Here and Now, Fediverse, Art (just for fun), Tabaimo, Gates, Smith, Fann, Writer's Hour (Codrea-Rado), Saving Ukrainian Art, Shkoon, Kuerdas, Sonoric Order.
HERE AND NOW
It happens to be Friday as I write this paragraph. My feet hurt from walking around Home Depot’s endless gargantuan aisles, looking for a proper shipping tube. But, alas, proper shipping tubes are not to be had in this town. Believe me, I’ve looked.
I am glad to have just sold some art on the Saatchi Art platform, although it tends to send me in a panic because of their double-tubing [or boxing], foamcore reinforcing, triple bubble-wrapping, extreme taping, and corner-protection origami shipping/insurance requirements. I get it, though: Based on what one UPS clerk told me, shipping standards seem to have gone downhill in this country since the pandemic started. Well, I figured that out the last time I received a package that looked like it had been run over by a truck and then stomped on for good measure.
I'm kind of gobsmacked by the friendliness, kindness, and support of the artists on the decentralized social media, Mastodon.art, where there seems to be less laboring to "capture attention" and more enjoyment of the creative process; artists are not afraid to post their mistakes and joke about it; digital artists support analog artists and vice versa. The instance does not abide harassment, racism, or sexism, as detailed in their server rules page. Sensitive or disturbing images are posted behind a blurred screen with a content warning, so you have a choice about what to see; many users include descriptions of their art for the sight-impaired (we're also encouraged to go beyond boring "descriptions" and to make the descriptions interesting, too).
I joined Mastodon a couple years ago – but it took me awhile to understand that you REALLY need to check out all the hundreds of “instances” that are available to find the right fit for you. When you first register, it’s best to then search for an instance that focuses on your interests, has the right amount of people, and the type of moderation you prefer. That’s what makes the Fediverse click. I also recently signed up with Pixelfed, the Fediverse alternative to Instagram, but I don’t have enough information, yet, to report on that.
I know there are instances on Mastodon that I’d prefer to stay away from; but, while you can join more than one instance, and visit other instances, it’s very difficult for troublemakers to go viral in the Fediverse, or to cross over into another instance and wreak verbal havoc, because it’s just not set up to enable that.
Just for fun . . . A prompt on Mastodon.art got me to draw this little mushroom house:
Here’s another fun one. It started out as a “bedtime drawing,” something I do to wind down before sleep. I have no idea who these characters are, but they seem to be discussing something of importance.
When I was in my 20s, I developed a hyperactive thyroid and lost a lot of weight. I sensed something was wrong but kept avoiding the issue. As a warning from my subconscious, or perhaps from my body, I started having recurring nightmares about being in a house that was falling apart. The nightmares stopped after a doctor (seeing my son for a minor issue) took me aside and pointed out that I might be ill. This is why Tabaimo’s dollhouse, or “Dolefull House,” resonates with me.
Jayson Fann is a Monterey artist who makes shelter/sculptures from fallen trees and branches (article in Audubon).
How Ukrainians are saving art during the war (Vox):
Shkoon is musical duo Ameen Khayer (from Syria) and Thorben Beeken (from Germany)—sometimes it’s a trio with violinist Maher Al-Kadi. Khayer was a marine engineer in Syria who became a refugee, eventually ending up in Hamburg, where he met Beeken; the encounter started him on a musical journey he never expected. Interview with Khayer and Beeken in 2021:
Below is a live recording of their album FIRAQ (“Separation”), which is quite haunting. Note that this is over an hour long.
Pinoy Reggae has been popular in the Philippines since the 1960s. There’s so much irony for me in hearing the Kuerdas singing “Buffalo Soldier”: my pinoy grandfather, lolo Ignacio Groyon, and his brother, somehow became members of a “Buffalo Soldier” regiment in the Philippines (9th Cavalry) right after the Philippine American war. Both musicians, they later performed in the Philippine Constabulary band led by African American bandleader Lieutenant Walter Loving. My grandfather is buried in the Fort Riley Veterans’ Cemetery in Kansas.
Sonorik Order doing Damian Marley’s “Welcome to Jamrock”:
Hope you are having a lovely weekend. Until next Saturday . . .
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