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beads, wire, flowers

 Franz Eugen Köhler, Yarrow, Wikipedia Koeh-149 

"To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee, One clover and a bee, And revery.  The revery alone will do, if bees are few."  --  Emily Dickinson

I'm onto my new project, The Glass Prairie.  The installation will be exhibited at Art on Armitage this March.  It has taken a few rough starts to get the hang of twisting wire into the shape of leaves and petals.  The most difficult bit has been learning how to hold the wire for obtaining the proper twist.  A twist placed at 90 degrees will result in a round tipped leaf while 45 degrees will provide a pointed tip.  

My first flower is yarrow (Achillea millefolium), a common garden plant, but also a native North American wildflower.  I didn't figure out how to do the feathered look of the leaves until after assembling it, but I think it still has a fair resemblance.

 ©2010 Lindsay Obermeyer Yarrow Buds

 ©2010 Lindsay Obermeyer Yarrow Buds with Leaves 

 ©2010 Emily Obermeyer Yarrow


radiation poison

 ©2010 Lindsay Obermeyer The Curing Ritual

"A wise man should consider that health is the greatest of human blessings, and learn how by his own thought to derive benefit from his illnesses."  -- Hippocrates

There is nothing like scaring yourself witless before you've had your first cup of coffee.  I made the grand mistake of reading the news while waiting for the water to boil.  In today's New York Times, there is a horrifying article on radiation poisoning, a subject of which I have more than a little familiarity.

The title reads "The Radiation Boom:  Radiation Offers New Cures, and Ways to Do Harm."  The use of radiation in the treatment of cancer isn't new, but the method of delivery is.  The new generators are extremely powerful.  Without proper use, they can burn a hole right into you.  Humans are humans, so mistakes are bound to happen, but for some reason (probably money says the cynical me) nothing is being done to regulate these monsters of healthcare.  We have inspectors for elevators, commercial kitchens, school buses etc., but no one is regularly inspecting these machines for malfunction.  

My own experience is not atypical.  Radiation treatment has its side effects.  In my case, they've included a second round with cancer as a direct result of radiation exposure, scoliosis, dead nerve endings throughout most of my abdomen, and an inability to conceive and that's just for starters.  Scratch the conception bit,  I was told if I did happen to conceive, the fetus would most likely be miscarried.  If it did survive and come to term, I would have a child that would die within a year.  Just to make sure I got the point, my specialist at the time told me I was likely to face a child that would be born with three legs, no hands or some other major complication.  What a nice visual image for a 15 year old, don't you agree?

But I'm lucky.  I'm lucky to be alive and I'm lucky that my treatments were in 1974.  I didn't face the risk today's cancer patients do.  I'm not saying radiation should be eliminated from the doctor's medical kit, but I do advocate for regulation.  In the meantime I think we patients would do best by asking questions about the machinery being used on us.  Is the filter in place?  How's the computer working?  One small question may annoy the technician, but it may also cause a life changing double check.  

The above piece, The Curing Ritual, was part of a triptych now in private collections.  The base cloth is embedded with a cyanotype image that was then heavily embroidered and beaded.  It dates from 1993, a few months after my thyroid was removed due to cancer caused by radiation poisoning from the first cancer's treatments.


big blue in denmark

 Cool-globes

"Our generation has inherited an incredibly beautiful world from our parents and they from their parents.  It is in our hands whether our children and their children inherit the same world."  --  Richard Branson

I've been poking around on the Internet looking for images of Big Blue (aka Adjust the Thermostat) in Denmark.  And look - there she is!  She's not too worse for wear given that she's been to Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles and now Copenhagen in the past 2 years. 

I love the layout of the globes around the city.  Aren't they visually striking? 

 A1d32661-b0a2-49bc-b844-69380bfd44e2C_0057_1.JPG

For more, take a look at this blog.  You can also learn more at Cool Globes Denmark


a prayer and a thank you

 566px-Vodoun_dwapo George Valris

"Overwhelmed by my own life, but severely humbled by it's ease compared to some."  -- Melissa Chakmakian

I can't imagine the horrors currently being experienced by the people of Haiti.  I watch the news and check for updates every few hours, hoping and praying.  I have no physical connection to the country, but I owe much to its culture.  The voudou drapo (voodoo flag), such as this one by Haitian artist George Valris, was my initial point of research as a young art student and the primary influence for my collection Visions of Paradise.

