unexpected, ridiculous turn of events I can't even tell you.  Talk about something I never thought I'd in a million years do-- Talk about over-reaching!

Here's some stuff I overheard at the last race--

"Yeah, last April I crashed motocross racing and broke 14 bones, so, it's taken me a while to get back."
(14 bones???  WTF?!!)
"Oh yeah-- I know him-- his dad helped me off the course that time I broke my neck."
(Broke your NECK???  WTF?!!)

They aren't all insane.  Some are very soft spoken.  Some bring their whole family to the race.  All are respectful and friendly.  There are very few girls who race however.  And me-- seriously-- I am nothing but a tourist to this land of badasses.  It's like those guys who go to open try-outs or pay to go to "camps" or whatever to live out their big-league fantasies, except in my case it just cost a measly $10 a race.

The hilarious thing is-- because hardly any women show-up to race, I came out pretty good.  I raced 3 times.  The first time out-- semi-legit win-- placed 3rd out of 6 or 7 women, even if my closest competitor ahead of me-- a gal who is an AMAZING bold, fast, and apparently fearless rider-- finished about 20 minutes ahead of me.  She could have stopped for a little picnic and STILL kicked my butt.

Second race-- I pretty much sucked-- placing 4th out of 4 competitors.

Last race-- Only 2 women, including me, showed up, so I left the gates knowing I could be as slow and shitty as I wanted, and still take second, and had, by this time, made a decision about my riding-- that I'm really not made of the right stuff for racing probably, because I'm not willing to risk life and limb for it.  I won't ride right to the edge, and that, apparently, is what it takes to really shine.  (Plus-- even if I was willing-- I'm just not that good of an athlete, or in good enough shape right now.)  (To be brutally honest.)

But for all my efforts I did win a couple special *winner only* (1st, 2nd, or 3rd place) t-shirts.  I customized this one-- noticing I said "Woo Meeee!" every time I crossed the finish line, like the true dork I am.  I was going to write, "Yes actually, it IS me..." on the sleeve, but it was harder than I thought to get the sharpie to write neat on the fabric.

I had fun-- sort of.  It was mostly stressful for me riding the actual races.  I was in panic mode most of the time except during this last one when I took most of the pressure off myself.  Usually I'd be WAY behind the pack, which was a good thing because they'd have thought a mouth-breathing pervert was pedaling somewhere behind them.  I panted like Little Eeeffin Annie, unable to control my stress it seemed.

The best part of all of this, is that I now feel I at least have a nodding acquaintanceship with more of the riders/racers, who were nothing but encouraging and nice to me through this whole thing.  There is really no way to know what kind of man I'd be, if I was, you know-- a dude, but I can only HOPE I'd be cool enough to hang with these guys.

I know I'm a bit starry-eyed about their feats, but I truly marvel at their athleticism, bike skills, and even more so- that inner fire that enables them to summon-up that extra burst when their physical resources have been completely tapped-out, when they really have nothing left in the tank, and yet they miraculously push through and BLAZE.

The only thing I feel kind of bad about, is that the truly amazing female racers-- really courageous athletes-- were forced to share the podium with poser me.  They were always gracious and good-natured about it.  I can only hope it didn't diminish their REAL wins.

Lastly-- (sorry this is so long) vacation!!-- after my show opens me and sis are going on a *just us* hiking trip up north, and staying at a hotel with fun, big water slides.  Woo Hoo!  *Can't WAIT!*

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Normal! - The new RAD!

Hey people.  Lot's of evaluating, reevaluating, making art, and just plain livin' going on around Suelandia this week.   This is a piece I showed you once before, in another state at the time-- it has a little racy #46 where that blue square of tape is now.  It's become a bit autobiographical for me.  I'm using colors I love on it, whether they seem to "go" or not.  I'm trusting that if I like them it will look awesome when I'm done.  I love how this blue paint looks running over the greenish/coppery color, and the brick red.  

