Friday, July 25, 2014

The National Museum of Women in the Arts

A few of the names in the following list are well know but I hadn't heard of many of these amazing artists.

Clara Peters, Lavinia Fontana, Sofonisba Anguissola, Elisabetta Sirani, Maria Sibylla Merian, Marianne Loir, Elizabeth Vigee-Lebrun, Adelaide Labille-Guiard, Angelica Kauffman, Suzanne Valadon, Camille Claudel, Mary Cassatt, Lilla Cabot Perry, Georgia O'Keefe,  Joan Mitchell, Grace Hartigan, Alice Neel, Audrey Flack, Lorrie Goulet, Alice Bailley, Frido Kahlo.

This is a long video (25 plus minutes) but you can skip the ads at the beginning and end. I hope you enjoy it. Let me know what you think. Are women equally exhibited in public art galleries in your city as men?

Monday, July 21, 2014

"Out of Habit" Summer Reading

During my research I came across this sentence, "The name Follenfant" translates to "crazy child."
The narrator of the book, who's name was Follenfant, was introducing the reader to herself and her parents.

Imagine naming your child Follenfant knowing the meaning. It made me pause. That poor child, a girl by the way, was teased throughout her childhood and into her teens. Finally as an adult she changed her name. She ended up in an institution for the mentally ill.

The numbers of women who ended up in institutions is horrendous. Many of them were suffering from abuse, loneliness, depression. It is shocking how many women were institutionalized because they behaved rudely to their husbands or didn't seem "normal" to the physicians of the day. 

Not all of my research breaks my heart. Some is in fact heart warming. The tales of women who have lived full, happy, educated and artistic lives as Sister or Nuns. Women who loved working with their hands and brains. Women who have inspired me in more ways than I can count. 

I'm in the middle of reading Fifty Shades of FEMINISM, also for "Out of Habit" research. It's a wonderful collection of fifty women's thoughts and experiences of being a woman in today's world.  

Not all my reading has been for research. One of my favourite writers is Chevy Stevens. Her newest book That Night is a thrilling, fast paced, novel that I couldn't put down. It gripped me, brought me to tears and back again.

I hope you're getting some time for summer or winter reading. Have you read any books that might help me with my research? Or something just for the thrill of it? Let me know. Thanks.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Welding Class with Bryan Faubert: Studio 34

So today is the second hottest day of the summer (over 30*C)  and I was covered from head to toes while learning how to use a MIG welding tool. Steel-toed leather boots, jeans, long sleeved shirt, a sweatshirt over that, thick leather gloves up to my elbows, a welder's cap, dust mask, and a welder's mask! Heavy and HOT. What was I thinking!!!!

Thankfully the class started a 8am while it was a wee bit cooler and there was shade in the work area.  I now understand why welders wear the little caps under their masks. It keeps the mask from slipping and sliding around on sweaty foreheads. It also soaks up the perspiration and so sweat isn't running down into their eyes. 

Bryan first showed me how to use a grinder to cut pieces of metal into rectangles. Then how to grind the edges down (very sharp edges). Next we went on to making welding lines. Bryan's is on the left (after grinding/polishing). My first line is to the right (before grinding/polishing... not that that would help much!) After a few attempts I became more "skilled" and the lines were narrower and less blobby. 

Next I learned how to make dots. You know how much I love dots! By then I'm getting pretty excited about welding. Bryan went on to showe how to make tack dots as first joining spots. Then how to join the two pieces solidly together.

We moved on to how to hide the welding line by drilling a hole into one piece of metal, placing that on top of another piece, filling the hole with welding metal, and then grinding the excess off. See the hole on the right and the hidden hole at the pencil point. I love that trick!

  Back to clothes and welding fashion. I looked like a dork with it all on.....

where as Bryan looks like a cool welding dude. 

It was fun, scary at first, but so much fun! It's such physical work. Those tools are heavy! I wonder if they make tools that are lighter weight and have shorter reach spans? Oh and gloves for my little hands, although I adore my cool red ones!

If you have the opportunity to take a welding class, DO IT! 
Check him out.

In my home studio:

moving the image while photocopying
mark making
hmmmm there's an old woman on the right corner of the painting. Tomorrow we'll see what shows up. 
Well, that's about all the news I have today. I hope you are able to learn something new this week or next. It's amazing that this old dog can learn new tricks. Happy week to you!