Sunday, April 6, 2014

My Symbolic Sipapu

Since you have not been in my studio, I thought it might be worth explaining a little about the environment in which I create.

I have three studios, the papermill in a warehouse, the stand-alone brick carriage house, and the cave-like etching studio in a cul-de-sac in the basement. I call it the cave. This is where I work. Even the long gone dog was afraid to travel the dark corridor to enter the studio. Lucy, the cat, loved the quiet and sat on a stool as I worked. She was from time-to-time a muse.

My cave is below ground with a small window open on the side garden. Although the dog wouldn't follow me into the cave, she would sit amongst the flowers and watch through the window.

The interior walls of the cave are white stucco over brick. On the eastern wall beyond my etching press are three notable elements, two of which you can see in the accompanying photo. The one not seen, located to the right of the schematic drawing of the Carnac Alignments, is the electrical outlet that is seldom used. Shown, is that birds-eye layout, or map, of the standing stones, clearly showing the arrangement, in row upon row, of this flabbergasting manifestation of the human desire to make sense of this world.

To the left of the Carnac "map" is a seemingly chaotic tangle of colored electrical wire. Both the "map" and snarl of wire have their own logic and non-logic.
Each has been staring me in the face for the last 25 years, every time I set foot into the studio. Oh, and that unused electrical outlet? It is not unused. It is the conduit
through which the greatest power enters the studio and fills me with energy.
It is my symbolic sipapu that lets the Muse in and out.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Fingerpainting So to Speak

I never get more paint on myself than on the paper. Yet, from time to time it may look that way.

Shall we say that when I do notice, I am happy to discover that the painter has become the painted.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Squint Harder

I’m not clear how anyone else might use them, but the squinting game is handy in literally seeing something more clearly. Squinting alters the amount of light that enters the eye and, therefore, the amount of data that reaches the brain. What is interesting is that the brain has a choice of what to do with that data. I have found my brain responds by filling in the missing data with what is expected in its place. In other words, it creates an image out of memory fragments.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

the book before the paintings

This is the initial book from 2012, sharing my reaction to the Alignments at Carnac. 

Stonehenge is a big attraction. It is amazing and magical. But the number of standing stones that make up the place is so few, compared to Carnac. The Alignment at Carnac, thousands of standing stones, have been poking out of the ground since 4500 BC. Stones, some 18 feet tall, are in rows that stretch several kilometers. I visited them following a day at the cemetery at Omaha Beach. The impact was massive.

After you have read the online version, click her to see PAINTED CARNAC

Friday, January 10, 2014

Painted Carnac (updated 1-27-2014)

3000 rocks, pointing skyward for 6500 years are endlessly pregnant with meaning lost to those who look only at surfaces. I have wandered between these standing stones and am now and forever drawn to them, the Alignments at Carnac. Read my paintings and drawings as poems written for you in a language prehistoric. Don’t be surprised that you already recognize as familiar this unwritten tongue. If you don’t worry about the spelling you can hear the music, feel the cadence, hear past the lack of logic.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Just A Regular Cat in The Christmas Tree

Here is that story you have heard many times: an unexceptional cat discovers a magical tree, covered with tiny glowing fruit, growing indoors.  A voice in the cat's head compels it to explore, read: Climb.

This is a wondrous green tree, almost too easy to climb,  laden with strange apples that have no smell.  Up and up the cat moves, curious and excited.
As this feline nears the summit, the enchanted fir vibrates, then tilts, falling with a thunderous crash. The startled cat escapes the room, wondering what had just happened?  No tree had ever done this before.

After a few hours under the bed the cat returns to the living room and finds the magical tree again standing, just as when first discovered.  This tree is truly special.
This cat mounts once more and the crashing is repeated.  But unhurt and unafraid this time, the cat hides waiting for the mysterious evergreen to pop back up.  Only while this cat is eating in the kitchen does the Christmas tree climb back from its prone position.
The cat has no idea that it's human was involved with this miracle, the righting of the tree with glowing things on its branches.      

The cat did it again and again until it was no longer amusing.  Those broken hand blown glass ornaments from Germany were expensive.  Enough is enough.  But the cat thought it was a game, by this point.   Locking the cat out of the living room didn't work. Someone would open the door to enter or exit and the cat would break past and make a beeline to the tree. A traditional Christmas tree stand is no match for  a cat intent on toppling a decorated tree.

Dad solved the problem of the cat knocking over the Christmas tree by anchoring a ring bolt in a ceiling beam in the living room.  He suspended the tree using tie wire.  The tree hung in a pan of water, almost as if the tree was floating an inch off the floor.  

The cat continued to spend much of the day hiding amongst the upper branches, but could no longer knock the tree to the floor.  However, when he leapt to the floor the tree would spin, like an upside down top, yanking the string of lights from the electrical outlet.  The room would go black.

Blackness didn't have the same impact as knocking the tree to the floor, but it was the only new trick that entertained the cat that week.

Then on New Years Day the ordinary cat was puzzled when the indoor magical tree disappeared.   We usually left the tree stand longer than New Years, but not this year.