Heck, I love how it looks splooched on the ground where I spilled a little.

I'm thinking a tree will make it into this piece somehow.  Trees have been cropping up pretty regularly in my work, and people seem to like that as much as I do.  I don't know, feels like some kind of connective tissue for the soul or something.

I've also gotten onto this image today of people walking-- specifically, kind of strolling.  I like the idea of a female figure striding across whatever good old #46 turns out to be, kind of like me walking through my life, not totally understanding everything, but that being okay because whatever it is, it's beautiful.  "Or something," as my buddy Pam would say.  :)

Speaking of Trusty Pam (yes, be warned friends-- hang out with me long enough and you'll become a topic) she's had a bit of a change of heart or maybe just a realization about her own riding lately, concerning mountain biking.  She'd gotten these fancy pedals the racers all have where your feet are basically stapled to the bike.  It gives you extra power because you can pull up AND push down on the pedals.

We'd both decided to give racing a little try this year.  We're always kind of jokingly competitive with ourselves anyway, and have improved so much we were feeling pretty "froggy" as another friend says.  Well, these new pedals of hers have led to numerous nasty spills lately, and Pam didn't find racing to be much fun at all, just stressful.  Now I'm examining my own riding goals.  I didn't have tons of fun last time out (racing), but feel like I need to give it a couple more tries at least.  I've definitely decided though, that fun is my main goal, the only goal really, that matters.  Not getting faster and faster (although that's kind of fun too), not becoming some hot-shot racer (as IF)(this is seriously hilarious).  So, the next couple races might be my last, but we'll see.  If they are, I at least tried something out of my comfort zone.

I like how Pam gets me thinking about things though, and she's the bestest playmate I got after all!

Off topic-- Here's that one commission I've been working on forever.  Finally done!!  I like them.  Hopefully the client will.  :) 

 Here's another piece that isn't done, but I like how the paint /rust is setting up.

And lastly-- this relates to this post's title-- my hair.  When you've had blue hair for over a year and get kind of sick of it, you really have only one option-- have normal old hair colored hair for a while.  That's right folks-- normal brown is the new ~weird~.  I still don't know.  I might do highlights, I might get it cut.  I guess I wouldn't mind if it just kind of looked *pretty* for a while now.

And what does that mean??  Lately I've been noticing people, how they look.  Sure flawless is always nice, if that's an option for you.  It's sure not for me!  I'm definitely aging.  Some things about that are a drag-- I never thought I'd mind wrinkles really, as long as they were the happy kind, but some of this sagging stuff is total BS!  Oh well.  There's no fighting it.  At least not in my case.

I think I'm just going to focus on having my own style, wearing things I like, and being the kind of person I want-- the best version of me I can be-- which covers a hell of a lot of ground let me tell you!  Basically, when people see me, I'd like them to see someone positive, who makes them feel good about themselves, no matter if that person has funny hair or a few wrinkles or whatever.  (Sometimes *fierce*, but lots of times surprisingly vulnerable, as another friend recently pointed out.  Which is fine.)  :)

Man this is long!  Okay-- this is the last thing.  Lately I've been so in love with my life and Dan and OUR life.  I guess having all my friends (almost-- you guys who missed it really missed out!) around me last weekend just brought home how super lucky I am.  I have a bunch of friends right now, some single, some not, who have either recently moved, or are in the process of finding a place or whatever, and I just wanted to put this song up for you guys--- "Home."  Here's to all of you finding the spot/person/life where you can just be completely yourself, and relax.  "MWAAH!"

Monday, August 23, 2010

Full moon, full heart.

Hey people.  One deadline freshly behind me, and the next one six weeks out leaves me feeling pretty relaxed today.  Whew.  I actually slept a whole almost-8-hours last night.  First time in a while that's happened!

Sat the show went great.  There were a couple wrinkles, as one would expect with a first time event, but they were pretty minor.  I was happy with the results, and will make it an annual thing, with the expectation that it will just get more awesome every year.

