Monday, September 26, 2016

lineage

I dreamed I saw my mother in the woods looking for her mother.
I certainly couldn't help as I had no idea where to look.
So I stand in the middle of a Mother Line holding a tattered end in one hand and raw fiber in the other, waiting to spin, reconcile, unite, these things. Noticing how the word "untie" only needs the transposition of two letters to make "unite."
It is women's work.

 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

equinox

A labyrinth is something I'd always wanted to create when these two feet landed on a piece of earth we could call our own. That creation took many years because I'd been operating under the erroneous idea that one needed flat, clear land to make the perfect seven-circuit layout. A photo from Beth Owl's Daughter's blog gave inspiration in another direction. And so we built our own in a small patch of naturally semi-cleared woods.

As I walked our rugged labyrinth with equinox offerings in hand, I thought of the things I like about its imperfections. The walk ways aren't perfectly spaced. Life feels tight sometimes. Expansive at others. There are acorn tops under bare feet that stick and hurt. Better to pay attention. Roots and stumps and holes come across the pathway. Ain't that just like Life to trip you up sometimes? Step over, step around, work with it as best you can. Trees are included for hugging. Isn't it good to know you're not always alone? Parts of the labyrinth are uphill. Other parts downhill. An easy metaphor.

Then when at the center, leave a little something. An apple, a shot of whiskey, a thought, a dream, a tear. The route to Return holds similar joys and perils. No one said it would be easy, but you've certainly came out with more than when you went in.




Photos from the labyrinth playfully manipulated with Prisma on Android.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

transient

Orly Avineri's deck.
This past winter, I procured a deck of Orly Avineri's The (art) Journaling Game. I've been enjoying the rich imagery and delicious prompts these past two weeks. (This deck inspired me to create my own Tarot.)
Today I got to burn holes.

Sometimes, I like to include the snippet of a conversation into what I'm doing. I thought of writing, It's not always going to be like this. A string of words that apply to transient situations. There won't always be grueling Calculus homework. It won't always be so difficult to navigate college. Life won't always be so bright. It's a statement that defines both times of ease and challenge.

But then, I heard this song too many times this morning . . .

This spread started with one thought, but then another emerged.
(Words shamelessly borrowed from Grace Vanderwaal.)

My mother and grandmother in 1962 with sanded stitches.

Some rips went through to the other side.

Another copy at the edge.

For the love of linen thread.

Monday, September 19, 2016

flowers

There aren't many flowers this time of year in the northern hemisphere. Or rather, they are hidden and catch one by surprise. Tired tomato plants laden with the last of the fruit. Tired echinacea withered and brown. And I'm just here putting things together on whimsy. Then the left hand writes the synonyms.

Still in love with linen thread.

Sewing before words.

Made/Maid of Flowers.
Get what I did there?

Saturday, September 17, 2016

ruined

We went for a boat ride down the Hudson River to Pollepel Island to where Bannerman's Castle still stands. After walking in certain designated areas, we waited for solar lights to shine in Melissa McGill's Constellation installation.

And I want to tell you it was beautiful, because it was.

However, Pollepel Island was once a place where people would steal away to. It now feels like that's been stolen. A feeling that couldn't be shaken.

But, hey, go see it anyway. Because it was beautiful.

Ruined.

Friday, September 16, 2016

momentum

Which is the opposite of this.

A long time ago, in Photography 101, I did some old fashioned photography developing that involved creating contact sheets. Negatives laid directly on photosensitive paper under glass and exposed to light resulted in tiny photos. From these, one would hunch over with a loop to find the best photos out of the bunch for further, larger developing. Digital has done away with all that. It's cute my printer functions include creating a "contact" sheet, but I can usually see everything long before I choose to print it. The other function on my printer I like to employ is the wallet-sized photo option which makes it look like a contact sheet only larger. And that was my fun for today.

Turn the page. Start another. And that's the momentum. I'm on this crazy course of continuation. While three bags full of fleece wait to be cleaned and carded. While knitting projects are waiting to manifest. While dishes soak. While the laundry becomes a mountain.

No arresto momentum here, by golly.

Contact.
My mother would have been 68 today. Now she's art and memories.

Middle of nowhere.
Or:
It's not my fault you're lost.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

tangerine

Autumn Equinox isn't far off. We'll all be in the middle of it in the northern hemisphere soon enough. The raccoons are bashing the metal poultry feed cans in the early hours, crashing into our fitful slumber. Things are getting hungry, stocking up, gathering.

I am gathering images and paint. Moments and quotes collected on slips of paper. 
And so the simplicity of orange and teal are enough.

A found photo from the Family Album stock pile with an image from Mellissae Lucia's Oracle of Initiation and just enough paint.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

uncautious/unconcious

"Go be uncautious somewhere else!"

Okay.

Playing Orly Avineri's The (Art) Journaling Game

My source material
Playing the game

Game over.
For now.

Friday, September 09, 2016

anti-Weltschmerz

It's hot. I don't mind feeling the heat much though. Not today. The weather seems to add to the work I do. Working alongside Hades. So it is hot. Recycled homemade paper is being tested out with paints and inks and collage and thread. Will they be bound together later? I don't know. Framed? We'll see. For now, it's just the action that's enough.

