Posted in bipolar disorder, Emotions, Grief, Judiasm, PTSD

Depression. It sucks.

Depression. It’s not fun. It hurts. It kills. It destroys. It renders a person unable to function. Other than that, it’s no big deal.

My youngest sister died June 24, 1997. She was 35, 10 years younger than me, and left behind a husband and a 3-year-old daughter. Melanoma killed her. I didn’t know any of that until a friend read the obit in the newspaper and called me to ask how I was doing. My mother had decreed that my surviving siblings not tell me that my sister was sick or that she died. Penalty for doings so was being cut out of the will. My revenge is that my mother spent the last years of her life in a nursing home so there was nothing left to inherit. They had sold their humanity for nothing. No, they haven’t apologized. They decided not to call me when my mother died. I only found out she died when I saw the obituary. I subscribe to Legacy.com and I get a list of all the people with the last name Thuman who have obituaries published each day. My siblings were surprised when I crashed the funeral. They haven’t apologized for that, either.

Now, I have two difficult days each year. April 1 which was my sister’s birthday and June 24. I thought I’d get past grieving by now. Guess I was wrong. Some years are better than others. This isn’t one of the better ones. The flashbacks started a couple weeks ago. I get them in clusters rather than one at a time. Long ago, I discovered that if I look at the flashback, acknowledge that what happened to me was terrible, the memory would sink back down into my brain and leave me alone. It’s a great technique and I urge anyone who has PTSD to give it a try. Except it’s not working for me this time.

Usually, I can bury myself in art when I’m depressed or upset and I find myself back at center. Not today. I’m working on ceramic lanterns and bowls. I stopped mid-lantern because I was too depressed to continue. I don’t like to have music playing when I work, and working with mud makes very little noise. Critters come right up to the patio. A bird nearly stepped on my foot until it realized that a human was sitting there. Rabbits come up to the patio and eat whatever is growing. A small bird perched on plant stand and drank water from the saucer under the pot with chives growing in it. Maybe 10 feet from where I was sitting. Normally, close encounters with critters is a wonderful, special thing. Providing the critter isn’t a rattlesnake and I’m not about to step on it. This morning, it was just something that happened.

Years ago, a friend suggested I do something to honor my sister’s life. I thought perhaps if I could put my feelings into a piece of art  I’d feel better. Except I can’t figure out how I want to do this. What do I make? A giant, stuffed malignant mole? Then what? Take it out in the desert and shoot it? A mangled foot to commemorate the day my mother watched my sister play with oven cleaner, then washed her off, put the oven cleaner soaked sneaker back on her foot and then yelled at her for the next 4 hours to stop crying? Finally, she took my sister to the hospital. Second and third degree burns from her waist down. The worst was her right foot. The scar covered nearly the entire top of her foot. No, there was never any plastic surgery to remove the scar. There was also never any report made to child protective services. We’re white and we had private insurance.

Maybe a quilt of a woman skiing. My sister skied. She tore wild down the mountain as if she were Franz Klamer attacking the downhill race in the olympics. Her friends asked her where she learned to hot dog like that. In those days, flying over moguls and other fancy stuff was called hot dogging. My sister replied that she didn’t know how to ski.

Maybe I can attach a maxi-pad to the quilt. When my sister had her first period, she looked under the bathroom sink, found feminine supplies (there were always feminine supplies under the bathroom sink), pinned the pad in her pants, and went on with life. She didn’t think she needed to tell anyone. That’s what convinced me I never needed to worry about my sister. I knew she would always figure out a way to handle any situation in which she found herself.

She graduated from high school, but she didn’t go to the ceremony. Our mother couldn’t be bothered so my sister’s passage from high school to adult woman went unnoticed and undocumented.

The grief never goes away. Some years, like this one, the grief is unbearable.

Tonight, kaddish is being read during services for my sister. Jim will go with me. Maybe I’ll be able to get through the prayer without crying. Next week, Jim and I are going to Albuquerque to buy clay and shop for some other art supplies. Maybe that will help me feel less depressed.

