Sunday, March 29, 2009

Without a word of warning

The lyrics, as sung by Aretha Franklin, reverberates repeatedly - "Without a word of warning....the blues walked in this morning.....and circled around my lonely room" - in my head, as I deal with the sudden and depressing loss of my hard drive. Yes, my computer crashed and I am in an advanced state of suspended animation. One foot is in the future, where all my plans and goals are being implemented, in my mind, and the other is stuck in the past, hopeful that the files could still be retrieved by computer "techies", to make it all possible. I totter between trying to move forward only to be pulled back whenever a file or software cannot be found and used. Even now, I am using the "old slow laptop" that prompted the purchase of the now defunct eggshell of a computer, in order to continue a life, preserved through these tech enablers.

Like all cautionary tales, the admonishments to backup ones files fit along side those to maintain one's health, buy auto insurance, take your vitamins and save for a rainy day. While I have towed the line assiduously on most of those things, I have been less than consistent with backing up files to an external drive. The halfway effort of saving everything into their proper folders serve no purpose when the file, folders and software no longer exist. Without a word of warning....they were all gone. Now hope lingers, like a flickering flame, that the recovery of the lost hard drive is still possible. If you too have been less than conscientious, then go to your window and say " I'm as mad as hell and I'm going to backup my files, to an external drive, right now"!

Tempering my stunned state of mind is the inclusion of my work in an exciting exhibition on legendary fashion illustration, opening April 3rd, entitled The Line of Fashion, at the Society of Illustrators on East 63rd Street. Many of these elegant works of art set the standard for fashion and beauty throughout the 20th century, and will be recognizable by many of you. With a portion of the proceeds going to GMHC, the exhibition will continue until May 2.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Spring Break

Two of the sweetest words ever conjugated together in a phrase. To just say them fills me with exhilaration and a lightness of being that lifts my spirit. For those of us who have waded through the dark harsh winter - laden with the responsibility of reshaping student's talents and skills - this momentary "break" provides the sustenance of rest before a last stretch. Like the long distance runner that stops for a breath or drink of water, before continuing to the finish line, so too, do we inhale time to ourselves and imbibe peace of mind before that final sprint to summer.

For those of you who are instructors, at any level, you know this yearned for passage coincides with the recognition of whether your hard fought efforts have had the results you've worked for. Those dreaded mid-terms allows you to know whether anything that you said or did was actually being taken in and used by your students. I was pleased to find that many of my "diamonds in the rough" had found a way to show their many facets, especially since there is nothing more satisfying than seeing the expression of joy on their faces, as they recognize talents they had only hoped for.

The "break" will find many of my students from Parsons and Marist College, either running off to far flung vacation spots, where they will explore the pleasures of basking in the sun, speeding down slopes, or simply sleeping undisturbed in the well fed homes of their families.

I will use the "break" to continue the assault on a barrage of work - including paintings for my art show at Cousen Rose Gallery, on Aug 8th, preparing the course outline for the inauguration of private lessons at my studio this summer, developing more imagery for the fashion work my agent has in mind for me and preparation of the gardens that are springing up as I write this.

"Spring", the other component to this wonderful phrase, has crept ever so slowly into our mindsets. Our winter frocks have found their way back into the closets, as our transitional garb greets the blush of life filling tree limbs and blossoming scents one can only associate with nature stirring from a long slumber. The first daffodils have started to peak out their heads, while the crocuses, in full display, trumpet the new season. And, as we take on the feelings of the new growth in our hearts, which mirrors growth in our society, after a long "winter of discontent," we must seize it now, with both hands, for as we know, seasons come and go.