The best part started at the after party though.  I'd invited all the artists to stay, hang out, drink some beer and break some bread.  We grilled and hung out on my deck.  Some other cool people i know came by too.  It was so relaxing and such a cool mix of people, such a wonderful feeling of acceptance and camaraderie.  It was like the big sigh I've been waiting weeks for.  Thanks so much, to all my cool friends.

After we'd had our little mellow-out fellowship, a bigger party hosted by my next door neighbor's kids fired up in the woods.  They had about 4 or 5 live bands playing on the stage that is usually Dan's favorite after work beer drinking deck.  It was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. 

Note- Dan's eyes don't actually look off in two directions.  This was the way the dumb red-eye fixer made them look. 

The only bummer is that I was so exhausted I kind of gave in to it and hung it up way early.  I went home before the last and most fun band started, but, because I live in Suelandia (aka paradise) I could still enjoy them from the comfort of my cushy bed.  I just laid there and listened as the concert floated through the trees and in through my open windows. 

I am a little disappointed in myself for not sucking it up and powering through and closing out the party, but, I really have no regrets.  I was pretty dead.

Yesterday Dan and I did blissful not much all day long.  We devoted several long hours to just sitting around our gorgeous shady yard and drinking massive quantities of water trying to make our hangovers go away.  (not the usual kind really, the "hello oldness" variety you get just from staying up late and not eating right for a few days).  We sat around on the deck, and when the sun moved so did we and the cats, to the adirondacks scattered in the grass under my "midnight garden" canopy.

After a while, when it got hot, we motivated to go out for a sandwich, then to a matinee.  After that we even hit Dairy Queen's drive through.  We capped off the night with a little pre-season Vikings, but only a bit, and going to bed while it was still light out. 

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh is all I can say.  :)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Not my best riding, but the best I could do, that night.

Hey people.  Last night was the second "real race" in my illustrious career as a mountain bike racer, and I was NOT made of win, or awesome.  I didn't even have much of a delicious nougat center I'm afraid.  I have to admit, earlier in the week I'd been feeling like rather big stuff, riding pretty well, even in kind of damp conditions one day that left my legs impressively splattered. 

*Note* This only qualifies as impressive to non-riders. In truth you don't ride when it's really muddy because it wrecks the trail, this was mostly from going through a big puddle or two that were unavoidable. But it made me feel all bad-ass. Heh heh.

I'd been practicing riding a longer route, including this part that goes up a GIANT hill that isn't normally part of the trail. I'd been feeling good about my increased control-- how I seem to have moved beyond either screaming down hills feeling like luck was the only thing saving me, or skidding around out of control, or riding old-lady slow, terrified. Now I seem to have better balance, able to "drive" at speeds I select, no longer so much at the mercy of the terrain.

Unfortunately, being able to go slower and be in control doesn't help you much when racing. You're supposed to go fast! First the course was changed, something that is normally done to mix things up I guess, to a longer ride again, even than that I'd been practicing, so it was really tough for me. And as soon as I began I could tell it wasn't going to be a good ride for me.

The sections I usually really enjoy, that feel fast and swoopy, I was riding jerkily, not on my usual lines, ramming straight into rocks and roots I normally avoid no problem. It was a little more slippery than I'm used to because of some heavy rain the day before, and I went down (not spectacularly, but still, unnerving and time consuming) about 4 or 5 times, in areas I never have before. I kept telling myself to mellow out, tried to slow down my breathing etc, but I was trapped, it seemed, in suckville.

I'd set some standards for myself-- don't quit, crash, puke, or get lapped. In the end all I was left with was quit and puke, and only that by a slim margin. The whole first half of the race something was going wonky with my guts. My stomach killed! I was seriously concerned I may have some kind of cataclysmic gastro-intestinal *event* right there on Penny. Then I'd have to just shamble off and live in the woods, sometimes spotted from time to time in my filthy rags, the local, legendary "bigfoot/poo'd pants woman of elk River.

