Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Hanging shows

First, some garden pictures. This is the most amazing Viburnum ever. Yes, it's a huge family and I don't remember the name of this particular Viburnum, but the variety is called Spring Dawn. It set the buds back in October and has been blooming ever since! It does that every year. And the flowers smell wonderful.

Here's my Katy McFadden sculpture at the foot of the viburnum.

One of the many hellebores blooming right now:

The Chinese paper bush. It's supposed to bloom in December, but mine is always late. And in years past, it only set the buds but didn't bloom. We'll see if these actually do anything this year. They smell wonderful, when they do open.

The chard and the leeks are still standing! I wonder if they're still any good...maybe they'd be tough?

OK, the rest of the day: today was a 'medium duty' volunteer day, just PAN and the library. Helped Sarah finish putting up the March exhibit by putting up those adhesive letters/signs. I hadn't done that before and didn't know how they worked. So now I know! Good thing to learn.

No studio work today, just volunteer duties and some Portland Open Studios errands. Tomorrow, I'll be at RSM the whole day, meeting with both seniors, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

Then, the Big Day—I'll start to mock up books for both seniors on Thursday, my first day in the studio this week. As I was walking from PAN to the library, I came up with more ideas for the books (walks are even better than showers sometimes). Here are my current thoughts, obviously subject to change once I get started:

1. I want all 6 books to look similar on the outside—same size and similar (if not the same) covers, but to differ drastically on the inside in structure and materials. Superficially, I see the elderly as a homogenous group (except for my American mom of course!), and I think probably most people do. They seem frail, forgetful, slow moving, & dependent on their children/helpers. And of course, they look old, which to many of us is something that is 'other' than our own state (which might be completely delusional). But of course, the reality is not so. My 2 seniors are as different as night and day, and I'm sure the others will be different still.

2. For my first senior, something ephemeral, delicate, and fragile (she is, I think both physically and mentally). For my 2nd senior, something bold, expressive, and sharing.

Not sure how I'll pull off the 'same on the outsize, drastically different on the inside bit' yet.


chele said...

I've been reading your blog since the Bainbridge show (I live on beautiful BI) and enjoying it immensely. I even bought a Gocco and hope to figure out how to use it soon.

I've not had anything to say before, but today's post made me a little uncomfortable. I'm 61, and in the past year I've gone from an active and engaged full-time writer/editor at the University of Washington to a telecommuter with a chronic illness who feels like @#$@#%. I can't get out of the house without assistance from friends, and I'm suddenly very aware of being old.

Your posts about your seniors have definitely lumped them into a group -- I was pleased when you gave them names (Rockstar was one, I think?) -- but you've gone back to considering them as a group again. It made me feel small and marginalized when I read that. (And yes, intellectually I know that I'm the only one who can make me feel small and marginalized, but....) I think if you make all the book covers look the same, even with wildly different interiors, you risk marginalizing the books and your clients (?) as well.

Anyway, I'm having fun reading about you and your art (I'm a bookbinder and musician as well) and I hope I haven't said anything offensive. Rock on!

PS I never knew that Portland was such an amazing artistic volcano until I started reading The Last Bedroom.

fingerstothebone said...


Thank you so much for your comment, and your willingness to say what's on your mind! That you're a bookbinder yourself makes your comments very valuable. I hope you'll start sharing your thoughts/ideas more often.

(What instrument do you play, btw?)

My thinking about the covers being similar or the same stems from the awareness that it is a mistake that many of us make (of lumping the group together). I was hoping that the books can point out the mistake by creating constrasting interiors. And as people read through the books, their ideas/opinions are changed.

I want to create something where the superficial is just that—superficial, and that it's only good for about the 5 seconds that it takes to open up the book.

As I'm typing this reply though, I think maybe your point is that it's not OK for even 5 seconds?

I think I see that. However, how do I get the idea across that this is what people DO do? I think most people are entirely unaware of it, just like we're unaware of all our other prejudices until somebody else points them out.

So...maybe it's time for another walk or two to think about this. Let me know if you have further thoughts on this. Please do keep sharing your ideas!

I'm sorry to hear that you've developed a chronic illness; I hope there's something that can be done to improve your health.

Here's to better health (and health care), and getting wiser!

gl. said...

i know i'm not in the target group, but i love the idea of the same covers as a way of conveying preconceived homogeny! very much a "don't judge the book by its cover" sort of statement.

also, sven (hearts) Katy McFadden sculptures.

fingerstothebone said...

I hope the 'target group' would be everybody! The seniors will each receive 7 copies of their books, but I hope the rest will be viewed by people from grade school and up.

Michael5000 said...

LOVE the hellebores.... Yummy...