This wasn’t the best week to do this, but I bought a domain name and opened an on-line shop. Getting the shop up and running was frustrating, and I’m not handling frustration well this week. I do have an etsy shop, but it gets no traffic and I have to pay each time I list something. So I opened my own shop, Deb Thuman Art. You can get there from here. Stop by and let me know what you think. I’m still getting inventory loaded into the shop and at the moment, there are only photographs.

I’m linking with Nina Marie here. Stop by and see what other artists have been doing this week.

Posted in bipolar disorder, Emotions, Photography

Coping Without A Coping Saw

The water heater is fixed. I can now take a shower in the master bath, clean the master bath, soak in the whirlpool tub, and wash laundry in hot water. This is remarkably good. And remarkably appreciated. To celebrate, I am washing all the used towels in hot water.  My latest visit with my doctor convinced me that approach would be prudent.

I’ve been battling a mixed episode for the past week. A mixed episode has features of both manic and depressive. Meaning I feel like both knocking out walls in the house to do some major remodeling and jumping off a cliff – neither of which I will do. No, exercise does not help. If I get myself going on my elliptical machine, rather than calming down, I get more agitated.  The best I can do right now is grab my camera and take a walk.

Hearing that the vile, cheap, greedy bastards in the House of Representatives – and New Mexico’s representative Steve Pierce voted for this – I fell far below center. When Jim retires, I will be uninsurable. If I can get disaster insurance, at a cost of $2K or more a month, it won’t cover my thyroid condition or bipolar disorder. All coverage for mental illness is eliminated. Without insurance, I cannot afford the blood tests to monitor my thyroid levels. Without insurance, I cannot afford my thyroid medication – which is keeping me alive. Without insurance, I cannot afford my mood stabilizer. So. Will I die because my thyroid doesn’t work? Or will I die because I can’t escape the depressed end of the mood swing spectrum? May every one of the motherfuckers who voted for this bill and everyone in their families be barred from having health insurance and get a life-threatening illness. That would be justice. And so I am both depressed and enraged.

On to happier topics. Yesterday, I went out to photograph white yucca. On Wednesday, Jim got his eyes examined and while I waited in Walmart for him to be finished, I worked on my novel. The scene I was working on gave me the idea to photograph the yucca from below. So I did.

Yucca has a creamy white flower. The camera saw it as having yellow and green tints. I played around with tints and hues. I got some interesting results, but nothing that looked like a yucca flower.

Yucca 2 5-11-17Yucca 3 5-11-17

The sky is way too dark and the flowers have a green cast that doesn’t exist in real life.

I played around with tints, hues and other cool color stuff I could find.

Yucca 2 5-11-17 color alteredYucca 2 5-11-17 color altered grunge vintageYucca 9 5-11-18 Use this one played w:color replace sky color

After asking on the Digital Photography School Facebook page, I played around with my editing program, and found the adjustment for white balance. Then I learned how to use it.

Yucca 5 5-11-17 Use this oneYucca 7 5-11-17 Use this oneYucca 9 5-11-18 Use this one

I like this one above the best.

I played about with overlays and other goodies and got a few shots I like.

Yucca 8 5-11-17 grunge, edge, watercolor pencil HDR water color pencil

The agave is progressing towards seed production. If I had a microscope, I’d be tempted to cut a couple individual buds each day, cut longitudinal sections and watch the seed development. Agave 1 5-11-17Agave 2 5-11-17

There’s a place on the North Shore of Oahu where you can stand on the beach, peer through the trees and watch the surf. I tried recreating that idea but I’m not sure if I like the results.

Agave 3 5-11-17

I’m linking with Nina Marie here.  Check out what some other artists are doing. There’s some great inspiration in those blogs.

Posted in Emotions, Photography

Art: The Antidote to Misery

The Great Laundry Event has passed. I discovered I’m allergic to the laundry detergent I’ve been using. I bought some detergent that has very little added and then washed all the bedding, all the towels, and all my clothes. I stopped counting loads at 12.

