Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Rag Doll Memories

(Click on image.)

This drawing was born in the west and now lives in the east.

Artists Musing Nearby

A friend of a friend is Christopher.
I finally met him this past weekend.
I walked into his website and saw, as well.


Go Forward and Prosper

"Exploration" (Detail)

There are so many marvels to behold at any point in time.
Right now for me it is a new art studio that feels like a cave.
It lacks eye-level windows, instead letting in light from far above.
The ceiling is a dark forest green.
The walls are a subtle gray.
The floor is chipped and compressed natural wood.
What treasure will I find in these shadows!?!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

"Main Street"

This is a painting from the past. (click to make larger)
That is my daughter on the right.
She is now approaching her senior year in college.
Back at the time of this painting she had no idea she would end up studying art in college,
Or that she'd intern in NYC with a dynamic group of artists.
Now the trick is to make sure that she doesn't give up on life too early, as the woman on the left is in danger of doing.

The other day a man told me he felt the end of the productive part of his life was coming soon.
He is in his mid 50s.
My parents learned to down hill ski in their mid 50s, never having put on skis before in their lives.
A friend learned to play tennis in her 60s.
Another friend wrote two books after age 60 and another has had a successful painting career after 60.
My mom-in-law helped start the Monterey County Hospice at the age of 56, and worked in amazing leadership for over 25 years.

And then there is Bill the gardener. He lives unlike any of us: his bed is in a truck, his living room is in a shed, and his bathroom is in a gas station.
Years ago he had spent countless hours massaging Joseph Campbell down at Esalen in Big Sur.
They mused together.
Now probably in his 80s, Bill says he is surprised he has lived as long as he has.
A few years back he stopped massaging muscles and started massaging the stoney dry soil at Ripplewood (also in Big Sur).
Where there had been nothing but weeds and rocks for half a century, he takes a cutting and sticks it directly into the ground. He waters. Up blooms beauty. Blissful life cycles of beauty.

Yes, there is life after 50, daughter of mine.
No need to rush into your future.
Each stage will have gifts to keep your hands full.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Dance With What You've Got, Inside.

To Chaz and Paula
Here's Wishing You Both Good Health and "A Belly Dance"!
Keep up the Spirit!

Tappin' Away

Nurse and Heroine
Took Care of Aging Dad
Loves Snoopy
Dances to Her Own Judi Beat

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Can't Stop the Music

I met a number of inspiring people in the last couple of days. One of them is a musician who may not be the rock star he wanted to be a while ago, but he rocks in life none-the-less. If you have that inner song, you can't help singing it, in whatever you do. (This drawing was created a couple of months ago, but it fits an abstract idea of what I felt coming out of him.) Long live the music within, Chris!

Another was a woman who cracked me up, continually, with her charmingly dry wit... totally dead pan, totally unpretentious, totally honest and a little embarrassed about her honesty. Now how, I wonder, can I draw a portrait of that?! The best I can do is put up this drawing, "Seeing Eye to Eye," because I really did understand just about everything she was saying, and she did have a quirky off-the-wall twist to her smile. Wish I'd caught her name!

This drawing does not directly depict the band I heard yesterday, but there was an edgy sound I liked that is vaguely similar to the edge found in this drawing. The singer has the ability to sing with immensely luscious fluidity, but it is the band's edge-abrupt songs that caught my attention. I bought the band's new CD, which favors their dreamy and romantic sounds, but I hope to hear more of their angularity in the future. Happily, one can hear the edge on their website's video selections.

Visual Gone Verbal For a Moment

Something strange has occurred. I spoke into a mike today to a large group of writers (word experts!!!) and I didn't choke. To anyone who knows me well and reads this, they now understand that miracles really can happen. There's hope for us all!

(On the other hand, words seem to be come out of me right and left these days! It's totally bizarre behavior and my siblings are quite suspicious that I am an alien in disguise. I keep looking for the turn off switch but haven't yet found it. So I've decided to revel in the noise and also to try to crack as many jokes as possible, to ease the pain of those who have to do the listening. Joseph is my main man!)

