What being ace means to me. #asexual musings

October 3, 2016:

Being age 54 and “single” I am often asked (by people my own age),

Are you dating anyone now?  

When my response is one of raised eyebrows and a cynical laugh, and an adamant, I have no interest, I often get the NEVER SAY NEVER statement.

Oh my God.  I know I know— who knows what lies ahead.  But, seriously, at age 54 and with lots of LIFE under my belt- I have the right to plead:

 Please never say never say never to me.

There is an implication that by not being with a partner, I am not whole.

Also, please don’t say:

You’ll find someone eventually.

You shouldn’t put yourself down!

You aren’t ugly.

You just don’t know what you want.

I don’t need to defend myself, but I feel I need to advocate for us asexual middle agers, who despite who we were before, whatever the hell came before,  who we fucked, loved, identified as, whatever- we are WHOLE now.

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WHAT BEING ACE MEANS TO ME:

Opening up to defining myself as ace and what that means to me feels relieving right now.

• I have found my identity that really explains to me who I am now.

• Life is fluid and so am I.

• Every stage of my life has been magical, deep, rich.

Touch me life, not softly. – Maya Angelou

• I have experienced joy, lust, juice, frenzy, quiet, cozy, lovely, scary, gutsy, sensual heterosexual love.

• I have witnessed and been astounded by the earthy, gorgeous beauty of my body carrying and birthing two children.

• I have had crushes on men and women, madness, deep love, incredulous love, frustrating love, zany love.

• I have been happily married.

• I have been heartbroken.

• Though I have experienced heartache and trauma, I am not ace because of those experiences.

• I experienced intense freedom and a feeling of coming home when the pain of divorce finally subsided.

• I have been single since 2001.  No- scratch that, I’ve been me since 1962.

• I have zero interest in sexual relationships.

• I still love me though and my ever shifting body.

• I have zero interest in getting to know someone romantically.

• I do have crushes on minds.

• And I admit, I have romantic types

• The overarching crush is Lol in This is England.  

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• But it shifts from having a crush to wanting to look like her.  Yeah, I want to look like her, wear Fred Perry clothes, maybe hang out as twins.  Kick some people in the ass or on the chin with shit covered boots.

• Not a single cell, molecule, atom in my body is interested in dating.

• There’s no interest in spending the time or making the room.

• I admit I have zero interest in small talk and getting to know new people at parties unless its about some kind of creative endeavour or really interesting stuff.

• Observing the game makes me tired and all I can think about is wanting to make a sock monkey or draw something and wish I was wearing PJs.

• I love my friends.

• I love my family.

• I love my kids and we are so damn close.

• I love my kids’ friends.  I sometimes steal them.

• I love having freedom to laugh and be myself.

YUP, THIS IS ME:

ace

My friend Matt wrote me the day the other day- 

Asexuality is fucking hard to breach because people of all sexualities can’t comprehend it. It will be the next big “coming out” I think for many people. Apparently there was a study done that millennials are having less sex than any other generation. Perhaps there’s a correlation. Not that asexuals can’t create and enjoy pleasure. They’re just more self sufficient about it.  

So next time you see me in the corner with my head buried in a book and not at the bar scanning the room or reviewing potentials on Tinder- know that I’m good. I’m good! 

Much love everyone! Be yourself!  

Check out:

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Related:

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10 Tuesdays. 10 Fridas. Frida No. 6: Sock doll in Tehuana headdress

 I’m celebrating my blog with an art event. The event honors the woman who inspires me to keep it going as an artist: Frida Kahlo.

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For 10 Tuesdays, I am creating/posting 10 different portraits of Frida Kahlo in some form/medium or another. It may be a drawing, an object, a doll, whatever… A surprise. I have been posting one a week.

Recall:

Frida No. 1: Sock Doll

Frida No. 2: The Dream

Frida No. 3: The Chakras

Frida No. 4: Frida and her magic cone of truth

Frida No. 5: A Coloring Page for You

FRIDA NO .6: SOCK DOLL IN TEHUANA HEADDRESS

Inspired by Frida Kahlo, Self Portrait, 1948, with Tehuana headdress

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This portrait sock doll measures about 14 inches long.  It is my own design and hand-sewn.

