Witness sleepy Otto immediately after yesterday’s art zoom, where he was leaping, diving, knocking things over, running between my leg, chasing his sister and threatening to tear the house down. Carol & I enjoyed chatting and sketchbooking with a core group of women we’ve been meeting with since summer. It’s been fun getting to know everyone the last 6 months.
For most of our Zooms I planned everything carefully like the schoolmarm I am, but then for the last 2 sessions I became gloriously lazy and decided to just have us all work in our sketchbooks and chat. I felt okay about this since they were “bonus” sessions that I added after I fulfilled the promised summer sessions of Zoom. My favorite part of the entire session is seeing what everyone is working on inside their sketchbooks. My art practice has fallen to the wayside as I’ve become immersed in school life.
But I feel like I’ve got my head above the waves for now. Let’s see what develops.
I’ve taken an interest in following some artists on Substack who are writing blogs on their art process. This is terribly important I think and very inspiring. I will never abandon Instagram entirely, but I’ve always favored books over short stories. And when all the short stories start moving I can’t keep up. It all feels a bit manic to my slow way of absorbing content. Especially when thousands are doing it all at the same time. I remember when a video was such a rich pleasure, such a promise of some extra bit of treasure. Now it’s headache inducing and my favorite quiet artists are getting lost among advertisements, promotions, and reels.
Even on Pinterest where I go sometimes for drawing or painting reference there are so many moving ads.
In other news, after a dozen or so years, I gave The Orange Chair away on Craig’s List. A young woman and her boyfriend came for it in the dead of night and carted it off the porch and into their waiting vehicle. That chair gave me a lot of joy and I know it will keep inspiring all who gaze upon it for decades to come. I wonder if it will have a view onto the world.
I ordered a new-to-me chair from Kaiyo which repurposes and recycles used furniture. It’s a sort of wingback number. You’ll see soon enough. It too is moving to a new house (mine!) and inheriting a new caretaker. My nearly 60 year-old self needs a more comfortable spot to rest her generously proportioned tuchus. In the meantime, I moved the couch in front of the window. Coffee and books and cats and windows with a view.
Porch life Greece 1964. Can you spot me?
Boats and gouache on black paper. That’s what I did while connecting with everyone in the Zoom yesterday. I kept working afterwards. I hope to do more in the coming days. This is the last week of school before my three-week winter break. Santa Cruz here I come!
It’s been raining again and everything is newly fresh and alive. I walk out of the house in the early morning on my way to work and have to pause for a long look and a deep cold intake of air before I climb into my chariot and head off across the freeways to Chinatown.
Our December bulletin board. Very haphazard. I just staple the art on with whatever else the kids want me to put up (candy canes!) Despite being an artist I have zero interest in bulletin board displays. They’re always on the wonky side. We almost never have proper headings, but it’s festive and bright and I love looking at it every single day as I come into our classroom.
To see the Substackers I’m following (not all are art-related) click on my old-school blog links tab in the menu bar at the top of the blog. I love getting their newsletters in my inbox. If you want to get something similar from me, you can subscribe to my blog at the bottom of the page and my post will appear in your email just like magic.
Sue Irvine says
Dear Mary Ann, I’ve been worried about your trip to Santa Cruz. I hope you were completely safe. And that the weather didn’t ruin your vacation! Thinking of you! Much care and concern, Sue
Laura Bray says
I’ve been enjoying Substack as well and am often tempted to move my blog over there. Have you considered doing one? I just hesitate to add another place to be online…
Sharon Nullmeyer says
Aww , somehow I have missed so many zoom sessions . Life has got in the way and I didn’t put them in my calendar .( big bummer ) I have fallen down the Substack rabbit hole and have dreams of starting one . ( can’t wait to check out your faves as I generally agree with most of your book selections ) . I have added a black sketchbook to my
list and hope the orange chair is beloved in its new home . Happy holidays ! I hope your Christmas vacation is amazing . ( love Nulls)
Kathy Wipff says
You’re the only one in the Greece photo who looks happy, contented. Gotta be you!
