28 March 2012

Artist in Residence

My 4th graders are doing amazing work on their mosaics.

Mosaics being made by one of my five classes of fourth graders.
I have five classes of fourth graders at Goodview and Jefferson elementary schools (one class on Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday and two classes on Thursday). The Artist in Residence program is funded by a Laird Norton Family Foundation grant.

In the classes on Wednesday & Thursday of last week and Monday & Tuesday of this week we talked about mosaics and looked at several images of old and new mosaics. After the talking and looking I gave them grids and colored pencils and had them plan out their mosaics.

I gave them some Latin vocabulary terms: tessera/tesserae, andamento, and opus regulatum, which they had no problem with. Amazing kids.

Today the Wednesday class started the tile work (the others will start next time I meet with them). Some got pretty far. Some are taking it a bit slower. They will have one more class to finish them up. I think most will finish.

In May there is usually an art show with the students' work from the Artist in Residence program. The last few years it's been at Saint Mary's University in our wonderful Lillian Hogan Davis galleries. We're going to hang all 110 mosaics together, salon-style. It should be an impressive display.

17 March 2012


I admit it - I'm a packaging geek... a sucker for a excellent product wrapper, one that is clever or extraordinary in some way. I love brilliant design.

Thanks Barb for the wonderful chocolate bar. It smells sublime. I've not tasted it yet - I wanted to savor the wonderful visual aspect for a while first... and I'm hoping that along with the organic part that it's also fair trade... I'll have to look that up.

This lovely, simple package is printed with soy inks on recycled, unbleached cardstock that has a nice "tooth" to it. There's no glue used in the outer wrapper - it seals, or rather closes, using a tab and slot. Very nice.

Oh, yeah. I like the idea of being fearless.

One day at a time

I’ve been avoiding this blog… mostly because I’m still wandering about in the land of loss, pain and disbelief. I’m beginning to wonder if anyone intimately touched by violence, anyone left bereft by violence, ever really leaves this place fully.

We thought at the beginning that Aaron had shot Jude and then himself; that was the first report we got. Later on we discovered that Jude had shot Aaron – during an episode of domestic violence – and then killed herself.

I tell myself that I don’t understand, that I’ll never understand, why Jude – and for that matter, Aaron – had to die like that. But I think, if I’m honest with myself, I can all too easily understand.

There comes a point when abuse and violence boil over and all the sane responses flee and all the possibilities narrow to one, single, destructive option.  And while none of us will ever really know for certain what happened, I believe with all my heart that Jude did what she did because at that moment, a moment that probably seemed like a hellish eternity, there was only one possibility.

People talk about abuse victims like gossips over the back fence with a particularly salacious story to share. They wonder why women stay with abusers. They wonder why we don’t just leave when he hurts us… I can tell you. Abuse makes us vulnerable. It’s like the wind in the desert, eating away at your strength, your will, your ability to make rational decisions. It eviscerates the you that you thought you were. Pretty soon you’re like one of those gravity-defying formations – at risk of being toppled by the next big blow. You’ll grasp at any promise, at any and all the insufficient apologies, trying to shore yourself up. You’ll do your damnedest to make things work because you know – you really know – that you’re not nearly strong enough to walk away.

Some of us eventually find a way to leave... too, too many of us do not.

I understand why it’s called heartache…

About the time it seems that I’m doing better I discover that the unbelievable pain is still there – it grabs me and throws me to the ground again, leaving me broken and defenseless.  People keep trying to give me solace. I love them for it, but…

I am so looking forward to the day when my thoughts of Jude are the kind of happy memories that everyone tells me I should be thinking.

I love you Jude. I'll miss you forever.