Thursday, October 28, 2021

9 years of Silence

Gosh, it's been a while!  My last post here was in 2012 and now it's 2021!  At least the numbers have only changed places...

    Since 2012, a lot has happened in everyone's lives but the reason I stopped posting here then was because both my Mom and my Mother-in-Law died within a few months of each other that year.  It was not only emotionally devastating, it was pretty fraught with activity since I was the executor of my Mom's will and we had to go to England for Evelyn's funeral and to see our family there.  

    It was the year of my 6th decade on earth and a momentous time in terms of my Chinese reality... your 60th year is also the only time after your birth when your astrological worlds all line up the same way.  I was born in the Year of the Golden Rabbit of the Chinese calendar and I had initiated a mail art call for the event.  It was really wonderful and very successful but I never did get the final documentation out because I was working on it when my Mom died.  All these years later, I still only have the online archive of what came in but that's pretty cool in it's own right.  Check it out if you have the time and interest. 


Life has been interesting in so many ways but one of them has been my participation in Inktober for the first three years and then, again, this year.  

    I love a creative challenge and working in pen and ink, Rapidograph pens, and then Pigma Ink pens (Sakura's microns in black and sepia were first) has certainly been that for me.  My drawing skills have improved immeasurably and the fun of finding off-the-beaten-track responses to the daily prompts is never-ending.  

    Here are links for the Inktober years I've fully finished as well as Inktober Alternates (the ones I didn't end up using but which I liked anyway).     

Inktober 2016

Inktober 2017

Inktober 2018

Inktober Alternates (2016 through 2018)

Inktober 2021

Monday, December 10, 2012

How time flies... no matter what's going on. ;)

So, I came in to Blogger to read someone else's blog and see that I haven't written anything since 2010!  Well, at least not here, that is. ;)

I am always writing some long-winded musing or other somewhere online.  It's funny, to me, that I have never been able to keep a blog going.  The thing is, I'm more of a reactor than not... I see something and respond to that.  When it comes to creating new content, it mostly comes out in my music and my visual art rather than in writing.  When I was growing up, it was just the opposite.  I wrote prose, poetry, essays, rants, journals, letters, postcards, and on table napkins every single day.  I think I needed to communicate something - or felt I did - all the time in those days.  I had no idea who my audience was or could be but it was urgent that I found out.

Now, I still have things to communicate but I think I feel I can reach people more successfully through music than through prose.  Also, a lot of what I do in the visual arts is more for myself or groups I belong to than to the world at large.  Interesting thought.

I really like an artist named Thom Woodruff.  If you don't know his work, check out this page on his website featuring his series 'Freak Parade':  I first saw his work in an Ovation TV video which was actually very cool but it doesn't seem to be available there any longer.  He has a very interesting style and it was great seeing him at work in his studio and talking about how he achieves certain effects in his paintings.  There is much in his work which speaks to me at a semi-conscious level while other things are right on the surface and I like those as well.  Freak Parade is about 'all things aberrant' and, of course, that is of interest as well.  I have spent so much of my life outside of the mainstream that what is aberrant to most people just seems like everyday reality to me.  I like it when someone can get that down on canvas (or in print, like John Irving did in books like Hotel New Hampshire and The World According to Garp, not to mention my all-time favorite book of his The Cider House Rules).

Another thing I've been enjoying lately is an unusual TV series called The Eagle (Ørnen - En krimi-odyssé) - we watched it through Netflix.  It's a smörgåsbord of Danish, Icelandic, Swedish, & Norwegian language, culture, and places.  That, alone, would make it worth watching for me since I've studied Scandinavian languages and lived in a Scandinavian country.  But, my husband Graham (who is British) also finds it fascinating.  I think it's because the pace, the approach to subjects being discussed, and the general ambience are all different from what one might expect from any other modern Western country.  If you try to watch it on Netflix, do it through the computer rather than your BluRay Player or whatever - there is a problem with the subtitles (there aren't any!) unless you use your computer to access the player.  At times, I enjoyed that since it was good practice for me but Graham didn't enjoy it at all. ;)

That reminds me, I need to contact Netflix and let THEM know!  lol  Will do that now. 

Lator gators.


Thursday, September 09, 2010

New single debuts September 9, 2010!

Come hear the new single from Paul Ramsey and myself, Carla Cryptic (aka Carla J. Patterson) A Walk Away From You (Keeping Quiet

Read about the processwe used in collaborating on this project - every time you listen, the song is different!

