Friday, October 31, 2008


I finished this 12 x 12 Water piece that I made for the G4. I’ve been indecisive about posting a picture because it has issues. I used Melody Johnson’s facing technique instead of her pillow case finish or a binding because it was very heavily quilted and that method of finish permits “quilting off the edge.” The instructions are excellent and the technique is great. I’ve done facings before but it’s been some time and I certainly learned something: be gentle when turning. I also think I might have squared from the back (is that possible?) instead of the front. I have my next 12 x 12 ready to be faced so I will have more data soon.

I have been cleaning up old email files and I found something I’d saved from Marilyn Belford about work that might not feel “worthy.” She said words to the effect that it is done, and “you can’t win them all.” She does not discard, nor does she redo. I've taken that to heart.

I loved the “fabric” that I made for this piece (gelatin printing from Rayna Gillman's book, Create Your Own Hand-Printed Cloth) but I am not happy with the finished work, but I learned so much and I really should immediately start Water II.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Happy Birthday Rick!

Yes, I still do. Yes I will...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Safe, Prosperous, and Free

I saw this video on Gerrie's blog on politics.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Elizabeth Peyton and Creativity

I'm always behind in reading the New Yorker so I just discovered the profile of the painter Elizabeth Peyton by Calvin Tomkins in the October 9 issue. Unfortunately, the entire article is not available online but there is an abstract and a slide show with 9 pictures of her paintings.

There is a lot of interest in her at the moment because of a mid-career survey of her work at the New Museum on the Lower East Side. The New York Times published a review of the show by Roberta Smith. There is also an audio slide show.

Both articles articulate similar themes. Peyton seems to need to almost fall in love with her subjects. If the attraction is ther, she returns for further explorations. She works from both art/photographs and life. I love that she acknowledged in an interview with Tomkins that she makes lots of bad art.

I would love to see this show especially because the pieces are small. Smith's words are that "few are larger than your face."

Additional images can be found at the artnet page for Elizabeth Peyton.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

I Did It!

It’s not really such a big thing. I can say that now. I didn’t swim yesterday because of an ear issue. I was sure it was related to swimming. So, despite glorious weather, I skipped a day. But today was even more glorious and I knew it would be so much easier to swim in warm sunshine.

The pool at the Soda Center today was fabulous. I had a lane all to myself. I was worried because it is deeper than Park Pool: something about getting in. I discovered that there is a deeper end (10’) and a not-so-deep-end (7’). It’s funny: I told Andrew that it felt as if the pool was slower than Park Pool. Everyone says it is a FAST pool because it is so deep and so big. And even though I know it is 25 yards across, it felt longer. He says I’ll get used to it.

I met Betty, who swims 3-4 times a week at Soda, and she was very encouraging. I also saw Dorothy from Park Pool! Del was right! Everyone was very friendly!

I brought my camera to take some pictures for the blog but ran out of time. I found the following link for a photo taken during a big meet at the Soda Center. I tried to get permission to use it but to no avail. I found the following link for images of the Soda Center. There is one really interesting picture that shows the pool half-filled with water.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Swim Journal

Sunday was my last swim of the season at Park Pool. This was my best season ever. I started swimming in April and swam every day for the last nine days of the season. Kind of obsessive but here is what I wrote in my journal: April, 3 swims; May, 9 swims; June, 10 swims; July, 16 swims; August, 18 swims; September, 15 swims; and October, 5 swims. (As I look at it, there is ample room for improvement next year!)

Steven taught me how to do turns in August. My workouts for August, September and October were about 45 min. and 2000 yards. Steven suggested that I think in terms of hundreds and 500s. I couldn't imagine doing that before I learned to turn.

My next goal is to try out the beautiful pool at the Soda Aquatic Center. I have been trying to psych myself up to keep swimming during the winter months. I've never done that before. With the earlier pool closing this year at Park Pool, it seems as if this is the time to try it. October can have brilliant, beautiful, warm days. I thought about it last year but never made it. I'm a little anxious about this because it will probably mean sharing a lane with a stranger and I'm not feeling very confident about my abilities.

Friday, October 03, 2008

12 x 12

I've been trying to finish some of the 12 x 12 pieces I've been working on. This is from March when the G4 was working on the vernal equinox theme. It is one of my trillium pieces. After showing it to the group, I decided that it needed more hand-stitching so it was never photographed until today. This whole-cloth piece was an acrylic plate monoprint, made before I discovered gelatin plate printing. I used Setacolor paints. Later, I went back in with some stamping, including string and rice stamps that I had made.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Last days of summer 2008: Park Pool

Today it really feels as if summer is over. Yesterday started out quite warm but by 3:30 PM it was cooler and overcast. I swam at 1:30 and sat in the sun to dry off. Today feels like real change. It is noon, as I write this, and it has been overcast all morning but the fog is beginning to burn off. It is 66°.

I live tucked up against the eastern side of the Berkeley Hills. The pool is farther up the hill from my house.

When I want to know what the weather is like “on the other side” of the hills, I go to The View . At this moment, at the Lawrence Hall of Science, it is socked in: 58°, 98% humidity. Rain is forecast for tomorrow.

The pool is only open for 4 more days.

Here is how it looked today. I briefly had the pool to myself.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Back from the beach

Here is the view from the red chairs. I had the most wonderful, productive time at the beach. I can't think of a time when all I had to do was make stuff. It doesn't seem possible that summer is really over but what a magical way to end the summer.