Aug 30, 2010

Crows Turning In

I'm starting to really enjoy the identity crisis I've been having for the last year. Having no external bearings has forced me to find some internal guidance and it's really lovely. My heart feels like a fuzzy little kitten purring away for no reason. I have little concern with thoughts about where my career should be by now or what I should be doing to make it go where I want it to go if I knew where that was.

I have been wanting to follow my heart for many years and the effort mostly filled me with consternation. I could never figure out what it was telling me and I was afraid I didn't have the courage to hear. I was being too literal, I thought I could glance at my heart, ask it what to do and receive an answer through the linguistic part of my brain. I finally decided to listen without expecting an answer. It did not feel like a fuzzy kitten at all. It felt like cardboard, plywood splinters and barbed wire.

The more I listen the closer I feel to my own life so I keep at it even when it's not so comfortable. Now I see it more as dwelling in my heart. I feel what is going on in there without interpreting and find I make better decisions which makes life more joyful. It really isn't so mysterious. If your home is a place to crash in between work and social obligations but you start really dwelling in it, you will probably find yourself making it more it up a bit, planting flowers outside. You don't agonize over it, you just feel the chair would be better in the corner by the window so you move it. I'm trying not to expect that it will always be so easy, but I am really enjoying it.

The piece below is my original sketch for the poem. The piece above seemed totally unrelated, but inspired the top painting because I loved working on the handmade paper so much. I don't remember if I made it out of just abaca or an abaca/cotton-linters blend but I do remember sizing each sheet individually with gelatin. Using it makes me long for the days before mass production and plastic, but maybe it wouldn't feel so special if everything were so crafted. I'm not sure what I think about the crow at the top but I love the piece, it reminds me of the work I made before I went back to school and seems wholly of my own voice.

Aug 27, 2010

Aug 15, 2010


 I'm really happy with this painting, I feel like I took a giant step towards doing the work I'm really excited about. I love the other pieces I've done's very satisfying to develop an idea and then work it out with paint. But, when I sit down to a gessoed board with a pencil, an unwritten poem in my head from the previous day, and no plan...the painting paints itself and it is a tremendous gift that I get to experience it's creation so intimately. I do not feel at all like a painter, but the painting impresses me. 

Aug 14, 2010

Reconciling myself to Poetry

Several weeks ago I had my first Tarot reading. I didn't ask a specific question, I just wanted to hear what the cards had to tell me. One idea that came up was that there was something I used to love that I shut out of my life and it was the thing I needed to get my life-endeavor on track. I knew the endeavor was art, but I had no idea what the missing thing was until I was walking home from the bus-stop at dusk. The moon was tangibly a poem and I realized that I had shut poetry out of my life. I still use poems in my art but I don't seek them out, write them, or get excited about the fact that my art is made from a poem.

The whole reason I went back to school to study art was because I had a very intense desire to illustrate poems with the words incorporated into the picture. But as I've discussed in previous posts I became self-conscious about that drive for various reasons. The reading informed me that my reasons were only hindering me and have no bearing. I can see that clearly now. It's hard to be a poet to decide that what you want to say about life should take up space in other people's lives. It's hard to be an artist for the same reason. But modesty and repression are two totally different things. Now I understand more fully how there is room for everyone to create and to share, there are no qualifications to be met. If we do what we love, it is worth sharing and it does not matter the size of the audience.

It's an odd reacquaintance so far, but already I feel more like I am paddling my boat instead of being tossed about by the waves and wind.

Aug 12, 2010


I love this painting but it was such a challenge to resolve it I am particularly eager to put it away and not look at it for a while. In many ways I find my under-paintings more interesting than my paintings, but they don't feel finished to me. I feel like if I tried to pass them off as finished pieces just because they are interesting it would be like showing up to a formal event in pajamas and saying, but aren't they the loveliest shade of purple?


Perhaps I have just become too limited in my color choices, and that is what is so appealing about the under-paintings.

Aug 9, 2010


I'm very enamored with the simple watercolor sketches I've been making lately, and thought I should start making them on nice watercolor paper so I could frame any favorites. Somehow the bumpy, crisp, starchy-smelling paper commands more of my time, so it's hard to stay simple. I do like the integration of text in the above piece. 

I also tried making one on handmade paper with lots of thin layers of acrylic, but there was just no spontaneity in that. I realize that the sketches may just be their own thing...a mediation that is not meant to produce finished pieces but they compel me to explore the options.