my virtual art gallery…

I‘ve been doing #the100dayartchallenge2020.

I mostly post images on Instagram. Here’s the link to my profile: https://www.instagram.com/dakota1966

Friendship with oneself is all important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world.

—Eleanor Roosevelt

attention span & quotes

I’ve started writing my thoughts about the pandemic, sheltering in place, and the emotional & economic damage the virus is causing around the world, but I lately I’m very distracted.

Is that a cardinal? What day is it? Who was in that movie? Do we have chocolate chips?

Like my adored grandfather, Louis (and my big sister, Laurie) quotes have always provided a lot of inspiration when I feel a little stuck. Sometimes they work, other times, not so much.

Today, they proved rather effective. Ask me in 15 minutes though, and I might tell you otherwise…or barely remember crafting this blog post altogether. They were unattributed.

Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come.

Life is often a struggle, with little bouts of ease. I think we do a disservice, especially to our children, to teach them otherwise. We can learn from every life experience if we can wrap our heads around thinking this way.

my corona life part II…

Living—April

  1. New neighborhood signs appeared
  2. Easter Sunday—showered, dressed up, food, champagne, and gin rummy
  3. Picking the banjo, walking with Jeff, trivia with friends, a porch visit with Ellis
  4. Walking with friends, Lillian’s Zoom birthday party, making bagels, oh,the greys…& the blues too

Arriving—April

My great-nephew arrived in South Dakota. Welcome to the world buddy.

Creating—April

Unearthing—April

my corona life part I…

I’ve been thinking about how we will collectively remember this time in history. I decided to look back—photos, emails, texts, notes and more. Here’s a snapshot of my discoveries.

Now, these images show the mostly good memories of sheltering in place. I unfortunately, didn’t document my hissy fits, pity party days on the couch watching TV, dumping the remainder of the potato chip bag in my mouth over the sink, or the times I just drove away because my family was bugging the crap out of me.

I suspect many of you can both imagine and empathize.

Living—March

  1. A snow day.
  2. My rehearsal dinner dress—circa spring of 1992.
  3. Jen Wool appropriately social distancing.
  4. A multi-day March headache.
  5. Beer and trivial pursuit with the girls and Jeff.
  6. Willa visiting Joanne and Bob.
  7. Ellis stopping by for a front stoop chat.
  8. Coffee time with Karen and Jeff.
  9. Making coffee time a little fancier with my Grandmother’s china and a vintage wrap.

Unearthed—March

  1. Lucy, Willa, and Jacob at Lake Winnipesaukee.
  2. A Govoni family cookout circa summer 1998.
  3. Things I wanted to do circa 1989…I either got distracted or thought leaving 20 blank was clever.
  4. A note from my Dad sometime in the mid-90s after I had moved to Vermont.
  5. Photos of a gorgeous house Jeff and I used to house sit when we were dating.
  6. The wallet of my great uncle, that I was able to return to his family.
  7. Below, notes on my phone I found funny and insightful.

women of elegant power…

I have my own thoughts about the stories of these women. However, I want you to use your own imaginations. What we see is so subjective based on our own experience.

I will offer this though, from my perspective, they are not hiding.

“Maybe I see things from a little bit farther away—which is a good thing. If you’re an artist, you see things differently than most people anyway.” —Nicole Farhi, London Sculptor

I created this work by painting over magazine images, photographing them with objects, and then playing in Adobe Photoshop. They’re all from the pages of Vogue and Kinfolk (Nicole Farhi is pictured in the striped shirt). I found beauty, narrative, and true artistry in the gorgeous original magazine images, of course. However, when I look beneath the surface of the subjects and models there’s far more than meets the eye at first glance.

Have fun making up your own stories about these women & please challenge your initial assumptions. I had far more fun when I dug a little deeper and noticed my quick judgments & hard-wired biases.

ancient memories…from early 2020

I was going through photos today and realized that my memories from January and February seem like a lifetime ago. Us Vermonters are now in the 5th week of sheltering in place. It’s quite remarkable how much the world has changed in such a short time. WOW!

I decided to give my not-so-old images a treatment to make them appear as vintage and fading as they now feel to me. I provided captions for the images and a few links below.

“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it is a memory.”
― Dr. Seuss

  1. Spiderman ready to take on the Bad Guys
  2. Celebrating in Burke, SD https://www.facebook.com/The-Burke-Gazette-104189784512700/
  3. Ellis napping with Karen at home
  4. Jeff’s daily coffee snuggle with Karen
  5. Dinner with Chloe and the clan at Frank Day’s in Dallas, SD https://www.frankdays.com/
  6. New Year’s Eve in Burlington, VT
  7. Joan & Maggie—Trivia Night at the Saint John’s Club/Burlington, VT http://stjohnsclub.com/

all dressed up & no place to go…

I’ve been working in my studio on the #100dayartchallenge2020. I made this dress, it’s roughly Barbie size. While working on it, and on hour two, I suddenly felt completely ridiculous. Lisa, you’re a total fraud of an artist. What the hell am I doing? This doesn’t make any difference in the world during the pandemic.

I sought some guidance and landed on Dear Sugar—Cheryl Strayed’s New York Times podcast…her guest was Handmaid’s Tale author Margaret Atwood and her perspective about this time in history boosted me significantly.

Margaret Atwood…every human on the planet who has something to contribute about the story of us. And I think that that’s what’s so powerful about that moment of that understanding that, yes, we can bear witness, as you say. We don’t have to be a novelist. We don’t have to be a poet. We can do that even as a person.

This is the time to tell the story of us in whatever way speaks to you personally. Journal. Saving e-mails from friends and family. Cleaning. Music. Writing. Art. Sewing. Cooking. Reading. Making masks. Studying something new to prepare yourself for whatever comes next, or simply to amuse yourself.

It’s all worthwhile, Margaret said so.

My art isn’t going to change the world by any means, but maybe my hum of discovery, being in flow, problem solving and some small sense of completion is having some miniscule impact. I know it does on the anxiety level in my own home anyway. “Mom, go make something” has been a common refrain over the years.

I’m creating art out of nothing, using stuff I find in my messy basement studio. After hearing Margaret talk about the book Art & Energy by Barry Lord, my efforts felt a tiny bit, ever-so-slightly more relevant.

Margaret Atwood: So I’ve got a little bit of perspective, which is a man called Barry Lord, who wrote a book called “Art & Energy,” in which he connects the kinds of culture you have with the kind of energy that is supporting it…And then oil comes along. And it’s very cheap, and it doesn’t take that many people to produce it. And you get a culture of consumption. Lots of cheap stuff. But we’re now transitioning into renewable energy. And that will produce and is producing right now a culture of stewardship. 

Hopefully stewardship or some version of it anyway is what’s coming next. Just imagine all of the possibilities…

stewardship: the conducting, supervising, or managing of something especiallythe careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care, stewardship of natural resources (Merriam Webster)

Thank you New York Times, Cheryl Strayed, Margaret Atwood and Barry Lord.

north country girls…

Please see for me that her hair is hanging long
For that’s the way I remember her the best.
—Bob Dylan

And when you go, and the snow flakes fall
The rivers freeze, and summer ends
Please see for me, that she’s wearing a coat so warm
Keep her from… that howling wind. —Bob Dylan

city girls…

Thank you fashion photographers, Vogue, Jessica Chastain, and Cara Delevingne.

seeking shelter from it all…

“People live in each other’s shelter.” —Irish Proverb