Materials: grey work sock with red detailing, black sock, embroidery thread, vintage crocheted cotton doily, vintage cotton material with pineapple print, vintage ribbon, polyester fibre stuffing, button.

I am taking custom orders for $69.00 each (plus $8 shipping) via PayPal. (allow three weeks for delivery; doll will have similar features but vintage items will vary).

    

NEXT WEEK I WILL BE POSTING ON MONDAY JULY 6, 2015 TO CELEBRATE FRIDAS’S BIRTHDAY.

Weekly artist series final: Week 10/10 Part 4/4 LUCIAN FREUD: Your self.

Week 10 Part 4 Lucian Freud

The subject matter is autobiographical, it’s all to do with hope and memory and sensuality and involvement really… Lucian Freud

Write in your journal whatever comes to mind as you focus on yourself:

Draw a self-portrait.  What happens?

 


Next, I will be transfering this self-portrait to canvas with mod-podge and will be mailing it to Art House Co-op Self-Portrait Project:

As you may have noticed, I study artists by ingesting them and regurgitating into my journals whatever comes to mind.

I  hoped you enjoyed this series.  What’s next?  I’ll be focusing on my graphic novel, portraits, an art event and a conference.  Stay tuned!

See also:

35 PART daily journal exercise

Weekly artist series: Week 10 of 10 Part 3 LUCIAN FREUD: your self-portrait sketch.

Week 10 Part 3 Lucian Freud

A self-portrait is a representation of an artist, drawn, painted, photographed, or sculpted by the artist. Although self-portraits have been made by artists since the earliest times, it is not until the Early Renaissance in the mid 15th century that artists can be frequently identified depicting themselves as either the main subject, or as important characters in their work. With better and cheaper mirrors, and the advent of the panel portrait, many painters, sculptors and printmakers tried some form of self-portraiture. [source]

Caterina van Hemessen's 1548 self-portrait

Lucian Freud’s portrait penetrate the soul of the sitter and the viewer.  His self-portraits are awesome and awe-inspiring.

It’s challenging to look at yourself with that same penetration.  UGH.  But, necessary.

Today, we draw ourselves in preparation for Art House Co-op Self-Portrait Project:

Find a photo of yourself.  Or use a mirror.

Photo of me by my student, Melanie. Hands are covered in spray paint- not blood!

Oi.

Ok.  Start sketching.

Well, that was painful!

Next time:

CANVAS!

See also:

Part 8 daily journal workshop. SELF-PORTRAIT. HUMAN . #arttherapy

Recall:

Part 1 JUST WRITE

Part 2 DRAW OUT THE WORDS

Part 3 HEART

Part 4 SPILL OUT COLLAGE

Part 5 NAKED SCREAM

Part 6 INVITE ALTER STRETCH EXTEND

Part 7 ARISE AROSE IN 3’S

We’ve done a lot of good work in the past week, and through our exercises have addressed our pain and have begun to let go a bit.

Now it’s time to address ourselves.  Let’s stare in the mirror and contemplate our humaness.

Many of us freeze at this point.  “I can’t draw.”  “I hate my face.”   Why are we freezing?  Who are we trying to please?  This journal is ours, and we can do whatever we want in it.  We can be as free as we allow ourselves.  So let’s let go even for just a few minutes and spend some time looking at ourselves and allowing the pencil to move over the page.

For some tips on drawing portraits, go to my PORTRAIT TUTORIAL and GESTURE DRAWING.

Now spend 15 minutes writing about how you feel in this moment after completing this exercise.  We’ll use some of these words tomorrow.

Recall my 1977 Diary:

Perceiving human:

From Brainzooming:

  • Be able to selectively and deliberately turn off what you know when it’s getting in the way. You can learn to do this by getting good at forgetting (when you need to), disorienting your own perspective, and soliciting ideas from newbies who aren’t shackled with your level of expertise.
  • Immerse yourself in a whole array of unfamiliar experiences  you can draw upon when you’re brainstorming and looking for fresh ideas.
  • Fight the temptation toward premature evaluation! Protect fresh thinking (your own and others’) from being savaged (by you and others) before it has even had a chance at being considered.