I wasn't dead last, although I have no idea why. My success seems to hinge entirely on a few people, inexplicably, even worse than me showing up. (God bless 'em.)

In the end this wasn't a very fun race for me, but I think it was still good for me. I didn't quit, or puke, and I was out there. I talked to some people, other racers, more than I usually get a chance to, feel like I'm getting to know a few more of the clan, even if kind of from outside the inner circle. 

I don't know what was up with my guts. I was up half the night too. I think I'm just spazzing-out about my show this Sat. So much to do!! Oh well. I came, I rode, and I drove myself home-- no ambulance! No having to become bigfoot! And I didn't quit!  Or barf!  Woo me!

Monday, August 16, 2010

When The Cat's Away

Hey people.  Dan's been out of town for a few days.  For some reason, even though from what I hear my normal life is unusually unrestricted, when he goes out of town it feels kind of like a mini free-for-all to me, like when your parents used to go out of town when you were a teenager.  I just feel all rowdy and want to do all kinds of illicit things "just because."

Really what's mostly gone on, is a whole bunch of welding, and as much mountain biking as I can fit in.  My handlebar callouses are back.  Perversely, I kind of like these.  Same with the bruises on my legs.  Feels like part of the uniform I guess. 

There have been limited hijinx in Dan's absence though.  Remember those eff-me boots I featured a while back?  The ones my sister modeled and I was all hyped about getting?  Dan's reaction was, "I'm sure.  Why do you want those?"  My reaction to that was stunned amazement.  "Why would you NOT want me to get them?  Why would you not insist I wear them at all times??"  Undeterred, I went back and tried them on.  He was right.  Who was I kidding?  ~OW~ is all I can say.  No freaking way!  I got these instead.  ~metal horns~   

They are far more suitable for the kinds of adventures I'd like to have.  Besides, I don't need those high-heeled torture chambers to feel like I've still got it.  ~finger gun~ 

Other illicit thrills?  Well, let's see-- rented a few movies (wild huh?), went out with the girls one night, some peanut m&m's and pizza were consumed (!),  stayed up WAY late several nights (just couldn't sleep really)-- one night was kind of reminiscent of the old wild days though.

For some unknown reason my friend's son, who just turned 18 is not repelled by me.  I think he feels like an odd-ball sometimes, and I'm like, "Fantastic!  Normal = boring.  Let's be odd together!"

I was up late one night and whined on FB about feeling all pent-up and rowdy and playmate-less, and he happened to be online too and was like, "Let's hang out!"  It resulted in a midnight bike ride around town in total darkness (no lights), and a super late movie night.

I have to say, riding around essentially blacked-out, feeling the cool night air on my face, all amped and wild felt awesome.  I used to be practically nocturnal, and my favorite thing was to ride or walk around at night, and just feel secretive and badass and check stuff out.  It was fun to revisit that thrill.  I'm not afraid of stuff like that.  There were some people out, young guys skulking around in the shadows and some drunks down by the bars yelling stuff, but I've found if you are pretty game yourself and look right at people, they just aren't sure about you, and don't mess with you.  It ads to the fun, not that this is part of my regular life anymore.  *Sigh*

Tonight my art pals Gene & Chris stopped by to check out the venue.  They're in the show Sat.  Gene showed up in this.  Looks like a nice vest right?
 Check it out people-- he made it out of STEEL.  This guy can do things with metal that are totally AMAZING, and he's totally off the wall.  He's been busy teaching himself Spanish lately.  Just because.

The vest is actually part of this grill he made.  Unbelievable!

 He gave it steel toed boots too.

