It’s A Different Life

I took this picture on my walk this morning. Just a few short weeks ago the blooms were so plentiful on these bushes. They have had their season and are now fading.

Yesterday I visited Lee. He seems to be fading too. Slept through our time together sitting at a table outside away from anyone else. I took him a feather and a couple of Kent’s cards, the ones with cats drawn on them. He smiled at the feather, took it, then dropped it onto his lap and went back to sleep. I took his picture to show Amy, Patrick and Marla…his home caregivers when I was away in Australia and before I needed to hire professionals. His hair is longer than I have ever seen it but so clean and wispy white flowing over his ears. He is thinner than when I last saw him. He did not know who I was but liked a back rub as he dozed. I put the feather and cards back in my bag and will make an appointment to visit him again this week.

When I came home I drew this into pages in my sketchbook of scraps.

I saw a new born fawn this morning on the driveway and am thinking I should put him/her on the following page. A reminder of new life slipping into existence as I watch roses and Lee fade into another place.

Work in the studio calls and I am glad for the distraction of ideas put into a visual form.

I found my oh so precious Australian pencil box and used a number seven to transfer my drawings onto the blocks.

I bought this tin with a crocodile on it from a news agency store…a place where they assume that if you want a newspaper you might just need some basic art supplies as well. Here basic art supplies are only in art supply stores or more likely online as most walk in stores have closed.

I blocked out what will be black with a purple felt tip marker.

Anyway, so far I have worked through two blocks…

I love the sound of scraping the wood away and then seeing the small chips scatter across the table and floor. When the third one is carved I will test them with ink on paper to see where else some carving is necessary.

The thought occurred to me to print them on fabric and then hand sew the centers to the large male print. It would be easier to handle in the printing process of lining up the image and it would also give me an easier surface to stitch into. I will see how I feel after I find the right cloth.  Amy did send me some inkjet printing material in silk and cotton….both seem a bit too white for the tai kozo that the men are printed on but might be worth a try. The paper backing on the cloth so it feeds into the printer does keep the cloth rigid so hand rubbing could make for better contact of ink to cloth.

You know what I miss most when in my studio? It is the hum of another artist being there with me working out ideas for their own work. I don’t mean the students who just want a lesson on how to bind a book or the ones who show me an image from a magazine of a box they want me to end up making for them because it is the product not the process that matters. No, I really miss the passion of those makers who are driven to make something that matters deeply to them…and I don’t mean the work that is made to bundle up and take off to their gallery.

I look forward to September when two former students and long time friends come to work and stay for awhile. I have missed them. When I last saw them I had given a juror’s talk in St. Louis and we were reading favorite poems to each other over wine and dessert.

This weekend Amy and Ben return for a week of helping me out between birding walks and cocktail recipe discussions/sampling. I will have to write down another list of lightbulbs needing replaced, hose leaks, furniture moved, etc. Maybe they will help me put Lee’s rocks back in place where the deer have knocked them out of the way to get to the corn fallen into the cracks.

I will enjoy their company. The house is so quiet….

Til later…..