Contrary to the stereotype perpetuated by Hollywood, voudou is not a dark magic, but a religion blending traditional West African beliefs with Christian ones.   The drapos represent certain saints or spirits and call upon them for help.  

Help is needed now.  You know what to do.  Give blood.  Send a financial donation to the Red Cross International Response Fund.  


direction by design?

 Fromamazontopatterns

"Design can be art.  Design can be aesthetics.  Design is so simple, that's why it is so complicated."  -- Paul Rand

The patterns lurking beneath our skin are an endless source of fascination for me.  My entire Chirurgi series investigates this subject.  But where do I take this work next? Do I continue in this vein or do I take the work in a different direction?  I'm working on a new series connecting the fragility of our ecosystem with French beaded funerary wreaths (more on that at a later date), but these patterns, they continue their grip.   

I found this book at the Victoria and Albert Museum's book shop.  What a book shop!  I could have spent my mortgage there (literally, one book I wanted was $175).  It's an exhibition catalog from a 2008 exhibition at the Wellcome Collection, one of my favorites.  In fact my entire graduate thesis portfolio was derived from research at this magnificent history library and art collection. 

What I find fascinating is the partnership between science and design. Plates, ties, curtains, you name it, all receiving their design cues from crystal structures.  Could my little gouache studies be used as the base for such?  If so, where to start?  Paper products such as cards and wrapping paper?  Mugs?  Rugs?  This leads to next question - do I ultimately dilute my other work by moving these sketches into design?

 ©2010 Lindsay Obermeyer cells3


sleepless in chicago

 ©2010 Lindsay Obermeyer Josie Asleep

"Many things - such as loving, going to sleep, or behaving unaffectedly - are done worst when we try hardest to do them."  -- C.S. Lewis

What do you do when you can't sleep?  I've been up the past 2 hours pondering this question.  

I know what not to do.  Don't think about art.   That's right.  If you are trying to get back to sleep, don't dream and scheme about work in the studio.  I've been making mental lists of all there is to do and finally got some paper and a pen to make notes.  Great.  But now I'm wide awake, yet too lethargic to move.  Then there is the dreaded thought that if I don't get back to sleep right now, I will be tired all day, need a nap and then be unable to go to sleep again at night.  It's very defeatist thinking, but a loop which I can't seem to escape at the present moment.  

I've tried reading, but I'm too distracted to follow the plot.  I drank some herbal tea.  I've poked around on the Internet and played endless rounds of Word Twist on Facebook.  But still that mantle clock tick tocks the minutes into hours.  

If only I were a Josie, then I could sleep anywhere at anytime.  


becoming jane

 1
 "The enthusiasm of a woman's love is even beyond the biographer's."  --  Jane Austen, Mansfield Park

I am becoming slightly obsessed with Jane.  Mansfield Park is the first book up in the book club I've started with Good Reads.  It's proven a great antidote to the tedium as I recover from pneumonia. 

For Christmas, my daughter and I received a membership to Netflix.  What heaven!  I place a movie title on my list and it arrives by post a couple of days later.  I've been indulging in period films and simply fell in love with Becoming Jane which is a fictional biography of Jane Austen's life.  I say fictional as liberties were taken, but still the movie is charming and rooted in historical fact. It is filled with the strong, independent female characters I expected and the cinematography is lush.  Besides, anything with Anne Hathaway, James McAvoy or Maggie Smith has my vote.

 5 

And the costumes!  The costumes are gorgeous.  I'll take one of those hats and that dress, oh yes, and the gorgeous cape please.  

Other films recently watched are Miss Potter and Atonement.  Both are beautifully acted and again, the cinematography is lush.  Miss Potter has my daughter planning a backpacking trip across the Lake District for our next visit to England.


Cool Globes Makes Front Page - In London!

 Cool Globes The Times
"The good news is we know what to do. The good news is, we have everything we need now to respond to the challenge of global warming. We have all the technologies we need, more are being developed, and as they become available and become more affordable when produced in scale, they will make it easier to respond. But we should not wait, we cannot wait, we must not wait."  -- Al Gore

There I was in London on the Tube (subway) pretending to not read the newspaper of the fella sitting next to me, but of course, I was.  Featured on the front cover of the December 7, 2009 issue of The Times was a picture from the exhibit Cool Globes:  Hot Ideas for a Cooler Planet.  Though my globe didn't appear anywhere in the paper, several other globes were.  They were being used as "bullets" to highlight facts and figures from the UN Conference on Climate Change.  Wow! I was stunned. I wanted to do a jig.  Instead I settled for nearly accosting the fella reading the paper explaining to him why I was so excited.  At my stop, I went straight to the newspaper kiosk and bought a couple of issues.  

