This is the cover for an artists book I'm working on. It's been a slow and difficult process. I have a lot of pages that I think work, but the book isn't coming together as a whole. I usually let the book tell me what it wants to be about. I put down initial loose compositions and then, as they get built up, a narrative starts to unfold and the pages of images and words connect. So far no real connections are emerging. That's why I'm searching and it feels cold and gray.
Happy New Year's Eve. May we each become what we came here to be. I've been working on a new artist's book called Searching. It's a slow process to figure out what the book wants to be about and how to allow each page to work in it's own way while contributing to the whole. Here are some images.
Take these broken wings
and learn to fly
what am i waiting for?
Some photos taken at the Paper Making workshop I took with my friend Meredith at the Santa Sabina Center on the campus of Dominican University in San Rafael, CA. So beautiful and peaceful. Some photos of the paper we made coming soon.
I love things that grow in cracks
Rocks, Leaves, Fall
Walking on my own path
Sometimes I hate technology, and sometimes I love it. The hate comes when it doesn't work the way I want it to, and I can't fix it, and I then feel incompetent, stupid, and very very frustrated. Like now. On hold to my website hosting company…again. Have bounced between them and the web authoring company. So much time wasted. OK. Not totally wasted. I downloaded three albums from iTunes while waiting. A new playlist called The Voices with albums by Christina Aguilara, Maroon 5, CeeLo Green and oh yeah Demi Lovato who is from the X Factor but, in order to not be too dated in my musical tastes, I like to give myself a chance to absorb, experience and hopefully expand my musical tastes into the year 2012. At the same time I discovered a new album by Jackson Browne whose music I've loved for…well for a very long time. Haven't listened to enough of any of this new music to give an opinion. (Will do that when I've given it several good listens). Oh, here comes the tech support guru. Only an 11 minute wait. He says he can fix my problem! Only takes a minute. He even asks if there's anything else he can help me with. I happen to have 2 more questions/issues. He addresses them too: successfully. Did I mention that I love technology? well, sometimes.
My vision of a chunk of wall you might see on a city street. Notice it says Shoot and also What You Do Matters. Other words and messages are embedded too. Haven't decided what to call it.
Another chunk of a city wall. Not sure if it's done but heaven knows there's a lot on there already.
this started out as a spread in a book, but maybe it wants to be a painting.
Caught between simplicity and complexity.
just one spread from a book with lots of pages, all unfinished. The book hasn't told me what it wants to be about. Sometimes I have to start working in the dark in order for the light to come.
Mark Bradford compares the art making process to a relationship. There's the Honeymoon when you are just in love with your own work, then you get used to each other, then you really get on each other's nerves and want to mess it up completely and throw it out, aka the break-up phase. Sometimes it is better to know when it's time to walk away. But sometimes that's the point where a new, deeper, better, richer connection can begin. I'm at the break-up stage with all my work right now. Can't decide if it's salvageable. I am actually going to the salvage yard today to look for some found object or inspiration for these pieces. It'll be sink or swim.
I'm meeting with my mentor, Ray Beldner, on Friday afternoon, so even if these pieces are disasters, I'll need to show them to him to get some feedback. I guess this is the time to remember it's all about the process and the journey and not judging.
Manifesto of a Woman at 62
Or as her mother, at 87, calls it: Life Is Not About Bullshit
Boom chick a boom chick a boom
I am not a chick
I am not a babe, a doll, a honey,
I do not wear heels
Meaning those 2-6” lifts on the back of shoes that pitch the body forward, causing the wearer to walk on tip-toes, the calves to cramp, bunions. Pain. Imbalance.
In honor of women’s right to be on equal footing and in the name of all the unnamed Chinese women with bound feet, I perform The Ceremony of the Good Will Bag. All heels, regardless of history or cost, are placed into the bag with a prayer of contrition for the unfortunate sisters who may, unfree, unenlightened, uncomfortable, stumble into these, my used heels.
I do not read Glamour, Vogue, or People. Who are these young women with names like Mila and Miley? With half-shaved heads, pierces and tattoos? And stilettos. They have arrived from another place or another planet to take the stage.
As I leave the theatre.
Exit stage right.
Not to die.
Oh no, not I
Not yet, not soon.
But this stage is done.
The page turned. No regrets.
No tattoos, pierces, black fingernails.
Instead, I go with
Softness and toughness
Walking flat footed
Into the forests of the night.
Another trip around the sun. Another year older, maybe wiser, more tired, less impressed with the things that used to impress me, more impressed with the things that used to didn't. Actually, I wouldn't change a thing. zero, zip, nada. How many people can say that? Actually, everyone can say it, but not too many do — and mean it. In the past, on my birthday, I've looked at the year ahead and made plans, set goals, and used various devices to try to insure that they were achieved. This year, not doin that. I am opening my arms wide, looking up at the sky and saying "hallelujah! I am alive, healthy, grateful, open and willing to take this year's journey, this day's journey. Let it unfold."
Look at how utterly amazing the past year has been. From the solar eclipse at Mount Shasta to wonderful SF including UC Berkeley extension, an exhibit, shopping, great food, Contemporary Jewish Museum, de Young, MOMA and more, on to galleries in LA, a trip to NYC including Mood and the city stops to mourn Steve Jobs, a magnificent week at Reed College for a lettering art conference, Carmel, Florida and good old Tracy, art and more art, my husband, my daughter, my son and daughter-in-law, a grandson, my new Indian family, my sister, brother, and sister-in-law, my mom, dear friends and so much more. Tears, fears, and amazing joy and gratitude.
Walking down Market Street, looking at the graffiti as I often do, I saw a scrawl that said, "we are human, are you?" I stopped in my tracks and wondered who wrote that? who were they addressing? who are the we? the human among us? what does it mean to be human? I photographed the wall, went home and began work on this piece inspired by the graffiti question. It clearly had only one response. You can see the original piece of graffiti if you look closely in the upper left quadrant.