Sunday, November 29, 2009

My Trip to Mars

I apologize for the poor photography. On the left is Phobos 26"x26 and on the right Deimos 24"x24" collage, acrylic, cellophane papers, silk, netting and photo collage, hand and machine sewing and glitter. Several years ago I became fascinated with space travel...certain planets and moons in particular. I embarked on a study of scientific information, mythological and personal creative reactions. My first planet was Venus and I produced two pieces and sold them at a group show...promising myself my next planet of study would be Mars. At the time new information was being reported daily and photos as well. Mythological Mars the God of War was an intense figure. Two of Mars actual moons are named after two of mythological Mars sons. I proceeded a long stream of conscious writing about these two sons/moons and produced these two pieces. I had them and a few other space type collages in a group show but I never actually produced work from the standpoint of a Mars landing or exploration.. My interest waned on actually reacting to Mars so I put it on my list of "things to do, places to go" for a later time. I think it felt like everyone was visiting Mars and my vision felt disturbed by current discoveries....another time!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Art Making/Research

Yesterday I spent a good bit of time printing from the old collagraph plates, mostly focused on the cups, saucers and teapot. Mixing sepia toned and greyed blue inks over splotched papers.
This is my writing that is guiding these large canvas pieces.

Placing this hand on the secret heart.
Listening to the soft beat of the rhythm long known.
Time for the enfoldment nears.
Jaw set against last minute tears.
Wings encircle with comfort.
Enfolding, enveloping arms on this moonless night.

1. "Crowned child of the wind" 2." Daughter of the Light" 3." Woman of the Altar" 4".Star among the sky". I believe my piece "Altar for Miriam" answers the third suggestion and now the "Crowned Child of the Wind" is the next effort for me. My only beginning was printing these plates. I have no desire to draw a child's image but I think I'd be pleased to capture a/my child's spirit. On that note, I've been researching Rufino Tamayo. Always loved his portraits and feel he was the master at capturing essence. Art making is such a rich and rewarding experience...the places one goes in the name of creating! I'm bubbling over from all the ideas and plans and right in the middle of shopping and pumpkin pie making! Somehow I'll get to it all as celebrating gratitude with family is as important as the studio work. Tomorrow I'll bake the pie, and meet with friend Deena, work on some basic approaches on the canvas. Thursday is Thanksgiving all day and Saturday my son arrives and we celebrate again!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Altar For Miriam

24' x 36' canvas, acrylic and collage. Finished all but a coat of varnish. I haven't completely fallen in love with the piece but there are parts that are beloved. The paint rag circle, hand sewn to paper (15years ago), the little gold clock from the 'Mars Series' (10years ago), parts of the urn from the 'Sacred Vessel Series' (5years ago), hands, compass plate all from my favorite collage stack and the columns and altar table made themselves. Actually I have at least three boxes of collage material, fabric and trims, found items and old work remnants. The writing from the meditation has narrowed down to lines/titles/suggestions. This one simply being as" Altar For Miriam." The next one that intrigues me on my list is 'The Crown for the Child". A bit of a puzzle but I'll find the time, open my collage boxes and begin again. I do know I am drawn to fabric and the old collagraph plates. Remind me to tell you about my "Trip to Mars Series"! ha

Also need to stop art life and make a grocery list, go shopping and do a little pre-Thanksgiving baking. I am amazed at how many restaruants, grocery stores cook complete dinners to be ordered and picked up. Dinners with all the trimmings and perfect for one or more! We live such busy lives and not everyone likes the cooking part of these seems to be a good idea! I am not roasting a whole turkey as we both like the white meat so I will pay a little more and order the turkey breast...everything else will be traditional.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Collagraph Plates Found

Old collagraph plates I found while digging in a storage basket of printmaking "stuff". I'm just about ready to start my next large canvas and I found myself thinking about some old work and how I might incorporate it into these larger pieces representing self portrait/inward series. I didn't find some of the plates I was looking for but I was surprised by what turned up from long ago. I still continue to meditate and journal before beginning work so I'm depending on that as my lead.

Directly across in the sidebar is a photo of my first large piece and it is getting close to being done. The last bit of journaling turned into questions about what imagery could stay and what in the piece do I love. So my answer was the columns, hands, paint rag moon and compass plate must stay. The background color has been a puzzle...Is this morning or evening? Is this altar in a grey mist or delicate fog? Is it dusk calling for hands reaching for the heavens and dim darkening light? Are there words needed? So many questions but as I filter through, I will create this altar story, this first one of self portrait/Inward.The background has been many colors but this blue seems to feel right, reminds me of a line from a Bob Dylan song, "It's not dark yet but it's getting there"!