Homework:

Gather some animal pics.  About 5 of them.

Kat’s portrait tutorial PARTS 6 to 8: Final project! #arttherapy

Recall: PART 1: DOODLE WITH RED OR ORANGE

Recall: PART 2: DRAW WITH YOUR NON-DOMINANT HAND

Recall: PART 3: DRAW WITH YOUR EYES CLOSED

Recall: PART 4: EYES, NOSE, MOUTH

Recall: PART 5: FULL PAGE, CLOSEUP

This project was designed for my drawing workshop at this year’s Savary Island Art Trip for youth (12 young women, 4 female staff and 1 Papa Bear artist-teacher).  The results are extraordinary both in the execution and the honesty.  I encourage you to do all parts of the tutorial before diving in to the final parts. The process is important for getting into the right mind-set and turning off the inner critic.

Recommended supplies:

• orange, red and black china markers

• newsprint (minimum 12″ x 18″)

• eraser (not for fixing, but for drawing!)

• scissors

• glue stick

• foam board (minimum 12″ x 18″)

• mirror

PART 6

a. As in Part 5, where I had you draw a frame around the entire workspace, draw a red frame on your foam board and fill it in deeply and rich.

b. Then draw some black in each corner on the inside of the frame and smudge the black towards the centre.  This will give the illusion of a frame and shadow.

c. Using the eraser, etch out some white highlights in each frame corner to give the illusion of light.

See steps a, b and c in the drawing I did of my student:

PART 7

Using a mirror, draw a self-portrait on newsprint using the techniques you’ve learned here (drawing lightly first, fill in, use shadow techniques etc.) or in any style you like.  Ideally you want to draw and head and shoulder shot like my sample above.  Cut out the finished newsprint self-portrait.  Lay aside.

PART 8

On your foam board, write anything you like- stream of consciousness, poems, gibberish- whatever.  It could be writing about yourself, could be legible or illegible.  Just do it!  Write across the page and fill the space.

Glue the cutout self-portrait on top of the writing (as in my sample above) and voila!  You have completed this tutorial!

REMEMBER: you are FREE to do whatever YOU want!  There is no right or wrong.  If you wonder, “Is it ok if I…?” the answer is YES!

Here are GLORIOUS examples by my students:

 

              

This project was inspired by the work: PEOPs by Fly

*This post is dedicated to my colleague, friend, and “daughter” Sara Place!

Sara's extraordinary self-portrait

The portraits. Foreshadowing of the next large art event: a take on the Inside Out Project. Another #massarttherapysession!

The art event as a huge success and is now a catalyst for bringing more of these happenings to Vancouver.  It left attendees hungry for more creative and interactive art experiences.

I met with the muses last Monday and our next event will likely be some time in May 2011.  The focus will be THE PORTRAIT, as inspired by THE INSIDE OUT PROJECT (see details about this project below).

Photos by Julian Bowers.

 

Jay Fisher
Jocelyn Louise

Rebecca Rawlinson

THE NEXT EVENT IDEA:

The premise of the night will be to install 12 large canvases in the creative space.  Each canvas will have a portrait of a local (through pre-registration and subject will be in attendance).  The portrait will have been started by me in charcoal prior to the event- essentially an outline/layout of the essential form of that person.  The subjects and a group of participants will then finish the individual portraits during the 3 hour evening.  The process will be filmed and participants interviewed (if they choose) regarding their relationship to the pieces and their experience of the creative process.

There will also be body art, cash bar, aprés dinner snacks and film.  Afterwards, the portraits will be photographed and be made into posters for pasting around town.  This process will also be filmed and a blog page will be started to record the relationship of the pieces to the community.   The original pieces may travel and be re-exhibited once the film is completed.

INSPIRATION

THE INSIDE OUT PROJECT:


Support the project:

Trailer for Women Are Heroes

 

INSIDE OUT VANCOUVER with Julia Kozlov:

I do not paint a portrait to look like the subject, rather does the person grow to look like his portrait. – Salvador Dali