Sunday, June 6, 2010

Working title "Burning Down the House"

Where the Splitting the World Open series is rubbings, these are stampings. I used some of the same tools: knitting needles, remote control, silverware, silverware drawer organizer, knitted dish cloth, door jamb bits, and that bracelet my daughter was going to throw away. And I couldn't escape the idea of burning it all down and flowing in the water. One of the artists in the building said it looked like something was blooming. Yes an opening up of the truth. A burning of what we don't need, a cleansing, a budding and flowering of the beauty that remains. More transcendence and transformation.

Dancing Bird Dandy and The Hedgehog

So you just have to laugh when a friend looks at your art and sees a Dancing Bird Dandy. And you say, "I don't see it." And she says, "It's right here." And you say, "I still don't see it." (But I do see a cartoon hedgehog in the other figure and wonder, "Should I paint it into oblivion?") Then your friend downloads your painting from your blog and outlines the Dancing Bird Dandy and the Hedgehog profile and emails it to you. Yes now I see. And your daughter profoundly says, "Love how warring titans turn to funny cartoon characters. Says so much." Yes. Yes, it does. Nothing gets painted into oblivion. The hedgehog stays in the picture. It's one of the joys of abstract.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Embattled Titans

acrylic 20"x28"
En-raged one night
Ex-pressed onto canvas the next
A knitted dishcloth soaked in perfect grey
Water squirted without thought
A choke chain stamped in red
Orange and a touch of yellow wheeled in
Compliments added
Compassion now fills the emptied space.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Splitting the World Open

Looks are deceiving here--someday, I'll get the technology figured out. The square paintings are 18"x18" and the rectangular are 18"x27". I haven't decided the order of the paintings yet. The process started for each painting as a rubbing of items that were symbolic of my childhood and the things that hook us as adults so that we go back to that child self. I was looking for transcendence and transformation. The title comes from a Muriel Rukeyser quote: What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open.

Aditi: Fertility

Aditit: Fertility 33"x33"

This is the version post posting on InnerIdeaArtists website. It is more finished now. I'm not touching it anymore. But I must say, it's a little like revising writing. As long as a painting stays in the studio, it's subject to revision. Once it's out the door, it's done. One must make a conscious effort to not put more paint on the canvas. To say yes to the finished work.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Letting Go

I had nearly finished this painting, but it had a problem. The flame from orange to white to blue in the bottom left quadrant threatened to propel the image off of the painting. I loved that part of the painting, but it was distracting, overpowering, and actually belonged to a different image. One I hadn't painted yet. Definitely not here, not now. I had protected this portion of the painting through all of the edge work. Now it was time to let it go. That's often the way it is. The places you fall in love with have to essentially provide the foundation to more color, different shapes. And actually, letting go leads to freedom and other places to love.

Aditi: Space 33"x33"

The bottom left and center, now, for me, hold the image and the space. There is still movement, but it's circular. And stronger. And I will always know what lies underneath that strength.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Lightcatcher of the Whatcom Museum

The Lightcatcher is a fabulous addition to the Whatcom Museum. This building is for exhibiting fine arts, and it houses what is known as "FIG," or the children's museum. the current exhibition at the Lightcatcher, "Out of Bounds," is the art collection of two wonderful people, Driek and Michael Zirinsky.

I know Driek and Michael from my years at Boise State University. Michael was one of my teachers in the "History of Eastern Civilization" class (his area of expertise--History of the Middle East), and Driek was my mentor as I went through the English Secondary Education program. I certainly could not have made it through as gracefully without her guidance. And now, our paths cross again, in Bellingham, in the art world.

Driek and Michael have collected art from around the world and some mighty stunning pieces are displayed at the Lightcatcher:
Jeppe Hein "Fire Drawings" are mandalas created from the scorchings of a torch.
Chris Gilmore's "Lambretta" is the incredibly detailed motorcycle constructed of cardboard.
Lead Pencil Studio's Annie Han and Daniel Mihalyo created "Inversion" to pay with solid and void and can also be viewed from above.
Cheryl Sturtleff's home-structions tell a compelling story of structure and emotion.
Susie J. Lee in "Fugue State" projects shadows of hands portraying varying stages of human relationship through handcast resin.
Long-Bin Chen sculpts faux stone heads from recycled books in "China Can Say No Again" and "Damoh" (from telephone books).
Ala Ebtekar has reverently painted "Ascension Buraq" with Tanka clouds and missiles on pages of an Islamic prayer book.
And then there is Enrique Chagoya's "Codex" an incredible book, a copy of which can be purchased at the gift store, "Endurance" footage of Shackleton's adventure in the Antarctic with penguins and pick axes projected on a tooth. Look for a painting with Medusa seeing her reflection as a smiley face. Definitely the gamut of emotions as one travels from the profound to the whimsical. The breath stopper, though, is Hung Liu's "September" a painting in process in 2001 with a Chinese woman in elaborate headdress and a peace crane juxtaposed. I wished for a bench to sit on to ponder this painting further.

The Zirinskys also own a couple of pieces created by John Grade, who has an installation in the Lightcatcher called "Bloom: The Elephant Bed." This cannot be explained. There's ink. There's paper. There are counterbalanced weights. There's binding that's corn-based to dissolve in Bellingham Bay waters. There's white. There's black.

So I bought a membership. It had to be done. Been there three times. Will be there again February 7 when John Grade comes to the Lightcatcher to speak about his work. There are a lot of people to thank for the existence of this fine art museum. I thank them all. And I thank Driek and Michael for sharing their art adventures with us 'hamsters.