Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Then and Now

So, recently I showed you what I was doing back then, now I'll show you what I'm doing right now... well, not right now, but this last week, including today, when the sun was out..

So, firstly, here is a painting I've been working on of my father-in-law, Michel. I'm about three layers in but there'll be a few more coming, bringing the large masses together and softening edge, bringing in more light in some areas, reducing it in others, adding hue and taking it down a notch... you get the picture. He has requested that a bird be added so he does not feel alone, so I'm thinking about that one. It's tricky because I don't want the bird to be a distraction. I was tempted to get completely silly about it and have one coming out of his pocket or pulling a bee out of his ear ear or something... well we'll se what happens with that, time will tell. It's a bit blue and overexposed due to my slow learning curve in photography and Photoshop. I'll get that one figured out some day.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Sleeping Beauty

Some time ago, over four years ago now, actually, I was working on a series of batik paintings based on the story of Sleeping Beauty. The images I made came from figure studies I had done. I love that story, how she is enveloped in sleep and the roses and thorns grow up around her. They are supposed to be hiding her from her salvation but I wonder if somehow they aren't meant as protection as well. Anyway, wasn't she lucky? She didn't have to go through the whole dating game, she just had lovely dreams waiting for Prince Charming to come and save her. It seems to me she had it pretty easy! But I digress...

So, I've been going through my textile "stash" as I've finally decided that that period is over and I found a piece that I worked on quite bit but still with some wax on it. It took some boiling to get most of the wax off and I still have some work to do. I think I had in mind to do one more layer, but hey, bygones. It's done for what it is, unless I decide to do some embroidery on it. I think I'll turn it into one big pillow. She has two sisters which I'll eventually get around to showing you. The original drawing hangs on the wall of a collector. If I find a photo of it, I'll post it too.

Here's to past endeavors and new discoveries. Perhaps there's more sleeping beauty to discover and, no doubt, more thorns to endure.

Friday, July 09, 2010


"You are sentimental," he said. Because I kissed your harness before I gave it to the dog pound. It was not premeditated. It's just that it was yours and its synthetic feel reminds me of the softness of your fur, the curls in front and the caramel color which has now made me like orange, even though that used to be my least favorite color. Well, at least it's more of a rust-colored orange. Can't be going over to the other camp entirely.

Did you see how big the swan babies have gotten? The last day we walked together they were new. Mr. Swan was so protective the other day that he almost ate a small dog. You wouldn't have blinked an eye. Not you, the brave one who swam after the swan after you jumped/fell in the canal. He had his wings spread and was glorious in his whiteness, otherwise I would have noticed that you were walking too close to the edge. He came at you in full regalia but you steadfastly swam on, head on. A swan knows when it sees determination, I guess, because he hightailed it, or rather tucked in his tail and headed South. Not that that deterred you. As a mother I was fretful on the sidelines, but as a dog-in-spirit I was urging you on. Fearless. Luckily you stopped before the bridge and were willing to be pulled out, by your sturdy, red harness. You were feeling cooler after a swim, and quite a bit wet. You smelled of dog, wet dog, a wet dog with dry grass clinging to him, but exhilarated and I confessed to a desire to roll in the grass with you. I didn't though, I just kissed your harness at the kennel door. After all, it was the least I could do.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

The Written Word

I should love to write, tomes, volumes, a page, a sentence, something to empty my head and paint pictures in yours. I'd like to put down words that make you see what I see, the light on the canal, the changing grays and blues of the sky, the distance to the horizon and the butter on my bread. I'd like to have you dip it into the coffee of your soul and blend it into a mixture of your own tastes, your own interpretation, including jam of course. I'd like it to lift you out of your seat and make you want to dance a jig, then put you down lightly on a cushion of feathers, under which would lie a hidden stone, from the brook of my childhood running through the back yard. I'd like to give it to you like a gift, wrapped in pastel papers that whisper in your ear as you unwrap them, with a knot that is a challenge but not an impossibility keeping them closely ensconced until you can no longer help it but must untie it, taking the time it takes to figure out a puzzle on a cold, winter's evening by the fire. As you open it you will hear a sigh, barely audible, escape because I have been holding my breath waiting. Ahhh....

Thursday, May 06, 2010

The Nature of the Beast

Art is cruel, art is kind, art will come up to you and slap you in the face then tell you you are a god. Do you want an easy way out? Don't do art. Do you want to be challenged to your foundations and then challenged again on the new premises you have formed? Then choose art. Do you want to look into your soul, your heart, your psyche? Then do art. If you fear your own shadow, don't do art, or do it and learn not to fear but to explore it. Watch it grow in the evening and disappear only to show up the next day.

Art is a mirror in a fun house and you are looking into it hard but the second you think you know what you see the mirror changes and you morph into something else, don't look too hard, or, look sideways and you may catch a glimpse of what is real.

Art is mercury. Break the thermometer of society's rules and let the mercury flow out. It looks solid enough but try and capture it and it will split and break into new channels then rejoin again.

Art can capture reality, then reality changes, focus changes. You can see clearly or in soft focus or not at all. Art will teach you that every thing, every one is connected but you can also choose to show that they are not. If you miss the connection though, you will be looking only partly and miss the forest for the trees, the myriad of colors in the sunset, the texture of the air. Yes, you can choose not to take the challenge, you can choose to see only partly and you will get from A to B, Life to Death, but you might miss C, the process, the shear splendor of "being-ness".

Art is pen and pencil, paint and stone and chisel and brush and canvas, movement and voice, gesture and sound and word, but mostly it is a way of seeing. You can keep your eyes shut but you will still hear it come knocking and you can choose to answer or not. It could be a lion at the door or not and you may be consumed but like the phoenix you will rise again and again because you have begun a journey that is never ending, you have become aware.