A dream about an ususual stairway. Dream spaces often defy logic and this is such a case. It involved a set of stairs that required climbing up, moving over a few steps, then climbing down, in order to get to the desired door. The print was my best approximation of the setting. There was no logical reason why the landing couldn't have connected to the first stairway, rather than require an additional 18 stairs up and down, but such is the nature of dreams.
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
Bought a few things (probably at the 710 store down on the Strip) that I needed for the studio. Some X-acto blades (for cutting blocks and general purposes) and some Moore steel push pins (for hanging the growing collection of Fourth of July prints on my studio wall).
Thursday, September 27, 2007
The feast day of SS Cosmas and Damian, twin brothers of Arabian birth, who studied medicine in Syria, and were well known for their skill in medicine, and for never accepting a fee for it. They were martyred and are among the saints who are patrons of those who practice medicine. But they also have a specific significance in my family. A few generations back, a family cousin was wrongly imprisoned, an identity confusion I believe. He prayed for help. One night he was visited in a dream by Cosmo and Damiani (as they are known to Italians) and told not to worry, he would be freed the next day. Sure enough, the next day the authorities realized that they had the wrong man he was let go. I'm told that for many years after that the immediate family honored the saints by attending a yearly mass at a church in New York City dedicated to the pair.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Three times each semester, those of us with a GEC 101 assistantship had to grade the portfolios of our 75 or so students. With a general education class like this, the grade was mostly based on actual completion of the assignments, though work that was obviously much better or worse than average was graded accordingly. On this day I happened to be there at the Blue Barracks, a cerulean blue quonset hut where the GEC and design classes were held, with fellow grads Shona and Armen.
Monday, September 24, 2007
Sunday, September 23, 2007
I had been told by a professor about an oasis of Italian delicacies in the region, a perfect place to pick up supplies for my Vergette reception. Took a ride out to Williamson County with fellow grads Suzanne Thomas and Kendra Kennedy, to the town of Herrin, location of Louie's P & R Grocery. As good as advertised. Not quite at the level of selection of the better Italian specialty stores in my native New Jersey, although their store-made salami would hold its own anywhere. I told a guy behind the deli counter why I was there and started passing us samples of all kinds. I left with an nice supply of olives (kalamata and big green ones), cheese, the store's salami, as well as some commercial genoa style.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Working on the first paper for my Philosophy class. This was my procedure for writing all papers during all my college years- write it out in longhand in a notebook, make corrections and revisions on the same sheets, then type it on my typewriter. My typewriter could go back on the line and erase if I hit a wrong letter, but otherwise once it was on paper, it was there to stay. It lacked the further editing abilities of a word processor, but I prefered sitting at home writing than doing it in a computer lab on campus, especially as this often took place very late at night.
Friday, September 21, 2007
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
The Newman Center used to do something that I hadn't seen before, consecrating the Blood of Christ is a glass vessel that was reminiscent of a kind of laboratory beaker, rather than in a chalice. Regular chalices were used to distibute it to the congregation, but up on the altar it was in this container.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
There were several open slots available for the Vergette Gallery in Allyn, and Joel suggested I take one. What I decided to show was this Fourth of July series in progress. On 3 of the walls I had in a continuous eye-level line all the prints from July 4 through early September. The fourth wall was mostly boarded over windows (removable panels), not great hanging surfaces, so I built a simple frame structure out of wood that could hold all the blocks to date, and leaned it against this wall. The relatively uniform size of the blocks made it simple to build these columns, and the blocks were added by sliding them down from the open top.
Monday, September 17, 2007
Printing some recent blocks from the Fourth of July series. The public printing area at the Glove Factory had two medium small etching presses and this tiny proofing letter press. With some adjustments I was able to use this press when pulling proofs of the Fourth of July blocks. After running the movable roller over the block, I still needed to hand rub a few areas here and there, but it saved me a lot of time and effort.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Joel (main print professor at SIU back then) sent me to the Daily Egyptian printing plant on campus to pick up some end rolls of newsprint. The DE was our school paper, and the newsprint it was printed on came in rolls that were about 3 feet wide, and maybe 6 feet in diameter. When the rolls got down near the end it wasn't worth starting a new print run with them (stopping to change rolls in the middle would waste a lot of time and money), so they would put the remnants on the side and load a new full roll. These remnants still had maybe a few hundred feet of newsprint, and they sold them at the bargain price of $2 per roll. I loaded several of them into my car, and brought them to the Allyn building. Installed on a holder with a cutter, each provided newsprint enough to keep the students printing for weeks.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Went to Dillinger's Feed Store today. I don't know how long the place has been around, but it had the look and feel of a business that had been established for a long time. It was a few blocks up the street from the Glove Factory studio building, near the center of town. Exactly what I was buying on this day I'm not sure, but if I had to guess, I'd say some baling wire for use for sculpture.
