A Very Good Few Days Here – Bad Days for Australia

This artwork was accepted into the Waterhouse Exhibit at the South Australian Museum this past year. My goal with the work was to press home how very vulnerable Australia is to climate warming. Using the book, Fatal Shore, by Robert Hughes, I cut several Eucalyptus leaves from the pages. Then colored them with the watercolors made from the soils of Australia and finally burned all the edges. I made a dust pan for them to be swept into.

When I left this beloved country last April I gave several of these leaves to friends there and then placed the rest in and among Eucalyptus leaves in some of my favorite places.

I weep for the country and all the suffering to be endured by some of the most resilient people I have ever known. If you can make a donation of any kind to those working so hard to help, please do. I chose the Country Women’s Association of New South Wales and intend to give more to other charities covering the losses of their people and wildlife.

Here at home it has been a good several days. I was thinking that Lee might become too confused with having a student here for a day of white line printmaking. I was afraid that I would have to end our sessions but instead Lee was looking forward to Kent being here and greeted him in the driveway with an offer to help him bring in supplies. I even did some of my own work while working with Kent. A good day indeed!

Also I am keeping up with the drawing a day and haiku.

I had to have this

African incised gourd from

the Smithsonian.

 

Baskets by Lee Cole

can trigger a return to

beloved Australia.

I knotted in all

my African beads and bronze

while dressing this gourd.

 

This gourd end has been

turned into a percussion

rattling instrument.

 

And the Bush Book now has two more double pages.

A bluebird, copperhead snake, box turtle and katydid.

One very big bumble bee.

More later.

Tonight I will make Lee and me some tomato-bacon soup to go with leftover quiche.

I will have some Australian wine and think of the friends there who still may not know if their homes survived.

Til later.

Christmas Break

Our doctor friend loaned us some puzzles to work on. So we started with this 1000 piece one with loads of tiny figures working out in a very large gym. Then I took breaks to the studio to work on the Sandy Heads. Marla helped me put the bases together that go with each of the four heads. The printmaker Sandy head was finished a while ago, but not the base. Now it is.

Here are the other bases.

The starting pieces of the writer Sandy…..right and left brains still to be worked out.

Homemaker Sandy collecting a whole lot of parts.

And my present project is Explorer Sandy.

First I carve out each side of her head to put her bits and pieces into. The left side is a collection of bottles of pigments and other collectibles from places. The right will have a deeper hole for all the bits of things randomly collected.

Then I collaged old maps all over her head of the places I have been. I think there will be a boat sailing around between the places….maybe lots of boats.

Her forehead has Australia front and center….Tasmania just to the right of the compass.  I put Australia here because it is always on my mind regardless of where I am.

This morning my son Patrick cut out a top part of a very large dictionary, three inches down from the top and four inches deep. It will be laid across the writers head after I fold over some (many) of the pages to make it stand out like “hair”.

I am going to post the really great gift from Marla of the old book turned into a sewing kit. We all got one from her this year.

I just think it is so clever!

Also here are the Charles van Sandwyck books that I received for Christmas. This first one was a used in perfect condition and is hard bound. The others have luscious soft covers.

And another one that is just gorgeous!

And inside it.

And the owl one.

And inside the owl book.

And because it looked somewhat familiar….downstairs tucked in between some other Nature books I found this one that I must have bought in Vancouver many years ago.

They are all such an inspiration as I work on my Bush Book.

It has been a great holiday. Our favorite masseuse David is finishing up the last one of us to get a full body massage. Our three guests head home tomorrow. Lee and I do laundry and put the beds back together and then just get on with things.

The puzzle took two days to complete.

Til next week or whenever I need to talk/share.

 

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.

and

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?

and

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.

and

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.