Sunday Reading : (Not Only Reading)

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I used to do this series highlighting things I enjoyed reading throughout the week or things I wanted to save for myself to enjoy on Sunday. Then life got busier, we had a child. I have never enjoyed reading things on screens as much as on paper, so when I had time to read I prioritized books and zines. But I miss some of the surprising richness and connection from online media. So let’s give this a go. 

You’ll Never Find Another by Lydia Copeland

I love the atmosphere of this piece, the touches of specificity that really ground it in the body, the home, even as the dream pulls elsewhere.

These Symphonies & Operas Are Hosting Virtual Shows for You to Enjoy at Home by Megan Schaltegger

We’ve been enjoying some Met Opera productions at home. You don’t have to have some education or background on types of music to enjoy. Just listen to the music. Feelings are feelings are feelings.

Can Poetry Change Your Life? by Louis Menand

This is from 2017 but I haven’t read it and my friend Kathleen shared it with me recently. It’s a critic’s review of a book, but as with any good bit of criticism, it’s about more than just one piece of artistry. If you like poetry and/or pop music, I recommend giving it a read.

Freaking Homeschool by Sacha Mardou

This comic shares an experience that many parents can probably relate to in relation to attempting homeschooling, but in a broader sense, it describes what parents engage in all the time — a reckoning of old wounds stimulated by the presence of a child experiencing their own challenges and pains. I’m reluctant to call this pandemic a “gift”, but I do hope the forced shift in perspective encourages growth for people who survive it.

Carson Ellis is hosting Quarantine Art Club

It looks super fun whether you’re 5 years old or 60 years old. Lyra is a little too young to appreciate much in the way of direction — or maybe that’s just her personality — but I might try anyway.

People are decorating their windows with hearts and messages of hope right now by Alisha Ebrahimji

I’ve been thinking a lot about how to feel connected when we can’t be in each other’s presence. Sometimes the simplest solutions are powerful. Even better when it gives little kids ways to express their feelings.

Mom Talk: The Case for Small Magic by Erin Feher

So necessary right now.

 

xoxo

Art Domestic: Amongst Dried Flowers, Heirlooms, and Friends

This post is the first of this series to be of someone else’s home and I’m really excited about it. I have been in this home multiple times and there are many treasures there. If you’re interested in participating, check out the submission page.

xx

My name is Liz Layton, and I am sharing my home (Halldór the Cat, Mirian aka Little Cat aka Baby Cat aka Mel, the Kitten, Sid the Significant other, and Strummer the Baby) for this edition of Art Domestic!

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The piano is a favorite place for Baby Cat to roam around.  It also houses some of our art treasures.

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One of these treasures is a Christmas present, made by Sid’s mommy.  This is a fabric & embroidery piece, that depicts the “Dala Horse”, a Swedish symbol that is often seen carved out of wood, but is branded onto many materials.  The symbol originates from Dalarna, Sweden.

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Further down our dining room is this photograph, given to me by my friend and BANDMATE, (we did one show to a one person audience in our school’s painting studio, once, as The Fiber Optics, and it was not at all bad or embarrassing), Andrew Scott.  This piece was featured at his B.F.A. show.  He is easily one of my favorite artists.

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Hiding between a pearled photograph I took of a horse, and a melon colored scarf thing I use as a window decoration, is another Andrew Scott original.

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This mixed media piece is postcard size, and features a stamped astronaut, some mysterious gold script, and layers of paper that culminate into a soft surface that is gilded with crayon of the Crayola variety.

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In the corner of the living room is a piece from my own B.F.A. show, as well as a tiny golden goose thing we found from the basement of our previous house, and now use as a shelf that holds the LP cover of whatever record we are listening to at the moment.

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This is Sid’s most recent LP he’s acquired, by Guerilla Toss, entitled Gay Disco.

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Above a tiny bookcase lies an original artwork I purchased from a British artist’s Etsy shop.

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The artist’s shop is called “SeeSusieBean”, and the illustration features one of my very favorite musical artists, Grimes.

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This pleasant and exceptionally symmetrical fiber art is made by my grandmother, who made SO MANY QUILTS.  Many of her works were rather large, but I very much enjoy and cherish this pink heart embroidery loop piece, as well.  And it perfectly captures her personality- warm, sweet, old fashioned, cheerful, hardworking, precise, meticulous, prolific, and highly skilled.

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Her name was Miriam Jane (Race) Alspaugh.

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My latest acquired work of art is a print from my friend Patrik (who performs locally as Mannequin Hollowcaust).

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I LOVE seeing his print beneath the “Moon in My Room” that I gave and then permanently borrowed from my little sister.

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I enjoy the simplicity of the image, and how it simultaneously evokes a strong sense of mysticism.  I hope Patrik is okay with his print being presented within my gold spray-painted frame.  His illustration is entitled “Ominous Rituals Under Harvest Moon.”

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Our mantelpiece is my favorite place in our whole house, to decorate.  The area is divided into a warm/yellow side, and a cooler/blue tone/melancholy/ moon side.

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The piece on the left is an illustration of my family that I commissioned from the highly detailed Marie Porterfield Barry.  She is  also a very favorite all-time artist of mine who happens to be a colleague and dear friend.  The little green-gold wooden box in front of the family portrait is a tiny keepsake made & given to me by my friend Diana, who is from Romania, and can speak three languages and has an amazing family, herself.  The box holds some of my strangest tiny treasures.  Next to the family portrait, on the right of the dried yellow roses, is a porcelain (or ceramic?) tile-shaped piece that I cherish, depicting a graceful farm scene with a prominent windmill.  My mother got it as a souvenir, from the Southern California Danish community of Solvang.

Yay.

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Tori Amos is pretty well known for her song Me and a Gun, inspired by her own rape, to the extent that some people only know her as “the chick who was raped”. (Side note: This is one of the reasons many women choose not to expose themselves as having been raped.) It’s easier to see things that way, I suppose.

This version is very quiet and expresses a delicate sadness and strength, barely indicative of the courage required to sing such a song and share it with so many people. But, as she says, “I must get out of this”.

A few years ago Tori started performing Me and a Gun in a much angrier, aggressive manner. At one point she has a knife and at another point she has a gun. I don’t like the gun portion because it seems less potent and unnecessary. Yes, the song is about a gun and not a knife, but the knife functions better in her hands. Perhaps because she was actually raped by a man with a knife? I don’t know.

The point is that anger is less acceptable in female victims than sadness. I have experienced this personally when attempting to express my feelings regarding sexual assault. It’s not that I believe perpetual anger is good for people, but I believe that we have a right to our anger just as much as to our sadness.

I think that the female character in my project is holding onto anger because it’s more appealing to her than being feeling like a victim, but she cannot help straddling both responses. And in the midst of this, there are still other questions. And doubts.