Mostly with Dan gone, it's just given me a chance to miss him.  It's fun to play ~cat's away--woo hoo!~ but the reality is, I can pretty much do whatever I want whenever I want anyway.  Not that he'd approve of it all.  I guess he keeps me more normal.  I thought about that, riding around the other night.  If I didn't have Dan, I'd probably do stuff like that more often, and just be this weird midnight riding lady (Yes, *kids* sometimes call  me a lady now.  Hello oldness.  ~Sob~.) with a bunch of cats, the town Boo Radley.

I wouldn't want to be me in a vacuum.  He sort of teathers me, gives me lots of rein, but the reins are there, in the form of me wanting him to be happy and pleased with me. 

He knows me, even if parts of me still mystify him at times.  Here's a piece of driftwood he smuggled out of Canada for me, making his fishing buddies drag it across a HUGE lake for me too.  It's one of my prized possessions.

Here's one of the first things he gave me (the clam shell.  I added all the treasures over the years)-- after I turned up my nose at flowers and this hideous picture of a unicorn backed by gold metallic foil that was his first gift attempt.  I was like, "Don't get me anything else okay?  You don't have to."  Then he brought me the clam shell because it had this cool purple color inside.  He found it canoeing and I was like, "Now you get it."  ~big love eyes~ 

 He let's me be weird *enough*.  He's decided my mountain biking interest is okay, even if the hang factor and race scene are not his thing, and he supports all my other quirks.  For example this branch I dragged in from the yard has been hanging on the kitchen wall for like, two months because I want to study its lines.  I never mentioned it, just stuck it up there, and he's never said a word about it.  He probably thinks it's part of the decor now, and who knows?

Anyway, I was really tempted to go for another midnight spin tonight, just because I can, and he'll be home tomorrow.  That's something he wouldn't *forbid*  (ha!)-- We just aren't like that-- but he'd question it and give me major, probably justified, rays of disapproval, which would suck all the fun out of it.

So far I think I'll just stay in, and go to bed at a reasonable hour, and sort of pick up so he can come home to a bit less chaos than he left.  But only a little less.  ;)  I'm still here after all.

Friday, August 13, 2010

I RACED you guys!

Hey people.  Amid all the craziness of preparing for all my shows,  I've still felt the need to get out on the trail and blow off some steam and have some FUN, even though it's been hot as balls lately.  When some races fired-up over there that are supposed to be "just for fun", and open to anyone and everyone feeling feisty enough to try, me and Pam decided to go for it!

Here's Penny in her race number.  Doesn't she look bad ass?

It's actually pretty funny-- to some of you guys I'm rather bad-ass and dare-y, but to this crowd-- the actual racers-- I'm miss cream puff USA.  Even the fact that Penny has a kick stand is kind of charmingly dorky to them.  They wouldn't want anything on their bikes to add weight and slow them down.  Most of them have kind of a-la-carte bikes they've spent a lot of $ tricking out, or just bought very nice rides to begin with.  I don't know sick-um about bikes really.  I just bought Penny because she was the only "girl bike" the store had.  It went something like this:

Me-- "So, um...  This is a mountain bike huh?"
Bike store owner Al-- "Yep.  It's the model designed for women."
Me -- "And it's just the one?  This one here?"
Al-- "There is also this one for $350 more."
Me-- "Okay then!  This red one it is!  How do you shift it?"  ~fiddled cluelessly with levers~

I've been very intimidated by this racing deal.  The people who do it are so fit, and fearless!  They're WAY better than me.  Before the race me and Pam gave each other pep talks about how we were just doing it for fun etc etc, but even she looked way more legit than me in her new shoes that clip to her pedals and spandex.  There I sat in my Van's (sneakers) and these long, black plaid shorts I consider to be kind of smart-ass looking, which is for some reason still appealing to me all these many years after my 16th birthday.  Go figure.

Pam says they're so ugly they're almost cute.  Here's my helmet- customized Sue style.  Hopefully "like a girl" will someday mean "awesomely" in my case.