We’re still using the guest bathroom because there’s still no hot water for the master bathroom. The part finally arrived and Jim will call the plumber on Monday to see when we can get the water heater fixed.

Because of recent events in Congress, events that will cause me to be uninsurable at which time I won’t be able to afford medication that keeps me alive, I’ve needed to find refuge in art.

I’ve been doing a bit of work on the novel which is now starting to sound like a novel. As opposed to sounding like me. Sigh. I’m not so sure sounding like a novel is wonderful although it will help to get my book published when I finally finish it. I do find it interesting that when I listen to network news commentary on officer involved shootings, the commentator clearly has done no research. This is disturbing.

I’ve been working on photography the past few days and I’ve decided to concentrate on the photos that most other people don’t take.

Yucca 2 vignette

Lots of people take photos of blooming yucca; the one above is a soap yucca – New Mexico’s state flower. Not that many take photos of the seed pods that develop after pollination and the dead stalk after the pods have spread their seeds.

Yucca 8 5-5-17 use this oneYucca 6 5-5-17

Yucca pod 1 5-5-17

 

I played with the photos of the pods.

Yucca 6 5-5-17 edge, grunge 3Yucca 6 5-5-17 edge, grunge 3 fbric

The base of the yucca is interesting so I took a shot and played. The original shot is the last one in the series.

Yucca 2 5-5-17 colored pencil, grunge 2 HDRYucca 3 5-5-17 negYucca 3 5-5-17 neg grunge 2Yucca 2 5-5-17

There’s a huge agave in my back yard, so I took odd photographs and played with the results.

Big agave 4 5-5-17
Original photo of a deal leaf from the large agave.

And what happened when I started playing.

Big agave 4 5-5-17 negBig agave 4 5-5-17 neg grunge fabric use this one

Big Agave 2 5-5-17
Original photo of the base of the large agave.

And what happened when I started playing.

Big agave 3 5-5-17 neg vintage grungeBig Agave 2 5-5-17 neg grunge 2

Big Agave 1 5-5-17
The large agave.

Big Agave 1 5-5-17neg grunge

The played with agave.

I’m linking with Nina Marie here. Check out what other artists have been doing the past week.

Posted in Emotions, Garden, Photography

Terrified. Outraged. Shocked. Need Art.

I am shocked, sickened, and outraged by what my government has done the past week. The press secretary, who knows full well his every syllable will be recorded, reported and analyzed, denied the Holocaust, said gas wasn’t used against people – meaning as a Jew, I’m subhuman in his eyes, and he wasn’t fired. Stamp of approval from the Sex Offender in Chief who refused to acknowledge Holocaust Remembrance Day because only Jews are remembered. Every Holocaust Remembrance ceremony I’ve ever attended has included all groups who were targeted and murdered. I know the sex offender is evil. I haven’t decided if the fact he is an incompetent idiot is a good thing or a bad thing.

Under the shock and fury is terror. My most valuable possession is a piece of paper that says I am a Jew. If I need to leave the US in a hurry – and that fear is becoming stronger and more realistic every day, Israel has to take me in. Under the Law of Return, any Jew who asks is given “immediate” Israeli citizenship. Immediate being a term of art – it takes 3-6 months.

Yesterday, the US blew up Afghanistan except the Sex Offender in Chief isn’t taking credit/responsibility for dropping the ultimate non-nuke bomb and destroying everything for a mile in all directions. According to the press release, the government of Afghanistan knew in advance and was in agreement with this bombing. Except all of this was news to the Agfhani government. But the US extended deepest sympathy towards the families of the Syrians who where killed. Oops. Hey, mistakes happen.

Eventually, and probably sooner than we expect, the Sex Offender in Chief will piss off a foreign government to the point where someone will drop a bomb on us and make Pearl Harbor look like a day at the beach. But that’s okay. The defense contractors will make several billion dollars and that’s all that really matters.

When I was a kid, I had nightmares about a nuclear attack. Now, I have the same nightmares – only I have them when I’m awake. I have no better ways to deal with this terror now than I had when I was a kid.

And so I turn to art for comfort.