Lori Gallo says
The colors outside your picure window are breathtakingly beautiful.
Winter break time is almost here–have a wonderful time! That classroom bulletin board is fantastic–SO cheerful!
Syd McCutcheon says
Love the pic in Greece. Can’t believe you let the orange chair go !! Enjoy your vaca in Santa Cruz. xo
Diane Moline says
Hey, there, Mary Ann. As usual, a lovely, relaxing, gentle post with your way with words. Just FYI…My blog is still quite active and It’s All About Arts. And has been since 2008. Love it if you would take a peek, maybe check out a few random posts? I would love some more readers, especially those attuned to art, books, travel, and the jewels of life.
Mary Ann Moss says
Diane thanks for the reminder. I added you to my blog list. I hope everyone will check you out, you have some wonderful posts people are sure to enjoy. Your art is lovely!
Always good to hear of your goings on be it art, cats, or travels during school breaks.
My dearest friend since junior high lives in Santa Cruz. It’s a wonderful area for walkers. Lots of gardens, cottages by the sea, a sunken battleship and a hidden restaurant that has its own funicular for guests!
Enjoy your peaceful break!
Mary Ann Moss says
I love hearing about Santa Cruz. Thanks! A sunken battle shit and a hidden restaurant? Sounds right up my alley!
Irene Rafael says
Hello Mary Ann, I was so happy I was able to carve time to see you, Carol and the gang Sunday. I only had a few days in Chicago but it worked out perfectly with everyone’s schedules. The continuity of this small community has become something I look forward to. I think we have become a little bonded, don’t you? I am not great with checking emails so hope not to miss your announcement if you decide on a future Zooms. Both having a prompt or free form work. I feel like I have ADD when I sees the fast moving reels and it sounds like it is not just me. I have tried some real time short videos on IG but am not thrilled with the process. I will check out Substack in the future. I meant to ask if you were on your break but you answer that question it here. Happy holidays and enjoy Santa Cruz. PS I love the family photo from Greece.
Mary K. Shaw says
Pronto, I am putting a black sketchbook on my art supplies list. What a fab way to zing up my doodles. Many thanks for sharing your life in lovely, wonky, non-moving stills.
Mary Ann Moss says
Mine is a Derwent purchased on Amazon. Enjoy yours!
Deborah Pierro says
Hi Mary Ann. I’m sorry I missed your last two Zoom sessions. Just have been preoccupied, I guess. Have a wonderful holiday season!
Faith McLellan says
Whooohooo! Thanks for this update, especially the Substack newsletters! I’ve added them all to my list… More reading 😉 Happy holidays from la belle France!
Mary Ann Moss says
I love hearing from you, Faith dear. xo
Diane Perin says
Oh! That bulletin board! I want that wall in my house! And your new chair looks perfect. I too hate all the moving parts on IG. The peace of pictures was exciting enough for me. You have earned Santa Cruz. I look forward to seeing what you get up to there.
Sharon Chapman says
IT HAS BEEN AWHILE FOR A COMMENT BUT WANTED YOU TO KNOW MY FACE AND HEART LIGHT UP WHEN I SEE A POST FROM YOU. I never miss reading your posts.I love the picture with the orange chair because your picture window looks like a framed artwork by itself. Have a wonderful well deserved holiday. Mary Ann.
Ps cute picture of you. What were you contemplating?!
wendy richardson says
greetings Mary Ann,
as always, thank you for posting. i enjoy them so much.
might you need a book suggestion for your holiday break? i just finished When Women Were Dragons. it’s kinda looong, but delightful, funny, timely, woman-supporting, sad – in a ‘life is real’ way. i didn’t realize until the end credits that it was about a real person. then i liked it even more. i did audio👍 at times, i thought it was a fairy tale or a YA book. but, it’s clever and good.
Lovely as always Mary Ann