marriage

Life in the studio
art | authors | gratitude | hard work | marriage | Memorial | redemption | Sabin Howard | Sabin Howard sculpture | sculpting | WW1 Memorial

Life in the studio

Since August 26, I’ve been ensconced in an office in my husband’s new studio. Sabin and his team are sculpting the National WWI Memorial.

I have a life in the studio.

I’m the project manager. I’m also Human Resources and CFO of Sabin Howard Sculpture LLC.

There are plenty of non-glamorous, essential tasks in this job for which I roll up my sleeves and apply the grease of my elbows. I’m not just talking about sweeping the floor, emptying trash, and lugging around bronze sculptures, though I’ve done that, too.

I mean things like running payroll, signing checks, tracking hours spent on each figure… Project management is a first cousin to juggling. You know, 1000 balls in the air, and they’d all better stay afloat.

Along the way, I engage in more pleasurable activities–like writing articles. Here’s my latest on Medium, entitled, “The Many Faces of Sabin Howard’s National WWI Memorial.”

Given our interest in WWI, a friend took me to the DGA to see 1917 when it came out. Great movie! Highly recommended!  I wrote a review.

I take photographs almost every day; our daughter put together a video for us. Her YouTube video shows us getting back to work after the holiday break.

And here’s a video that I put together. It’s a little rough but fun–it shows Sabin and his crew taking the memorial relief outside into daylight to see it out doors, the way visitors will see it once it’s installed in Pershing Park, Washington DC.

So I do find ways to exercise my own creativity on this journey alongside my husband.

New London Day Article
5 star review | art | gratitude | happiness | interview | kindness | marriage | Sabin Howard | Sabin Howard sculpture | writing | WW1 Memorial

New London Day Article

Of the rainy morning, drinking my coffee: heavy cream and coconut sugar. I am thinking about the week passed.

Due to PR efforts for the National World War I Memorial that Sabin is sculpting, there’s an article about me in The New London Day. Perhaps now it’s the The Connecticut Day.

The writer, Lee Howard, no relation to my husband, wrote a wonderful article about my participation in the WWI Memorial as a model in the relief. Howard is a skilled writer and the piece is lovely–warmly written and respectful. He quoted me correctly. He portrayed me with both kindness and some playfulness.

I particularly liked that he quoted what I said about appearing in Sabin’s amazing relief:

“All told, it’s pretty cool,” she said. “Perhaps (someday) one of my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandchildren will stand in front of the relief and look at my face and feel our connection.”

Medium Article and YouTube Video
art | gratitude | happiness | hard work | kindness | love | marriage | maturity | Sabin Howard | Sabin Howard sculpture | WW1 Memorial

Medium Article and YouTube Video

Of late I support my husband sculptor Sabin Howard on his journey. He’s embarked on a grand adventure: he’s the sculptor for the National WWI Memorial that will be set in Washington DC.

Sculptor Sabin Howard

Sometimes it feels as if my life has been taken over by Sabin’s mandate. Other times, I think I’m fulfilling an old contract…one that he and I negotiated in the Before Times, when we were deciding to come together during this life for our lessons and our love.

One of my favorite astrologers told me that I was in a progressed waning Moon cycle, and that feels about right. The light will return to me. Just not yet.

In the meantime, I’m happy to write about my talented husband. I’m proud of his work! I’m proud of him. Check out my article in Medium about Digital Technology and the Sculptor’s Art: Innovation and Imagination. It’s about what happens when the ancient art of sculpting in clay collides with the newest digital technology.

Here’s a video I did on YouTube about Sabin working on the new maquette:

Moreover, we received word that our book The Art of Life was happily ensconced in the Watson Library of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which delighted me, indeed. Sabin and I worked together to write this photo-essay of classical figurative sculpture through the ages, and it was independently published. Take that, Phaidon and Taschen!

Until soon, salve!

My Article in Quillette Magazine: Art, Commerce, and Vision
art | authors | business | gratitude | hard work | language | marriage | Sabin Howard | Sabin Howard sculpture | sculpting

My Article in Quillette Magazine: Art, Commerce, and Vision

Quillette Magazine published my article on why artists aren’t necessarily leftist: “Art, Commerce, and Vision.”

If you don’t know Quillette, check it out! It’s an online platform for free speech.

