Grids: #BathroomArtOnly

I recently wrote about my new project, #BathroomArtOnly. These are images of recent paintings.

I got obsessed with grids and still am. I think they still relate to my concept around gender and the fight for basic public bathroom rights, as well as the bigger concept of getting people to understand gender fluidity and then connect it to gender non conformity and other types of gender identity.

The two approaches I’ve chose are the direct approach and the indirect approach. the medium matches the approach. Using mixed media and comics mostly about inanimate objects talking about gender and other topics lends itself to the direct in your face approach.

The grids and abstraction as well as specific lines/the grid/boundaries lends itself to the indirect approach.

Off the grid can mean, “Unrecorded, untraceable through normal means.” but also “not quite on track” and “hiding”. The phrase originally meant “not connected to utility-provided electricity, water, sewer, etc, having to deal with your own waste and sewage”. Usually people living simply away from urban areas nowadays make the choice to live “off the grid”; however as a metaphor, this connects to the idea of being forced off the grid, literally, not permitted in a specific restroom which is a source of living in most places, and public bathrooms are provided to not force us to live off the grid.

“On the grid” turns out to mean “the state of being under the influence of the energy/alcoholic drink” and also means living the opposite of off the grid.

I will look up “grid” in another post.

I started these just enjoying paint and didn’t put lines in until I started making drawings with lines.

So I see these as indirect images to promote my project about gender and gender diversity. More on that later—

Leaving you, if you got down here, with a thought experiment: what gender is this grid? Are these grids free of gender or could each grid have its own gender. Do colors and materials evoke gender? What gender is glitter? Blue? Silver? Bright colors? Drips of paint?

Going on a long vacation, not metaphorically. I’m actually going a bit off the grid, not away from bathrooms and electricity but in the woods! Happy rest of August, unless I post something during vacation. Please share your thoughts in comments!

File Folder Art Journal [VIDEO] How to Tutorial

This is so cool! I’m excited to make one. I will probably do 3 or 4 before I figure out how to do it, as I am not good at following directions!

creativity in motion

During a recent art therapy supervision session, I was re-introduced (thanks Mary!) to the technique of taking a basic file folder and re-purposing it into a mini book that could be used as an art journal.  I wanted to remember the folding sequence and steps involved, so I decided to do a quick, short how-to video and thought other creatives would also be interested in trying this fun, easy, and inexpensive idea.  Materials you will need to get started include a file folder (with side tabs, not a middle tab) and some glue:

Here’s some written steps:

1. Start with the tab in the upper right hand corner.

2. Fold the folder up from the bottom straight across so the tab curves line up.  This will create four pockets inside of the journal.

3. Next start with the right side and begin to fold this into the middle, making sure…

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#BathroomArtOnly Continued

I’ve written/started to write many posts since last post, and they all end up drafts. I started writing about my current art project and went into long sentences, going all over the place, so now I will try to just write a few sentences that go to my intent and what the art is so far:

  • Art has no gender. Or does pink and silver and glitter go to some kind of gendered place for you?
  • Art is the one place I can explore concepts that don’t exist in our everyday world, such as:
  • What gender(s) are you today?
  • Is everything you put on your body just a construction? In neutral terms you may wear a dress and have any kind of gender identification, as soon as you construct something or go outside where you know others are constructing something, you have stepped out of the image and into language.
  • When I make a painting or collage, I can be in an idealized world where objects talk and gender is irrelevant or playful.
  • When you make art, you free yourself from identity, or you can express your unique identity freely, free from judgments of yourself and others.
  • Judgments kill creativity. Judgments rob your soul of freedom.
  • Bathrooms when they properly respect all people’s rights, are the ultimate place of equality of everyone. Everyone poops.
  • when pooping you have a chance to contemplate or just poop. It’s an ideal time to have an art piece that is looking at you and you may look back.
  • Art can have power to transform through being new and beyond words, even calming.
  • Art can be loud and obnoxious and in your face, yelling what needs to be yelled about all people need to be equally honored and respected, no matter what.
  • Basic and simple, yet we still need to be yelling until this really happens.
  • when it happens there will be no more court cases about bathroom rights and other basic rights.

Great Video on “When was America Great?”… or greater than back when it was sort of great for maybe a few people but bad for most people:

Is American getting “Greater”? What is with the “Again” in “Make America Great Again”?

Was America “greater” at some other time? If you took a time machine back to any time in America that is not today, would you observe that it had a greatness that we have now lost?

