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the various and sundry creations of sylvus tarn

magic window


cropI've been without power and water (though generally not at the same time! [well, excepting camping, but that was by choice]) and it sucks, so my sympathy to all those folks in Texas (including a sister-in-law and some nieces) currently suffering. My own studio roof is developing stains because we've been putting off roof repairs owing to COVID; water leaking in one's housing envelope just plain gives me the heebie-jeebies.

I was gonna say that, living in a midwestern state where the temperature can and does vary between 0 and 100 degrees F, we don't go days without power or water, but that's not true; back when I lived in a poor, mostly Black neighborhood, we lost power all the time —and for much longer than I experience now; and I have never had the city shut my water off for hours at a time for a week or two running except while living there. That's what I think of when people talk about ‘environmental’ racism.



cropToday's page has been in the queue since last March, and as I have been waiting 11 months for Valentine's Day to roll around again so's I could post it on the day, by gum that's exactly what I'm gonna do.

For those of you not into Valentine's Day, since we're having the coldest week so far this winter (thanks, polar vortex), it seems appropriate to feature snow crystal pix again. If you'd like your natural beauty a little more warm and sunny in nature, about this sweet vid of monarch butterflies?

Or you can take a gander at what is likely to be the only posting for this week, cuz I gotta lot to do. Enjoy.



cropWell, all the stuff in process last week two weeks ago is still in process (& likely to be next week as well, at the rate I'm going). Will try for some more pages later this week, but in the meantime, I might as well dump some links, which are likely more interesting than my scribbles anyway...

So I'm old enough to remember Reagan, and his demonization of government, so I find this essay (NYT) about a post Reagan presidency interesting. The short version for those unwanting to click (or use up their free NYT articles) is this theory that there are 40–60 (i.e. 2 generations) cycles of governmental theory—Roosevelt's New Deal was one, then Reagan came in with his Greed is Good government-is-the-problem approach, and even the Democrats were working with that framework, or, as they used to say in my salad days, paradigm. Now, though Biden himself is very much a centrist and pragmatic, the overall zeitgeist is MMT, UBI, and the like. Personally I'm ready. More than ready.



cropWhoopsie, sorry about the broken page—I goofed and left out an all-important slash from the path. It looked fine in the local version, I swear!

Sorry, too, that I kinda fell down on posting, but I've actually been busy making art:) Speaking of which, here's an old film of some very famous Impressionists, made at the dawn of the movie age—Monet, Renoir, Degas...I used to fantasize, a bit, of being a woman artist back then, possibly because in addition to be an exciting and beautiful approach to painting, it was really the first time where there seemed to be women painters (I mean there was Mary Cassatt and Berthe Morisot...) but aside from some obvious problems (such a lack of boldness in my art) evidently all the big names smoked like chimneys , and I'm violently allergic to tobacco smoke. (This was a problem even when I was a child, never mind the late 1800s, and I'm deeply grateful the smoking laws have made so many public spaces, like restaurants, accessible for me.)



cropHeh, the projects in process I've been mentioning intermittently are still...in progress! So that's this week's theme as well, works in progress.

Just about all artists have the dreaded WIP, or worse yet, UFOs (unfinished objects—basically WIPs likely forever abandoned...)

This is why artists talk about the ‘journey’, and the ‘journey's’ value to developing one's art, blah, blah, blah—because more often the destination is a mirage, and even if you do achieve it (on some level or other) then it's boring, and on to the next challenge. Ahem, WIP.


cropYesterday we had a bit of whimsical architecture with an actually interesting (& serious) backstory; today's interview, with June Williamson, an associate professor of architecture at the City College of New York, and Ellen Dunham-Jones, a professor of architecture at the Georgia Institute of Technology, discusses a more serious, and ongoing, shift in suburban architecture. It's not just the single family homes with large lawns, multi-car garages, but commercial properties such as malls as well that also no longer serve, on the one hand the empty nesters who'd just as soon not do all that maintenance on the now too-big house and lawn but young people who would rather exchange close-by cultural amenities for larger living quarters.


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