Here’s what I wrote my friends:

I am delighted to send you my article on Quillette Magazine. It’s about why artists aren’t necessarily Left-wing. I write about Sabin and his work and broach, yes, the question of what real art is. Hint: “Real art is the product of the personal, human vision of the artist… Beauty, excellence, and the artist’s skill matter.”
If you don’t know Quillette Magazine, I recommend it. Quillette is a platform for free-thinking. It’s one of the very few places taking on current controversies in a thoughtful way. Please consider becoming a Patron of this extraordinary venue.
One note. If you follow my twitter feed, @tracilslatton, you will see that I follow, like, and retweet some Twitter users who are much further to the Right than I am, personally. I do this to preserve their voices. Twitter, along with Facebook and Google, is hell-bent on silencing Conservative voices. I see this as antithetical to free speech, which is the foundation of democracy. We the people need lively, and civil, discussions between people of different viewpoints. We the people need the opportunity to consider all viewpoints of an issue. Technocrat fascism must be resisted.
This article, “Art, Commerce, and Vision” came out of my deep feeling that artists must embrace the business of art.
I hope you enjoy this article. I always enjoy the thought-provoking articles in Quillette.
Quillette Magazine
Colette, A Review
5 star review | art | authors | beauty | excellence | gratitude | how to write a book | language | literature | love | marriage | redemption | vulnerability | writing

Colette, A Review

On a recent Saturday, my husband and I enjoyed date night at the Paris Theater. We watched the film Colette.

I’m a novelist and so the film held a special resonance for me. It’s always intriguing for me to see how other women do it–how other women wrestle with the great fanged beast of their need to write–how other women embrace the struggle of creativity and storytelling alongside the demands of partnership and self-actualization.

For me, there is no self without writing. If I’m not writing, it’s because I’m in a no-self space. That’s not a wholesome place for me.

Colette is turned on to writing by her husband Willy, who calls himself, in the film, a “writing entrepreneur.” He cheats on her and tells her to pen her thoughts and then proclaims her work to be worthless. Then he re-reads it and loves it. He pores over her prose with her and teaches her to edit and revise. At least in the film, he is instrumental to her discovering her talent.

Willy publishes her book under his own name. When it becomes successful beyond his wildest dreams, he locks her in a room to write another book.

Colette slowly wakes up to her own worth. Her self-awareness grows as she uncovers her individual sexuality. Her husband cheats but she begins to sleep with women–which he permits, as long as she doesn’t sleep with other men.

It’s comical when the husband beds her paramour and they both carry on with the libidinous lady in question.

There’s a kind of leftist-liberal-proselytizing fabric to this movie; the husband is an exploitative patriarchal scumbag and noble, victimized Colette naturally finds a supportive woman partner/lover. So many films these days are taken over by the need to preach leftist liberal values. I wish more films would focus on good storytelling and leave preaching propaganda to the politicians. It’s boring.

When a story delves deeply into the human condition, the spectrum of left-right, liberal-conservative falls away. What is left is meaning. That meaning is far more moving, far more convincing, than even the best propaganda.

In this case, the film transcends the current Hollywood piety. After all, Colette was a French novelist. She’s an archetypal French woman novelist. She actually lived the life and she did so before it was appropriated by a certain tiresome sector of post-modernist feminists–as if being a traveling mime with a woman lover is the only way to be a woman novelist.

I admire Colette but her choices wouldn’t work for me. I would never have been happy or fulfilled without children and a husband. Being a mother and wife contributes to, and enhances, my fruitfulness.

As painful as my situation is with one of my beloved daughters and with a dearly loved husband who took off for the antipodes, putting his own art before the family who needs him–despite everything–I was always supposed to be a wife and mother. And a novelist. And lately a screenwriter.

Willy exceeds his role, too, I think. Yes, he’s selfish, self-indulgent, egotistical, and riddled with vices. He’s also the fulcrum on which Colette’s own writing turns. He’s a catalyst for her. I find that real life is like this, that people are like this: marbled through with light and dark. Variegated. Bittersweet.

People are complex. They enter our lives bearing gifts, some laced with poison, some with nectar. Often the most difficult characters in our stories are our best teachers.

And beyond the propaganda is the story of a woman coming to own her own voice.

This is the essential struggle for a woman novelist: owning her own voice. Even for women who come across as strong, as I seem to, there’s vulnerability at the root. How do we embrace, own, and integrate that vulnerability with our creative talent?

film Colette