The Blue Moon through the North Carolina fog at 5 a.m. the other morning And then same time the following morning.
And following this palette of color, I took this picture of my vodka tonic with lime the other afternoon.
My drinking glasses are often these that Lee made from empty wine bottles. We found the best were Pinot Grigio from the Cupcake Wine Co. They are a thick glass and the look of melting glaciers. We would design a resist pattern to use on them after Lee slowly turned them on his wood lathe to cut at the right height we wanted. Then he had devised a way to sand the sharp edges. After cleaning them up, we put our resist patterns on them (cut out from Contact paper) and into the sand blaster they went to be sprayed with a very fine sand. Here we used a simple cube look (small squares). They are nice heavy glasses and Lee used to sell them at craft shows. And we gave several away. I love using them for tonic drinks.
This morning after laundry, shower scrubbing, sweeping and dusting….it was time for lunch. But before the sandwich, I pulled out my broccoli, cauliflower, green onions and spinach, to make this soup that is delicious cold. I cook the chopped bits in chicken broth until sort of soft. Add some crushed garlic, cumin, cayenne pepper and summer savory (I only use this in soup because I have no idea what else to do with it). Then I use my wand mixer to cream it all down with a nice portion of half and half. Add a bit of salt after tasting and put it in the fridge to get cold for dinner and a few more meals after that. Color is similar….
Walking into town in the morning for coffee, I pass this lichen-laden tree.
And because I knew my basket making friends in Australia were having a gathering, I brought out my Gathering Book which sort of represents what they all do while together. It makes me feel like I am there. Soon they will all be waking up in their own beds back home, so I want them to see my time with them in absentia.
I usually draw baskets in my studio and other bits of things I know they will be using. Then the stitching of patches with some drawing of basket materials.
Some details of those…
I often think these close ups would make great advance sketches for large paintings.
And then drawing the small feathers, buttons, pins and needles that I know are scattered about their work tables.
The second Tana French audio CD finished on the buttons page.
I also wanted to do a bit of a follow-up on the last post about the exhibit I went to see.
Back in undergraduate school my advisor made it abundantly clear that we were to stay out of galleries with prices attached to the works. He considered works with a price next to the piece was likely just “showing to sell”. He called this work, “slick”. Better to have a catalogue with artist statement and concealed price list for those pieces that were available for purchase. I like this thinking because the work can be taken at its visual value and not the monetary worth. And I think that bothered me about the work on exhibit…the pricing. That and the big issue of really thinking because of the age of the look in the photos used, I was seeing a contemporary’s work of reflections on her family history, and how she was connected to all of what I saw. Without an artist statement of her intentions for the work and the prices prominent, I think this was maybe, just maybe, a look at what was likely done for show and sale.
Anyway, going through old artist statements of my own for various exhibits of my work, I found this from a show twenty years ago. Even then I was thinking about age coloring how I work as an artist.
This latest body of work relates to perceptions of aging. Are we ever truly prepared for the adjustments that have to be made in our bodies and minds? How much has experience and memory clouded our ability to focus and assess with clarity our present condition? What do we hold dear …… and how do we ever learn to release ourselves with trust toward whatever lies ahead.
Most of the work relies heavily on found objects that evoke thoughts of other place and purpose, a history and age of their own. Text is used throughout as a documentation and record of the attempts to capture the small glimpses of strong feelings ….. illusive passion… re-remembered with a sense of urgency.
I am twenty years older now and really do feel this sense of urgency. I don’t collect the pieces from junk and salvage yards that helped me get the ideas across to the viewer. Most of those things were used up in earlier works. And several were buried with works that mattered in the making and exhibiting…then were over. That is one of the best things I ever did with my art….wrap in cotton, tie with raffia, shellac the bundle, and then lay it to rest. There was so much that needed that final thoughtful closure.
In moving house, I have pared down quite a bit. I have pulled back to less strenuous ways of working. I draw more. And I write. I write myself onto the page and into the imaginary lives of others who will sometimes speak for me. It is an okay place to be.