Favorite Video Of Last Week: “Raised Without Gender”

A 10 year old showed me this video last week.  It was really great to see how schools of the future may eventually evolve to adopt a philosophy of not inculcating gender norms and gender roles on young 4 and 5 year olds. Maybe in about 50 years, most schools will just be like this. The family in it is really great. My favorite part is when the parent is sort of accused of inculcating their views of gender and forcing them on their children. The parent replies, Yes I am doing that. So does every other parent. I’m just not doing it the way many others do, but I’m doing the same thing all parents do. So true.

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Why do People Have Such Weird Ideas about Bisexuality?

 

I guess you need a sesne of humor. Check out this video that shows it perfectly:

More thoughts on human stupidity and dumb assumptions:

I have never understood the bizarre and stupid things people think about someone who is bisexual. There’s the usual, “It’s a phase.” Then there is “Now you’re with a guy/girl. That means you decided not to be bisexual.” “You must sleep with lots of people.” “You’re so confused; you can’t make up your mind.” “I never saw you with a guy/girl. You’re not really bisexual. You need to have a girlfriend/boyfriend to prove it.” “You had one crush on that girl but I never saw you in a serious relationship with a woman. You’re lying.” And another great one, “You like lots of attention.” “You’re with a man/woman now, so you’re really not bisexual. You’re not allowed to call yourself bisexual. You’re really straight.” “You were with that person for years. You were with that other person for only months. How can you really be bisexual?”

Why do people think that any time somebody is different and not like the average person in their gender identity or sexual orientation or anything else, that that person wants lots of attention. You dyed your hair purple to get people to look at you. You’re only bisexual because you think you’re cool and people will give you attention. You’re doing that to shock people. You wore that outfit to get people to look at you. I’ve gotten this kind of stuff all my life. No it’s not a phase, whatever I’m doing, being or saying. No I wear weird clothes for myself because I enjoy them. I didn’t wear a giant glitter silver watch last week to get attention. I wore it because I felt like it and I like it. I don’t need other people to notice me. I need other people to leave me alone, be tolerant and not have stupid assumptions about me because I will never be average and I’m weird. I’m also bisexual and an atheist and a vegetarian and gender non conforming. I don’t scream it to people and I don’t need others to validate me. It would be nice if people just stopped assuming all kinds of stupid things about people who are different from them. There is a woman out there who wants to marry her chandelier. She definitely is not trying to get attention. She isn’t hurting anyone, so I don’t really have any opionions about it. I hope she’s happy.

There are other stupid views people have. Someone just told me that a white man was listening in to a conversation she was having with another female person about not wanting to get married or have kids and not thinking it made sense to her to change her name and identity just because you just married someone. The guy said, “Wow. You two really hate men.”  They tried to ignore him but the real answer would be, “You are really a rude person. And you must be really insecure as we were not talking about you but you obviously wish we were. We don’t hate men, but when we aren’t talkign about men and are talking about our views on relationships, it’s annoying you assume it’s about men.” Just like, if someone says they don’t like being a woman for certain reasons, don’t assume they want to be a man or think they are a man. They may just be a person who doesn’t view a lot of things about femaleness as matching who they are So stupid. Not liking sexism or mysongyny. That must mean we hate men. Going out with a woman intstead of a man. Must mean you have a deep seated hatred for men. Having to have enough girlfriends or boyfriends to convince other people you really are bisexual. Since when do straight people have to have sex with someone to prove they aren’t gay. If a straight person is single for years, do people call them out on it and tell them they must be asexual or gay because they don’t have a partner. Why are people so stupid sometimes?

Today: What is “Forgiveness”?

I wrote and posted something today that I just decided to revert to a draft. It was stuff that I feel and is true, but it felt too angry and negative. Usually when I try to write about “issues” without mostly quoting other people or poetry or links, I end up not liking the writing. I don’t think I am strong as a writer about important causes that I feel strongly about, such as feminism, gender identity and the like. I find  I am better able to express my strong opinions through art or fidning creative people who say it well, like when I posted the link to the poetry about immigration.

