2011 was capped off by my annual meeting with Dick Clark to welcome the new year. He was on the television in my bedroom, where I was snug as a bug, keeping my right arm still and allowing the muscles and ligaments to recover.
While I was in South Carolina, I met my friend Brian for coffee, and we talked about the New Year's Eve we spent in Times Square with our friend Susan Malavet. Cold? Oh, Lordie, it was brutally cold. We'd have frozen, no doubt, if not for Susan, who lived north of the city and was the veteran of numerous New Year's Eves in New York City.
The most amazing aspect of being there is the other-worldly / one-world feeling you get when you visit the Mona Lisa or when you see Charles Dickens' name inscribed in a visitors' log at Shakespeare's birthplace, both of which I've done. It's equal parts awe -- I'm part of something so much larger than myself -- and also of connection -- not to the artist but to the millions who've joined in admiring the work.
The next most amazing aspect was that within twenty minutes Susan, Brian, and I were the only people left on the street. I don't know where all of those people went, or how they got away so quickly. If they'd all flowed to Grand Central Station, they'd all flowed out of it again by the time we arrived there to catch a train. The night is a masterpiece of civic planning and foot-traffic flow.
And here we are with a whole new year,all bright and shiny, just waiting for us to pitch in and make something of it.
I'm beginning a new series of large art pieces this year involving bridal gowns (and perhaps additional garments) and narrative.
I'm also planning a number of smaller pieces. Rather than making 365 pieces of art, though, as I did last year, I'm going to complete 52 pieces of art (painting, collage, quilt, fiber art, assemblage) in 2012. Yep, that's one a week. Twenty or so pieces are already off to a good start; at least a dozen more are right at being finished and just need me to push through that final "what the hell do I do now?" stage.
My other major art project for 2012 is to learn how to operate all of the bells and whistles on my Nikon camera.
And then there's that book project. It's a very fine project, indeed, but I won't be working on it until the repetitive stress injury to my elbow heals.
Finally, I'm still researching preservation techniques and still working on Step One, which is to halt the damage to paper records, photographs, and ephemera from my parents' house.
For the record, the Year of the Rabbit continues until February 4, when the Year of the Dragon begins. Other dragon years are 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, and 2000. If any of those are your birth year, you can expect an especially propitious time of it. The rest of us can expect the usual sun and rain falling on the just and unjust alike.