Thursday, August 09, 2007

Summer Art: no photography...

but a lot of other neat processes.
Here is a sampling of what I made:

The first is a jigsaw blockprint...which involves carving an image, then cutting it out into a puzzle, then individually inking each piece different colors, reassembling it, and printing it. This one is 12" by 24", it has 9 colors and 20 pieces.

Then a reduction blockprint, which means you ink the whole plate each printing with a color, then continue carving out, ink a different color, print again, and so on, until the whole plate is totally carved out and the image isn't there anymore.

Then a wood cut. This is the actual plate, before printing it. I like the thick slab of wood, so I may keep it like this, and not print it.

Next is a silk painting, its 48" by 24" (and 2 details of it)

And last, a stamp print of some wishbones...

plus another woodcut (of a woman and a mandrake root), and a felted wool fox.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Storytelling Show

A slide show of the Storytelling show after hanging, before opening. Not great pictures, but it gives you the idea of what it looks like up.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Rings We Found

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You said that there was a bulb in the center of the forest that illuminates.
I imagined a round globe, spotted with crusted gnats bodies that flew too close and got stuck to the brightness.
The bulb swinging from a tree limb like a pendulum.

Or did you mean that the secrets in that dark wooded place are leavening, enlightening?
I sit on my bottom in the darkest spot and only get anxious.
But I am learning that this comes in small stages.

Sit down in the parking lot and all of a sudden the fallen leaves will rustle across the concrete,
stir you from your magazine. You were just watching, but suddenly you are rustling too.
Communion, union.
Then it's done. Momentary.

I went walking with you and you were talking about the bulb.
Rings, the qualities of union.
In thin vegetal slices, I find rings and want to show you.
In lens flare, half moon rings; in flowers, trembling petals that ring around the center.
Around your finger, there is a ring,
around this walk, we combine to make one, and sing.
(ring around a rosey, pockets full of posies)


An old sled dog.
You can see it in the eye- in the resignied whimper.
There must be some measure of worth playing out here:
something neccesary for survival.
They are going through, marking the diseased trees and
tagging the ones that can stay, that won't spread.
who created these road maps,
who made the end tests?

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Two women,
with wanting and eager eyes,
wash their hair outside in the hot sun,
peek through doorways at the tourists in the street,
corral children and stray roosters.

Birds alight on monastery eaves
watching the dance below

hum, well???

Fallen / Flight

10,000 leaves fall from the backyard tree
spotted yellow in the immediacy of new autumn
the leaves are resurrected as: black bird stretched across cerulean sky

it starts as a death, as a spirit let go,
the plainness of an open face in the new day.
resurrection is: a simple thing, an everyday thing
something old passing, and that transition creating something new

This crow flies out of the frame and off to chase the vulture
(who is necessary in this narrative, though no one seems to like him)
That vulture, who picks up the tender ends of what once was
and carries them through into
becoming something new

Who plays the part of the griffin,
asking riddles, manning the way-station
letting in the lost
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After Halloween

The day after Halloween, it rained.
paper ghosts hung from tree limbs, got soggy
and fell into the collected piles of leaves on the ground.

I was walking slowly, fresh paint was collecting into puddles on the concrete.
I am learning to tell this story
so that the twists are my own:
ghosting makes rain; makes these new rituals lose their unfortunate legacies,
rain washes everything back to its origins.

I can take this kind of sadness
and carry it in my pocket until it is shiny and polished,
looking like new silver, looking like something somebody might want.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Virginia Whiskey (alternate version)

We stopped for a drink at the river.
It was a small river, but powerful -
step inside and you are almost tumbled by the weight of water
rushing around your knees, cooling your skin

We were walking through the old woods of Virginia,
Shenandoah growth of thick moss, curling mushroom, limestone;
full of medicine women, red fox, elapsed time.

You pulled out the flask, which I love only for it's crude nostalgia,
its metallic sheen and dainty embossed floral pattern.
We sat next to the river and watched the water swiftly carry old stories down
oblivious to their place in time, paying no attention to our humanistic linear needs
The river simply told stories
and swept up new ones too,

Virginia Whiskey

I bought this flask on a trip out west
and let it be said that it's light and travels well,
and made it's way back to a home of sorts.