Okay, I'll admit it. My art is often inspired by who ever I'm noticing at the moment. Erin Faith Allen's work has been my focus lately. Having signed on for Metamorph accounts for much of that interest. I'm often honed in on other artist's process ~ how they get a line, how they spread, brush, splash paint, what they do with collage. I love watching how they work. I've observed Erin and Orly Avineri working their art in videos. Both artists have gotten a near-painful response from me, visceral, wincing. Why would she rip so much of that image? Why would she cover it over again and again and again? Why that mark-making tool? My word, what is she thinking?

And, really, I'd never get an answer to those questions. Besides, it's none of my business. Their work is their process. I don't like it when I'm questioned either. So. Shhh.

I've got one of Orly Avineri's books. I love looking through it (for the same reason I love watching the video). I'm drawn to her handling of pages and books. Her process of creation/destruction/re-creation intrigues me. I'm easily lost in the images Orly has created. I've just received Erin Faith Allen's The Underneath: A Pictorial Memoir, and dived into it hungrily. I'm tired of referring to certain journaling practices as "shadow" or "dark," when, in fact, it's the most enlightening work for any artist to undertake. In Erin's book, there is truth, honesty (yes, they're two different things), sandpaper, feathers, raw nerves, silk, words. Some of the words are hard to read, but they must be read because it is one artist's journey and you can't dabble in the pretty bits. The entire story matters and you're not allowed to turn away. Life is meant to be used and the stains add to the Beauty.

Yet here I am. Just me. Not particularly an angst-ridden person. There are things I may suffer, but nothing like I've heard or read or dreamed of. And so I gotta ask: Does that still make me an artist?

It probably does, but I had to ask.

Playing with a bit of that recycled homemade paper . . .

and another larger bit.

More "Me" stuff.

Dear Art Journal . . .

I am here.

Saturday, September 03, 2016

selfie

I enter online communities with no expectations. Metamorph, hosted by Erin Faith Allen, has had me hugging the edges of my creativity. And I certainly did not expect that. I'm not a selfie person. Not that I haven't indulged in the occasional Instagram selfie or painted my own portrait or used images of myself in other pieces. It's just not my usual focus ~ if there's any focus at all.

We are in the second month of this community, moving deeply into another aspect of self using self portrait as source. The Android has been doing most of the work photographing and then manipulating images with Fragment or Prisma or Pixlr. Then I paint or draw from those printed images. Over painted pages. Over letters to myself. Over and over.

So. Now I'm a Selfie Person. Go figure.

Images from the first month's offering.

A letter.

Playing with Stabilo and spray inks.

Drawings on scraps and pages pieced together.

Selfie source material.

Fun fragmentation.

Odd views of me.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

string and other people's memories

There's been a constructed journal lying about waiting for work to do. It's not that I'm ever finished with any other journal I'm working in compelling me to start another. I just begin again. Teesha Moore's fabric journal creation had inspired the building of this one. It's been sitting on a shelf in the studio for two years. My daughter nearly has her pages full. It's been a slow two years.

However, this past summer (so sad to say it ~ Past. Summer.), I was working pages with a wild frenzy. No plan. No outline. No course to follow online. Simple work. Simple painting and mark making and collage and mess making. Whatever my heart desired working with what I have rather than fortifying the studio with more supplies. Cheap acrylics and the slippery Stabilo All pencil. Loud music. Mustn't forget the raucous music.

Also, this past summer (and there it is again), I dismantled and then categorized two old family albums. They had been moved from house to house along with my grandmother and mother for years. As I've neither to reference the photos and discern what connection the people in them have to me, I took the moldering things apart to find gems. Not all, but many of the black and white, deckle-edged beauties were labeled with who and where and, sometimes, when. And if I knew a body, but had no connection with it, that photo went into the Becoming Art Someday pile. All the rest I put into wax envelopes marked according to year.

This is now my source material for collage. It is more mine than anything I could find in a browser search. Along with the baggage of a person's captured soul. Oh, the stories they may tell!

Along with the mutable lines of certain pencils (and now graphite sticks ~ I'm in love all over again), I've discovered the randomness of painting with string. I suppose it could be any string, but I didn't get past linen. Linen thread has an animated quality to it. I found myself dunking and dropping a length of it several times, letting it fall where it wanted, making loopy, drippy, springy lines. The linen thread had bounce. The process was delightful, encouraging a disconnection from perfection.

And so the work of this God continues . . .

Copies of a Copenhagen contact sheet found in one of the family albums. The images came from a family album my grandmother acquired after a second marriage and so I don't think she was there herself. And then there a pair of girls I've no recollection of.

Dip, drip, drop.

Another page of unrecognizable photos ripped and "spliced" back together.
The little girl might be my mother.

Finished for now with oil stick X's.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

work

What is the work of this God?
Painting. Filling pages with no reason other than to fill them.
It's different from working on canvas or wall or masonite or whatever.
The art is "put away" when the sketchbook/journal is closed.
Then it is fresh again when opened.
I lost/found myself in an old hardcover sketchbook bought years ago and hardly used.
It's taken about a month or so, but now every page is filled with paint, pencil, crayon, pastel, and ink.
And when I dove into Metamorph after a week of its going live, I found it to be the perfect sketchbook for this work ~ like I'm half-way there.
The photos below are only a few of the spreads done, but I took pictures of the whole sketchbook. The first two are from the Metamorph exercises for this month.
Sometimes, I enjoy simply turning the pages, seeing the images and shapes and colors and lines ~ as if I didn't make them, as if they aren't mine.
Then I wonder how one might have a showing of art journals in a gallery where the viewer is allowed to turn the pages themselves without damaging or wearing out the work.
Or maybe making that action part of the art.