30Jun/130

Slowed Myself Down Today

Posted by Sermarr

I am so compulsive now about finding the next thing to do. And antsy when I'm just sitting that I can't just rest. But today I managed to get myself to stop
I fixed the top layer of a picture called "Out Of Sight,But Not Out Of Mind". The top layer was glued down but had come unglued in the move. So out came my brand new nail gun and blasted them back together!
Then off to buy rug pads to use on my table tops and simulate the jute layers they use in India. Bought the only four they had. Then I STOPPED
And sat down and read a book. And my dear friend Gugger called and we talked. I then cooked supper for some friends who came to supper. I am going to move slowly tomorrow too (if I can)

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29Jun/130

Sergio gone!! Sue here…day off!

Posted by Sermarr

Sergio left at 4:30 this morning. He will be missed. We worked 50-60 hour weeks while he was here. I took the day off. Did a little clean up work this morning with Alan and then Sue from Santa Fe appeared just afternoon. We had lunch,talked about art and life and then had supper. And gelato! We looked down into the courtyard and they're having a sit down dinner for a wedding. Beautiful candlelight. Sue is off tomorrow at 4:30 ! I am feeling like making art after just a few more chores get done.

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28Jun/132

Worked Till The Drill Died

Posted by Sermarr

Today was a race to the finish…and it stopped due to the batteries for the drills running out of juice about 4:30 and we (my son, Alan came into town fresh from his summer studies in Ireland). Went out to eat Mexican food at Sergio's favorite place and to walk along the waterfront
To wear them out Sergio moved the thermostat, installed the fan (after i spent two long customer service sessions with the fan company it works but very slowly so someone is coming out to work on it) , installed the other air conditioner in the studio, and put up end posts for the plastic sheeting curtains that separate the studio from storage area and workshop.
I made three very long plastic curtains ,talked to customer service about the fan and made fresh tortillas for us for lunch. We had bought fresh masa and a tortilla press. They turned out good
The list of things that didn't get done is very lengthy but the list that did get done is major and amazing.
I am tired. And I am wilted from the heat and humidity. And I feel accomplished to have taken apart one household, moved and made a new household in two months. Of course, all this would not have been possible without the amazingly effective help of Dawn the organized person behind getting it all packed or disbursed , Sergio, the pack the art and other big things with ingenuity and care ,Lu who moved it all with care and now Sergio on this end organizing and building my new studio. And thanks to all my supportive friends who've helped me emotionally through this grand change. Hopefully this was all just prelude to the next evolution as an artist and as a person
We returned here to the hum of all five air conditioners. And it felt great. The dehumidifying of the air alone helps tremendously.
Sergio leaves tomorrow pre-dawn. He will be missed.

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27Jun/130

Renovation Stampede!

Posted by Sermarr

Today was the day of "Quick" let's put in the air conditioners/lights/speakers and fan. Needless to say ,due to Frigidaire doing the worst job of instructions that I've seen (except for my nail gun) it was not quick, it was torturously slow first I had to research air conditioners, not an easy task, and assemble the right package of BTU's that would cool down the studio. Global warming has definitely warmed up NYC in the 25 years since I've lived here. It did not used to feel this hot and humid till August,or at least that's the way my body registers then and now. I have never had an air conditioner. Not in Mississippi or NYC or California or Santa Fe. Now,after buying three today, I have five!! I feel somewhat guilty that global warming is going to cause me buying my first air conditioner and that all of them are going to contribute more to global warming. But I have decided that I am unable to make art when it's 85 and muggy. And I can't sleep that way either. So hooray for technology that gives me a choice. And the size and efficiency of the new Frigidaire compared to the old one is encouraging.
I'm looking across to Manhattan and the beautiful lights of the Chrysler and Empire State buildings. More global warming. It's everywhere

I assembled the speakers to connect to the receiver. Very proud of myself. Each speaker has four wires! It even worked when I got through
Sergio put the light up over the table and wires over to where I can have a switch.
Then we began the Frigidaire war. We went to Home Depot to buy electrical things. Then Best Buy and brought the three air conditioners home. And went to work on understanding how to disassenble the biggest one (this means you take it OUT of its metal box and do things to it that are baffling because the instructions don't help you discover which screw you're supposed to be putting where, not which plastic foam you're supposed to take off and which leave on because its critical to the functioning of the air conditioners. Three hours later we had it back in the metal box and installed in the window and turned it on. It works! Very cold air came out. Then we turned to one of the smaller ones to find that Frigidaire had already done all the inside and outside work on it. No need to do anything but put the wing guards on and put it in the window ,getting the 5/16ths downward slant to the box. So why all the disassembly/reassembly on the other one?!?? And if they were going to make us do the assembly in this more expensive machine,why not good instructions so we have a chance of making it work? I am going to write a review on this one. And it won't be good
I went to FedEx in Astoria to get the fan during some of Sergio's wrestling with the air conditioner and took a little drive through upper Queens on the way home. Very suburban. Lots of different communities