I’m still designing ugly beaded earrings, so no bead photos. Instead, we have botany. I have an undergrad degree in biology, and my concentration was botany and microbiology. And so I photograph what’s blooming.

Jim Agave 3 4-14-17 use this one
Jim and the agave.
Agave flower 2 4-14-17 use this one
The view from the ground.
Agave 6 4-11-17 use this one
It’s starting to send out branches and “blooms.”

I’ve discovered that slightly underexposing my shots of the agave allows me to bring out more details in post.

Ocotillo 7 4-14-17 use this one
Ocotillo close up of flower.

 

Ocotillo 1 4-14-17
Ocotillo – the top part of a huge bush in the back yard.

There’s a huge ocotillo in the back yard. This is roughly the top 1/3 of the plant.

Red Yucca 1 4-11-17 use this one

Red yucca.

Prickly pear 2 4-14-17 grungePrickly pear 1 4-14-17

The prickly pear are getting ready to bloom, and I wanted to play with a shallow depth of field. I like the way the background blurs out on these shots.

Bird 1 4-14-17 use this one

Mexican Bird of Paradise.

Iris end 1 4-11-17

The end of the iris for this year. I wanted to try some shots with unusual subject matter. Dead flowers are pretty unusual subject matter.

Prickly pear 1 4-14-17 edge grunge 2 water grungeIris end 1 4-11-17 neg edge 2 grunge 2Iris 1 4-14-17 negBird Paradise 3 4-14-17 edge 2 grunge

Above is the one I like best, and below is a close second.

Bird 1 4-14-17 use this one edge 2Agave flower 3 4-14-17 vintageagave 4 4-14-17 light grunge 2

And some playing around.

I’m linking with Nina Marie. There are lots of great artists and great art linked with her blog here.

Posted in Emotions, Judiasm, words

The Border Patrol Agent and the Criminal Defense Attorney

It’s Passover. Jews view this as deliverance from slavery. Christians tend to view Passover as a time when the Jews smeared lamb’s blood on the doorposts of their homes so the Angel of Death, who came to kill the first born of each family, would pass over the homes of the Jews. Yes, there was an Angel of Death and the first born of the Egyptians was killed. There’s more to Passover than that.

I prefer the Jewish view. Deliverance. The little guy wins. We were slaves in Egypt. Now, we are living mostly freely, but not always, in just about every country on the planet. What enslaves us now? Bigotry, along with a lot of other things but I’m going to be typing about bigotry. What’s that you say? Some of your best friends are: white, black, Muslim, Christian, whoever else is not just like you. That’s nice but bigotry is more insidious, more hidden. Bigotry creeps around inside of us and presents itself in ways that are acceptable to ourselves.

Twice, I’ve been forced to look beyond the surface where my prejudices lie and see the human.

The first time was in court when I represented a soldier and argued my guts out to keep the judge from imposing more than the minimum mandatory jail sentence. Back at my office, I realized what I had done. While I wanted to tell my client to get a real job and stop sucking up my tax money, I saw the young man under the uniform. I saw him as a person. I saw the pain I’m pretty sure he carried inside of him. I still think blowing up Iraq and Afghanistan are two of the stupidest, waste of money things the US has done. Now, I see beyond the uniform. I see broken women and men who come back from combat with horrible memories, feelings that didn’t get felt while trying to survive, nightmares, and inability to function. I see them feeling ashamed when they have nothing of which to be ashamed. I see that shame keeping them from getting the help they desperately need.

The second time was last night when I attended a seder held by my temple. I was seated next to a border patrol agent. I think the border patrol checkpoints are useless, a waste of money, and that the agents engage in racial profiling. All those things are true. But the man sitting next to me was an ordinary guy. I’m rethinking my penchant for referring to border patrol agents as Nazi bastards. This one is tough. I’ve never hated anything as much as I hate border patrol agents. But the man sitting next to me was an ordinary guy. I refuse to make eye contact when I’m in a checkpoint. I raise a finger as I drive off. But the man sitting next to me was an ordinary guy. I’ve never been pulled over in a checkpoint because I’m Caucasian and clearly of Western European heritage.  Half the time, I’m not even asked my citizenship. Chicanos have told me about how they are routinely pulled over in checkpoints. Twice, I’ve gotten snarly border patrol agents to instantly back down by identifying myself as an attorney.

