In case you were wondering about your India ink:
Tuesday, January 19, 2021
Friday, January 15, 2021
Dana just left a comment on the blog asking for a link to my new instagram account.
Thanks for asking Dana, and here it is.
And an update: last week I was unhappy to discover that my account had been cloned (I'm told that's the accurate term) by somebody who stole my profile, my picture, my first week of posts, my followers, and whisked them over to a new account named exactly the same as mine but with a numeral 1 at the end. I tried to report this to the instagram automated system and at first was told that nothing about the post violated "community standards" so never mind.
It was particularly galling when my fake picture (I could tell because the evildoers put a wide black ring around my real picture) would show up in first place on my "suggested for you" list of accounts! And it was identified only by my (correct) name, so who besides me would know that they were being suggested to follow a fake?
I kept checking every day, calling up the fake account and reporting the user for pretending to be somebody they weren't. Never got another response from the automated system, so I figured I was still being ignored. But finally when I checked earlier this week, the fake account doesn't seem to be there any more. I cannot explain it, but I'm happy.
Today's instagram post shows three collages from 2013, all using little angels that I cut from a book of copyright-free images. I pasted them onto scenes of assorted calamity and destruction, and gave them speech balloons. Obviously we can't tell exactly what they're saying, but in my mind they are really pissed off at what they're seeing.
Tuesday, January 12, 2021
The pandemic had its bright moments, and for me one of the highlights of the year was more reading time. Thankfully our library, though all branches were shut for several months, kept its digital services going and seemed to be buying new e-books at a faster rate than it had Before. As an avid reader of the New York Times Book Review, I would frequently read about a new book that looked interesting, pick up my phone and put in a request for the e-book. Nowadays if a library hasn't purchased a book yet, it will still show you the blurb for the book and allow you to "recommend" it. If it's purchased, you go to the head of the line to check it out.
I know exactly what books I read last year thanks to my new habit of writing an excerpt from each book as my daily calligraphy, on the day I finish it. And I can go back and read those passages to revisit any book that I have forgotten the details of.
I read a lot of nonfiction last year, mostly about social justice, American history and politics. I particularly recommend Evil Geniuses by Kurt Andersen, which outlines how our political system has become so polarized and hateful in the last decades. (Hint: it wasn't accidental.)
Somehow I got the idea to read Barack Obama's first book, Dreams From My Father, written in 1995 when he hadn't achieved any public prominence. Of all the authors who grappled with the dilemma of being black in America, Obama seemed to me the most thoughtful and nuanced. If you can only read one book about race and social justice, read this one.
But my nonfiction reading wasn't all heavy and discouraging. I loved The Wave, by Susan Casey, who finds existential meaning in rogue waves, tsunamis and giant wave surfing. Unless you live in a low ranch house on a barrier island, this is wonderful escapism!
Monday, January 11, 2021
I wrote a few days ago about my new Instagram practice, to post every day with images of my art, past and present. I was so pleased to see dozens of new followers, many of them from blog readers, and kind words from many of you left here on the blog and on Instagram.
But then I realized last night that the account has been -- I don't know the right word: hacked? cloned? spoofed? hijacked? Somebody stumbled on my real Instagram handle: kathy_in_ky and created a fake handle: kathy_in_ky1. Then they stole my photo and the first eight days of my posts to populate the fake account. I have no idea how they did it, but apparently they next figured out how to make the fake account appear in our regular feeds.
This morning my daughter-in-law got a strange message from the fake account, which led her to realize the discrepancy. She and I have both reported to Instagram, whose automated system has promised to investigate and block. So far the automated system has let me know that they see nothing wrong with the fake account that would cause them to take it down, but said I could try again. So much for automated system response.
If you are one of those who have signed up to look at my work on Instagram, please be on the lookout for the hijacked account. If you see new photos every day from now on, you're safe, because the fake account is not putting up new content. But if you see a reference to kathy_in_ky1, they've found you too. You can hit the three dots to the right of the account name and block this sender. If you're feeling vengeful you can also "report user" and say that the account is pretending to be somebody else.
And then, if necessary, I hope you'll sign up again with my real account! Because I'm having lots of fun finding photos of my art to share with you.
Here's what I'm going to post today:
Friday, January 8, 2021
I've had an Instagram account for several years, set up mainly so I could see photos of the new grandchild. That was before I owned a smartphone, so I was not able to post anything (you can read but not write to Instagram from a computer). And even after I succumbed to the 21st century and upgraded my phone, I never made a post.
|first day's post: Janus (front and back)|
I can't exactly say why I resisted, but on the afternoon of New Year's Day I decided that this year I would not only make Instagram posts, but do it every day. It's not "daily art" in the sense that I usually practice it, because I'm not making anything or following rules. But it is going to be "daily."
|second day's post: from a recent walk|
I realize that I have made an awful lot of art in my lifetime, and much of it I'm even proud to show in public. So I'm going to go through my bazillion photos and find something different to show you every day. Some will be art or photos from the past; some might be new work or even work in progress.
If you do Instagram, I invite you to take a look, at < kathy_in_ky >. Maybe it will even cheer you up through the dark days of winter pandemic.
|third day's post: imaginary maps|
Monday, January 4, 2021
I like to teach a process that I call "magic cross stitch," not so much a stitch as a way of approaching a hand-stitching project to incorporate spontaneity, serendipity and surprise. It's listed on my "workshops" page, and this fall I got an inquiry from a quilt guild as to whether I could do it as a virtual workshop during pandemic lockdown. I declined, since the process requires a lot of individual hands-on help, and people would probably be disappointed at trying to learn it online.
But now lefties can read their own instructions and see illustrations of actual left-handed stitching, instead of being the by-the-way afterthought to the "standard" instructions.
|for lefties for righties|
How can you use this wonderful basic stitch to do original compositions without the stiffness of perfectly arranged rows and columns of Xs? My method allows you to make stitching that looks lush and painterly, dramatic, textures, spontaneous and improvisational. It involves no graph paper, no sketching in advance, no counting, no worries about the exact size or shape or placement of your stitches.
If you can thread a needle you can do magic cross stitch. In fact, if you're a beginner at hand stitching, or if you've long since forgotten the fine points of what your grandmother taught you, you may even be better at this technique than people who have done a lot of cross stitch using more structured designs.