Friday, September 14, 2007
Art grad Shona decided to make some pesto sauce, made quite a bit, and invited a few of us over to her place for dinner. I offered to make some of my homemade noodles to go under it and she took me up on it. So I made the dough, got out my hand cranked pasta roller/cutter and made a whole lot of fresh fettucine, which I dry a little by hanging on some plastic phone cord. (non-stick, easy to wash). Eddie gave me a lift to Shona's with all my dried fresh pasta. The sauce and pasta went together very well for a tasty dinner.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
My notes tell me this relates to the literary character game, "What Kind Of Smoke Are You", where people try to guess the identity of a well known person based on comparisons to things such as smoke (pipe, cigar, cigarette, brand, etc). Animal is a common question as well. That much said, I am not sure how it became the print for today. I have a vague feeling it might be the continuation of yesterday's diner image, a post midnight discussion that I decided to use for the next day in the series. As for how the game came up, maybe something from the philosophy class two of us were taking, or maybe from a visiting artist. Too long ago to know now.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
A group of the art grads (I think it was Kendra Kennedy, Shona MacDonald, and maybe John Lustig) went to see the Student Association showing of the documentary Damned in the USA, mostly about the efforts of extreme conservative Rev. Donald Wildmon to censor artwork from such controversial artists as Mapplethorpe, Finley, Serrano, and the other late 80's artists whose notoriety contributed to the end of some of the NEA grant programs. After the film we went to the Corner Diner to hang out for coffee and cigarettes (or in my case, hot chocolate).
Monday, September 10, 2007
I was offered a ride to a party one of the art grads was throwing in her house, but on our way we made a detour at the request of one of my fellow passengers. We ended up in the dorm complex known as the Quads, at a student keg party. (Our guide was invited by one of his students.) Drinking in a dorm in a room full of strangers is bad enough when you're a sophomore (occupants of this dorm), but when you're in your mid-20's, you are definitely in the wrong place. We skipped the beer in favor of higher proof alcohol (rum with a mixer, I think) that one of us had, just so we didn't associate too closely with this crowd. When one kid recognized me as his instructor, I knew for sure we were there way too long. We agreed to split for the grad house party, which was a lot more fun.
Sunday, September 9, 2007
Visiting artist James Luna does a slide talk at the Mitchell Musuem on campus. Luna is a Native American artist who does a lot of installation/performance art. Showing a slide of his Artifact piece, where he spent days laying in a display case in a musuem surrounded by tribal artifacts, he laid down on the stage under the projected slide (head facing the other way) while he spoke about the performance.
Saturday, September 8, 2007
The Newman Center held a "Pizza and Theology" night and I decided to go. (free pizza always gets my attention) First came the pizza, far more than was needed for the number of people who showed up. Later there was some discussion, the details of which I do not recall, except for the impression that it was fairly low key, not real intense.
Friday, September 7, 2007
Scottish grad student Eddie Souter acquired a 1965 Plymouth Belvedere from one of the faculty for a few hundred bucks. For European native Eddie, it was the largest car he ever owned. A mid-size in its day, it was still pretty bulky. Unlike contemporary cars, there was so much room around the engine block that you could almost stand inside the engine compartment to work on the motor. This would come in handy during its many mechanical failures, such a transmission that sometimes got stuck in a higher gear. The solution- pull over to the side of the road, pop the hood, and reach down and yank it by hand into 1st.
Thursday, September 6, 2007
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Buying more tomatoes at the farmer's market. Most vendors sold pre-filled baskets with a standard amount, as seen here. On this day, however, I bought mine from a guy who had them loose on a tray, and I just picked the specific ones I wanted. This may have been because it was near the end of the season and there weren't enough ripe tomatoes to fill a lot of baskets.
Monday, September 3, 2007
Sunday, September 2, 2007
Saturday, September 1, 2007
Eating fusilli, probably with arrabbiata sauce made from local tomatoes. This is the lunghi (long) variety of fusilli, which resembles a corkscrew or phone cord, not the cut variety which are more like flat twists. Fusilli were always a favorite of mine going back to childhood, something we often ate at my grandmother's house. However, it was not something readily found in the supermarkets of Carbondale, so I used to import (along with some other obscure pasta shapes) several boxes from New Jersey every time I made my semi-annual trip home.