Anyway, I came across an interesting video of a very cool pastor talking about forgiveness, and thought a lot about what she was positing. I’m not sure I agree with her wording around using the word “forgiveness”. I would say it is more about the idea of “letting go” of anger and resentment and consciously choosing to separate yourself from whatever past traumas you have, and deciding actively to move on and separate yourself from whoever was the abuser, perpetrator, or person who negatively impacted your life or really did anything that is inexcusable and cruel, etc. In order to move on, you have to let the past stay in the past and be as fully present as possible and look towards the future. Of course this takes a lot of psychic work. I won’t say that you have to really participate in “forgiveness” in order to let go of negative feelings and holding on/grasping/staying attached.

Here is the video from this person’s public Facebook page. Please feel free to comment and share thoughts and reactions:

15 Minutes

15 minutes reminds me of Andy Warhol and his famous quote about fame. He was a real genius; there was no internet or Instagram and he basically predicted the part involving people getting instant fame. No reality TV either. I remember when he died and when I read the whole long book of his diary entries. He was an important artist for me in high school and some of college, probably because I was obsessed with David Bowie and he had that kind of an image, of an outsider, a wierdo, a misfit. And someone who refused to be confined to one medium.

I like being confined to one medium. I do like writing, but when I draw I feel like it would take a very long bridge to get from drawing to painting. I used to navigate that bridge ok years ago, but the more I draw, the more different from painting it becomes. I’m sure I will find some conduit from drawing to painting eventually. In some ways I’m starting all over at ground zero with drawing every day. I notice when I draw in sessions with patients that I’m very aware of how drawing with someone stretches you and makes you move further in different directions. I’ll notice how I normally wouldn’t use certain colors with each other but I do in a session. I’m still focused on the client and what they’re doing but I am more aware of what I’m doing.

It’s not just what pen, what color pen and what paper. Mostly I’m noticing more where one starts on the paper and do you go from one edge to the other or do you go from the outside edges in or start in the middle. I rarely start in the middle. Sometimes I’ll go to each corner if that is what the client is doing. This weekend I hope to get somewhere slightly new with drawing.

I definitely draw a lot more every day just from doing the 15 minutes. Some days I probably draw a few hours if I have time. I don’t time myself after the 15 minutes. Usually later in the day I will find myself drawing again between clients or at home. I didn’t used to draw much on the weekends but now I’m also doing that more. Drawing is really a thing about putting in the hours. By doing it, it remotivates you to do more. It’s got that magical property. Lately I’ve been missing my first and only drawing teacher, and wondering what it would have meant if I’d contacted him and found him before he died and told him about what his class meant to me. It’s like a doorway to the past got locked up.

The past is full of doors that unlock or don’t unlock. It’s a tricky place inhabited by ghosts, mirrors, signs. Drawing gets you there in some visceral way because drawing is the past; it’s leaving traces of the moments and the drawing contains all of them.

Yesterday I sold the first drawing of my new series through Facebook. I had posted a few and someone in Germany contacted me to buy one. It’s a picture that I wrote on the back of. It ended up being of a small European town, a place I imagined could be where I die of old age. I’d have a castly on the hill and go down to the town for things. There would be an art store in the town, one of those old fashioned tiny places where you have to ask the person for what you want and then get it out and write you a receipt that you take to the cash register.

15 Minutes

 

I tried to edit this post but wordpress is acting weird. I posted the images first as they’re easiest to post on my phone. I scan them through my phone and post them. It’s easier of course to write on the computer, not the phone.

This is my 15 minute practice for today. I had enough time to draw 15 minutes in the morning and almost forgot about needing to do the writing. I’m on Day 48 of my morning practice and daily drawing/writing. Now I’m in the zone where it oscillates between feeling bored when writing and not having much to say with suddenly having something to say and it works best if it isn’t a lot of words. Like with this image. It reminded me of the house painting I wrote about on the back. That got kicked up by watching “Nanette”, Hannah Gadsby on Netflix. I never cried before during a stand up performance, and I never got the itch to write. I wrote the stuff on the back of the drawing soon after seeing the show. Not as part of the 15 minutes. She talks about telling her story and how comedy as a form can get in the way of the truth and speaking your story. It was fascinating in all sorts of ways.

