Wrapping It Up – For Now

I have set up the last of the 8 x 10 gessoed board’s subject matter. Sticking with the Nature theme, I just picked a selection of things from the large rock and stick bowl in the foyer.  More of the things that are just picked up and once in the hand, can not be put back.


I like the feel of these pieces. They came from New Zealand and Tasmania mostly. Very seldom are there things from “here” in that bowl. It must weigh at least thirty pounds. Each thing in it told a story that is now mostly forgotten. Sad in a way. I wish I knew that the only thing left in a few short years of slipping these things into my pockets would be the feel and not where I was exactly and who I was with and why it caught my eye in the first place. Maybe, just maybe I would have left it lie there in the sand by a pounding surf of some place so far from where it was going to end up. Maybe. Do children want their mother’s bowl of rocks? I think they have their own and would feel badly having to say, “No thank you.”  Someone should start a home for the collected things like these that meant so much to someone so eager to own them.

I wrote a poem about them, those rocks and will add it here.

Owning Stones


I take the stones to own.

There is no thought

given that they are

removed from their

home, their place.

Once in my hand they

are mine. And other

things I own

will be left behind

to accommodate

the stones’ passage

back to my home,

my place.

Here they are arranged

to my liking…sorted

stacked and circled.

Each stone offering to

be held again and

again as I make them

into my story.

Each bearing the

marks of memory

from their own.

 Here is the finished board behind a mat and a detail of just how badly these boards were gessoed.



See all those holes and rough spots. They look and feel more like plastered panels and are the most thirsty surface I have ever painted on.

I am tidying up some other unfinished work in the studio. These books whose covers are altered images of details of large paintings are printed on both sides and folded in such a way that the front cover is three layers of imagery. For some reason I stopped making these in the middle of the assembling and decided this past week to finish the bindings. It is just a simple two signature three hole binding with the addition of complementary beads. What I do with them now is anyone’s guess. But at least they are finished and packed into clear envelopes.


They are just plain blank journals and if it weren’t for the complexity of fitting the images together in the layout and printing and folding, I don’t think I would have bothered with them. But I like the look and feel of them. Probably the feel is nice because I waxed the covers.

A friend is coming down this week to work in the studio. We will do gelatin plates. Just playing really. And that is hard for me. To just do something because it might be fun. I need it to be more complicated than that. I need to be saying something or at the very least learning something. Maybe I can learn to just have fun, just expect nothing more from myself. But it is hard for me. I think I am still dogged by the two questions, “Am I doing enough?” and “Am I doing it right.?”

I remember spending so much time asking women artist my age and older if they asked themselves these questions. Every one of them said, “No.” And then once a friend and I asked a ouija board on the internet. It took a good long time to spell out the word, “maybe.” How silly is that? Not long after I asked a printmaker/artist in Kentucky and she looked at me closely and said that the answer to my questions was, “It doesn’t matter.” I was quite relieved at the time and thought it was all behind me. Now I am not so sure.

But I will have some fun this week with my friend and next week I will show pictures of what my fun in the studio looked like.