Who is Sue and what is Suelandia?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

~Oh Holy Crap~ (I mean night)

Or do i?  Hey people.  So...  Remember the little tree houses?  ~Fail~.  I just ran out of time with the design process on these.  This is the last version of the house I came up with, and visually it's pretty cute, but the paper is still too thick to allow the *candle* light to penetrate.


They weren't a total waste, because it is a good design, but there are kinks.  I now know how I'll make the houses next go 'round-- thinner lightly colored paper.  I'll also make some kind of jig for pre-cutting all the tiny ladder pieces with my chop saw.  I really did a number on my hand cutting out all the trees for these too, and then had rusting problems.

I'll probably make these throughout the year, and stock pile them for either my home show next summer, or next holiday season (or both).

I still really like the old maps in the atlas I found, but maybe I'll try to print them on a more transparent paper.

There is an essential problem with this part of my art business--- I don't actually mind designing smaller *products* like this-- little inexpensive sculptures than are meant to be semi-mass-produced, because they are still my original design and done in small enough batches to still be *art*.  The problem is the production.  They are usually pretty labor intensive, and there's no way I can make a first world wage on these even when I sell them myself and get 100%.

Also, as I'm realizing more and more-- everything I make now takes a physical toll on my hands/eyes/etc.  This last batch-- holy cow.  I really thought I had done some permanent damage.  I am modifying how I cut, but that's a learning curve.  A friend suggested practicing using my right hand for when lefty finally bites the dust.  Sounds crazy, but I know stuff like that is excellent for brain development, and we've all heard of people who learn to do things with their feet after horrible accidents etc.  So....

Okay--- these suck but don't judge!  This was just an experiment.  I was standing above our table and decided to very quickly sketch a dog *without a net*-- no over-thinking, no erasing, and came up with the one on the left.  This was with my normal (left) hand.  Then I tried to do the same thing with my right hand and got the image on the right.

Sort of weird they are mirror images right?  Also-- it was really trippy feeling!!!  I know this sounds strange but it was kind of exciting.  I began at the tip of the nose and was just thinking of how a dog (this one in my head anyway) *looked*, and freakishly my hand was recreating it (roughly) down on the paper, almost seemingly without my control.  I know that sounds crazy, but there was some bizarre disconnect between the mechanics of moving my hand, and just focusing on the image in my mind.  By the time I did the tail this began freaking me out and I began thinking more about how odd the pencil felt in my hand etc etc and in the lower body I sort of lost it.

Now, I do know both of these are pretty bad, but they were quickies, and there are bits of *good* in both of them.  It's hard to explain the thrill this sent through me.  Like, there are still things out there to learn about that will amaze me, even about myself.  It was one of those "life is pretty dang cool" moments.

Lastly, on the art front anyway, I naturally came up with a really awesome *product*, a bit too late to take advantage of this year's holiday sales.  It sprung from the tree house idea-- little glowy buildings. 

I really like the idea of these.  They'd look awesome tucked amongst the little groupings of trees everyone is so nuts about.  I also like the idea of a variety of more modern looking structures.  I'll be able to play with this one and have a bunch for next year.

Other life goes on.  My grandma, now 96, has decided to go off the heart medication that her and her doctor felt wasn't doing much good anyway.  She's living on a tiny ledge, inches wide, with her back against a cliff she has no hope of scaling.  Some of us occasionally lower ourselves to her perch by ropes to visit for a while, but, for us, with our harnesses and sturdy lines and equipment, it's different.
It would be a real bitch to wander around your apartment worrying about things like being found on the toilet or in some other undignified position, or if it will hurt.  I asked her how she felt about all this.  She said, "Well, a little afraid."

A little afraid indeed.  She's not brave in the traditional sense of being someone who'd race into a burning building to save people etc, but in a very human accessible way, she is I guess.  In the way that we all face what we get dealt.  It's not like we choose it, but what else is there for us to do but play it all the way out?

Tomorrow I'm spending the day with her after my final art delivery of the season.  She wants to go to the store and out to run Christmas errands, and to have lunch.  She wanted to know how long I'd be able to be with her and I told her as long as she wants tomorrow.  I know she'll get tired before dinner time, and at this point, I'll give her whatever company I can on her little ledge.  

3 comments:

Maery Rose said...

I know it must be frustrating, but I enjoy seeing the progression of your ideas and how one thing can lead to another. I had to work with my left hand for awhile and I kept using my left hand for mousing until people who would come use my computer complained about my left handed setup. Your dog drawings on the topside are remarkably alike.

I'm glad you're able to spend the day with your grandma tomorrow. She sounds like a very special lady.

Linda G. said...

Your description of your grandmother's life on the ledge pierced my heart. Hug her close while you can. :)

strugglingwriter said...

I know what you need. You need minions. You get some of those and the assembly problem is solved. :)

What you wrote about your grandmother is beautiful. Perfectly stated. My grandfather is 94 and just this year started living with my parents. He's doing fine but I know we don't have much more time until we're dealing with what you talk about here.

I would call your grandmother brave, however, in every sense of the word. It seems to me like we only use that word brave anymore for people who go to other countries with guns and tanks and airplanes. I think there is just as much bravery up there on that little ledge.