Wednesday, November 29, 2023
Monday, November 13, 2023
Mid November. Time so Fast
Saturday, October 28, 2023
Just after dinner. Mary made quesadillas with chicken left over from the BBQ from the other day. They were great, and I'm stuffed.
Right now I'm unaccountably tired, but I've been so for what seems like a very long time, now. Ever since June. I've been having breathing issues as of late, and I've been depending on inhalers for shortness of breath. I got tested at Kaiser, and they said I have a mild case of COPD. Has to be, at least in part, my just deserts for fifty five years of smoking weed. But I haven't smoked since June. But too, there was the covid in August. I'm barely beginning to get my strength back from that. It's an evil fucking bug, designed by evil fucking people. Hell cannot be deep enough or hot enough for them.
The doc started me on a new puffer this week: just one blast in the morning. Today was the first day I haven't had to hit the tweeter since that morning spritz. Maybe it's going to work. Joys of post-middle age, I guess.
I remember when I was much younger, hearing old folks say how strange it was, because they don't feel old, but physically they just couldn't do what they did not long ago. Now I get it. Sit still, and close your eyes. Shut out all the distractions you can. What's left? Just the awareness of... you. That sense of "I am." That little microcosm of God. It's the same now as it was when you were a child. It never changes. What changes is the container, the housing.
Mine is old.
I got some small work done on the stone. I've dialed in the form of the project, and today I drilled. I'm not as accurate with the drill as I was twenty years ago, but I did an acceptable job placing the holes. I have one more to go, which is the long hole through the base. I'll need to set up the big drill, and the jig to make sure it comes out right. Then it will be the slow process of carving out the spiral in the top section while shaping the curves and tapers on the base. It all has to proceed together. It won't do to concentrate on one part at a time.
I'm looking forward to showing The Lost Era slideshow movie at the Whittier Museum next month. Nick hasn't posted the November calendar yet. I've had one niggling concern on the project, and that's the use of the excerpts from the Beethoven symphonies. I have heard that the copyright holders can cause a work to be unplatformed if stuff is used without official permission. Now this is more of a concern when using pop music, or movie themes for a commercial project. I doubt if The Lost Era is ever going to have the kind of reach that it would come up on some corporate radar. But film festivals do check to make sure that those ducks are in a row. Too, I'd like to upload it to Vimeo, or some site other than youtube
So, just to be sure, I looked up the protocols for requesting permission from the corporate copyright holder. I found a letter template on line, filled it out, and sent it off to the big office on the 12th of October. I got an email from them this last week, and traded a few notes with one of their people to clarify what I wanted to use the excerpts for. We'll see what happens.
Now I'm just running a test. Blogger won't let me comment on my own goddamn blog.
Monday, September 25, 2023
Cracks n' Stuff
It sometimes happens that the fissures don't show up until a carving is well underway, and when that happens, it causes problems.
You might guess that this is what I'm dealing with right now. At least, with an abstract figure this means adjusting the shape in progress. There is always some room for improvisation. You can't do that with a bust, or a statue.
Uh, well, umm, yeah it's supposed to be a guy with no arm, and right shoulder. I planned that way to uhh- make a statement, that's it!
Enter Starbond. The super-glue that you get at the grocery store is watered down. Starbond is the real deal. It comes from Japan, and it's a little bit treacherous to work with. You can easily weld your fingertips to each other, or anything they may touch. It come with needle fine dispensing tips so you can drip it into a crack with some precision. Even so, the fluid is very thin and it runs all over the place before it sets up. If the fissure is fine enough, the Starbond can keep the edges from flaking, and keep the fissure from spreading and causing a chunk to fall out of the stone.
Thursday, September 21, 2023
Drawing on the Stone
I haven't put up a post in a few days, because up until today there wasn't any sort of progress to show. I have been working, but this part of the project is simply staring at the stone. Truth to tell, I don't draw vey well. I seldom make sketches on paper, because I do poorly trying to translate a three dimensional idea onto a two dimensional plane. It is much easier for me to sketch directly onto the stone. It's not exactly a spectator sport. I did have an idea, and I drew it out on the face of the rock, but somehow, it just didn't seem right. I messed with it for a few days, but ended up just saying, "No." Maybe something more simple, more elegant.
So the project is underway. I know right from the gate that, unless I get some really brilliant flash of inspiration, it's probably not going to be one of my prize-winning pieces. I need to work, and I'm happy to feel well enough to do it, but I don't have much in the way of creative fire just now.
My energy level, physical, mental, and psychic is still uncomfortably low. I've made the observation before, that we do not age on a bell curve. The faculties do not decline in a gradual slope. They fall off like a series of stair steps, sometimes small steps, but more often in big ones. I'm realizing, and none too graciously, that the illness of this last summer kicked me down a solid step or two. I won't come back all the way from it. I need to accept that there has been a decline, and it isn't a temporary setback. It's a decline.
I'm realizing, too, that my efforts with The Lost Canyon Project may come to naught as well. I refer the "The Lost Canyon Project" as the overall effort to see my late friend Pete Hampton's work recognized for its greatness.
The Lost Era blog, book, and now movie are the vehicles for that effort. The blog gets very little traffic except for the Singapore scumbags trawling through Blogger to plant scams, and viruses. I have not made too much effort toward trying to publish the book, but the queries I've sent out haven't been fruitful. The Lost Era got off to an encouraging start at the Arkhaven Comic site, but traffic has fallen way off, and now it's running about the same number of views as The Little Red Hen which is simply scans of an old children's book. I've sent out quite a few downloads of the slideshow movie, and given out a few SD cards, and thumb drives. This has had mixed results. All but a couple of people who have seen it were very impressed. The flip side of that is that over half the people I've given it out to haven't bothered to watch it.
The next effort will be the show at Whittier Historic Museum. This will take place on November 11. I'll be giving an afternoon, and an early evening show. Hope I don't end up sitting there all alone. We'll see.