Saturday, January 30, 2010

No Time in the Workshop

SOVA Scream, digital photo

While photographing the snow earlier today, I noticed this ready-made--my hat atop a folding clothes rack. Photo OP! I removed the background and cloned the light bulb.

Looking at seven inches of snow from the upstairs' bathroom window, I realized the short walk to the workshop would require boots! (It's the second building on the left; the first is a small guest house.) Everything is white, including our red tin roof. The lake, though, is mud-colored.

Not a great week; my husband had back surgery on Monday--we left the house at 5:45 AM-- and he came home on Tuesday. I have not turned into Nurse Ratched yet; I prepared for this by ordering watercolor sticks and I've been playing in the house. I also experimented with walnut ink (matches my floor) and a walnut stick. What's the advantage of a walnut stick over a pick-up stick and a q tip?

Nice things happened, too. Our next-door neighbor brought chili, cornbread and cookies this morning and there was a sweet potato pie tied to my front door knob yesterday. Does Botero need an older zaftig model?


  1. SOVA Scream is cool. You know you have a bright idea when it's multiplied 3 times...

    Nurse Ratchet is ok, just don't turn into the Kathy Bates character from "Misery". I hope your husband recovers quickly and may he be free of pain.

    Mmmm... chili and cornbread on a snowy day. Can't get much better than that.


  2. Hi Don. I forgot about scary Kathy Bates, another role model.

    Talking the builder into installing about 12 of those lights upstairs was not easy. It's loft-like and small; I wanted the simplicity of pulling a string wherever I needed light--they work well and are easy to change.

    Dave's surgery was not major; he got a titanium X Stop implant in the lower spine, a relatively new procedure. Hopefully, it will alleviate the pain of stenosis--he's able to walk around the house so I avoided nurse duty.

  3. Hi Hallie - so sorry to hear about your husband's surgery and hope that he mends quickly. Your neighbors are precious, and my mouth is watering over the food descriptions! I suspect that your sense of humor prevents you from being the nurse from h-ll, and that your husband is lucky to have you!

    "SOVA Scream" is whimsical, well-constructed, and - most of all - memorable. You ARE unique, skilled, and original and that's the most an artist can hope for.

  4. Your photo is just so quirky, so artful, so... YOU!! I absolutely love it. You amaze me- how you see and frame ideas and concepts.
    Sometimes the threat of Nurse Ratched is enough to motivate the "patient" to behave! : ))
    Sounds like you have wonderful neighbors. Can't wait to see what you do with your new toys.
    Here's wishing you and hubby peaceful and swift healing.

  5. Thanks Kathy. I've always suspected that humor and sadness are separated by just a couple of degrees. I can laugh or cry--flip a coin. My neighbors are the best!

    Pam. Quirky? Years ago a critic described my sculptures as quirky--it seems to fit. I think I see characters in objects because I'm still that child finding shapes in the clouds. Thanks for the good wishes (this too will pass).

  6. sweet potato pie!
    Best of good health and healing to your husband.
    Nice snow pics :) and the 'sculpture' is reminding me of something....oh, I know, the Magritte painting with the guy in the hat, I think there's an apple in it...Do you know which one I mean?

  7. Hi Indigomar. When I was writing the blog, I was going to mention Magritte. I googled him and looked at that painting; other than the hat I didn't see much resemblance--his was a suit, a hat and an apple. I thought I might be recalling the wrong artist, sculpture, or painting. Definitely reminds me of something.

    With a man's hat it would probably look like an Hasidic from NY or Amish--next time; maybe a Mr. and Mrs.

    Thanks for the good health wish--he seems better.

  8. So you live by a lake and have a separate,nice looking studio! AND a guest house that could be a get away for cranky old nurses that want to paint instead of being a nurse!

  9. Yes, Sue. The guest house is a B&C, though, not a B&B--bed & coffee; I don't do breakfast. And, right now, you need to be a contortionist to walk through the workshop.

  10. Hoping you husband is doing great after his surgery. We are fortunate to live in an age where there are so many medical advances! I love what you wrote in your comment: "I've always suspected that humor and sadness are separated by just a couple of degrees" made me think of my Mom, who had a very difficult life..but she was perpetually funny. It was her coping mechanism. She didn't like people who were "too serious" and I agree with her. Your hat and clothes rack are quite beautiful, whimsical and poignant. All of which is supported by your narrative.

  11. Hallie, hunker down and hope that your hubbie gets well quickly. No fun being a caregiver. Love the quirky sculpture -- it's really you! What an imagination -- can I borrow some?

    Stay warm and I look forward to see your in-house production work.

  12. Thanks, Celeste. My husband's doing well, thank you--he's one of those "serious" people. Today is our 47th anniversary; I was 20 and from the South; he was 29 and from NJ; married at DC Criminal Court on payday. We had nothing in common and little money. Humor is a necessity; tolerance and space are important, too.

    Mary, thanks. I like household objects that are fun; there's a duck broom in the guest house. The problem is my guests think it's sculpture and are afraid to touch it; they come in and borrow my ergonomic broom--it has a curved handle and looks like a wall sculpture.

    I performed out-house work today; I shoveled around the back door (shady spot) so I could get to the trash cans. I hope to play with my new toys later.

  13. I'm late in my response Hallie - just too busy with my renovations. Your sculpture is precious. It made me look closely and laugh. I think you're right about the few degrees of separation between laughter and tears(or other variations). I wish your husband a speedy recovery. From past experiences I know the value of good neighbours in the hard times.

  14. Hi Margaret. Renovations are a bit like surgery--tough to get through. You're right about the importance of neighbors; ours are first-rate. We're the Commerce Street Gang.

  15. Hi Hallie,
    I hope you and your husband are doing well! I wish your husband a good and healthy recovery! Back problems...such a pain!

    I love your photo! It reminds me of the very clever commercial on TV where they see smiles in all sorts of inanimate objects. I love the double meanings and visual puns. So wonderful to find them ready made!

  16. Hi Peggy. Yes, back problems are a pain.

    My hat hung on this rack for a least a month and I thought it looked like a tall skinny person. I didn't realize it had a face until I moved it around to catch the light from the window. I think I had the same expression when I saw the snow.

  17. I love the first photo - it looks like a Magritte!

    The second is so interesting. It must be such a different view - so stark - than you are used to seeing. I think it is interesting that the only color is from the mud colored lake.

    Best of wishes to your husband for a swift recovery (of course, I'm a bit late in commenting - so maybe he's well by now. I hope so.)

  18. Dan, thanks for the wishes. Dave is doing well.

    I guess I could have called the second shot through the window "No Shadow Saturday." I enjoy the "Shadow Shot Sundays" on your blog.