Doing a Full On Catch Up

These are finished. And below are some stages of the little racoon who is a bit worried about how to get down.

And now the start of a fox.

And the last two days of drawings…

Some very dreadful

knitted scarves are now tossed in

the cat bed basket.


Drawing these two scarves

I understand why the cats

gave up their basket.

And now back to the book made for thinking through houses because it also worked to get the ideas surrounding a series of three boats.

And then the opening line of thinking about a series of boats.

This boat goes nowhere without assistance. Most often by way of his wagon chauffer. The boat either does not know about water or just is unaware of his primary function – which is staying afloat in water.

I think the story is about independence – going our own way and the supportive relationships that are there for us when needed. The boat will not acknowledge his origins of intention – to be on water – in water. The boat stays on land and takes every opportunity to see if this could be his place – can he belong here. How does it feel to be “a boat out of water?”

The next boat – deeper – more volume – less weighty looking – scrim over bamboo frame – plaster – Japanese lace paper on outside, matte spray, gesso.

This boat is like

A nest

A bird

A cloud

A feather

An egg

This boat is afraid of nothing. It likes to be in the air. It takes things away – not toward – to be in the boat is to be on your way to an adventure. The boat’s companion will likely be a kite – an assistant for his airborne travels. It is the reverse of a rock.

Small pamphlet books fill the boat front to back – each signature cut in the shape of the boat belly. Papers of rusted vellum and laser ink jet office – also stitched with occasional gold metallic threads that extend beyond page and therefore stick out of the boat – slightly above the pages that are just above the boats sides/height.

I am surprised that when completed it was about returning and not leaving as planned. I feel very good about this piece, it has my mark all over it.

It sits well and can be hung to rock slowly in the air. The metallic gold paint over the plastered and gessoed and then Japanese papered surface is coated with earth pigments from here and then heavily shellacked, has a look of old bronze. A very good feel to the hands. I am titling it, Return Voyage of Recorded Memories. Gold threads represent the threads of recollections and their fragmented way of coming back to us.

And built in envelopes to hold samples of materials used…

Finished the original boat – wheels, sail and rudder attached.


Another boat that does not get wet! Roots on oars – rock as anchor. Branches of dead Japanese maple as sails. Boat filled with lichen moss. Boat body is canoe-shaped of bamboo frame then cloth/shellac- all covered with a scrim like fabric that has been dyed with tea. It was a curtain in a previously owned house.

The boat is anchored to the land – very much about the land and Nature. Unlike the boat with wheels this boat cannot move – it has a ghost like quality. I love the proportions – this one may be my favorite so far. The big one floats in the air, the next one rolls on wheels. This one has a sense of wanting to be in its place. Not one that has been abandoned to the elements.

There are still blank pages in that book but I am through using it. The only reason it did not get buried with the houses is because I liked to remind myself of how I can think an artwork through…get all the messy bits out of the way and keep control of my intentions.

And now for something I wanted to follow up on.

Putting words on a page…

I am not writing a short story or a longer piece of fiction. I am not writing a memoir…but I do wonder what starts the flow of words onto a page.

And after giving it some thought, this is how the following piece came to be.

I am alone with no interruptions.

A cloudy day helps…sparkling sun brings distractions I think.

A legal pad and pen are blank and right there waiting.

I wait until I see something or someone in my imagination that needs looking at, needs listening to…

And then it is all down on that pad…in separate lines…almost breathless.

It is not biographical…I am just paying attention.

I like the words. I like the image. It is like a short, very short, film.

Sometimes the character is so strong that they will be there later with more of their story.


If You Looked


If you looked

you would have

seen it in her face.

The way she looked

just now.


A glance in your direction

before she looked away,

back at her hands

holding onto each other

in her lap.



You would have noticed

how much was said

just then

in the way  she would not

return your gaze.


And saw how

her mouth was set,

her shoulders tensed,

how she pulled back

when you spoke.


If you looked

you would know

that you will stay on

the other side of the wall

and out of arms reach.


Leave her now

and let her go back

to the place

behind the door

that has no room for you


She will not look back at you

and does not want to hear

what you remember.

And you would have known that

if you looked.


Yes, I know. I could be visited by a little boy and his puppy. But his feelings and ours, for that matter, are plastered all over facebook.

But if that kid ever wanted to tell someone how much he really wanted a cat, he will let me know.

Til later