Naked Athena, Corona Kimono Magnet

Naked Athena Magnet

Well I thought about it and decided to make my Naked Athena  Corona Kimono drawing into a magnet.

I just sent the image off to Sticker Mule and should have the magnets sometimes next week.  I’m not sure I’ll be able to sell them on Etsy so I’m limiting it to just 50 magnets.

I see Jen, the woman who sat naked in front of the Homeland Security Troops sent into the Portland Protests, more as the goddess Sheila na gig than Athena.

Sheila na gig is the ancient goddess who sits naked with her legs wide often holding open her vulva.   She is mostly found carved onto churches in Ireland and no one really knows what she represents although there is lots of speculation.

Sheila na gig still shocks people much the way Jen did when she used her nakedness to protest the troops that brought more violence to the Portland Black Lives Matter Protests instead of quelling it.

Jen’s protest was personal, creative, and powerful.

She is the antithesis of the heavily armed and armored men who shot bullets at her feet when she confronted them by standing naked in front of them.  She said she wanted to show them what her “version of vulnerability looks like”…her “version of power“.  She wanted them “to see what they were shooting at.”

I listened to an interview with Jen on the podcast Unrefined Sophisticates.  She didn’t plan her action. She said, “I felt like I was following my nature…my impulse to be who I am”.

And when she sat down in front of them it was her way of saying “Shoot at this.  Look at this, you can’t say I have a weapon now other than this yoni.”

Jen talked about performance art and being a sex worker.  To her, this action came from “a lifetime of experience”.

I’ll be charging $7 for the magnets and will donate $2 from the proceeds of each sale to Black Lives Matter.

Corona Kimono July 15, 2020

Corona Kimono

A few days ago Jon and I pulled up to the drive-through at  Walgreens and saw the sign in the window.  “Tender Shortage, Please Use Exact Change.”

My first thought was how strange the wording was, then I was curious why.  It seems that many people are not using their change when they pay for things because they’re afraid of it spreading the coronavirus.

So there is a shortage of change.

That got me thinking of the things that people have hoarded since the beginning of the virus. And I realized that Toilet paper, almost a symbol of the virus, hadn’t made it to my Corona Kimono yet.

So this entry on my Corona Kimono is dedicated to some of those things that have been hoarded during the virus.

But even as I’m writing this I’m thinking of rubber gloves and paper facemasks which for a while were impossible to get.  Luckily, there is space above the bag of flour where I can add more hoarded things as I think of them.

Detail of the toilet paper
My list of hoarded things
My Corona Kimono so far.

Corona Kimono 7/1/20

There were two things that came to mind that have been such a big part of the whole Coronavirus experience that I haven’t included in my Corona Kimono yet.

One was Governor Cuomo, who I and many other people around the country have listened to during this time.  I repeatedly heard people on both sides of the political spectrum say “I never liked Cuomo before, but I like him now.”

That’s pretty unusual these days.

Since the first time I heard one of his daily briefings, I thought they were as close as I would ever get to experiencing one of  Franklin D Roosevelts “Fireside Chats.”

I still find comfort in how rationally and honestly Cuomo relays information about the virus, whether good or bad.  As a kid, I loved the TV show Dragnet which Cuomo quotes in every briefing when he says “Just the facts”.  It was so straightforward and uncomplicated.

So I did a drawing of Cuomo (and put his name in the piece too just in case his likeness is questionable) and stitched some of the phrases he repeats in just about every briefing.  “Blame me” is another of my favorites.

The other thing that I somehow forgot to include in my Corona Kimono is toilet paper.  I already have some ideas for that Corona Kimono entry.  But more about that later.

My practice drawing of Cuomo for my Corona Kimono
My Corona Kimono so far. The back, except for the sleeves is covered in thread drawings too.



Corona Kimono 6/18/20

I thought about how the last time Jon and I went away was just before the Shelter-in-place began.  It was Sunday, March 8th that we met Jon’s daughter and granddaughter at the Bronx Zoo.

And now, here we are at a time when our world is beginning to open up again.  And when it did the first thing Jon and I did was to go to one of our favorite Vermont Inn’s a day after they opened.

It felt very much like an important milestone in our experience during the Coronavirus pandemic.

So I began with a drawing I did at the Inn of the piece of furniture between two chairs in our room.  I used a photo I still had in my iPhone of a sealion from our trip to the zoo on one side of it.  On the other side, I drew a butterfly.

On our trip, I finished reading the novel This Terrible Beauty by Katrin Schumann and began reading The Language of Butterflies by Wendy Williams.

The Language of Butterflies is a non-fiction book all about butterflies.  Jon got it for me knowing I’d be spewing butterfly stories day and night.  And I am.  But I also read some of the book to Jon and suddenly he’s very interested in butterflies.

I liked the balance of the animals in this piece, one on each end and the symbolism of the butterfly as a new beginning.

The dart I made on the kimono

Before beginning my stitching today, I had to do some work on the kimono itself.