I’m not so great at writing this stuff, so I’m glad that the Daily Show went to the Republican Convention and interviewed people about this whole concept of “greatness”, a greatness that seems to only include a select few people in America at any time in history…

My New Project: #Bathroom Art Only

Here is the link to the great news for NYC, which should be a model for everywhere, USA:

http://nypost.com/2016/06/20/public-bathrooms-are-about-to-become-transgender-friendly/

I am posting quickly about my project in honor of today’s great news that NYC public bathrooms will finally be liberated from binary gender and open to all genders. (There are people other than those who identify as transgender who also benefit from this news coming true.)

About three weeks ago, I embarked on a “new” art project that was inspired by my passion about all gender issues and conversations about gender. I have been passionate about bathrooms needing to be done with the binary gender signs and words. It’s not enough to turn the “dress” into a “cape”. The real super heroes are those who need complete liberation from gender inequality and gender stereotypes including those about what “transgender” is/means.


Anyway, I decided to do several things with my art project, starting with the idea of this art will only be intended to be put in a public or private bathroom, so the “# Bathroom Art Only”. The other part was Gender Activism which I had been involved with in past art projects from years ago. For here now in 2016, the Gender Activism part of this Bathroom Art Only involves making art signs for public and private bathrooms as well as other things like door hangers, pins and ribbons, all kinds of small art that can be given out for free or sold for $1. More on that in future posts.

The other part, I guess third part, involves guest artists, which I will feature in my posts, social media and maybe shows, and in my studio on my “Exhibition Wall”.

Lastly, this project will involve a lot of input from children, as I have already had great responses to my project from several kids who have come to my studio and been inspired. One made the first door hanger which is in my home bathroom, and others made some fun bathroom art. I plan to do a youtube video called “Kids speak out about Gender” and I will be interviewing some enlightened kids of whatever gender. I am always inspired by children, because the majority of kids really “get it”, what is really important and how to simplify and clarify your message. Believe it or not, children are usually better at communicating that adults!


More for further posts. I will post photos in this post or the next one…

Below a post it added with no prompting by a child to list of studio rules on my office door!

Dermotillomania

Stupid Person: Why do people pick their skin for hours and deface it?

Person: A. because I can and I will do it whether you like it or not. I will also not do it if I don’t need to or want to.

B. If you stop picking on me for picking my skin, maybe I will stop picking it for a while.

C. Because it’s there. Get used to it and stop asking stupid questions.

D. I pick it sometimes when stupid people stress me out. Until there are a lot less stupid people around, I may pick it once in a while.

E. Guess what? It feels really good sometimes and it’s sometimes fun. Go have another vodka and snort another line of coke and then talk to me.

My Bathroom Poem

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In response to a great video called just pee:

 

Inspired a poem I wrote right after first seeing the video:

Style: Facebook Post/Song Lyric

Topic: Poo and Being you

Device: Talking about poop when people might not want to..

Drumroll here it is:

Just poop! You don’t have to snoop.

Be you . Accept your poo.

Wherever you poo make sure you be you…

Art project: draw a good poop emoji style and have it talking to a human in a bathroom.

Andrea’s Poem

Thank you Andrea R. Huelsenbeck for creating a beautiful poem from my word list! This is the bestest thing about blogging! Creative exchanges and discovery and connecting with another poet.

What use has a mermaid for a surge protector?Will it help her clean the lint trap?

In a fit of indignation

She stamps her foot

And eyes the thing on the ceiling fan that turns around.

Impatiently, she makes a caviar sandwich,

Which immediately gets soaked because of all the water.

The dream catcher snatches all her aspirations.

She crawls out onto the bridge shrouded in fog,

Tying a cable-knit sweater round her neck like a cape,

While the clouds hide the planets.

Day 2: Write a List

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Ray Bradbury wrote a list of nouns to get inspired. I will try it too.

  1. caviar
  2. heads
  3. sandwiches
  4. The thing on a ceiling fan that turns
  5. lint trap
  6. matches
  7. oven thermometer
  8. cork paper
  9. arteries
  10. surge protector
  11. planets
  12. eyes
  13. fringe
  14. cape
  15. stamp
  16. selfie-stick
  17. fog
  18. indignation
  19. boxing gloves
  20. cable
  21. bridge
  22. castle
  23. cloud
  24. brush pen
  25. dream catcher
  26. mermaid
  27. water

I’m not sure what this list will do for me. I guess while making it, I was judging myself for mostly listing objects I’m seeing in my studio. If I look at it from another person’s point of view, any of these things could be a portal into something else and could spark something creative. I’m too lazy right now to actually try using five of them in a few sentences. It feels forced.

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