keeping up with …

well, if you have tried to click on the artists register link, you know that it is not operating at the moment.  I got an email notice not too long ago, apparently my subscription had expired without me knowing.

So, now I decide if it’s worth the $75 a year to basically repeat what I have here.

I guess I’ll go ahead and do it, but it takes a week or so to go live after putting things up for “review.”

I also just finished straightening up my resume in the document form at least, in preparation for getting the aforementioned promo packets together.

One of the coolest things I finally learned how to do, not that it was that complicated, was to print CD labels with a full color image background and type on them.

They look rather spiffy and professional.P8120007

Which is the idea.

Also trying to keep up with this site, although I understand that it takes a while to drive traffic this way- but hopefully more folks will come and visit.

For fun- just took my daughter’s cruiser bike out for a spin.

She just moved home for a month or so, before getting her own place, and it was interesting to merge her small household into ours again somewhat.

Let’s just say there are lots of boxes and bags of stuff in our basement now!

And there wasn’t even that much furniture involved this time!

It made me remember the days when my husband and I were rather nomadic and big proponents of Victor Papanek’s ideas on nomadic furniture. I remember things made out of corregated cardboard, and constructed so they either came apart or would compact, or you could make more in a new location…

people stop by . . .

Occasionally I like to work with  my door open. Either by a few inches, to help the air circulate to keep the fumes down, or all the way, so I can sit in a chair opposite, and look in at my painting on the wall.  I’m not one of those painters who loves an audience though… so the best days to do this are when the building is closed to the public.

The other day, while scrubbing away on a piece, I felt the presence of someone outside the studio, and turned around to see a kid starting to slide a piece of paper under my door.  I poked my head out, said “hi”, and he told me he had drawn this and wondered if I would like to make a painting of it.  I’m not certain if this was some unusual way of trying to commission a painting, or he just wanted to give me a new and different challenge. Either way, I was totally charmed. As we talked, I found out he loved to draw, and wanted to try painting sometime.  My guess is he was about 9 or 10, and appeared to be walking around the building by himself, just because he wanted to look at the art! So, here is my assignment … should I choose to accept it….

"could you paint or draw something simalar to this?"
"could you paint or draw something simalar to this?"

I was impressed by the way the image was a balance of intricate little parts and larger shapes, and the great cloud of steam coming out the top having volume as a results of his overlapping the curving lines.  A very carefully observed, robust train engine!  . . .

Today, another wanderer came through, even though the exhibits are closed on Mondays.  She was visiting town as part of a giant gathering of religious types at our local university.  After chatting for a while, she began to pull something out of her purse, and I was thinking “oh no, here it comes, the pamphlet promising me ‘eternal life’ or something similar.” Fortunately, we didn’t go there, and instead she pulled out a business card for one of her husband’s films, called Magdalena- Released from Shame. Something about how women in the middle east are oppressed. Haven’t checked it out, so can’t say what the real message is.

Anyway, you never know who’s going to find their way back to my little corner of the world!

why I write . . . and play

I used to keep a studio journal – sort of a running compendium of comments about work in progress,  mental detritus from former teaching jobs, thoughts about what I saw in the paintings, technical ideas… (“move this over, make that more light, open up that area”…).

‘just occurred to me that since I no longer do that, I can always refer back to some of these entries as a substitute. Heck, even if no other living soul ever reads it, that’s good enough reason.  It should, theoretically, exist somewhat permanently here.

As I mentioned once, I often like to listen to podcasts of Speaking of Faith, or the broadcast on Sundays.  It’s become my version of attending church-  or really attending to the spiritual/ethical ideas that are most interesting to me.

Recently, I was listening to an intriguing program with Dr. Stuart Brown, who founded The Institute for Play. He studied many deviant/criminal types and found overwhelmingly that the one thing missing from their early lives was the opportunity to play.  I can’t fathom a life so grim or joyless.

Brown explained how kids learn and take into later life lessons in problem solving, empathy and conflict resolution- from dealing with each other in play situations, and having a fantasy life, and being free to explore. It made perfect sense.  As artists, we try and allow that sense of wonder and non-productive play to stay in our lives, because it allows for discovery, innovation, and the unexpected gift of being outside of time.  It’s a very easy thing to lose as an adult.

My studio overlooks a public plaza that has, as one of its main attractions, a system of water streamers and sprouters that shoot out of the ground and disappear into these lovely dark rock whirlpool sculptures.P1010083 During the summer months, it’s a major distraction, but also a fascination to watch the toddlers and how they interact with these pieces.  It also encourages me to sit at my table with sketchbooks, ink, and other drawing materials and just play with ideas for the paintings of the future.

When I taught drawing, I occasionally read from several authors while my class was working. When we started using color, I chose Diane Ackerman’s book, A Natural History of the Senses, because she talks about color and how we describe what we see in such evocative ways.  Turns out, she also wrote a book, Deep Play. Here’s what she says about poetry, but I think you could easily substitute the word painting.

“There is nothing like poetry to throw light into the dark corners of existence and make life’s runaway locomotive slow down for a moment so that it can be enjoyed” … “Poetry offers truth based on intuition… we ask the poet to teach us a way of seeing, lest one spend a lifetime on this planet without noticing how green light sometimes flares up as the setting sun rolls under.”

so … enjoy the sunsets, and the toddlers