The next day I received an email from my dad telling me he spotted a globe in The Denver Post!  He was such a proud papa.  The increase in publicity is probably due to the fact that the globes were in Copenhagen during the time of the conference.

  Cool Globes Denver Post
 What I love about this exhibit is the emphasis on solutions rather than complaints.  Each globe provides a solution, big or small.  My own globe is called "Adjust Your Thermostat" (aka Big Blue) and features a large 32lb / 14.5K sweater.  It refers to the simple idea of putting on an extra layer during the winter rather than turning up the heat which saves on both energy and money.  An easy win, win.     


Winter 2010 Sale!

  ©2009 Lindsay Obermeyer Greta
 
 "Laughter is sun that drives winter from the human face."  --  Victor Hugo

I've reduced prices by 20% on wide selection of hats and scarves at Enjolive.  Each item is handmade by me in wool, alpaca and various blends, including a with few cashmere.  Help me clean shop so I can make room for my new spring line!  

These are just a few of the delectable items on offer:

 ©2009 Lindsay Obermeyer Georgette
 ©2009 Lindsay Obermeyer Victoria
   

 ©2009 Lindsay Obermeyer Arabella  ©2009 Lindsay Obermeyer Autumn 

As always, custom orders are also taken.  


intentions, resolutions and other rumblings

 ©2010 Lindsay Obermeyer graffiti

"Is your glass half empty or half full? It's all a matter of perspective."  -- Mom

Last year was a half empty year.  Actually, it felt bone dry and parched.  There was so much change on the domestic front. The selling of my childhood home.  The closing of the family restaurant. Break ins and drive-by shootings.  And for the finale, walking pneumonia.  There was so much negative mojo that it was hard to feel the positive.  And  yet there was much to celebrate.  An artist-in-residency at the Ragdale Foundation.  Two and a half weeks in London.  The sale of artwork despite a poor economy.  A closer relationship with my brother.  Plus good friends near and far that helped me weather the stormiest times.  As always, Mom is right.  It's all a matter of perspective. 

I've been thinking about 2010 and what I want from this year.  Do I dare say it?  I want to live off of the income derived from my art.  I had accomplished this goal in my 20's, but when I became a mom with a mortgage, it became a herculean task to continue.  So with this new goal in mind, I am making a few changes around here.  

First off, I'm Getting My Sh*T Together.  If you've ever seen my desk, then you know it was declared an urban excavation site.  No more!  Over Thanksgiving, I cleaned up my office, filed everything into the appropriate files and recycled the rest.  Now it's time to do the same with my computer.  I no longer want to be that artist who does everything in a rush at the last minute.  GYST is business software for artists.  Sure, I have my inventory on an Excel spreadsheet.  The resume is kept up to date.  But everything is tucked into different nooks and crannies.  I want it all easily found with the click of the mouse.  Nice, huh?!

With organization comes the need to focus on a business plan.  Yep, a map detailing where I am going.  I hate writing business plans.  They are tedious little buggers, but they help one stay on track.  I have a tendency to panic about money, take on five to six part-time positions and let the studio take a backseat.  No, no, no!  Not this year! Organize, budget, conserve, and explore. I'm only keeping those positions I truly love and not looking for extra.  Check back with me this summer.  I may end up having another garage sale to make ends meet, but I don't think so.

Of course, all work and no play makes Lindsay a dull gal.  Today I read a Facebook update from Jane Sauer, an amazing artist and gallery owner.  Her recent battle with pneumonia taught her that a balanced life is in order.  Amen to that one.  It's hard, because I love the work I do, but occasional breaks are necessary.  I've signed up for French lessons which I cut last year when the budget became tight.  I sold a piece of art and am investing that money in me and not just the studio. 

I'm also back to the gym.  After last spring's scare with my health, I stopped going.  I know it doesn't make sense, but it was after a workout at the gym that I felt the need to make the initial doctor's appointment.  I should walk and in this weather (a balmy 10F), it's only comfortable at the gym.  While in London, I walked everywhere.  My back pain disappeared.  Fancy that.  Walking makes for a stronger abdomen and hence a stronger back.  I can be so dull-witted at times.

At this point, it all seems fairly simple.  Make a list.  Follow through.  Check it off.  I know it's not this simple, but I am determined!