Today was an in studio day where I went to one reorganization project to the next only to stop and dive into two great books from my dear friends at Amazon. The first is one by Lynne Perella Art Making ans Studio Spaces 2009 Quarry Books. Lynne has had the privilege to visit over thirty one well known mixed media artists studios...this intimate view of where they each write and create is a visual portrait of styles, progressions, altars and a multitude of techniques they have developed. I really have not taken the time to read closely but the photos are large and wonderful...I will take this book when I am sitting in the doctors office. The second book is Good Mail Day by two collage/mixed media artists...Jennie Hinchcliff and Carolee Gilligan Wheeler. I have been a saver of letters over the last couple of decades and I love to receive mail from other artists. The five basic rules are simple: 1) each piece of mail should receive some sort of acknowledgement in return 2) no exchange of money for mail art 3) no returns 4) you give as good as you get 5) be sure to document in a timely manner. There is information on networking, different sorts of techniques employed over the decades by pen pals and artists around the world. There are other books to reference, Zines, and websites to investigate. Happy Valentine's Day to me...just like artist trading cards ...these exercises in design and play are another way to give yourselves a chance to break the rules and PLAY with others. I will keep you posted as I learn more and continue to feed my soul while I work in isolation on most days.
Tomorrow I am having lunch with a retired teacher who needs help with an underground railroad quilt project and she says she knows nothing about making a quilt. She said it is February...Black History month ...she is under a deadline...I am not sure how she got my name and number ...and do I have time to extend or should I say overextend myself and energies to work on this project. So over lunch I will examine the size of this project, the unknown details, how I will be paid for my expertise and time? So many questions and so little time. She taught my girls years ago in their middle school experiences but I doubt if she even has seen any of my works or remembers me from the 1980's. I can go and see what I might help her with...who knows?
I received my schedule for the next interventional radiology procedure to examine the progression of the growths in my brain and to see if the stint is performing the way they had hoped. I was the first patient approved for use of this new stint three years ago. The headaches are severe and my vision is at times fluctuating ...a sure sign that something is awry and may need further attention. Every time they enter my brain I have extraordinary responses and often have to relearn directionality and spelling and syntax flies out the proverbial window. This six hour procedure has saved my life and I am a human guinea pig... true...but I do have hesitation about how this is progressing. I know I am held in the hands of God our heavenly Father and would love to be able to remember the flashing images and fireworks I experience when they are exploring the Circle of Willis so near my optic nerve. I am a frigging bionic woman in many ways and the lupus continues to write pages in my journals.
Today is Tea for Tuesdays... and I have been enjoying hot green teas as I work on my quilts. I love the small blue and white tea cup and saucer. I feel like a queenly when I have my teas this way. Downstairs I also have another Large hot cup of tea for reinforcement throughout the late hours I have been working. Have a wonderful Groundhog Day... I looked for the movie but could not find it on cable today... and why Not? Only the Wizard knows the way they schedule the old movies. Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart
" Hidden in Plain View" is an underground railroad quilt that I made with eighth grade students at Bexley Middle School. The drew famous Black Americans and then we framed the transferred images in authentic African cloth. This work now resides in the student's library and is a focal point as you enter their student reading area.