It went pretty much how I thought it would-- I hung way back because I was afraid to be in front of a bunch of eager, fast people who would soon mow me down, and most of the pack did leave me in the dust fairly quickly.  As I went on though, I did pass a person here and there.  I may start out slow, but, --- okay, that's pretty much my pace the entire way, but it's a steady pace at least.

Really, it was very challenging for me-- a little over 10 miles of hilly single track, but it is my home trail and I know it well.  I know I run out of gas in the hardest section, but also know where I can try to make up for that and by the end had closed the gap between me and some of the back of the herd, managing to pass one or two.

I didn't quit, puke, crash, or get lapped by the advanced racers who ride 2 laps ( I can't even imagine! ), so I'm calling it a meager success.  And I wasn't last.  (!)  And I passed a couple of guys (at least).  (!)

I had fun.  I'm feeling more and more like part of the little tribe over there.  It's mostly guys, but they're all really nice and supportive, cheering me on, asking me how I did after, etc.  There's no weird flirting or anything.  Most are younger, most are married.  Everyone knows I am.  It's just a bunch of people who like being in the woods, and like getting their adrenaline rush on, and don't want to just sit idly by and rust.

I'll probably do a few more of these, just racing against my previous time, for fun.  :)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Kicking Ass

Hey people.  It's been grossly hot, and humid, and every day is like some contest my hair is having to see how dumb it can look, but I have been whipping it into a ponytail and forging ahead.  When it's in the 90's and super humid, and you have to wear long pants and a leather apron all day and have no AC, it just is what it is.

Really though, life's been pretty darn good in Suelandia.  I'm getting used to the heat, and kind of marvel at how our bodies adapt.  I've been cranking out a lot of pretty decent art too.  Here's a fun shot I took of my reflection in this shiny chrome bumper before I started cutting it up. 

I'm still playing around with Race car parts.  I like abstracts, and all these bright colors are a new thing for me so it feels very "out of the box."  You know I like out of the box.  Not sure about this one yet.  it's just a lay-out, not welded.

Also, I got a bunch of thick table tops cut, and have started working with the finishes on those.  So far they're coming out really cool.  I could use some more flat stones to embed in them, so I might sneak up north for a day sometime before my Oct. show.

My life has been basically weld, ride, paint the shop, read, sleep, weld, ride... well... You get the pattern.  Some days I manage to get in 2 rides, one in the morning and one at night with Trusty Pam.  I've shaved about 5 minutes off my lap time, but am still 5 minutes away from my goal time, which feels pretty far off right now.  But my skills are improving.  I feel more in control, less afraid of certain parts, and am having a lot of fun.

It's hard to explain to people who don't do it, but it really plugs me in.  The swoopiness of it, wind in your face, feeling yourself clattering over bumps, your muscles working hard to push up a hill, your breath and blood pumping hard, even those "oh crap!-- whew!! That was a close one!" times make me feel really alive and grateful.

This week I'm going to ride in my first race that doesn't involve a costume.  Last year, you may remember, I entered the Halloween race, but anything where there's a costume just doesn't seem that "real."  This series of night races are all at my home trail, and are supposedly laid back-- they don't really "count" to the actual racers as far as their seasonal points system.  They're just for fun.

I am, however, beginning to obsess about Halloween already though.  I sort of start thinking about my costume for the coming year starting the day after Halloween.  I love it!  Now that there is a race that day it's extra fun because you get to wear a costume and DO something, not just hang out while everyone except me gets loaded.  I was going to be a version of this-- but even more movie starrish-- the smoking, martini swilling variety.  I was thinking of the name Fabulosa Renard...

Then I saw THESE online and super wanted them.  I could see any number of possibilities-- a super hero?  A mod?  Maybe somehow I could work them into Fabulosa's get-up?  I even started convincing myself I could wear these in everyday life, say, with jeans.  Sure.  Why not?  I think I could pull it off...  Right?
But then we rented this movie "Kick Ass", about people who decide to just go for it, come up with costumes, and be crime fightin' super heroes.  Obviously this was a theme I could get behind.  Now there can only be one possibility for my costume this year-- that's right-- I'm going to be Hit Girl.  I even have a purple kilt lined up already.  It's going to be awesome!

