Here & Now, Art, Gabby Tuzzeo (on the flâneuse), Paul Anagnostopoulos, Danny Gregory, Evelyn Castro (Foo Fighters), Ikue Mori, Wolfgang Muthspiel Quintet.
HERE AND NOW
I’m fond of newsletters by walkers and those who engage in “flânerie” or aimless strolling, which is why I also follow LaVonne Ellis’ Walk with Me, the peripatetic Craig Mod, Chris LaTray’s An Irritable Metis, and just discovered Sarah Farley’s The Writer’s Walk. But it’s been mostly vicarious because I really slowed down my walking and exercising over the course of the pandemic. I mean—I can feel my muscle mass shrinking! It’s bugging me (especially after my walking buddy had to move out of her place and up to the SF Bay Area, 85 miles away).
I’ve found it difficult to get going again. But recently, I noticed that my brain finds comfort in patterns and rituals (confession: I went through a period, in childhood, where I did everything obsessively in groups of threes) and also that my friend, Eileen Tabios (who, besides being a fantastic poet and “numbers person”), is numbering her Wine Country Walks and turning it into a poetry project. She says it’s to “offset being a desk potato.”
I thought—sure, why not? I’ll try numbering my walks, but not necessarily as a poetry project. I’m walking to wander, to get myself moving. And perhaps also to see the town I live in with a different perspective. I’m up to Walk #9 now, and here’s proof, from a recent walk around Custom House Plaza, near Fisherman’s Wharf:
At 70-something, I’m still relatively new to presenting my visual art publicly and selling it. It’s weird, because people expect someone my age to have done it all. But I suspect I’ll remain or at least feel like an “emerging artist” to the end of my life. I’ll always be learning. Some things I learned while participating in Arts Habitat Open Studios this year:
Listening to myself explain my process to others, I realize I’m very much into the materials I use, i.e., the paper and surface of the paper. Surfaces, and the material of the paper itself, drive my experience of drawing and painting.
Next year, I need to bring a couple easels; they’re very useful in presenting art. I’ll also bring a small guest book.
Next year, I’ll use Venmo (as well as Square) to process payments.
It’s fun talking to people, face-to-face, about arty things.
It’s even more fun when they like, or even love, my art and want to buy it!
Selling art online is boring and can be surprisingly stressful (packing/shipping to your platform’s requirements)—and you end up missing the part where you get to meet the person who buys the art and make that important connection.
One learns things from the other artists you meet at these events, and that can end up being important. One also learns from the people who buy your art.
The handmade tiny books ended up being a great ice breaker. People loved them, and this encourages me to make more (thankfully, they’re fun to make).
I really appreciate the pre-event meetup held by Arts Habitat, as well as all the work they put into promoting the event and helping artists prepare.
Gabby Tuzzeo on the “The Flâneur and Flâneuse: The Culture of Women Who Wander the Cities.” Tuzzeo’s article seems to suggest that the sense of freedom that comes from this type of strolling is available to any woman. But I’m fairly sure that a lot of Asian Americans have some trepidations about walking “freely,” these days, in a state of comforting anonymity (I’ll keep walking, nevertheless). It turns out there’s some question about the freedom of black men to engage in flânerie, too.
I have a feeling I’ve posted this previously, but what the hell—I like it so I’m posting it again. Danny Gregory, “author, artist, and tea drinker,” on “The Sketchbook That Healed Me”:
In the midst of the pandemic, Brazilian actress and singer Evelyn Castro, accompanied by her brother and friends, in the then (still?) ubiquitous video conferencing format, does a great cover of the Foo Fighters’ “Walk” (2011). I always feel like video conferencing is a little cage, through which we peer out at each other from behind the screen’s glass walls. This cover of the song expresses that frustration of the pandemic mode of communicating as well as the act of “breaking out” of the box.
Learning to walk again
I believe I’ve waited long enough
Where do I begin again?
I’m learning to talk again
Can’t you see I’ve waited long enough?
— “Walk” by Christopher A. Shiflett / David Eric Grohl / Nate Mendel / Pat Smear / Taylor Hawkins. Walk lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Universal Music Publishing Group
Some very cool jazz. Wolfgang Muthspiel Quintet performing “Father and Son.” Ambrose Akinmusire: trumpet:
I hope you get a good walk in this week, if you’re able. Or that you’ll have time to do something you love to do. More next Saturday . . .
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