Archive for April, 2009

Good For Your Soul #39: Lambs

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Earthfest 09: Baby Goats!

It’s been stressful for ECO members trying to balance exams with Week of Sustainability, and it makes me wonder how most people prioritize the big picture (global warming) with the small picture (a paper deadline). Luckily, we picked the first really warm day for Earthfest, and it seems like the whole campus was taking a deep sigh of relief. Most therapeutic were the baby goats (see bottom):

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Radial Safe Spaces

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Artistic composition is either  symmetrical, asymmetrical, crystallographic, or radial. Radial art is often the least common, and tends to appear more in religious or meditative art, rather than in the “art world” (whatever that means…). There is something innately soothing about the circle, while over the last century Art-capital-A has tended toward shock and discomfort. 

Frankly, the “real world” (whatever that means…) is shocking and discomforting enough for me. When I work visually–drawing, painting, doodling, etc.– I want  to be in a safe space. I don’t mean that I’m an escapist– art and the process of creation should be thoughtful, thought-provoking, opening new doors and saying something about the world. But we already live in a world where nothing is sacred, and it’s good to find a sacred space.

Circles, found everywhere in nature, are both a space and process. Planets orbit in circles; both trees and hurricanes grow in circles. Pupils, seashells, mandalas– these shape reflects the process of creation itself, which is not linear and progressive, but rather interconnected and expansive. 

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my mandala doodle

Inspiration: Androgyny

Androgyny inspires me– in my writing, in my art, and in my own appearance. I’m partly working on a YA novel, inspired by my sister, in which the gender of the narrator is never revealed. For myself, I’m partial to suspenders, skinny ties, bed hair, and heavy boots. I don’t wear these things to imitate another gender, but I’m aware that they have that effect, that people view me differently. 

I learned yesterday about a study in which hundreds of photos of men and women’s faces were stripped of all identifying characteristics (like hair, jewelry, makeup, etc). The photos were then shown to individuals who were told to guess whether the face in the photo was male or female. The participants in the study were (somehow) attached to a machine that tracked their eye movement with a laser so that the researchers could track exactly what they were looking at in the photos. Participants guessed correctly 99.9% of the time. As it turns out, in order to identify people’s gender, we look at–surprise!–their noses

 

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Charcoal Gesture Drawings

Didn’t get a chance to post these last time… 

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Gesture Drawings in Vine Charcoal

I’ve been overwhelmed with work the past few weeks, and it doesn’t look like it will be easing up anytime soon. My drawing class requires a lot of time in the studio, and sometimes I feel like I’m wasting my time when I should be working on a paper.

Fortunately, we’ve begun to do some figure drawing, which is very therapeutic for me. I had forgotten how beautiful women’s bodies are. The first class that we worked with our model, I spent the whole time aching.

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Wild Garlic Mustard Pesto

Wild Garlic Mustard is an invasive species, and has nearly taken over the forest floor near the gardens where I work. Some friends and I decided to clear the Garlic Mustard and have a delicious pesto dinner. You have to pick GM when it’s young, before it flowers and begins to taste bitter. Apparently the roots are also very spicy, a bit like horseradish, and can be used it all sorts of ways. Perhaps we’ll get more ambitious with our cooking next year!

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The Recipe

11⁄2 cups fresh garlic mustard leaves 
1 clove garlic 
1⁄4 cup pine nuts or walnuts 
3⁄4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 
3⁄4 cup olive oil 

In a food processor, finely chop the 
garlic mustard leaves, garlic and nuts. 
Slowly mix in the cheese and olive oil.


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