Thursday, June 18, 2009


This will likely be a rambling post. After a few days away from blogging it seems I have so much to say and absolutely nothing relevant at the same time. I am not new to irony.

The photo I posted yesterday was taken when I was at the Guelph public market last month. I had stood in line to get an ounce of wheat grass juice and this delicious ropey thing was coming out the other end of the grinder. One end juice, the other end green, unusual ropey-thing. The woman making the juice grabbed a piece off and tossed it to me (I guess I was eying it rather hungrily). It looks like a martian dreadlock to me but I loved the texture and the way it would swing around in the air. I took a few shots of it before I let it go as it was rather inappropriate for me to carry it around for the rest of the day.

This afternoon at Riley's school we had the volunteers' cocktail, thanking everyone who donated time throughout the year. And we had real wine and a nice little spread. The kids present ate all the cupcakes and drank all the juice boxes and the adults ate all the shrimp and goat cheese and drank from the more potent boxes. All this at 3:15 in the afternoon. For all the bashing I give this city and its culture, I have to take my hat off to those who are up to having a tipple in the afternoon, in the school library no less.

I also went to the municipal library this morning, hoping to stock up on some summer fiction and came away with five books. One Grisham from 2005 which I don't remember reading but in 2005 Riley was two years old and any spare time I had then I chose to sleep. I also picked up the Stephanie Kallos that Beth had recently recommended, a Katherine Center book recommended by Sherry Lee and I forget what else. There is no possible way I will read all five within the three week time allotted but it's nice to have a fresh pile of fiction waiting for me.

I have been puttering in the studio too, with somewhat discouraging results. While doing some Wrecking (or rather, trying to do some Wrecking in my Wreck This Journal) I am realizing how incredibly retentive I am when it comes to creativity. I guess that is a good thing (the "recognition", not the "being") because although it has been kind of a disappointing week in the studio, I think I have learned a fair amount and found some other avenues I would like to explore. I have been trying to do gel medium transfers, my first few were dismal. No, beyond dismal they were ineffectual and turned my piece(s) into scrap. On the counsel of the Queen of Arts, I trotted off to Bureau En Gros for some sheets of acetate, but could only find projector transparencies for ink jet at an ungodly price. I ended up buying a package of 5 for about $15. I received a lovely scanner/printer for Christmas last year - the Epson 800 Artisan and today discovered that it doesn't print transparencies because it doesn't "see" them. Poo. I am glad my vintage 2002 Epson Stylus had some ink left because it does print transparencies although the colors it prints are not true to what I see on the computer screen. Double poo. I have been working on a piece for my friend Tammy for her birthday next month. She has recently gone through a difficult separation and has two very young children and a needy schnauzer, not to mention a day job and a full mortgage. I wanted to make something special and for some reason I thought it would involve a transfer. After two tries (complete with sanding in between each transfer) here is a detail of today's adventures:

I transferred more than I wanted, in the way of text surrounding the dragonfly and less than I wanted in other detail and am just feeling like Bill the Cat, AAAAAAAAACCCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKK! (Reference to Opus earlier this week). But I think it is still salvageable, might even turn out nice enough to not hide away in her bedroom.

On the positive side I have had a lot of fun and experimentation with photography, not that I have anything concrete to show for it beside the tag I posted on Monday. But if anyone has any helpful hints about gel medium transfers, I'm all ears - what you print on, the length of time you let the ink sit, how much gel medium you use and how long you leave the image on to transfer, I would love to hear from you, anything that has worked for you in the past, even if it hasn't been consistent.

A special thank you to all the teachers out there who are winding down their year and saying good bye, with joy or reluctance and a few pangs, to their students. Hurray for teachers! You will never know the difference you make in so many lives.


Snap said...

Teachers ... have jewels in their crowns. Amazing people. Can't help you on the gel transfer - haven't done one yet, but it is in my future! Small world....Katherine Center is my neighbor. We actually know her husband more than Katherine ... she has her hands full with the kids and writing. He teaches school -- cool guy.

Brenda said...

I can't help you with gel transfers either, I've never been brave enough to try - on my list of things to do. It seems strange the way you guys and the US have their school years - we have ours for the actual year starting at the beginning of the year and ending at the end, hmmmm. Teachers are wonderful, I think they are crazy as well but thank goodness for them.

Kim Mailhot said...

love the green wheat grass rope - how cool is it to see art everywhere ?
Glad to know Riley's school takes good care of its volunteers ! When I was teaching in Chateauguay and on the West Island, so many of the parents were unbelievably committed to playing a big role in their kid's schooling which I think is so very, very important ! What a great team parents and teachers can make when they really work together ! Love the social teas too - a little sip at the end of a day is so sweet every once in a while ! ;)
Looks like you have some juicy stuff to read this summer ! I am a speed reader - I read each of the Harry Potter books in about a 36 hours period and therefore often read books twice. Summer vacation is definitely my favorite time for reading though !
I say don't get discouraged with the "ugly" art that may come out of you. One thing a great artist friend told me once was that she really loved only about 1 out of every 10 pieces she did. She learned that the "ugly" pieces were priming the pump and teaching her little pieces of stuff that eventually poured into the pieces she did fall in love with. Giving yourself permission to make ugly art frees something up, I think !

How's that for a rambling comment ? And I haven't even giving you anything about the Patti call the other night...I will send you an email later ! This is enough for here, I think !;)
Happy Friday, lovely Kim !

Beth said...

No wonder I didn't know what your Wordless Wednesday thing was!
Wine at a school function - how very civilized. Never had the pleasure.
Hope you enjoy the book and have you noticed I'm never any help with your art questions? But I do love seeing your creations.
(My comments are rambling, too - rambling is good....)

oreneta said...

I know NOTHING about gel medium transfers, but I have heard that the printed colours and the colours on the screen are often different, it takes some experimenting to figure out how to get what you want.

Good luck with it!

The dragonfly might not be what you had in mind, but I think it has a lot of potential. Like it.

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