Saturday, November 14, 2009


We are no longer newlyweds as Thursday the 12th marked our third year anniversary. Pablo came home late from Reno so we just exchanged cards...Friday we went out to dinner and this afternoon a brunch at a window seat at the harbor watching the waves and sailboats here in Santa Cruz.

I posted two photos of us at our wedding...a small traditional service. The cloth wrapped between us is Pablo's prayer shawl (his since he was 12 years old) and in the ceremony we share the shawl as a united of the many beautiful rituals in our ceremony. We printed a program for the guests so they might follow and better understand the meaning behind each ritual.

This afternoon we began talking of goals both personal and as a couple. We are giving ourselves a day or so and will share some ideas about this next year. One of my wishes is a trip either to Palm Springs or Sedona in the Spring. I'm not a big traveler but I do love PS, so we shall see.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

terroso' Earth Below

8"x8" canvas, tissue, acrylic, pinhole negative, print. This is the sixth of the 7 Directions Meditation. I used a duplicate of this same image (cielo) but this one focuses on the earth. On this piece the writing is almost readable. The writing from the meditation is a question concerning the photo "What is seen but not seen?" repeated every other line with various answers...such as the cool water of the green river, the sacred presence on this earth etc... Altogether I'm surprised that these six directions work as a set. I used the same materials but each has it's own life, except these last two play off one another. The seventh direction is inward and for now I've stopped working this small and will return when I've finished with this old/new project calling me....self portrait/Inward. They do run together but the size of the canvas is much larger 24"x36" and I'm not narrowing down my materials to just a few but rather letting them just evolve. I have four canvases ready. These art projects are starting to stack up around here...I also am interested in creating abstract works using soft pastel on large paper 36" x 36" which means least 4 or 5. I plan on beginning this series with acrylic first and then follow up with this buttery chalk. In my steps of the creative process book, I am clearly in the 1st step....dream stage...I have all these plans and dreams. The 2nd stage ...gathering the materials which I have also been doing but then there is the 3rd stage which is getting started and then eventually asking the question "What the hell was I thinking?" I'll be there soon enough...I'm going to enjoy these early steps! It is like the old joke..How to make God laugh? Tell him your plans! ha

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Soft Pastel Rediscovered!

As I was arranging and rearranging my studio I came upon my pastel surprise they exist but a reminder how I want to do a series using them on some large paper I have been saving. I received these as an inheritance from a dear artist friend and I look forward to using them with hope of her magic attached. This got me to thinking of my artist is a long list with materials and techniques and visions and series I have yet to explore or revisit. So much to do! Are these familiar feelings? I actually wrote a list of this past years accomplishments to ease the pressure on my very small full brain. Personal accomplishment: 1. revisited collagraph in the compass series. 2. 2nd visit to oasis series as my rest and recuperation. 3. Used limited materials and added 7 directions meditation to my art making. 4. Rediscovered sewing on cloth and paper in my Human/Divine series. 5. Ongoing self portrait/muse imagery. Most of this work shows in sets on my flickr site. I know there are more things I have touched on this past year but that seemed to ease my angst about "Paint Bucket Lists". I'm getting older and I have so much I love, so many things to express in so many ways that I sometimes get overwhelmed. Tell me about your "Paint Bucket Lists" ?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Cielo: The Sky Above

8"x8" canvas, pinhole photo negative, tissue, acrylic. There is writing embedded in the sky but almost unreadable. Again, meditation to writing to imagery. It reads of being the sky: "This sky of mine" repeated every other line and between lines, with the last line being "echoes my sacred presence". The photo is one I took in Yosemite near Mirror Lake. My love for Yosemite goes back to my early childhood and the area for me, is a soul connection. This is the 5th of the 7 directions and the 6th also used the same photo. I will post the 6 completed directions on flickr. The seventh direction is looking inward and I must say I need a break from working this small! Personally I believe all work is inward so for a little while I will focus my attention on four canvases measuring 24'x36" and then come back to this 8"square.

Before I start work I must first clean the studio.! I rather like a messy space but this has gone so far as I can't find any place to begin new work.Rather that being inviting it is the opposite...too chaotic. So I will devote some time to getting things orderly today. Whenever I dig in like this I make wonderful discoveries of materials, snippets, stones or such just waiting to be rediscovered!
Maybe it is the season but I am getting strong feelings on getting not just my studio in order but many other areas of my life....closet is begging for a winterizing, I need to revitalize my cooking...fresh approach with stews, soups and such and I need a day of those days when you get in the car and take off...find a new place to eat lunch, some photos, shopping...roll down the windows feel the fresh fall air...yes! What do you need to do or go to feel refreshed?