Monday, May 24, 2010

My installation

The gallery is open now so I thought I would post a picture of my installation! This is the final piece to my thesis project, all of my work (including the poetry) all in one place. PHEW!

Took a walk

Whew, it has been a busy weekend!!! But before that story, I took a walk on Friday because there were too many people and not enough cars. It was a little rainy but I got some fun pictures.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Colors of Summer

Even though it's gross out, my food is eternally hopeful. I'm going to a graduation celebration potluck picnic today and I'm bringing this summery bean salad (it's a little spicy, too).

What's in it? I thought you'd never ask.

  • 1 can of corn (strained)
  • 1 can of black beans (strained)
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 2 bell peppers (red and green), chopped
  • 1 lime's worth of juice
  • salt
  • "Tears of Joy" spice mix to taste (you can use cumin, chili powder, and whatever other spices taste nice)
In the summer when I have fresh corn, sometimes I will cook and pre-spice the corn myself for this salad, but it takes longer.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Dream Movie

Sometimes my dreams are actually movies or TV shows and I watch them the way I watch a movie or a TV show. I don't know the name of this movie I was watching in my dream but I wish I could see the end of it.

We see a quick background story of two conspiracies - good guys and bad guys. The bad guys have a bigger, strong conspiracy, and they go around killing people, etc. We see the protagonist fighting the good fight.

Flash to present day (in the movie). The protagonist has amnesia, he doesn't know who he is. (The protagonist is played by Henry Ian Cusick, "Desmond" on LOST). He finds himself in the home of an elderly couple who are taking care of him while he is completely confused. Suddenly he sees a man he knows he should recognize.

FLASH BACK - we see this man killed the protagonist's pregnant wife. This man doesn't know the protagonist, but somehow the protagonist found out this was his wife's murderer. He also seems to know he will soon lose his memory, and he repeats to himself the name of this man over and over. "I must remember this man, George X" (I don't remember the guy's last name). "GEORGE GEORGE GEORGE." Over and over.

FLASH FORWARD - The protagonist goes up to this man, confused, but knows that he knows this man from somewhere. "Do I know you?" he asks.

"Yes, I think so," George responds.

"Who am I, then?" the protagonist challenges, for some reason he feels defensive.

"Harry Gottesmann." (I have no idea where I got this name)

"And who are you?" Harry asks.

"I'm George X."

Harry gets a flash of clarity. He has to kill this man. He doesn't know why, but he knows he has to. He grabs a gun from somewhere and shoots George dead. The elderly couple are screaming. Harry tosses the gun and flees the scene.

Next scene - we see Harry racing around town, now not only trying to figure out who he is but who is George and why did he need to kill him. He goes into stores asking if anyone knows George X, if anyone can tell him anything about him.

That's when I woke up.

Sometimes my dreams are exciting to watch!

Out it goes

Needed to make this today. It feels good.

Sneak Peek!

I installed my piece in the show today... it took 5 hours, yes, five whole hours, but it's done. Installed and done. It looks so good. It's all of my thesis artwork and poetry in one place, grouped together and everything. If you've read my thesis, you'll understand it more than just seeing it on the wall, but I think even just seeing it on the wall will be interesting. The poetry will invite people to become intimately involved in my pieces, not just letting them view them from a distance.

Can't wait to see what everyone's stuff looks like on Friday!!!!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Wonky Lens

I was stressed out a lot this week and I tend to make silly decisions when I'm stressed out. Like buy a cute little stick-on kaleidoscope lens for my digital camera. And then I used it a lot. Okay it wasn't the best purchase ever, but at $6 I had a lot of fun with it.

Art in the ceramics studio seems to multiply!!

Wooden bats for the potters wheel stacked together.

My purse on the table.

Fish heads fish heads.

I-Thou Ceramics

I already posted all of this work earlier this week, but it was on display for a short time on Friday so I took a picture of it. Putting the work on display does something interesting to it, I think. I can't wait to install my pieces in the show that's opening this coming Friday!

I came up with some good ideas about my thesis topic (for future research) while I was talking about my ceramics. I've recently been thinking a lot about "I and Thou" by Martin Buber - I read it a long time ago in two separate classes ("Art Theory" and "Modern Jewish Philosophy"). I think about having I-It relationships verses I-Thou relationships with my artwork, and how that plays into the whole processing response art thing that I've been doing.

It also relates to my ceramics - I don't just make an object and then it's done. I interact with my artwork after it's finished being made: my ceramics will be used (in fact I used them at a suedah shlishi I hosted yesterday at my house), my paintings will be processed through poetry and future paintings/objects, etc. So maybe that's an I-Thou relationship.

If I remember correctly the difference between I-It relationships and I-Thou relationships is if the object of the relationship (either another person or an actual object) gives back and the "I" receives that in some way. This came up in Art Theory because we tried to figure out how someone could have an I-Thou relationship with an artwork (I didn't get it at the time) and I think it came up in Modern Jewish Philosophy because we talked about having an I-Thou relationship with G-d.

Anyway, interesting stuff, maybe too philosophical for the art therapy world but maybe not! I have a lot further to go with my thesis topic - though my thesis is done, I plan on turning it into articles, workshops, and presentations. My goal is to present at the 2011 American Art Therapy Association conference!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Shabbat Shalom.

(Picture - Shabbat sunset at the beach in Tel Aviv, summer 2008)

Some weeks it means more than others.


Termination Paintings

Termination is what the end of a therapeutic relationship is called, but a lot of times (it seems) it becomes the word for the end of any relationship. And the end of a relationship a lot of times involves exchanging gifts that show that you recognize your relationship and value it.