It’s not always easy to maneuver the kimono on my sewing machine to do my thread drawings.  Usually when I do a thread drawing the ends of the fabric are not sewn down.  I’d start in the middle of the fabric and work my way out to the edges.  But it’s harder to do that on the kimono since there are already seams and no open edges.

So in one place on the Kimono, the fabric was puckered.

I decided the best way to deal with it was to make a dart as is sometimes done when making clothing. I also had to open up some of the seams to trim and rearragne the batting so it laid flat.  ( I put the batting between the lining of the Kimono so I could stitch on it).

This all took some time to get right.  I had to figure it out as I went and after a few tries, I got it right.

I basted the dart, then after I did my thread drawing, I pulled it out.  You can see the fold in the photo of my drawing, and a small pucker in the sleeve to the left, but I think overall it won’t be too distracting.

This is one of those things I’ve been avoiding, not really knowing how I would do it.   But it feels good to have it done and I’m happy with the job I did on it.

Some of the practice drawings I did before doing my tread drawing on the kimono
The back of my Corona Kimono is filled with Thread drawing. Now I’m working on the front, then I’ll do the sleeves.

Corona Kimono June 15, 2020

Jon and I have eaten at Jean’s Diner a couple of times since they opened up their outdoor dining area in the parking lot.  Eating out, which we used to take for granted has become something very special.  The diners and restaurants still aren’t open where we live, except for outdoor dining.

It’s a milestone in things getting back to normal.

The front of my Corona Kimono where I stitched my latest entry

Corona Kimono 6/2/20

Corona Kimono

Jon and I lay in bed this morning looking at photos on his iPhone of the protests and riots that are taking place all around the country.

As it turns out we are largely removed from the worst of the Coronavirus (there are few cases in our area) we are also physically removed from the violence that is happening all over the country and even just an hour away in Albany.

Jon was up late last night writing his piece  One Man’s Truth, Last Stand of The Angry White Man.  For days ideas and images swirled through my head as I tried to figure out a way to express what I was feeling.

Then I thought of my Corona Kimono. 

The fear surrounding the virus has mostly subsided with the murder of George Floyd.  We have moved on to another kind of plague.

But many protestors are wearing masks.   It was the photo of a woman wearing a face mask with the words “I Can’t Breathe” written on it that tied together the virus, peaceful protest, and violence that the country is experiencing.

Face masks have become the symbol of the coronavirus just as the words I Can’t Breathe have become synonymous with the death of African Americans as the hands of the police.

Around the image of the woman wearing the mask, I used some of the words from protest signs that people were holding and the date.

My Corona Kimono


Corona Kimono May 27, 2020

Working on my Corona Kimono

Sometimes I can work through a mess and other times I can’t.  This morning when I walked into my studio I knew I wouldn’t be able to work till I cleaned it up.

Partly because every surface was strewn with my collage materials, fabric and a mess of tangled thread but also because it got to the point where I couldn’t find what I needed.

It didn’t take me long to straighten things out, then I began work on my Corona Kimono.

I think my Coronavirus Hug thread drawing evokes the joy I felt yesterday after spending time with Carol and Monica walking through the woods.

The back of the Kimono is just about filled up now, so my drawings are moving onto the front.  My Coronavirus Hug is on the bottom right.  Part of it is on the front and part on the back.

Corona Kimono May 22, 2020

We seem to slip so easily into the traditional gender roles of breadwinner and housekeeper.  So many men still earn more than women.  And even if they don’t so often the woman in a relationship still takes on the brunt of the housework and childcare.

There are articles about it, but I’m seeing it in the people around me. “I’m doing the cooking, cleaning and shopping” several women friends have told me.  Some are also homeschooling and working during the coronavirus lockdown too.  Others have lost their work.

I don’t know which is worse. To have to work on top of it all or to lose that work that for some many women I know is an important part of their identity.

When something like the coronavirus invades our lives, we do what we have to and are grateful that we and the people we love are healthy.  But it’s as if so many women I know have taken a step back in time falling away from themselves and the things that fulfill them into a time when women were dependent on men for certain kinds of security.

We’ve experienced this before.  Throughout history women have rocked back and forth between dependence and independence to greater or lesser degrees.

From what I can see, each time we come back stronger.  Evolution is a slow process that I trust.  But it’s not so easy when you’re one the other side of it.


Corona Kimono May 18, 2020

I stopped at the old house on the corner.  As much as I wanted to buy a few of the perennials they were selling, I also wanted to meet our new neighbors.

We talked for a while, I bought some plants then, later Jon and I went back.  He wanted to meet them too.  We stood outside the house talking.  It seemed the most natural thing in the world, but something we wouldn’t have done just a week ago.

When I think of it now, it almost seems like it was foreshadowing the Gradual Opening that is happening where we live. The governor just announced yesterday that Washington County,  our county, would begin gradually opening up.

And that’s when I started this entry on my Corona Kimono.   I didn’t get to finish the background last night so I did it this morning.

This is the first thread drawing I made entirely on the front of the Kimono. You can see it in the photo below.

Full Moon Fiber Art