So then Sergio and I decided we needed Casa Enrique's great Mexican food and walked and had some
Enjoy. I'm now going to go to my cool room and let this day pass by. It's beginning to rain here. Lots of lightning flashes over the city

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26Jun/130

Dust And Table Cover Expeditions

Posted by Sermarr

My huge tasks today were 1)assembling the dust collection system so the wood shop can be in the storage area and not send wood dust everywhere in the studio. Been there and won't do it again. So here are some pictures of assembly (don't instruction writers understand that mouse type and tiny pictures of what we're trying to assemble do not endear us to their company? Out of all the things I've bought, (and I shudder to think of how much I've stimulated our economy) the best instruction manual was the LG washing machine
2) working on developing a padding system for the painting tables that simulates the 20 layers of jute that are used in India (about $600 per table in the US). This cushioning is critical for being able to stretch out fabric/canvas tight so no wrinkles and so the paint I'd applied evenly. I'm trying a high pile rug under a drop cloth on one table. Today my eyes fell upon the cheapie rug padding, the thick waffle kind, and I tried it and think it will work. With two layers over an old carpet pad and with two canvas drop cloths on top of it, if I can find ones without seams in them
And that's it except for tracking my fan down and finding it should be delivered today. But not yet and it's five o'clock. We need it. It's been in the nineties for the last few days.

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26Jun/132

Amazing Sergio Strikes Again …And Again

Posted by Sermarr

Sergio has been working non-stop from early today. Since our last cabinet came yesterday it could be assembled and the Formica top put on. I asked that the extra possible 8 inches be used for more racks of storage… so he built a side holding space. And we had planned to use the extra space behind the backsplash as a knife holder and power strip for appliances. So voila it,s all done. And another counter space from left over Formica near the sink. And a hanging rack I saw at Home Depot yesterday for brushes of all kinds to drip dry. Here is what Sergio has done.

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25Jun/130

Cabinetmakers, Putting Screw 51266 into the Right Hole

Posted by Sermarr

The final cabinet came today after Home Depot lost the order. However they delivered it the next day after I called. Once again into the maw of tiny type instructions with dismal pictures. And we made fast progress, this being the third one we've done. However, it is taller when the Formica countertop is put on it than the other cabinetry/stove on that side by three inches. So off to Home Depot for adjustable feet to make it smaller. Not much luck but a thing we dreamed up will be tried tomorrow. Then to top off our hot day of assembling things, we went to Casa Enrique, a local Mexican (read really good Mexican by a chef trained in french cooking but now cooking his family's Mexican recipes). The NY Times gave it a great review a week ago. And here's a picture of chicken enchiladas with a wonderful complex mole sauce. Sergio was in his element and said everything was great. Also after conversing with the Mexican waiter he told me that most Mexicans he's met in NYC are from Puebla go figure. The food was great.

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25Jun/132

Hanging the “Witness” Piece

Posted by Sermarr

One of our monumental tasks today was unwrapping, reconstructing, and hanging "Witness" a very large (8'x8'), piece about our feeling powerless as we watch all these atrocities which are not new at all in the world, only new to us. It is heavy, due to its heavy components, and unwieldy being a cross and top heavy. To pack it Sergio had taken the bones off , wrapped them separately, labelled them and packed them in the back cavity. He had screwed the cross arms to the side of the main upright and then wrapped it all in plastic with bubble wrap for all the corners. So we moved it into the room that I had decided would be its place and where Sergio said that there were studs in the right place. We undid everything, hoisted it up to test the placement. Then Sergio assembled it bone by bone as it was leaned forward onto a ladder while tied to its support board on the wall. This took a while. Then we put on the arms. Then we raised it up and it creaked so we put a huge wooden piece with shims under it to support it while brackets were added. Then Sergio went to buy bigger brackets and changed then out and then screwed the top of it to the support board And then added the metal Penitente rattles. And voila.

I must say that this felt like we were doing the stations of the cross ourselves, especially when Sergio got up on the ladder to work on him. These forms are indelible to Western civilization. And there is great power in seeing it redone, albeit in a different format. The two figures that are at his feet have not been assembled. This was a hunk of our day. Before cabinet building which I will post about next.