For my termination pieces for the staff at my internship site, I made these paintings (they're all about 2x4"). I then used a directive that I used in my class: I laid the paintings out on the floor and asked people to guess who they belonged to and why. This exercise encourages people to talk about each others' strengths and what they value in their relationships, so it's not just about me but it's about everyone.

In the future when I have a long term group, I'd like to do something like this where everyone makes pieces for other people and then we all try to group them together or something like that. It's really neat. But I think it would be even better if there were multiple perspectives - these were about my relationships with the staff, but their relationships with each other are different, so they notice different things than I do.

Each one represents my relationship with that person and something I noticed about them. :)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Final Ceramics

My final work from my ceramics class! I knew I made my best work right at the end. Almost all of this was made in one sitting (wet) and also one sitting for glazing. I just glazed them quickly because when I try hard to make things look the way I want they often don't. But these look quite nice (and some look professional I think!)

I have more work not pictured here, some mugs I made a while ago, but aren't as nice as these.

This little jug is a "commissioned" piece from JewishGuy who asked for a little pub jug to put water in for his scotch. I made another little jug, which is really cute, but it's SOOOooo small (and I don't have a picture of it right now).

This (above) is a little flowerpot because I accidentally carved through the middle so I embraced it!

I REALLY like the way this last bowl turned out, how the blue is on the bottom, very cool.

Anyway, I left all of these at school because my critique is tomorrow and I'll just use these in the critique.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Curious Assistant

I love how she looks straight into the camera.

And then something interesting was happening to the side -

And she just quietly posed while I took the picture. She's such a model assistant.

(This is the art/guest room, currently full of Passover stuff that needs to go away in storage before my parents come in town for graduation and try to sleep in this room)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Thesis Readers Thank You

I am doing termination pieces for EVERYONE UNDER THE SUN. For real. I've done so many for so many clients, I've done some for coworkers, some for teachers, and now here are the pieces for my thesis readers.

These are about 7.5 x 10.5. I've been using this fancy paper for the termination paintings and the paper really does make all the different with watercolors. Wow.

These paintings I'm making for people are about how I feel about our relationship. Some of them have poems on the back, some of them have messages, some of them don't say much of anything. They're for the receiver to interpret how they want.

I'll post more termination objects after they're revealed to the people who will receive them... as I'm pretty sure my thesis readers aren't reading my website, I think it's safe to post these (I will give them to them tomorrow and Thursday).

Thursday, May 6, 2010


I made labneh to bring to class on Sunday as part of an Israeli-style breakfast I was putting together with my breakfast teammate. We had labneh, hummus, pita, eggs, and tomato and cucumber salad. It was a hit.

Labneh is really easy to make. I'm making it again next week actually for my final critique in ceramics (it's a potluck and you're encouraged to bring your food in a dish you made this semester).

My labneh recipe:

1 tub of plain, unsweetened yogurt

1. Mix salt into the yogurt, to taste.
2. Put a colander over a deep bowl, layer the colander with cheesecloth, and dump the yogurt into the cheesecloth.
3. Leave this for over 24 hours. I put it in the fridge but apparently it doesn't need to be in the fridge (and possibly some of the sourness comes from the spoiling yogurt haha)
4. Turn over into a bowl/plate/whatever.
5. Dump some olive oil on it. At this point adding zatar might be tasty but I didn't have any.
6. Eat with pita (and salad).

This is now the second type of cheese that I know how to make. I also make mozzarella. Okay, I have made it a few times. In any case, I have some classmates who want to come over to make their own mozzarella cheese with me, and I think that could be a very fun afternoon thing to do (and then eat some cheese with fresh tomatoes and basil, yum).

My thesis has been submitted!

(Spring in Chicago, so pretty!)

Today was a crazy day. In the end, I submitted my thesis. I ruined the ending, but that's okay.

I finished editing my thesis last night for reals. Then, this morning, I realized the title page was wrong. Okay, I can manage that. I fixed the title page in the PDF, saved it to three different places (email, CD, data stick), and left for school to print and turn it in. Printing happens, not to big of a deal, I have the forms and everything, I'm done done done! Right! I'm so happy.

I go to the office to turn it in. No, they say, we won't accept this without signatures from your readers. But it doesn't say in the manual that you won't accept it without signatures! We won't accept it.

I was really upset. I had to sit down for thirty minutes to compose myself. I reserved only a small number of brain cells for this activity and I didn't have enough brain cells left to manage turning this in next week. It has to be done today.

I went back to my thesis advisor and got her signature. I ran to the train and went up north to my internship site to find my second reader and sat outside her office while she was in a meeting so that I could get her signature. I then raced back down to school and sat outside the classroom waiting for my other second reader to get to class to sign the paper. She signed.

Then I went upstairs armed with two copies of the signatures and forms and thesis and extra envelopes and paperclips in case what I had wasn't good enough. It was. I turned it in.

Okay that doesn't sound so crazy but it sure felt crazy.

Next up, thesis presentation on Tuesday!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Scribble 8 : Connections II

I tried to adapt my group to the new circumstances but it didn't quite work out. This was 35 minutes of work, that's all the time we had. I continued with the theme of "Connections" since I didn't have any group members last week.

With this one I actually had an idea in mind for what I might do. I thought of how drops of water are individuals but when they get near each other they fuse to form a group: a puddle, a pond, a lake, an ocean. I thought that was an interesting way to think of connections: a relationship, a community, a nation... Unfortunately I didn't have enough time for these drops to actually fuse together, so now I just have a bunch of independent drops floating in space.
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