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Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Unruly Mystic, Waiting like a box of chocolates

Still in the wrapper!
This movie, directed by my college buddy and life long friend, Michael Conti promises to lift me out of my routine, ...my self.
 Its about Hildegard of Bingen, a medieval visionary...a woman...a writer...a composer.. a polymath considered by some to be one of the most important (and controversial) figures of the Middle ages.

I'm waiting for an evening when I get home from work early enough to curl up with my lover and a bowl of popcorn... a real treat ... Maybe this Thursday?
Watch this trailer: The Unruly Mystic
Michael is a true artist. He works magic. Years ago, while visiting me on our chicken farm he made a fun film about chickens and art...a link is on my website.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

I'm a working girl again

At the end of the day my plants make good company.   #gratitudelist



Saturday, August 13, 2016

The well is full

Like this giant dusty tap in the Sacramento sky, I am poised for the school season to start again. Reporting back to my class room in Miami last week, I truly had returned home from 7 weeks of family gatherings and solo studio work. (Teachers are so lucky to get summer off)

Sorry about dropping the blog this summer. There was so much going on in my head and so much writing for my newest project that I didn't have the words left over to share. I started an Instagram account!!! If you are on it too, look for me as Tilly Strauss. It's perfect for sharing pictures with less commentary.

It was a great summer. I did work that I am very excited about... but can't share yet. Through a serendipitous meeting of friends and old books I have gathered fodder to fuel the passion that got me into teaching in the first place. My goal right now is to be the best teacher I can be. I will be teaching 2 painting, 2 drawing, an art history and an AP studio class. The schedule leave little room for much else.

Time to turn on the tap!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Pulling out of the dark ages


The distractions have mostly been in my own mind. I can't believe that I am already in my third week here. Time is a great gift, but it isn't everything I hoped it would be.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Checking in a week later

I am able to use my studio walls to map out a larger art history project.
Every day I research, try to write 2000 words, and paint the images that come up for me. I barely do anything else. Thank God I have a work grant and have to show up in the kitchen to prep meals, as it is the only way I meet people. It's been cold and rainy and that helps keep the focus tight and inside.

First I struggled with authorship and having the right to write my own art history. One quote on my wall is: I will not be afraid to imagine new narratives for famous old works. I think this is going to...this has to involve sex, religion and politics.
Calling the hundreds of female sculptures found from the Paleolithic period "fertility figures" seems a bit dismissive to me. How were the distorted body forms affecting the women of that time? Some think the works- the tiny stone/bone carvings and clay sculptures- are the product of women artists working on self portraits without mirrors. That would explain the extreme foreshortening, the tiny feet and the almost non-descriptive heads. The research woke up my "inner Barbie", and all the vexing standards for female beauty that still haunt women.
my constant companion

never done, never good enough

my inner Barbie


Monday, June 6, 2016

A Really B*I*G gift

#Vermontcenterstudio #IlovetoPaint Yesterday, I flew into Burlington and drove through the rain to Johnson to be presented with my lovely, huge, empty studio. Here I will suffer, play, struggle, and rejoice for the next month as I do what I love best- make things!

I'm on the top floor, and back end of the Kahn barn. I love VSC!!!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

My favorite ingredients

for a birthday meal:

the potato and a suitcase.
It's one of my life's best and simplest pleasures.
My bags are packed.
Tomorrow I head out to my painting residency!