Break Week 1

So the first week of my break is now effectively over. I have made a large dent in the to-do list that built up over the past 3 months, and I feel good about that. But it also means no real art output.

I did go buy a bunch of stone, though. I have a vision for my final sculpture project, and I hope to use it. I might have gone overboard, alas, but it’s stone, and you can never have enough stone. Besides, it’s all small(ish) pieces, and thus easy to move around. It will all be turned into beautiful things.

I took it to school and stashed it on a shelf for future use.

I also crossed the border back into the US to mail the usual pile of holiday letters. Turns out it’s cheaper to do that, even taking gas and driving time into account, than it is to mail them using international postage here.

And I’ve been making custom protective tips for my chisels. That way I can transport them to and from class without them banging into each other (and getting dull) or cutting through the new tool roll my wife has made me. My solution came from the internet and involved masking tape and Plastidip. (But note, if you try this, the tape is on backwards — sticky side out — so it doesn’t stick to the chisel itself. Instead, it keeps the Plastidip from sticking to the chisel. Interesting idea.)

Later today I will go download a demo copy of Rhino CAD and start trying to figure it out. That will let me get the fix for my headphones created soon(ish) and I can go back to using those sometimes, which would be good.

Oh, last night I went to an art opening. The woman who heads up the fine arts department at my school — Stephanie Aitken — was showing watercolours, which is a bit unusual for her. They were very interesting, though, and the comparison between them and her oil paintings is fascinating. I couldn’t get a photo of her — she was surrounded by adoring fans — but I did take this:

I think that pretty much sums up my news for the past week. The rest is all the drivel of ordinary life that makes for very boring storytelling, though I did discuss exactly that with my friend Ducky during a walk this week. She remarked on the fact that the minutiae of everyday life don’t get included in literature, and I went off on a rant about how boring that would actually be. Sorry, Ducky.


All the other interesting links are elsewhere in this post, so once again I have only the Art School Post Index. So you can see these stories in order if you want to.

Maybe I need to rethink this section?


Reader KV requested puppy pics last week, particularly of Tinkerbelle, since she is the one that by all rights ought to be dead as a result of her Cryptococcus infection, but is instead recovering and barking ever more loudly every day, it seems.

So this morning I set out to get some “action” shots of the dogs with my phone camera, and the camera decided to be particularly slow before taking the actual pictures. As a result, I would call Tink to get her attention, press the button, she’d turn to look at me, then turn away, and then the camera would take the photo. Skookie and Cruzer were slightly more helpful — in a way — as you will see.

That’s Skookie (upper left) and Cruzer (upper right). The latter shows him doing what he is definitely best at. He’s a machine. And he’s a dog and has no shame, so I don’t mind sharing this picture of him.

The rest are blurry pictures of Tink looking at something else because me and my camera were far too boring to continue looking at.

What these don’t show is Tink barreling across the yard, bouncing into Cruzer, and starting a play session. She really is substantially better, even if those photos make it look like she’s a statue with a flexible neck that I can move around the yard.

And In Conclusion…

This is not a funny one, and it’s not art related, but I think it really matters.

Sometime back I tripped over a YouTube channel called Philosophy Tube. The guy making these videos does a ton of research and they are always interesting. They tackle challenging subjects, often relating to current cultural events. He’s an actor in addition to being well versed in philosophy, and the videos can be amazingly deep, as well as funny. Lately, his production values have gone up and the videos are getting more and more interesting from all kinds of perspectives.

Then there’s this one. I cried when I watched it. Really. I share it because there is a chance it will make a difference to someone. It’s that kind of thing, and it’s exceptionally good.

Trigger warning: talk of suicide, self-harm, and related topics.

Fly safe, cosmonaut.



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Jeff Powell

Sculptor/Artist. Former programmer. Former volunteer firefighter. Former fencer. Weirdest resume on the planet, I suspect.