Asking for Help. Step 3: know who to ask

A month ago I had a few posts about
asking for help, soon after the revelation
that I am asking-for-help-impaired.

Step 1: admit it, everyone needs help
Step 2: realize that asking is connecting
Step 3: practice asking for both small & big things
(Expect and respect that some people will decline,
nothing personal. Also, remember how you like
to help others. Most people don't mind and often
are honored.)

Improving involves both learning to ask
many people for the small things, because
you just never know, and knowing who to
ask for the big, important things. Still
working on asking many people and not
worrying so much about bothering them.
But not just anyone can assist me on a big
project like my current one, and I found
her! Meet Trish.

Trish is helping me create a few bowl
forms out of sewing pattern paper, mod
podge, gel medium, etc. When done I will
inscribe the poems of LouAnn Shepard
Muhm on the inside of them. Read more
about our incantation bowl collaboration
here and on LouAnn's site here.

Trish jumped right in and is keeping me
company too, since my tolerance for
repetition is incredibly low.


That feeling of Asymmetry

It has been two months since the surgery that
removed half of my thyroid and a tumor. I am
feeling grateful... and asymmetrical. Not sure
how to explain this asymmetrical feeling, but
it must be a sense of knowing something that
was once there is now gone. I know, I know.
I am still healing, be patient.

Asymmetry (2013), 9"x12" on paper
NYC subway, Scissors, thyroid region drawing,
My running path near home in green
(Made during a Commit2Create online class
with Kari Maxwell, karimaxwell.blogspot.com)
Normally, I am grateful for more daylight and have
a hard time tolerating the complaints about weather
from other Minnesotans this time of year; it is their
attitudes that make this time of year more unbearable.
But these historic low temperatures and snowfalls are
creating another sense of asymmetry. There are
supposed to be glimpses of Spring by now. I know it
should be there, and expect mud when I step down.
Where are the budding leaves and light-weight
jackets? When the green grass attempts to grow
lately, another 3" of snow will cover and suffocate it.
I know, I know. Patience, young Skywalker, patience.
Reaching (2013), 9x7"
felt, embroidery thread, acrylic paint
(Made during a Commit2Create online class
with Kari Maxwell, karimaxwell.blogspot.com)
When I explain asymmetrical balance to my
students, I say, "To achieve it you can not depend
on a symmetrical, predictable system. It is hard to
define when an asymmetrical work is done, except
that it feels balanced and complete...You aren't
done yet. Persist, but try to enjoy the process
without forcing it."

Like most of life, this feeling of asymmetry
requires tolerance of uncertainty. Healing and the
weather are unpredictable, asymmetrical. While
doctors have statistics and weathermen have fore-
casts, artists and teachers know better. We have
the present, and will be slogging through the mud
and wishing for Summer soon enough.


After 5 years, "i am water" is home

After its five year tour through 14 states, I unpacked 
my 2-panel, painted collage i am water last night. Is 
it possible to be envious of a well-traveled artwork? 
I did accompany this work to New York during my
2007 solo exhibit at the SOHO20 Gallery in
Chelsea, but since then it has been touring with the
group exhibit The Veil:Visible & Invisible
Spaces to college campuses all over the United

In 2010, I got to view the veil exhibit when it was
at California State Dominguez Hills near L.A.,
just before it was taken down. During that 2010
trip, I repaired the fragile sewing pattern paper
edges of the work, so it could endure three more
years of travel. It held up well since then, much to
my relief and that of the curator, Jennifer Heath.

Unrolling the 2-panel painted collage last night, above.
It is still in great condition, despite being mainly
made of sewing pattern paper.

Me and the poet, LouAnn Shepard Muhm
Just after this 2007 exhibit at Finlandia University
in Hancock, Michigan, i am water
began its five year journey.
i am water has the words of my poet
friend, LouAnn Shepard Muhm, block
printed upon it. The two panels read
like this:

i am smoke                   when i can be
more often i am water 
in the shape of               my container

The Veil: Visible and Invisible Spaces press release:
The Veil: Visible and Invisible Spaces is an exhibition,
curated by Jennifer Heath, of thirty-six works of art,
each of which considers The Veil, its many manifestations
and interpretations and puts veils and veiling into context.

Visible and Invisible Spaces intends to engage received
wisdom about the veil - particularly current clich├ęs and
stereotypes about Islamic practices - and to reflect on
the great ubiquity, importance and profundity of the
veil throughout human history and imagination. Visible
and Invisible Spaces asks artists to investigate the veil in
its broadest contexts. The exhibition will be divided into
three categories to be interpreted widely: The Sacred
Veil, The Sensuous Veil , and The Sociopolitical Veil.
Visible and Invisible Spaces, however, is not a
documentary exhibition.