But the man sitting next to me was an ordinary guy.

I’m linking with Nina Marie. Check out what other artists have been doing here.

Posted in Emotions, Fiber, Jewelry, Photography, Pottery

My Brain Has Settled Down, But Not Yet Calmed Down

My brain has settled down, but not calmed down. I’m still in Manic Mode, but I have more control and I sleeping through the night. I’m functioning fairly well, but I’m still angry. Memories keep flooding back. The latest is from the early 1980’s. I was in the press box covering a hockey game. The man sitting next to me asked if I had any children. No. Then he offered to sleep with me to get me pregnant. I declined. Looking back, I wish I could have slapped the snot out of him. It’s the narcissistic, bully attitude that women have no bodily integrity, no worth, and need not be consulted on little things like sex.

I’m starting to put together a portfolio of photos of my art, and I’m making progress getting good shots. Someone on the Digital Photography School Facebook page suggested hanging earrings on a twig. My writing class is on Wednesdays, and when I parked my car, a nice twig was lying on the ground. Must be a sign from above. After much playing around, I got the following. As soon as I get additional shots, these will go into my etsy store. I’ll let you know when they are listed. I’ve also been playing around with different beads and different bead combinations.

black-earrings-wshadow-adjbronze-leaf-adjblack-diachroicpink-heart-adjsmall-crystal-earrings-adjwavy-bluepurple-multi-adjpeach-pearl-2

Meanwhile, I’m playing around with texture tools for when it’s warm enough to work with clay. Cold, wet, and windy isn’t conducive to great ceramics. At the moment, the temperature isn’t getting much above 60 degrees F. Couple this with wind gusts of up to 60 mph – 100 kph, and you get the worst of conditions for playing in the mud.

You have to look past the colors of the yarn. I grabbed leftover bits and experimented. These pieces will be pressed into clay for texture. I may use the impressed clay – which is a negative – to make stamps so I can stamp a positive version of the texture. I found my special crochet hook for making Tunisian crochet. The hook looks like a cross between a crochet hook and a knitting needle. Then I played around with stitches.

img_6648img_6650img_6651

Above are photos of the same piece but showing more of the texture. I like the basket weave flavor and I think making a positive stamp of this will make for some great pieces. I love shinos and glazes that do something. This texture will give lots of nooks and crannies in which glaze will pool.

I wanted to see what would happen if I used a yarn that had multiple thicknesses. Result is below.

img_6657

Here’s what happened when I used different combinations of yarns.

img_6653

Above is using one strand of worsted weight yarn.

Below is what happens when I used two strands of worsted weight yarn.

img_6655

And here’s what happens with I used one very light weight yarn and one worsted weight yarn.

img_6660

The texture changes with each yarn combination and I’m curious to see what the texture looks like when pressed into wet clay.

I’m linking with Nina Marie. Check out her blog here and see what others are working on.

Posted in Emotions, Jewelry, Photography

Anger & Earrings

I’m still angry. This week, something from 50 years ago came back and demanded to be thought about. When I was in junior high, I had to take an art class. Seating was assigned and I got stuck next to a boy who thought he was clever. He kept singing, “Hey baby won’t you take a chance. Spread your legs while I drop my pants.”

After several weeks of this, I found the courage to tell the teacher. She asked why I hadn’t said something before. Because someone else had asked to have his seat moved and she didn’t let him. I spent the rest of the classes sitting somewhere else. I was happy that she moved my seat. I’d have been better served if she had told me how unacceptable his behavior was and how wrong it was to treat women like pieces of meat.

Some of the boys thought it was wonderful fun to pull up a girl’s skirt. I expressed my displeasure – an inkling of who I would eventually become. The response from one boy, “You’re not the coolest.”