Friday, June 17, 2011

A New View

I might have a new studio, out in front, where there is green grass for dog play and children tumbling over themselves. My imagination is going wild, envisioning all those little legs running this way and that, testing box corners while adults lumber behind. I anticipate much giggling and sniffing about. The sky is the limit at this age.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


The lavender was dry today, the cement so hot.
but it was there, gray, full of life, and fragrant.
So I watered it.
And I watered the blooming lilies and the who knows whats its.
I watered the rose from Allen, 
and the lobelia, 
and the curling camellia that is so happy in her pot, so much more happy than where she used to sit, in the dark and in the cloying clay.
I tsk'd at the nasturtiums that are NOT going wild as they used to before, to my old frustration. So innocently contained are they now, in their painted little pots.

He has pains, you know, and they start in his back, and travel down his arm and into his elbow.
I think I am beginning to mirror him.

He asked, can I water the veggies while you water those pots?
And he did, and I didn't go see how well he'd dosed them.
I knew he'd drugged them well enough to survive the heat,
And maybe well enough to flourish, to prosper.
He's good at watering, at soothing hot souls.
This is why we need him.

And we move forward, he and I,
From here where there is simplicity, 
To there where there is memory. 
He blooms sadness and hope while he snugs up to the past.
And I paint. I paint, slowly paint, erasing away the memories in order to find what is next,
And then I stop, say no, remember this? 
And I bow to honor, bow to celebrate.
What goes and what is to come?
Paint with the white, but leave the pink shining through, here, here, and here.

How much memory will manage to stay and will this new something last?
I hold up the nest: it is transparent, clear. 
Don't fear dropping, dear, because this is it and it is its own strength.
Here is the heart.
And yet, when I cry out, why do I hear the echo so loudly?

He asks why I try and try and try and knows that there is nothing but this.
But now I am the optimist and see flowers instead of sprouts.
Can you read, she asks, metaphors into the news, and still not lose the story? 

I can't reach you.
I see you.
I understand. 
We are still, not moving, here we are, side by side.
Are you watching the sun set?
I have always wanted a view and now I have two:
His and mine and well, maybe even more.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Concrete and the Not So Concrete

Two Worlds (detail)

I lost my art studio, again. This is the 3rd time in a year and a quarter. I know there's a message here, but no, it's not stop the art. That'd be psychological suicide, and not psycho logical at all.

So instead, I am thinking that there's an uplift that is occurring. Perhaps I'm supposed to learn how to grab hold of my art and fly.

I have a friend who just almost lost his life again, for I don't know how many times in the last year and a quarter. I can see him flying, and his feet are firmly on the ground. So, it is possible.

It's All About What You Do With It

That ink splott, mentioned below, becomes the future.

Go With What You've Got!


One of the characteristics of creating visual ink musings
is that the research phase, as well as the construction phase,
can be very messy.

Enveloped in Richness

The Poet, Yon

Every now and then we come across a person who puts into the space more than she takes. Even when she sits quietly, listening, she is at the peak of generosity. When you and I see a flower, she sees a poem. She is a poem. There's nothing superfluous about her.

I don't see Yon often, and so it was slightly difficult to draw this "lifeline" for Yon, as it had to be created from a great distance. I did my "hone in on the sense of Yon" best, packaged up the drawing, and sent it off.

I just recently had the pleasure of Yon's company, and was relieved to feel I got her drawing within a close vicinity of the truth. Sitting and looking at her from a distance you'll see the soft beauty, and sitting close up (click on the image) you'll see that every line in her being folds in and out of riches of slightly obscure meaning, all honed from deep thought and experience. She has been writing for many years, and I see that her world is now leaning towards a more expansive full flower of expression. Her most recent publication is an e-book: "The Sultan's Cook."

Monday, June 6, 2011

Off the Top of the Totem Pole

We think we know where we belong, but life is full of surprises. I am thinking the idea is to totem pole hop, using an open mind for wings.

(From the "900 Lives of Vision" installation. Photo by Dana Pianowski.)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Leaping the Fence

"Fences 1"

"Fences 2"

These two small oil pieces are in a local show called "Illusions". So many viewers were surprised to see this style from me, but these two are really not so completely different from the rest of my work. Note the sense of creative flow, where reality dissolves into imaginative thought... from the point of view of the character in the painting, or the viewer viewing the character in the painting. It's all about perspective, even here, in work I created around 2006.

It was soon after these paintings that I turned more directly into abstraction.