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Monthly Archives: September 2013

The Why and the Beginning

frog on pedestal with acrylic on canvas

frog on pedestal with acrylic on canvas


I am a Pisces and water truly is my element. I put a book mark in this page when I first read it in 1987, Turn, Journal of an Artist by Anne Truitt.

Lake Huron Oil on masonite. 8 x 10 "

Lake Huron Oil on masonite. 8 x 10 “

She writes:

It occurs to me that water could be considered to be intelligent; it seeks its own level, imposes on itself its own order. Water could even be thought of as more intelligent than human beings in that it behaves in accordance with its intrinsic nature, whereas we invent for our behavior more or less arbitrary rationales that do not necessarily accord with our own nature.


On time, for example, we impose a grid of invented units – seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, years. We draw lines of latitude and longitude up and down and around the face of the earth. These are useful conventions, but we tend to become so accustomed to them as we can to those in our personal lives, that we mistake these mechanical systems we have ourselves devised for reality itself. In effect, we make a work of art and impose it on the earth and on ourselves; we live our lives in accordance with our own art.


The way in which water seeks its own level, levels itself off in an adjustment that is an authentic expression of its very nature, is analogous to a way in which we can live our lives if we are willing to persevere consistently in attentive loyalty to our individuality. By keeping on being what we most intimately are, we can continually redefine ourselves so that we become what we have not before been able to be. If we live this way, we surprise ourselves. (1


Internal/external, the object is to pay attention. I admit to trying to reconcile them as one and the same, an internal gesture that has an external resonance, to exist not in the world but as the world.

Pat, a dear friend to me said, as a child her experience of time was fluid, that every building she was in; house, school room, church had its own time, its own dimension, time moved differently from place to place, independent of the others.

1) Turn  Journey of an Artist, pg. 207 written October 24th, 1984. Artist/Writer Anne Truitt

Environmental Art

found art in Ottawa

found art in Ottawa

Memory is in a collective sense repetition of story, but repetition holds more than that. It holds enlightenment.

The first exercise in Environmental Art was to build a collage of found objects.

The next step was to draw the collage from every conceivable angle, elevation, details either fine or vague or whatever. But to draw it and draw it and draw it again for weeks if necessary. Most of our group grew bored with the exercise, and it did get tedious at some points, but if you stuck with it long enough you received enlightenment. A glow of understanding; the objects, their resonance to you specifically, their relationship to each other, to you. The accomplishment of 1000 things. Understanding comes from repetition. The eye to the hand, the eye to the hand, stand back now let your brain see what it has been trying to engage you with.

That was the purpose of this 50,000 word project I embarked upon. A curiosity to see how the eye to the hand with the clutter in my brain goes on. In the end of it well, what does it matter if all there is is words on a page, without the repetition of writing every day I will be assured of having nothing. But maybe, just maybe if my mind, hand, eye keeps  focused something might just might eventually show itself , even as a shadow or an absence.