3/30/23 • Mimbres and Soup

3/30/23 • Mimbres and Soup

For a person with a damaged immune system… there was one positive side to everyone wearing masks during Covid… I didn’t get any major colds. But since January I’ve been really sick twice.  My kid was home from school for one day last week… and I’ve been sick all week. sigh.

When I canceled a coffee date for today (which I was really needing!) I was feeling pretty pitiful. But just now, Eileen and Deb dropped off a pretty bag filled with cans of chicken soup and chowder!! Knowing someone cares is better than Sudafed!

This is a good reminder to me that mental state is so important, maybe even more so than physical? I've had weeks where, except for the usual pain, my body was mostly OK - but my brain wasn't. I couldn't DO anything. But If my brain feels OK, I can create, even if I'm feeling sick.

Although I can't just let myself crawl back into bed and rest - I'm not that good with self-care - I've let myself follow through on somewhat random ideas I've had.

Sorting through some older sketchbooks, I came across the material for what would become The Tangles of Santa Fe. This page of Mimbres was calling out to me!

I haven't carved anything in a while but thought these characters could be really fun to use as repeats in a painting. So I traced each design onto tracing paper with a soft pencil, then flipped the trace pencil side down onto Safety-Kut material. Safety-Kut was designed as a safer alternative to linoleum for printmaking in schools. I use traditional linoleum gouges to carve as well as an X-acto blade for the tiny details.

The black areas are the transferred pencil marks, the white areas are the carved areas. When I ink them, I'll use them like rubber stamps, and the black areas will print onto the paper. When I first started carving (about 20 years ago), it was for use on murals and painted furniture! I chose this material because it's flexible and can bend around curves. It took me a few years to realize I could also use it on paper. LOL. I really love the actual carving process too - it's like sculpting. And once I start, it's really hard to stop...

... when I had carved them all, I looked up - it was dark. My neck and back were killing me. And my eyes couldn't focus farther than a foot away. Also... hungry!

So I practiced a little self-care and STOPPED!

Exit the studio, Geeky Girl.

Maybe later, I'll actually test them out with ink.

Now, I need soup and Sudafed. I MUST feel better ASAP since the Open Studios in Lowell are this Saturday and I FINALLY have someone who can drive me!