Monday, January 11, 2010


Whenever I get a wall calendar or shop for one, among the first things I do is to look at November. Because my birthday is in November. The November page contains an important message. If it’s a calendar with dogs, what breed of dog will be on the November page? If it’s a Paul Klee calendar, which painting will it be? Which flower, which skyscraper, which optical illusion? Which drink recipe, which Gee’s Bend quilt? It’s not that finding out what's on November is going to make or break the calendar deal for me. The essential deal is already made. The page is going to reveal something to me about myself. Something immutable. I have complete trust in the calendar. It is omen, astrologist, and psychoanalyst.

(quilts are here)


Anonymous said...

It is funny when you hear that someone shares a same irrational tendency ot do something. I like to think of myself as someone not prone to superstition and I laugh at those that follow the horoscope and such. But in so many ways I find that I cling to the superstitious.

In my first art history class, Klee's Twittering Machine appeared and I fell in love with art. He holds a place somewhere in me.

Anonymous said...

Interesting. I will have to go
explore January signs.


Kass said...

We all look for, make up, codes to guide or amuse ourselves, don't we?
Your posts always make me smile.
I love ALL those irregular quilts. They kind of remind me of the background of your "In the Voice of a Minor Saint."

SarahJane said...

I figure most people look at "their" month, although I asked a few people at work and they didn't know what I was talking about.

I love Klee, too. I have had a Klee calendar and don't remember which painting I was, except whatever it was I remember being satisfied with it.

Kass - the quilts are great, aren't they? I saw a show of them in Philadelphia a couple years ago. It's a shame you can't touch them.

ron hardy said...

I love these quilts Sarah. They are amazing. For me the irregularity always reminds me to be present for the world. Signs are everywhere. And they resonate with each of us. Runes, the I Ching, hawks, intuition. "Random occurences." Reading your quilt. We are all palimpsists.

SarahJane said...

They are beautiful. I used to quilt, but pretty crappily. I lived in Kansas for a spell, where I bought two or three old quilts, which have now pretty much disintegrated. Still I've always loved the patterns, or lack of, and patching together of the random. The one I posted is probably the most modern looking. The others are more downhomey.

Anonymous said...

i love the word palimpsists. i had know idea what it was before your post. i work in computers and it reminds me of throwing away an old hard disk. because the disk is essentially reused continually, the danger of throwing a disk away without 'wiping' it is that sensitive information could be retrieved ala palimpsests fashion. the quilts are the same in a freudian palimsest fashion. (i apologize to those i might offend if i'm using the word incorrectly.)

ron hardy said...

I like the downhomey stuff Sarah. I have a scarf made of recycled patches of wool sweaters. All blues and purples, differnt shapes, sewn together with green thread. while I was living in Georgia for a year I became acquainted with something called outsider art. Sometimes called folk art. The outsider artists are an interesting bunch. Usually they have no formal training. People like Howard Finster and Henry Darger are two I know of. The South is full of people working on plywood, wood boxes, concrete or even in marble. There is even a magazine dedicated to this art. Raw Vision. Johanna, I misspelled it. You got it right. Palimpsest. (Sorry Ed.) Typically parchment writings covered over and reused. Some paintings have been found to have something else beneath the surface as well. Not much has changed considering your hard drive analogy.

Valerie Loveland said...

I do the same thing and check out December! A calendar gets bonus points if December's photo/whatever is not Christmas themed.

This year, we were deciding between a black cats calendar and an Alphonse Mucha calendar. Mucha won this year.

SarahJane said...

Valerie, I imagine Dec. must be tough. If it's not Christmas-themed it's cold and snow. I don't know Alphonse Mucha. I'm going to google him.

Radish King said...

I have a calendar on my desk of Japanese prints. I looked up my birthday month and it is the wave that my son has tattooed on his arm. I think July will be a most excellent birthday month!


Jill said...

Klee! I love Klee! I was teaching "Cat with Bird" (I think that's the title...) to my art students all last week.

When is your birthday? Mine is the 11th. I {knew} we had something in common!

Ron, I really like the outsider artists! I like to teach my young art students about them to show that anyone can make art and make it well.

SarahJane said...

I always look forward to the months with good pictures/illustrations. It bugs me, too, when the good ones come for months when I'm on vacation.

Mine's Nov. 30. I'm very happy to have been born on a Saturday afternoon in 1963, just like the Rickie Lee Jones song.

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