I’ve been writing personal narrative types of things for a long time, but it feels weird to write about memories from childhood and it feels wrong to say much. I don’t know why. Not because there were a lot of bad things as they’re weren’t, but more out of privacy, like respecting the memories. I only remember small bits of things anyway, so it protects the personal from becoming too personal. It’s weird what you can feel is too personal. Of course everyone is very different. The writing on the back of that drawing was only a tiny glimpse and I didn’t specify a lot of things. Mostly I’ve been interested in talking about art and more recent memories surrounding art making and art materials. I thought of that painting being a big deal to me, because I’ve noticed that some images that stick with me or inspire me are not in museums or even identified to an actual artist. I have an Ikea tray with great birds drawn on it that I’ve copied. I’ve copied canisters with fruit drawn on them. I like the idea of the unknown artist. Somebody drew those Ikea birds; I don’t think a computer did it. Last week I was at the Apple Store taking a drawing painting sketching class and the guy was demonstrating something on ProCreate and drew a bird. I found out later that he copied the bird from the bag I had with me. It’s a great bag a patient gave me with African style drawings of  birds and masks.

Lately I’ve been looking at Edward Gorey’s drawings; certainly he’s a well known artist. I haven’t ever seen a show with his original drawings in it. Guess what! There is an Edward Gorey House! I will have to look into where it is. It sounds like a very cool place to visit.

15 Minutes of Writing

I wrote a post yesterday that I can’t access, so I’m starting over with another 15 minute writing exercise. I have found that using a timer is quite interesting and magical, in that you can see how much longer 15 minutes is than it seems. When you exercise, 5 minutes can seem like an eternity. I think writing and drawing for 15 minutes in the morning is like a kind of mental going to the gym.

I’ve been obsessed with various art materials over the years. I’ll discover or rediscover something and then use it a lot and get into getting more of them. I’ve been obsessed with pens for a long time, first Retro 51 writing pens, and more recently, all kinds of art pens. I usually get random art supplies thinking people who come to my studio for therapy or supervision or hang outs will use them. Sometimes I discover something because a patient picks it out to use. A few years ago I got a few paint pens. One night someone in my supervision group started using them and I was really impressed and thought, “How is it I had little interest in these? Look at the cool stuff this person is making!” So I copied them and started using the paint pens. Of course I needed more than just a few metallic and primary colors so I ordered more. Then I looked into other brands and also got into different size nibs. I mostly liked the medium nibs at the time because they get paint in them quicker and you don’t have to struggle so much with them. Getting into the paint pens got me re acquainted with metallic markers, the cheap ones I found at Walmart years ago that are better than Sharpie metallic markers. One time I was in a session with someone and they opened one of those markers and there was mold growing on the tip. That was the weirdest thing I encountered with a pen. I hadn’t ever seen mold on a marker.

I also bought a lot of gel pens because so many people like to use coloring pages in sessions. The Japanese jelly roll pens have always been my favorite because they really are great quality. Recently when I started drawing 15 minutes a day, I got re acquainted with very fine pens. I had tried them out a few years ago and dismissed them as being too annoying because they are hard to use and take a while to build up any color. Then I got some supplies from the Sketchbook Project. Once in a while they send free supplies with the sketchbook or with some other project. Recently I got some thin nib pens from them and tried them out in my 15 minute drawings and got hooked. The Sketchbook Project over a year ago sent me some pens and pencils and one of them was a Letraset Aqua marker. I used it a little and then left it for a long time. I recently picked it up again and got obsessed so I ordered a set of 12 in off colors, like peach, light lavender, light brown. These are great markers as they are a cross between brush pens and illustration pens. Like those, they have a dual tip, but one tip is fine but not really thin and the other looks tapered like a brush but doesn’t flex the way a brush tip does. Unlike illustration markers, they are watercolor like the brush pens, so they are kind of a paint pen and have a wash quality. They come with a blender pen and you can layer thinner pens on top of the marks you make.

I started writing about art making and art supplies in more detail a few years ago when I started writing personal narrative pieces about art and life. I’ve noticed that it seems like a good subject for my writing because it’s something I’m really into and writing about materials seems to bring up other interesting topics.

I recently got rid of a bunch of old canvases. I had made paintings in oil on them in the early 2000s.