The power of "Witness" is riveting to me as I sit beneath it

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24Jun/130

Going Steady With Home Depot

Posted by Sermarr

Today continued my love affair and paying court to Home Depot. Sergio and I go frequently to secure all the many renovation items necessary to this incarnation of a studio. Here are some must haves we got: OSB board cut to three sizes, 70 feet of electrical cable, a ten foot aluminum ladder, 14 gauge speaker wire, 10 8' long 2x2" boards, 3 1x12" boards, a 1" insulation foam board 8x4', three 3 light track lights, 12 1inch boards, three gallons of paint, and I can't remember what else. This is an ardent relationship,as you can see. I used to hate to go to Home Depot because the service people were impossible to find and curt when you did. Not so here; most of the service people are young,helpful and very polite. And Home Depot to cement my ardor will deliver the same day for $20! True love.
Sergio and I put together a final list as he is going home on the 30th; unfortunately the list keeps having things added to it faster than they get removed
I am having separation anxiety and abandonment issues about Sergio leaving. He has been pivotal to my development as an artist because his brain and skills would allow me the facility to do things that I could dream of but not execute well. Often he's taken my halfway dreamed of execution when I can't figure out how to get it to come together and he's made it work. With great good humor. The Total History of the Total World would never have been finally so neat if he hasn't stepped in when my wired together attempt didn't hold. It is seen below with the red ziggedy striped chair beneath it-all 125 lbs of it. He even has figured out how to safely and securely hang them up,once they're made! He was with me when I started making art in my garage; he let me paint his portrait and that of his family even though I didn't really know how to do faces or anything. I had to trace his outline on a board to get the dimensions right. After I went back and redid it and it looked like him, we joked that I had made him look like a monkey. Sad…but very true!
And he has been a true partner in designing and executing my Santa Fe remodel: tile work, stucco, electrical, plumbing, irrigation, checking for dry rot and damage between seasons, stone walls and patios. All with good cheer, great skill and an eye to make my life happier, safer, more beautiful and at less cost. Bravo,Sergio and Bon Voyage. You will be very fondly thought of often and much missed.
Here are some pictures of the much cleaned up studio with rug pads for softer walking being arranged

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23Jun/132

The Post On the Brief Respite. I hit the publish button early

Posted by Sermarr

Today we didn't work all day. I woke up at 6 as the day gets light early. And got all the things off three of the tables. And found and hung up the remaining wood blocks. Except for my foot block which seems to be on the lam. Hope it will turn up soon. And then I unrolled all the carpet padding from the other room. It had been removed to make way for my yet to be gotten subletter
So then off in the hot day to the New York Armory where there was a huge installation piece by the American artist Paul McCarthy It is called "WS" (Snow White backwards. ) and has a huge forest in the middle with a house built into it. And there were holes cut into the walls so you could see in. Around the armory were small interconnected rooms with long (30 minutes to 2.5 hours) films running continually they were starring a made up guy called Walt Paul (Walt Disney) who by the way was played by the artist and Snow White looking exactly as she does in the childhood films So here are some of the subjects for each film/room.
1) The Contract that Walt wants Snow to sign giving him complete power over her and making her his absolute slave. It is played at a conference table and is just the two of them. And actually was the best of the films in my opinion.
2) Snow who is now in a red negligee has oral sex with a black microphone which Walt is standing on the bed holding out to her on a long metal pole. (One of the worst in my opinion because nothing different happens except her position on licking the side of the microphone as opposed to trying to cram it down her throat.)
2a) I forgot this one and had to come back and insert it. Walt is a baker in a cook's jacket and his underwear in a kitchen and Snow has taken her clothes off and he is smearing chocolate icing on her and then pouring multi colored sprinkles/m&m's on the chocolate till she's covered face to toe in them. Then he goes around banging two pot lids together in apparent ecstasy at his creation
3) some Adam and Eve scenes that involved them trooping around in no clothes and wandering through the forest.
4) The Prince Comes. A film where the prince in a very fake black wig and made up nose sits on moss in the forest and masturbates without success. Then he goes at it with a white plastic life sized figure with a strategic slit and still can barely get it off. And we saw all of his parts,fore and aft, working at it…working at it
5) Olympia is the name of one room and here Snow is posed in nothing but her red hair bow and red fully mule shoes on a sofa as she scolds Walt who walks on his knees in his underwear to get her some water and then back again for a damp cloth. Then she goes to town punishing him for lying about something and we see here brush his teeth relentlessly with blue gel as he lies slumped in the floor of the bathroom. She also washes him with soap all the time talking about what a naughty boy he is and how Mommy always has to do all the work
6) A Dinner Party which runs continually for hours very loudly on both ends of the huge space. In it the seven dwarfs are a gang of frat guys in school tshirts with Yale/UCLA etc on them and white fruit of the loom underwear AND big beards and huge fake noses and those funny floppy knit caps Walt is there in tuxedo (in the beginning) and three Snows appear in red, blue, and yellow evening gowns They all proceed to drink, crawl on the floor, beat on each other and cry/sleep etc. in one scene they beat Walt,now in his underwear with his tuxedo jacket/shirt still on
AND it was very LOUD
After this excursion into the BIG ART world I came home,ate a bowl of cereal for supper and looked at all my small art stacked around ready to be hung, felt pretty okay about what I'm doing here in my much less exalted space with my not exalted at all work, wrote this and now I'm going to read a book and go to bed

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