Monday, May 31, 2010

Check out Joan Benney

Here's a link - - to a very imaginative and lyrical photographer.  Check her out.

About today....

It's Memorial Day, raining and raining.  Listened to a wonderful NPR program this morning on poetry from soldiers and about them, and about war.  Because I am currently thinking a lot about language and art, it was especially engaging.  Our 21st century syntax and vocabulary better fits the expression of the pain of war.  They gave examples of poets writing about their experiences of WWI (most of us have probably read those poems when we were very young and invincible), pointing out that the grace and staid language of the time was severely challenged to express the harsh realities of war.  I wonder if speaking in our 2010 vocabulary will change any ones approach to sending kids off to fight wars begun by governments.  I recommend looking up poetry by contemporary Brian Turner, and in particular one entitled "Hear, Bullet".  If I had a wish today for every fighting man and woman in the world, and especially in our world of privilege, it would be that all the rest of us take into our souls the work of Brian Turner.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Gardens of the mind

Sometimes it amazes me that I live in an old factory on the lot line and have NO dirt in which to make the world bloom!  I’m certain it is what compels me to paint meadows, gardens, grasses, anything alive and growing.  My memories of gardening in Bellingham and San Juan Island, WA are never far from my mind as the weather warms and I hear the birds outside my studio.  I often “see” the peek-a-boo view of water that I imagine my son sees from his idyllic land.  I can feel the soil crumble, smell the musky earth, the mix of blossoming flowers, berries, new greens…mmmmm…and so I create my own gardens, or just express the gardens within.  It is a joyous act, like a song….me and the birds tasting the berries……..
The mind/body connection feels more like the mind/body stream at times like this.  What could we be/do/feel/see if the connection was always the stream?

What would it be like if you opened your door one day and all the blooms in your garden lay dead on the ground?  Puzzled, anxious, perhaps you would turn in a breath and head for your computer for answers.  And then, exhausted after a day of searching the internet and the gardening stores with no luck, you climbed into your bed hoping for a better day tomorrow.  Tomorrow arrives.  You jump into your cothes and hurry, throwing open the door.  No!  All green and growing things have fallen.  Up and down the road tree trunks stand as naked skeletons, birds fly frantically trying to guard their chicks exposed in their nests.  No one has an answer.  Some drop to their knees in prayer and supplication.  Others clatter at their keyboards, some resort to pulling volumes from the shelves, searching, searching, searching.  Only some can see the pieces of their souls flaking away.  

I think people on the Gulf Coast stand in their doorways, facing their gardens. 

Syed and I will be on Hilton Head Island, SC this weekend – come see us at the Hilton Head Island Festival at Shelter Cove .

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

When we're home at EastSquare Artworks

Wonder what an old bakery-factory-turned-studio/gallery/home looks like?  Well, here's a portion, complete with original tile floors (though we did paint them grey - the red was just too distracting) and large butter colored wall tiles, steel posts and beams, industrial sprinker system and aesthetically questionable heating system.  But a little sheet rock separating the garage on one side and the handicapped ramp on the other, plus masonry nails for the tile wall, makes a fine gallery space.  Where I am standing with the camera in hand is a temporary wall which divides the gallery space from Syed's glass studio, a shipping area, and
a perpetually messy storage area.                            

The space has held great events since we've been here - a blues and jazz concert, PechaKucha Nights, political meetings, gallery openings, art classes, and a temporary roller rink and bike trail for the granddaughters.  Versatility!  

If you are coming through NC we hope you'll stop by and ring the bell.  If we aren't on the road doing a show, we'd love to open the door for you.

I've added some paintings to - let me know what you think.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Birmingham, MI and a beautiful weekend!

"Hibiscus" found a home quickly!  I had just finished it the day before we left for Birmingham and felt quite good about it.  I have been thinking quite a bit about language and nature and the points at which they intersect and diverge.  When work is process driven, I find that much evolves that one doesn't anticipate.  This comes as much of my work does, through the process of layering/removing/layering, and so on.  In those layers are thoughts and pieces floating.  The implied "window" may be the looking through to that which my mind knew or remembered, or wished to see again. 

The couple who purchased this piece spent quite a while in quiet contemplation and conversation with each other.  They each liked some different aspect.  When they decided to take Hibiscus home, it felt good to me - it felt as if they worked together to make a decision each would be happy with and that they were happy with one another. 

I hope you all will find my new website dedicated to my paintings -  It's a softly grey and cool day here in NC - one to take in to my cells to revisit once the real southern summer is upon us.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Hair soaks up oil spills

Please, please forward this to everyone you know, especially schools & hair salons - thanks!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Tiny Apartment Transforms into 24 Rooms

I watched this vid this morning as I am recovering from mucking out our out-of-control work/storage area behind our gallery - this is the ultimate "less is more"!  Hmmm...sliding walls?  Maybe just not so much collecting!

Monday, May 3, 2010

National Harbor - Wasington, DC

Thank you to everyone who made our weekend at the National Harbor show such a great experience!  The location couldn't have been more beautiful - on the walks surrounding the beach, looking out to the water and the bridge to Alexandria.  Weather was gorgeous, if a bit hot, but no rain and people were out in droves.  These are pics I took while we were setting up.  Love the public art!

I didn't have chance to walk the whole show because Syed and I were not next to each other (our oversight when applying) and that meant I didn't get to wander around much.  But I was blown away by one Woodrow Nash from Akron, Ohio (  His head and shoulders clay sculptures of African women are an expression of ancient dignity and beauty - a kind of connection to earth/humanity.

Exhibiting also was my friend and amazing artist sculptor Nnamdi Okonkwo whose work is simply elegant in it's essence of womanhood.  Nuanced and purely Nnamdi they shout of love and joy!

Syed's Autumn series was a great success as was the River Series, so he'll be busy tomorrow cutting glass and working on more pieces in those veins.  I am still wondering when I am going to get to keep a group for our own collection!