Because I needed a place to think on when I was away
I played the song about Virginia, its wood fire smoke and trees still scarred from the war.
I can spin tales of its gently rolling Shenandoah;
forests dense with green; dark, full of medicine women, red fox, elapsed time.

But this is an old remembrance, liquid, and before my time.
Distill it, light the lantern, lay down the arms.

Shaman Says

This is a good teacher;
Machu Picchu's mystery of cut stone: perfect, even
with no record of the tools
maybe they cut it with some kind of acid, an old wisdom combination of root and vine.

Then and still, green life (ever incorrigible) is making it's way through the thin divide.
Melding there: force of man, will of nature.

In not so subtle terms he told me to go:
take off your shoes in sacred places.
The Temple of the Moon wants your contact,
skin to stone, animal to animus, archetype to simple soul.

It's still possible. Let this be a reminder, he said.


Light, in a word, energy

Butter candles, lit for offering,
the tail end of a silk scarf.

Follow me here, where we can give our thoughts
physical existence, offer ourselves some
solace and make a place for our wantingwishing.

But is it possible
to offer light on the altar, and give respect
to the wealth in the dark

Light and Dark ride opposite sides of the same plane
Embrace both, she said.
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dumb-struck: the Wat Pho, fish market, Thailand.

We came all the way here. This theology is beautiful,
intricate, and unavailable.

The source, behind closed doors,
my western tongue.

Once I even sat openly,
prayer books and beads, people were singing
a private gathering.
I had my camera, I had my willingness, my walls.
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Sunday, June 10, 2007

Tinkering with words to go with these pictures for a summer show...

The lake pours into his hand
The seeds of which/
the unhaunting.
This experience is potentized
liquid dream,
seeds fertile with the deepness of the lake.

Your touch makes rain,
fills deep valleys.
The seed of which/
the creation of this,
the native tongue.
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A series of closed doors.
Approach the monastery by hillside and
the gate opens.
From this distance: the Kathmandu Valley, split open like a gutted fish (beautiful bone, fine filigree)
from Manjushri's sword.
Intention and the power of creation.

The mythology here is transferable.
I want flight, that many winged bird,
I need open gates.
Creation is dually an act of violence (thrust, propulsion, intention)
and an act of beauty (beginning, opportunity, birth)

Notes: not sure about the gutted fish- graphic because I want that juxtaposition: force/beauty, but? Maybe "the Kathmandu Valley, split open like cracked oyster, like open book, like...."
also, re: bottom line: "Creation is an act of violence" or "Creation is an act of force"?
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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Pictures from a recent trip to the Maine coast, and to Vermont. Spring 2007.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Sunday, January 14, 2007

A red layer, then a yellow, both all over. Then a more opaque blue layer only on the sky.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

I am going to try a new-to-me painting technique: Grisaille. So I will try and show the stages as I get to them. This is the first bit: a charcoal drawing a top a gesso-ed surface, then you do a series of glaze washes in complementary colors. Here is the first glaze: green.

I'm trying to make drawings again. Its been many years since I sat down seriously at it, so I am starting off simple with a straight forward portrait. Portrait making is something I used to do as exercise in art school, so it's something I can come back to, revisit. I am in the process of seeing if I can remember how to make lines look like they all communicate. But slowly I am enjoying it again. What I miss about art making in photography is this kind of process: the slow growth of an image. Sitting down with it and making little is all about that temporal moment, and in drawing, you just get to explore that aspect longer. So this is nice: sit down in your little back room for awhile, drink tea, get your hands all charcoal-black.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Trip to Deer Park Monastery, WI

Quiet monastery trip, with the dark coming down and a fullmoonsunset. Both could be seen at the same time, full moon, orange fiery sun. First look one direction, then turn around. This is the advice I once received from Tom, a photo teacher of mine: compose your perfect image, consider line and shape, color, juxtaposition. Now....turn around. Press the shutter.

Backwards logic, I thought. But really only a device to question your intention, or steadfast compositional choices. Here it seems just intuitive, smart advice. Turn around.