I can always be Fabulosa next year, and I'm sure I can find those boots again if I really want them.  Now I need to develop my ninja-like assassin skills, and find a purple wig!

Monday, August 2, 2010

You know it's HOT when...

Hey people.  Yeesh.  Once I was doing trail work, and some guy was talking about ever since his Lasic surgery, it hurts more when sweat rolls down into his eyes.  I was like, "holy crap-- sweat?  running down into your eyes??-- I've never been that sweaty."

Ahh the good old days.  Now I'm just like, "Glad I haven't had that pesky Lasic surgery!"

It's been in the low 90's, and the humidity has been super high too.  My hair has become a mass of knots.  My jeans are knee-sprung, & I used to wind-up changing my t-shirt AND bra half-way through the day because they were so sweaty and gross.  Now I've resorted to just wearing a halter top and letting it be all sweaty and gross, running a cold washrag up and down my arms at lunch.
(Don't just, like, drop in anyone-- because it's rank over here.)

The art, though, is going awesomely.  I'm on kind of a theme, it seems.  I kind of got a handle on it today and started calling it, "The world we've got."  It's the further development of some work I was doing in the spring using old car parts etc.  

I like working with these materials.  To me the idea of something getting an unexpected second life is romantic.  I also like to present these scraps in a way that lets people find the beauty in something that was ready to be thrown away as trash.

Sometimes people get in a habit of seeing the world negatively.  There's so much wrong-- people being jerks, less than ideal jobs or living situations, everyone being so asleep at the wheel, wanting every little thing-- convinced they NEED the latest whatever, (materialism/consumerism), all the gross crap we eat.  I could go on and on.  It's easy to look around and see everything that's ugly or messed-up.  But some of that is just habit.  It's more challenging to find the good stuff, to see it-- recognize it. 

These pics are like sketches-- who knows if anything will come of them, but it's part of how i work-- moving things around, looking at various possible compositions.

Whens something works it's very obvious to me.  It's like fitting in the last piece of a puzzle.  I can't explain exactly what it is-- there's no formula, but I just know.  Like this one-- this is a finished piece.  So far anyway.  Sometimes I wind-up adding to things, but this feels done right now.

The pic doesn't really do the sweet little nest I made justice.  This is what brought home the "world we got" theme to me-- this and thinking about how I find materials like this-- usually overgrown, nature starting to reclaim them.   

When I find stuff like this, it's like a treasure hunt for me.  To some people, finding this stuff out in the woods would be ugly-- junked trash.  Weirdly, because I love nature, it doesn't bum me out that much.  It feels, archeological somehow.  I also like seeing how easily nature is ready to cover up all traces of it-- of us.

It's kind of a snake-eating-its-tail thread of logic (but maybe not "logic" because it's not very linear)  about how we make our homes and our lives here, and that leaves an imprint on the world, sometimes not a great impact, but nature can recover from that, and animals and birds make their homes in our old stuff in return.  Somewhere in the mix is the idea of looking around wherever you are, and seeing beauty in the chaotic mixture.

You really can't beat steel for this type of idea.  I love the rust and ruin of it.  The process of it decaying, makes it even more beautiful, maybe like us?  Maybe we get more interesting as we, ahem-- change?

In the end, seeing the good or bad, deciding to be happy or not, really is a choice.  Because things will never be perfect, and usually WILL be a challenge, and no matter how we decide to be about it, the trees and grass will keep on growing, and us and all our stuff are still a part of this big old messed-up wonderful world.

I don't expect people who look at my art to make any of these connections.  They are just thoughts that roll around in my head while I work.  When people see it I just hope they think, "Cool!" or "I'm not sure why, but I like it..."  That's good enough for me, because I've shown them something in a new way maybe, and help spread some good vibes.