The Mnemonic Whale’s next phase (a plan)

News: The Mnemonic Whale is ready for its next manifestation (whether I am, remains to be seen). I invested in getting the print custom-framed at Luke’s Frameshop to protect it from getting torn further by the cat, but also so I could mount it on top of the shelf.

My goal is to modify a wooden file box I found for free at a garage giveaway by cutting out mini drawers to hold index cards. A recent book I picked up inspired me to try my hand at a card catalog (more on this in later blog posts). The file slots of the box are still up for debate with purpose, but I’m thinking of documents. The box would be attached at the right-facing end of the whale, while a couple small paintings will adorn the left-facing end.

My long (probably remaining life-long) goal is to eventually fill each LOC section of the whale with a book I make. One of the doors may even hold a tiny video and sound display. These are all just ideas that are swimming in my head at the moment of course. But I would truly love to bring them to fruition someday soon.

My favorite mountain: landscapes and the body

Mt. St. Helens is my favorite mountain. Granted, if she blew up right in front of me, she may not be my favorite mountain (since I'd be drowning in lethal hot ash). But in her current dormant state, I can appreciate her up close and personal. It's more of her energy that I'm drawn to than her specific location or shape. I couldn't quite describe what kind of energy, but my sister put it best when she sweetly said, as we were playing with our bare feet in the white dust diagonally from Spirit Lake – "This is a wounded place".

Things that passed through my mind and our conversations during our hike in front of Mt. St. Helens (in no particular order):

– the 6th extinction
– whether La Croix is a suitable substitute for desert hydration as opposed to bottled water
– abuse
– existing and extinct ecology
– global warming
– body modification as means of protection/defense
– Roxane Gay's book, Hunger
Native Americans
– bodies being soft verses being hard
the terrible people that almost destroyed me completely
– how orange, purple, and yellow are my favorite wildflower color combination.

The dichotomy of women's bodies and the earth have been discussed for years and years and years. Describing parallels from my end will only ring very cliche, but I recommend reading Woman and Nature: The Roaring Inside Her by Susan Griffin (1978).

(Of course I'd also be interested in finding references that stem from more recent intersectional feminist perspectives – i.e woc and non-binary).

I'm glad my sister and I are closer.

Rambling post about deinstalling the Mnemonic Whale, barcodes, coloring, reference and the tactile


Untitled collage

The Mnemonic Whale officially left the Working Library this past Saturday. It was a slightly messy deinstallation, which consisted of my friend and I sweating and struggling not to knock over the bookshelves as we pushed and pulled to get that box out of there. Finally, Rory (WL’s co-founder) walked over and turned the box at an angle and gracefully removed it as I stood there gaping like a sweaty, embarrassed doofus.  I’m pretty grateful to of had the opportunity to show in WL, and I hope to come back in the coming weeks to see how those shelves will be transformed by the resident artists.

It appeared that most (all) of the items in the whale weren’t taken or traded, but two books were added (one in the N section and one in the Z section).  So I had to lug back bags of books and music home, but I plan to donate them somewhere soon. Although the use of the whale didn’t go as I had hoped, my partner in deinstallation told me at least it was the thought that counted.  Now my cat and I will have to figure out how to best utilize it in my studio.  I’m also planning on creating some shelves within one of my paintings (made out of a wooden shipping pallet) for archival documents and photographs.

Thoughts about art-making in Old Portland: Given the rising tide of demolitions and new, glassy, expensive apartment boxes within the past 10 years – “Old Portland” to me equals anything that has existed since the ’90s and before. The East Portland Eagle Lodge 3256 has existed since 1965, and it may meet the end of it’s life soon.  My friend and former co-worker Lacey has been hosting a coloring book night on Thursdays, where she brings art supplies, puzzles, and her colossal collection of coloring books.  It’s been giving me an excuse to sit among friends, work on a painting inside an old vessel, on a desk next to a mural from 1983, and over-looking decor from the ’60s and ’70s (including what I believe is a rhinestone eagle).  I think once you realize a place will be gone, you want to soak in the space/history as much as you can. The process of art-making alongside others can be a therapeutic way to do that.

Thoughts about work: To save time, it’s usually helpful to just scan a book’s ISBN barcode into OCLC Connexion to bring up search results instead of looking at the copyright page.  But sometimes that ISBN barcode is covered with a store/price barcode and that ancient barcode sticker is glued on tight and no amount of peeling will remove it entirely.  Of course I become all interested in the layered/torn barcodes – and initially I thought it was just a purely visual fascination but I just remembered that it equally has to do with touch.  Texture, rubbing and peeling are all a large part of my painting process, and I don’t think art-making would be worth it to me if the roughness wasn’t there.  I do love copy-cataloging, and I’m looking forward to learning how to catalog from scratch.  I also love being a reference librarian, and although this summer term has brought less students/hours, there are still needs. Last week, an older gentleman came in looking for our hardbound issues of Life Magazine.  When he found out that they had been thrown out to create space, he seemed pretty upset.  Luckily, we both learned that Google Books had digitized the exact issue from 1950 he was looking for. Although he wanted that tactile feel of turning the pages, what we found for his initial request was an example of the benefits of digitization and that librarians can still be involved in providing access.

 

pinhole and paint

Untitled collage (1)

About two years ago, I purchased a Zero Image 2000 6×6 Basic Pinhole Camera from Blue Moon in St. Johns. I was inspired to do so by my friend Kimberly, who had one of her own. I was sort of scared to use it for a long time because I hadn’t tried film photography in many years, but I was always interested in double exposure (an effect that I try to mess with in painting). I finally got the 120 black/white film developed, and the results were pretty messy (as I expected).  While having a drawing night at Fat Straw on Hawthorne with Rachel and Jesse yesterday, I borrowed some of Rachel’s gouache paints and doodled on a couple prints.  Time will tell, but I hope to develop a collection of interesting prints in the future (hand-modified or not).

 

April the Giraffe (waiting for that birth)

April the Giraffe (waiting for that birth)

roughly 23.5 x 7.5 inches

mixed media on canvas

 

A tiny rendition of the abandoned Club 21 (which I’ve never been to) is in the upper right side. I am so ready to be done with this painting.