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A Bit About This Blog

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The idea is to pursue the blog as a

 form and forum for experiencing art.

After accumulating words, journals, drawings, sculptures for over twenty years, I thought it would be interesting to reorganize my work into new patterns. But now I am trying to flow with the river as this new experience takes on a life of it’s own.

A LONG WAY HOME

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here we live

I had wished to have all of you as friends, somehow my life has taken a different turn. Most of you have no idea of the time and committement I made to learn my husbands trade.By now I expect almost a lost art, as even the glass we made to make the windows no longer exists!

Much of the last few years has been more then just settling into a new place. I have talked to Huron College, Western University, Macintosh Gallery and even Careliton University.

The computer is wipeing out of my site, I don’t get very much traffic and refuse to pay for their adds, which makes me an artist and not a busnissperson.

I started this as a rank amature and found it fun, with no issues. I am sorry that it is making my life to challenging.

A pity. The technolgy was to free people from tinory.

Home is where we lay our hearts.

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I am finding it hard to understand that my year of not existing in the real world has changed with the end of the cancer treatments and that my husband is home with me, that I no longer have to live in a hospice in the city, that it is late spring and that summer is almost here, that this year I can swim in the lake, that after a twenty year hiatus, I can actually ride a bike, mind you I am a bit wobbly, but practice, practice.

Oh and that I have friends, more friends than I ever imagined was possible. They have all made this journey one I will never forget or regret. The support of family has made me humble. I can only hope someday to be as forgiving.

Also, I am brimming with new ideas for sculpture, and the stomping ground will be this place and the old river bed. Life is exciting right now.

Oh it is so nice to be able to call this place home, I never thought it would be.

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Hi, I have been gone, dealing with an aging husband who I love very much, and then being a cancer victium. Well who knew. Obviously everyone but me.

geri

Talking through the top of your hat at the drop of a hat.

mixed media on paper

Tundra Swans

Our lives are brief tragic beautiful and surrounded by mystery.  Black marks on a white ground – that is all these words would be but for you they are building a bridge across time and space, following the thought of other minds. (1)

Black marks on a white ground, can they really build bridges? We read books the weather other people read too much into a gesture a look read the potential danger of a situation read it all wrong. Clarity understanding but what of the quality of understanding  has that is that as dense in meaning as the pace the ebb and flow of words across the page a rhythm so lyrical quick quick slow quick quick slow a dancing rhythm the pace of breath to breathe  swallow words whole digest. How much of language uses the body? Can you envision a world without words to define it?

The Painted Girls by Cathy Marie Buchanan explores all of that.

The Brief, “Between 1878 and 1881, Edgar Degas drew, painted, and sculpted Marie in numerous artworks, most famously in Little Dancer Aged Fourteen, (a wax sculpture half-life size so about thirty inches would be my guess, it always interests me how often measurements are omitted when talking about art) which appears at the sixth exposition of independent artists in 1881 alongside Degas pastels of convicted criminals…

The Tragic, “Critics lauded Little Dancer as “the only truly modern attempt at sculpture, “and saw a street urchin, in her face clearly “imprinted with the promise of every vice”.

Hundreds of young girls lived this life, half-starved because of poverty, exploited and marginalized in a world that saw what? Not who they were or what the effort cost them, nor did they think of how few alternatives their lives offered them. Marie was fortunate, her mother was a laundress, and she had an older sister Antoinette and a younger sister Charlotte who according to the book history did make something of herself in the ballet.

The Beautiful, Degas was forty six when Marie modeled for him. Thirty seven years later, the wax/fabric/hair sculpture was still in his studio. It was only after his death that his heirs “arranged to cast the twenty-eight bronze repetitions”.

The Mystery, Her name was Marie van Goetham. What was Degas trying to capture in that wax figure of a fourteen year old girl and why did he chose to use real fabric for the skirt and real hair for her head? If it was me we were talking about, it would be because it was the most expedient route to capture what he was thinking. Oh and why did he never have it cast?   A mystery.

 

(1) The College Survey of English Literature the Introduction to William Cowper 1731-1800

Talking about size, the Tundra Swan painting is approximately thirty inches by forty four inches. It was an attempt to explore their communal dance,  a language which I find fascinating.

 

What a Beautiful Day

Do any of us really appreciate how precious life is?  I rarely have anything to say, moving our lives has destroyed a big part of who we were. I expect it is small potatoes to all those people who live in immigration camps. The book, What is the What, helped me understand just how much life has changed for thousands of people, although they rarely make the news. Isn’t that something we should think about?

Word Drawing 5 x 8"

Summer Time

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shadows187_e

I spent two weekends recently attending workshops. One was on abstracting the painted figure and the other on becoming a published writer. Both were very interesting. What we don’t know about the process or about ourselves makes all of it worthwhile.

I realized I am not interested in being either. I don’t see the way they do, in the painting workshop, plains and angles are a foreign country. I see mass, volume, density and negative space.

I spent that weekend using my left hand to paint. It was a good exercise in motor control, and in making your brain work a different path.

The writer’s workshop, WELL how could anyone feel justified in betraying their friend to make the narrative of the book more interesting? That too is outside of my comfort zone. Oh he did have good reason, but his friend has not spoken to him since. Is that journey less than the sum of its parts?

I have been reading concurrently two books, The Brain that Changes Itself and When Breath Becomes Air. They both speak to me in different ways, we have the gift to change how we think and we have the gift to choose how we think. That sounds very much the same doesn’t it, but it is all to do with degrees and attitude.

I finished When Breath Becomes Air today, written by Paul Kalanithi.

 

Defining Space

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acrobatesMy first foray thinking about sculpture not as an object, but as defining physical space was in a workshop with artist Ann Whitlock.

She gave each of us a ball of string and said, ‘Do something with this.’

Our group must have looked a bit bewildered; we were second year art students at the time. She went on to say, “You don’t have to use the whole ball, and you can incorporate anything else you wish, but you must use some string. You have a week. If you want to discuss anything, I am here”

Rob took a bit of his ball of string and used it to hang an empty frame, thereby capturing a view without the need to reproduce it. Brilliant.

Three of us pooled our resources and took over a local quarry. We tied string to rocks and made a spiral labyrinth that traversed the pit from top to bottom. It was a very temporary installation. We rushed in Friday after school and called everyone together to ride share (few of us had cars) on Sunday. Monday it would no longer exist.

I am thinking about this long ago time because a few friends want me to lead them on a workshop to make cement sculpture for the garden. I left off doing that years ago, have given away all my equipment and tools, pigments and supports and molds. So, I am now trying to think of something we can all learn from instead of just me teaching.

The big problem is permanence is what they are after. So not a tent but a house. Pity. The other way of doing is so much fun and more flexible as well. This amuses me.

At this point in my life permanence is as elusive as life itself, and an illusion. There is a good reason why much of our historical artifacts are broken ceramic sculptures. If they were bronze or iron they had to be buried very deep not to be recycled into implements of whatever war was raging at the time.

Christo understood the beauty of the temporary, so does Mother Nature. Isamu Naguchi did his best to make that vision permanent.