Friday, July 02, 2010

Your Soul Is Mine (Video)

Friday, April 03, 2009

ATC Jam Session hosted by Carla Cryptic

If you are familiar with ATCs (artist trading cards), you know that they are the size of baseball trading cards (2.5 x 3.5 inches) and are usually traded with other ATC artists one on one, through ATC swaps, or through ATC trading sessions. One of the online groups which is a haven for ATC artists is The ATC Exchange. It's a group I've enjoyed for many reasons over the years, not least of which being the group leader, George Kovats. There are some truly great artists in the group and many of the group's members are open to experimentation and challenges. A few years ago, at George's request, I hosted an exchange called the Jamboree and it was a great success so I was happy to say yes when George asked me to host another ATC Jam swap this year. I'm calling it a Jam Session this time around since I sing Jazz and making ATC Jam cards is basically just a form of collaborative improvising as is the best of jazz.

To read more about what ATC Jams entail and to get more details of this particular swap, please visit my Jam ATC blog post at IUOMA (International Union of Mail Artists). If you have any questions after that, please feel free to send me some email at carlacryptic@yahoo dot com. Also, I have a series of pages featuring my own ATCs and links to many ATC groups and artist pages at my mail art website Cryptic Web. You are always welcome to stop by there. :)

Please note that there is a deadline for letting me know you're going to participate and it is MAY 22, 2009. There is also a fee for participation to cover shipping costs.

I am really looking forward to doing something like this again and hope to see some of you reading this now in my mail queue by the 22nd! :)

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Music at iCompositions and Consemble

I'm having a lot of fun making music again for the first time in decades and it's all because of iCompositions and Garage Band. For most of my life, I struggled with recording equipment (how to afford it, where to set it up, how to use it, etcetera)... then Garage Band came along. My Digio1 and ProTools never really got used but my macs with GB installed are getting used practically every day. It's easier than I would have believed to record vocal tracks with a fairly low noise component, even in rooms which are not 'clean'. After using SoundSoap on the files, they sound almost perfect (perfect being studio quality). That's just amazing.

After I started using GB to record myself again, I found iCompositions, an online community of musicians and listeners which grew out of people's love for GB. It's an international community full of people with diverse backgrounds creating music in all genres and it's easy to upload music there, share it, discuss it, and - even better - find people to collaborate with. I loved it right away but didn't really have time to get into it as much as I wanted to until this year.

Currently, I have 5 or 6 pretty diverse pieces of music (one recorded poem as well) available to listen to on my artist page and I'm about to upload several more. I welcome you to come check them out and bookmark my page for future listening. It's at Carla J. Patterson at iCompositions.

In the past month, I've also contributed to an experimental music project I really like called Consemble. A mail art friend named Paul Ramsey is the man behind the curtain and he has created a wonderful experience there for artists and listeners alike. Come check it out because it's way too hard to explain unless you read his intro to the project. So far, I've participated in Consemble E: Electric Soul, but there are many other great musical ventures going on there at any given time. There are 4 or 5 which are still open for contributions so please consider that as well. You don't have to be a musician to add to a consemble! But, if you are a musician, there are even greater rewards in store for you because it's a place where you can play and experiment to your little heart's content and see the results within a day or two. Every time you play a consemble "CD" (you need a Shockwave plugin for your browser to do this), the music you hear is different. Here's a link for the Consemble E:

Consemble E: Electric Soul

I hope you enjoy the music and poetry. Please note, too, that I'm open to collaborations so drop me a line if you have something in mind. :)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Nudity in Mail Art - Deadline: 02/14/09

Come participate in my new mail art call "Nudity in Mail Art" by sending your thoughts, feelings, images, and ideas about nudity in mail art (or any kind of art, really!). This call came into being because of a discussion thread at IUOMA (International Union of Mail Artists) at Ning Network and I would especially like to invite all artists to include male nudity as well as female nudity in your work. One of the things the discussion concerned was why most nude models in life drawing classes are female. I have hosted several male nude swaps over the years, at Nervousness and elsewhere, and I am a big proponent of the male nude body. But, all aspects of nudity are welcome.

Please note that, in some countries, nudity going through the mail system is illegal so please keep that in mind when sending your work to me. I will be accepting regular mail art (which is viewable by everyone along the route), mail art inside of envelopes, and email art.

All work will be included, no judging, no returns; everyone who participates will receive documentation.

For more on this call, including a link to the discussion at IUOMA, please follow this link:
Nudity in Mail Art Call for Entries

Send all entries to Carla Cryptic, PO Box 1274, Berkeley CA 94701, USA -or-

by February 14th, 2009.

Thanks for your participation!

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