It would take another 10 years before the boy’s behavior had a name: sexual harassment. It would take 10 years beyond that before women could begin to really fight back. Now, 50 years later, I see how damaging that boy’s behavior was. I see that my worth then was embedded in a part of my anatomy I couldn’t see without a mirror. It didn’t matter if I was smart. It didn’t matter if I had any sort of talent. It didn’t matter what goals and dreams I had for myself. All that mattered was if I was pretty. If I let the boys tease me and pull up my skirt.

Now, I understand. I think. I have worth and value. My worth isn’t concentrated in my bra and my panties. My worth is intrinsic. This is my body. I decide who touches it and when. I decide what behavior I will tolerate and what I will not tolerate. Treat me with dignity and respect or get away from me. I wish I had known this 50 years ago. 

I’ve been working on my photography because I need to assemble a portfolio and I need the portfolio to be really good. A friend gave me a gray scale, and I’ve been using that as a backdrop for my jewelry. I posted the photos on the Digital Photography School Facebook page and asked for suggestions. The result? Think outside the fishing line. I had been stringing fishing line across the light box and dangling earrings from the fishing line.

Nice, but I’m still having problems getting the entire earring in focus. I posted my photos on the Digital Photography School Facebook page and asked for advice. One poster sent me to Pinterest to see how other earrings had been photographed.

I did a little playing.

earrings-6-slabearrings-4-slabearrigs-2-slabearrings-1-slabearrings-3-slab

I put the earrings on a piece of granite. This will work for some earrings, but the stones get hidden with some of the earrings.

earrings-4-plexi

I suspended a piece of plexiglas over the granite to see if that would help with the color contrast. Nope. Showed off all the scratches in the plexiglas, though.

earrings-6-quiltearrings-5earrings-4-quilt

Next, I tried putting the earrings on a quilted piece. I like that the best, but it does show off uneven free motion quilting.

Eventually, I will get this figured out.

I’m linking with Nina Marie here. Check out what some other great artists have been doing.

Posted in Emotions, Photography, words

Once upon a mood so terrifying…..

I’m back to what passes for normal. I think. I’m calm. I can function and this functioning calm feels stable. That could change in an instant. I had a manic event that lasted for three weeks and became unbearable earlier this week. I couldn’t stop crying. I couldn’t calm down. I couldn’t function. But I sure wrote a couple doozy stories for my writing class! This one is for an assignment where we had to write a story based on one of the fairy tales we read. I chose to write about Hans Christian Anderson’s The Toad.

***********************************************************************

The Very Pissed Off Toad

Once upon a time, there was a woman named Yael who didn’t like closets. Or boxes. Or girdles. Or cleaning the bathroom. Or being told she was inferior.

“Either there’s no difference between men and women – except for plumbing – or I need a sex change operation” said Yael often.

Oh, my. The people of the church were appalled. And terrified.

“What if the girls thought like that?” cried the fragile men.

“Who will make my supper and wash my socks?” cried the lazy men.

“Isn’t it time we had another baby?” cried the misogynous men.

Yael had a husband, but no children.

“You should have a baby!” screamed the terrified women who like to call

themselves girls even past menopause.

“You should have a baby!” screamed the terrified men.

Instead, Yael went to college. She started a week after her 25th birthday and

a week after she got the braces removed from her now straight teeth. Yael studied hard.

“We hired a woman once. She didn’t work out so we don’t hire

women now,” said the asshole in Human Regulations.

Yael fought hard. She didn’t lose, but she didn’t exactly win.

“I didn’t mean anything by that! You’re overly sensitive,” said the

jerk employer who thought he could grab Yael whenever he wanted.

“I don’t know what your problem is,” said the jerk at the New York

State Human Rights Division when Yael tried to file a complaint after being fired by the jerk employer.

Yael still fought hard. She didn’t exactly win, but she didn’t lose,

either.

Yael went to law school. And to court. And to trial. And to the

Supreme Court where the chief judge said, “This is an historic morning! All the attorneys are women and two of the judges are women.”

Say that shit in New York and you’re permanently off the bench before

lunch, thought Yael while she tried to smile without sneering.

