Drawing, Haiku and Kitchen

Since I last posted on this blog about my drawings a day plus haiku, I have done more.

The old stone lantern

is waiting for a reason

to show me the way.


I am making blue

from the great sea of sadness.

It has me smiling.

Is there anything

more inviting to the touch

than a sleeping cat?


Lean on each other.

The slightest touch and you know

to keep on going.

The spoon stirs the pot

of everything we will need

to feel satisfied.


He holds his arms up

begging me to release him

from expectations.

That last one is a piece of pottery that separates in the middle and is a container. When I bought if from a friend I told him I was going to put slips of paper with everything I wanted a good man to be written on them. Of course it was perfect to inspire this drawing and haiku.

Today Lee watched me prepare meals for the freezer. The other day he chopped onions for me….today he seemed uninterested in helping with that but liked tying up the garbage bag and taking it out to the garage. Each day it is different with what he wants to do. He seems sadder lately. The other day we both had a good cry…he because he realized after trying several times, that he can no longer sign his name. Me, because of everything else. We solved it by blowing our noses and having a drink on the porch with memories of better times.

So back to today.

Roasted butternut squash and pumpkin.

Pans of lasagna.

Roasted onions to add to soups, etc.

And pumpkin seeds.

A catch up on collecting tears. They dry up in the vials before you can get enough to work with. They are a bit cloudy, not the clearness I had hoped for. All that is really left in there is a thin layer of dustiness…nothing close to the amount of sadness felt….no evidence of that at all. But I still love the idea of that physical evidence of grief. A mascara smudged tissue just is not the same. Maybe some day I will be able to put into words what didn’t stay in the vial. Maybe.

A friend of a neighbor came to the studio yesterday. I loved her interest in what I had been doing since the last time she was here about six months ago. It felt good to talk with someone who is interested and really listens. It made me want to start making again but right now just is not the best time.

I need to find that “paid for friend” who will come and give me some time alone. I might call our doctor this week and get some suggestions on how best to get through this next phase.

Til later.


New Experiences and Experiments

This is the old collograph that I made titled, “Daily Grind”. Small prints in a row of five ways I have been served coffee. I did give some away and one was to a cafe called The Daily Grind. I might have sold two or three. But I did find several unsold ones in my prints drawer. Now some of them look like this.

The one in the middle is a monoprint that I made in the middle of taking French classes. It was called La Librairie meaning book shop….not library….that would be biblioteque. The spellings could be wrong but it was years ago and I have no idea why I wanted to speak French other than there were free classes being offered at the local library. I drew this image from a sculpture that I still have that has a book for a roof. The crow is there because back then there were lots of crows on my work.

When giving prints to local businesses I gave this one to two places of business.

It was a challenge to come up with a beer label for an exhibition in Asheville at BookWorks. This was a wood engraving and underneath the image were the words, “A beer you want to occupy.”  Anyway one of the places I gave a framed print to is the Hayesville Brewery where we go every Thursday for lunch and another to Parson’s Pub. We went back to the Pub after several years of absence the other day and this was our lunch….a Reuben with fries, a Fowler’s Pie and of course, two dark beers.

And right before we went to lunch we went to the hardware and bought more weeder eater spools, more glue and two self-closing toilet seats. With seats being left up now this seemed like a good investment. I am amazed that with just a bit of a touch to close them both parts head quietly down to sit in place.

Also back in the studio I am working on the first of the wooden heads. It is why I needed to go get more glue. Lots of pieces to stick in place. Next time I will post a picture of how that is going.

Also this week I needed to order a new Microsoft Office program as Word just decided on its own not to open for me. Thank goodness I had help getting it installed via the internet. Nothing is easy anymore….but most everything is irritating.

Til next time.

The Works of War

This was a hard day. I had not seen this work for some time and reading the letters brought so much of the sadness back. But tomorrow the final bundling of War will be over.

This first one is one of the letters I sent the reporter for USA today and then his response back to the original letter I wrote asking about one of the victims he reported on, a young girl named Marianne.

These are copies pasted to the outside of the small coffin that holds every single newspaper image of those suffering in the Bosnian war….over four years of collecting them because I simply could not throw them away.

Here is the coffin.

The wild flowers were still in there with the pictures.

Here are the four coats with the grave blanket.

They will be bundled in the quilt titled, “Lost Peaces”.

The large photo will go into the bundle as well. I actually turned the quilt over before folding the coats in. Here is the quilt, now removed from our office wall.

Other letters I wrote, some to President Bill Clinton and his response.

And a letter to leaders in the former Yugoslavia.

Also wrapped today was a gourd with the first busload of children taken out of Sarajevo. My work of collecting started with these children.

And finally all bundled up is this small hand tied quilt of dry point images and lino prints of the story one Chechnyan woman surviving the war and finding her son on the battle field so she could bring him home. Nothing left for her but memories. I was struck how the mothers went to the Russian generals and asked for permission to reclaim the bodies. There was a brief cease fire to comply with the mothers’ wishes. In undergraduate school I made this small piece while learning various ways of printmaking.

It is physically hard to wrap this work up so I will finish wrapping tomorrow and then take a break before digging into all those specimens from Expedition to Elsewhere: the Expedition.

That will certainly be lighter in mood. But looking at how this is all stacking up, it is going to be one heck of a hole!

Til later.


This is Absolutely the Last of the Men/All About Masculinity

Finally the last box of those men! These poor navigators had the burden of boats that would sink if ever put in water. Their phallic forms made of silk are covered with the text of what accounts for “masculinity”. They drag their own testicular anchors along with them through a sea of feminist text.

Here are a couple of details.

And really the best part after twenty years is how true the feminist text is. So good to read that I copied it off from the silk waves and put most of it below. Definitely worth the read. I wish I had kept track of the authors as well, but they are all somewhere in my research books on masculinity….and some of those are long gone.

I will wrap all these “boys” together with their bags. But their boats would be better served given to one of our window washers who does amazing art works with old metals.

Feminist text

“Women of today are still being called upon to stretch across the gap of male ignorance and to educate men as to our existence and our needs. This is an old and primary tool of all oppressors to keep the oppressed occupied with the master’s concerns.”

“Accepting a version of female experience that sees us solely as victims, as the dupes of men, enables us to ignore both the violence we do to other women and children and to less powerful men.”

“What made Friedan’s book a best seller was her detailed and sympathetic documentation of the malaise of the middle-class housewife, a woman who had been educated to expect, if not a career, at least something more challenging the search for a matching mitten.”

“Decisions to cut aid for the terminally ill, for the elderly, for dependent children, for food stamps, even school lunches, are being made by men with full stomachs who live in comfortable houses with two cars and umpteen tax shelters.”

“At a time when women, with good reason, are asking men to make known their most guarded feelings, when we want them to love and raise babies and remember our birthdays, it is also required that they be the ones to rescue people in a burning building. And startle the dragons when they are heard in the dark.”

“Considering the extent to which masculinity as it is socially constructed within patriarchy encourages males to regard woman’s words, woman’s talk as without substance or value, or as a potential threat, individual women cannot hope to effectively communicate feminist thinking with male relatives, companions, etc. without carefully considered strategies.”

“Feminist works that focus on strategies women can use to speak to males about male domination and change are not readily available.”

I find the fourth one down so true as I watch a Republican dominated Senate force their choices on women…..some things never seem to change.

Anyway, I am off to wrap these poor fellows up so they can compare notes and their struggles for survival in perpetuity.

Til next time when I tackle war with loads more sheets and shellac.