Sunday, August 29, 2010

Tools to Aid in Reaching a New Perspective

I was just out in the garden, minding my own business, when a tiny, irritating splinter appeared on the end of one of my right hand finger tips. I tweezed with my left hand nails, but failed to do any more than push the almost invisible stinger further into my flesh. I rushed to the medicine cabinet and scrounged up a pair of tiny metal tweezers and set to work, aiming as best I could and pulling this way and that... but soon found I was still missing miserably. Finally I put on multiple layers of magnifying glasses and enlarged the tiny annoyance into a giant log. I aimed my now giant metal claws at the irritant, grabbed hold easily, pulled gently back and up, and dislodged the aggressor. While flinging it willy-nilly into the air I marveled at how what we take from an experience is directly related to how we look at it.

(I will be providing magnifying glasses at my upcoming exhibition.)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Visual Art as an Experience, Not a Commercial Commodity

When we go to an art museum we go to experience the collection, not to buy it.

My temporary installation of drawings, "900 Lives of Vision," is presented in the same light. If you are in the area, please come to experience the massive grouping of individual lives, as there will be nothing to buy.


Think about the time that was spent creating a little story for each individual, how no one was left behind, how some people have strong ink lines and others more delicate, how some people are presented linearly and others more sculpturally. Why are some drawings so light they are almost invisible and what do you think about the confusion in some? Why are they placed in the groupings that you see? Why are some drawings wandering off center?

What kinds of people are presented? What is it like to live like a flowing brush stroke? Or a map? Or an organically branching plant? Can a life line have more than one branch or does a life line go solely from point A to point Z? Is this person at point P or at point X or, dear God, are they even alive today? If they have passed on, did they have a sense of success to their life? Would any of these people actually find themselves within these drawings? Can you find yourself?

The most overwhelming question of all: Can you take in this many people during a single visit? How much can any of us take in at one time?

I keep remembering a Muse Concert I went to a few years ago with my husband and daughter. We were up front, standing squished together in the second row. Hundreds of people surrounded me intimately. I wanted to ask every single person his or her story. I shared their sweat and their joy as we swayed to the music, but I never got beyond a grunt and groan of communication with them.

Maybe I will play Muse at the reception. Or jazz or classical or world or some other rock. It's all part of the art experience I had drawing them. The music is in the lines.


Just came back from a John Zorn experimental sax performance. We grinned through the whole organic, quirky, bizarre experience. His music is the sound that I hear in many of my drawings.

Beauty Flows Out of Awkwardness

I have a philosophy that out of awkwardness comes true beauty. Above you see a line that grows steadily in size but changes little in shape as it moves towards the right. Mid point the line shape is strong and stable. Then, in the next shape, there's a leap to giant but awkward uncertainty of new form. When I drew that clumsy shape I felt a sense of failure and discouragement.

It took a leap of "oh, what the hell" faith to let go and scratch out the four little squiggles to the far right. Without the awkwardness I wouldn't have leapt, and those three elegant leapers wouldn't exist. Three out of four isn't bad... and therein lies Eileen's story of hope for the future.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Not One to Stand Still

Here's a "cropped card close up" which you will see even closer if you click on the image. The lines are India ink, drawn with a crow quill. This one has an ink/water wash to create a sense of atmosphere for this person's very active life. His young years are on the left, so he's oldest at the right side of the card. I'm staring at that odd shape on the right and wondering what he's up to! I surely don't know, but it does look like he's still fishing for ideas.

Shapes of Things

Plateau Hopping

I just noticed Neal had to go through the shadows in order to progress up to levels 4 and 5.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Beauty in a Good Jiggle

I'm sticking Joseph here in, just to see if you're paying attention. This guy clearly has a charmed life, which I hope to emulate for the rest of my days.

What Can You Build in Thirty Years?

I have been trying to pick one drawing out of 900 to represent my show. This is so difficult I just want to eat those cookies, pound a few nails (wham, wham, wham!), and draw some more...

But that is just one day's thought. Above is a lifetime of learning and living. I wonder what Hershel ate during his teen years. I wonder if he is satisfied with his constructions in life. Does he feel confident in his ideas and how he expresses them to others? This Hershel on the card has a little smile. It looks like he's keeping any negativity zipped up inside his shirt, but maybe he just knows a satisfying way to express it.

I found this name the day after my daughter came back from college. I recognized the city as that of her institution. I asked her if she knew Ted. Remarkably, he was her professor of one month, and had lived at that particular address back in 1975 or 76. The card was blank at the time, and I had to draw on it. What a panic! My daughter would be appalled if I did a dud drawing - which has definitely happened more than once. (Part of life is a multitude of dud days, all to be glaringly apparent at my show where no card will be thrown away.)

Now that I look back at this drawing I chuckle that I must have called forth the hypnotic energy of a whirling dervish. If he could create beauty so mindlessly by trusting his body to do the right thing, so could I! And don't we all, in times of need.