Yael continued to fight hard. She didn’t exactly win, but she didn’t

Lose, either.

One day, a peacock jerk came up to Yael and demanded she pay

attention to him. Yael told him to leave her alone. “Hey, you were coming on to me, bitch!”

Yael looked into the peacock jerk’s eyes to hold his attention. She

smiled. She reached into her left pocket, removed the stun gun, pressed it to the peacock jerk’s groin, and pressed the trigger. She did this until the screaming stopped.

Yael won.

*********************************************************************

I like to think that bipolar disorder doesn’t define me, but I’m trying to believe the impossible. I can’t cope without proper medication. Even on the best meds I’ve ever had, I still had a three-week episode that effected every part of my life. On the worst day,  I got an email from the College of Arts & Sciences – part of New Mexico State University – asking for art submissions for a symposium on mental health and justice. I’ve been to these things and never once has there been a speaker who is actually mentally ill. Obviously, we’ve got a lot of work to do before we remove the stigma attached to mental illness. If there’s never one who is mentally ill speaking, that says people are convinced that the 26% of the US population with a diagnosed mental illness are too stupid, too crazy, too irrational to be allowed to speak. Remember when women were considered too irrational, too emotional and not smart enough to speak in public? In case you missed it the first time around, now that the US has a Sex Offender in Chief, you can catch it now.

At the very depths of this manic event, I had to stop what I was doing and make art to submit for the symposium. I’ve no illusions about my work being chosen. I needed to say what I had to say.

bug-brighten-saturate-vintage-grunge-resize

dignity-grunge-resize-4x6

scream-grunge-overlay

I subscribe to the Digital Photography School newsletter. This week, there was an article about photographing cats. Cats refuse to pose, insist on squirming and leaving as soon as they see a camera. Using the suggestions I read about, I got a fairly decent photo of Tinker.

tinker-2-adjusted-overlay-vintage

I had to play a bit with it.

tinker-1-adjusted-liquified

I’m linking with Nina Marie. You can see her blog and links to other terrific artists  here.

Posted in Emotions, Quilts

Beyond Rage

I am filled with fury, rage, anger, and I’m pissed off. I’ve had to tweak my psych meds because I am having stress pains. I’ve been pissed off since January 20. Often, when I’m this emotional, I don’t understand what’s going on inside of me. This might be a function of bipolar disorder, but it’s hard to tell. I’ve no idea how the “normal” brain works. I live with an interesting brain.

When I don’t understand what’s happening inside of me, I made art. It’s only through art that  I can identify the emotions and allow them to escape. I’m working on a quilt. It started with a fuzzy idea and grew. First came a phrase. “If you touch this without my permission, I will break your fucking arm. ”

I wanted to make an anatomically correct vaginal opening. Rather than squat over a tripod mounted camera and hope I got the focus right, I went on the internet and found photos. I wanted the vaginal opening to be three-dimensional. This took some fancy figuring and sewing. That’s a Swarovski crystal for the clitoris. I neglected to leave sufficient room for the urethra so it’s not represented.

First Draft:

img_6178

img_6165

It’s a bad photo because I didn’t feel like hanging the quilt on the clothes line and just propped it on my cutting table. The blue/green lines are basting to hold the three layers together.

I needed another couple days to figure out what to do next. I had wanted to hand quilt words on the piece, but when I tried to lay the sentences out, I realized I couldn’t say what I wanted to say with stitches. I needed to write the words onto the quilt.

img_6186

img_6183

img_6180

I didn’t think free motion quilting would be a good idea for this quilt, so I am quilting the word “NO” in assorted sizes and in assorted places.

img_6189

img_6188

img_6187

Found my needle.

Will this quilt make the rage dissipate? I doubt it. The last time I went through this, I made a good half dozen sculptures. I’m beginning to understand what’s causing the rage, the depth of my rage, and to let the rage out in an acceptable manner.

I am linking with NinaMarie. If you have any interest in art, her blog is the best spot to visit. Lots of art and lots of artists. NinaMarie’s blog is here.