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the various and sundry creations of sylvus tarn

9apr2014

Today's boingboing linkie is Neil Gaiman reading Blueberry Girl, illustrated by one his favorite artists, Charles Vess (whose work I like very much). The poem, evidently written for Tori Amos’ daughter (and I like Tori Amos’ work too;), is delightful. Yeah, I'm wanting out of the ‘Debbie Downer’ mode.

Speaking of blue, today we have a bluebird of happiness...

Enjoy.

8apr2014

Boingboing has been running Banu Garu for awhile now, but only with the last episode was I actually able to see any of the pages. It's a fascinating look of an american mangaka's history with an animation company, Gainax. The author starts out by noting she suffered the triple whammy of trying to publish a 1)anime inspired 2)indie 3)female authored comic in the 80s. There's a reason I'm only now considering attempting this, and it's not just that I had to wait for the technology to catch up.

While sitting on my hands over the comic making, meanwhile, I've been getting back into stringing.

7apr2014

Now that I've got all the plant hangers & 3hole tassel necklaces posted, I'm filling in with the rest of the tassel series, starting with this piece made, or at least photographed, in September of 2010 (in the same sessions as the cobalt 3hole, in fact...)

One of the reasons I do this blog is to document my work—my memory is so flaky I'd otherwise forget it, as for today's piece, which I'd totally lost track of until I started documenting the tassel necklace series. I barely remember stringing it, and have no idea where it is now. While having holey memories is good for letting go of grudges, it can be sort of frustrating for keeping track of one's artistic development: in a very real sense, the blog is an external hard drive of my own head.

Enjoy.

4apr2014

Today we're doing boingboing linkies:)

Historical comic books includes Larry Gonick, of course, plus some other interesting looking books—to which I'd add March book I of a series of the Civil Rights movement from Congressman John Lewis’ perspective—man wanted to be a preacher, and ended up a politician instead! Not only that, the publisher, Top Shelf, is offering there product line DRM free—kudos to them:) That was our February read for the comics society. March was women's month, so we read Fallout and this interpretation of Marie Curie's life—interspersed with other history—fallout as it were—from her discoveries, is a tour de force. The art is unusual too, being hand-colored cyanographs. A fresh, modern approach to the form.

Cory Doctorow weighs in with one of the many plagues facing modern ‘copy’ culture—but his column, the seven samurai method for defeating patent trolls proposes we find each other on the intertubes, kick in a bit a la indiegogo and kick these arseholes to the curb. I have to stop reading boingboing sometimes because it's so damn depressing, but folks proposing solutions these multifarious problems, which are after all less awful the spectre of a nuclear war/winter (the nightmare of my generation...) make it just a bit simpler.

Daniel Stoupin's video of sea creatures is lovely (if slightly creepy for the internally-skeletinized) with gorgeous photography—brilliant color and crisp detail make the most of the that Hi-def. Alas, as someone with internet access below that of Bulgaria's, it was frustrating to watch because it kept halting.

Finally, though actual article is interesting enough boingboing's commentary—that the experiment worked because a) the land of Oz is less litigious, but also they have full universal health care—was the interesting part So a kid's broken arm is likely not gonna be that big a deal. And actually, f2tE did something very similar—and we didn't even realize ze had a greenstick fracture for a couple of days...

Oh yeah. Necklace. Here ya go.

3apr2014

Yesterday I discovered this artist via one of the TNC comment threads, and I was pretty impressed—beatboxing, flute-playing, drumming, chanting and rap—five techniques! (Oh, and dancing too.) Makes me look like a piker, the most I've done (in one piece) is three. Plus a really cool outfit, with beadwork:) —If I had to guess, Native beadwork is probably what ignited my interest in beads.

Speaking of beadwork, today's piece features one of my focals, but was strung by another artist, a customer who commissioned the bead. (And tomorrow, with any luck, I'll be posting the necklace that a customer wanted to see, because she commissioned a focal based on a necklace that came out of this piece which was inspired by this earlier piece...

I love this sort of recursion;)

2apr2014

So my April Fool's joke is that, of course I'll have my post up and ready to go on April Fool's....ha!

Ta-Nehisi Coates has three, count'em three new posts up, all with comments. For awhile there, I thought he'd perhaps had enough, and was going to closed comments only: he was (and is) pretty discouraged by the death of Jordan Davis.

Mr. Coates reminds us (again) that the shadow we see on the wall—his writing—is not him: his mandate is twofold: to see the world clearly; and to write it cleanly. But to see the world as it is, is profoundly depressing. In his case, it is the fact that this country is built upon the stolen lives and labor of black folk (it pays to remember that after the land itself, slaves were the single biggest asset in the Union by the Civil War). That is as it should be: as a black man, TNC is qualified by nature, experience and interest to use that lens.

But his frustration and fury (and sadness) is not unique to him: f2tY finds zer philosophy class fascinating—but also highly depressing. Atheism isn't something I joyfully embraced—I wanted heaven, the opportunity to live (and make art) forever. Giving up that immortality was probably the single most painful experience in my life; mostly for selfish reasons but also, as I eventually realized (being neither so generous as my child or Coates) that it meant everyone else also only got the one life, which meant there was a very great deal of injustice and cruelty...that could never be balanced out.

THC notes that he's still learning: about the terrible history of Poland, ravaged alternatively by the Germans and Soviets; about the native peoples whose land we stole...

I am of a more hopeful mien, perhaps. In between mourning the fact that someday I was gonna croak with little to show for it (or that the world would end in nuclear holocaust, which meant everybody else would croak with nothing to show for it either, and our past would be lost as well) I used to wonder why there were no (famous) women artists until recently. Why no female Michaelangelo, or Da Vinci?

I know the answer to that now. At least in some places and some times, men as black as ebony have had power and prestige. At least in some places and times, golden men, red men, brown men have had power and prestige.

So far as I know, women have never dominated any land, any culture, anywhere, anywhen. We're still waiting. I look at the backwards progress we're having for birth control and child support (the latter of particular interest to WoC, who have the difficulty of getting to birth babies they want, as well avoid ones they don't) since I became an adult. Are black folk in the US making little to no progress? Indubitably: the marginalized always suffer the most, and wages have been flat for the bottom 4 quintiles for three decades. They are paying the heaviest price. Are women still at 70 cents on dollar, still the sex class, still disproportionately suffering from poverty, sexual and domestic violence? So far as I know, they are. Pretty much.

Yet, in other ways there is progress. Gay rights (which I've seen convincingly argued as a subset of women's rights) have made incredible strides. Life expectancy and wages have increased worldwide, while infant mortality has gone down.

There is no way to live a pure life: cruelty and injustice are everywhere, woven into the very fabric of our existence. I acknowledge it, and do the best I can. Because there is also art, and beauty, and the sweetness of being alive.

Sad or happy, sometimes, all one can do, is put one foot in front of the other.