Monday, March 25, 2013

start with the pockets

No signs of spring around the chicken coop. The chicks are still tucked away under a heat lamp.

It's quiet.

The winter coats on the horses and goats are ready to fall. The animals are still, joints locked, hooves in the mud, hoping to hold those extra hairs a couple more days

I'm ready to welcome April. She can run right up the mountain like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.

I'll start some spring cleaning while I wait....

starting with the barn coat pockets.

Thursday, March 7, 2013


The other day I was thinking about communication vs.conversation. Not only the conversations between folks in a room, but how conversation works in the visual arts and social media.
This train of thought has sparked an intense interest in museums and curating. I’m thinking about the relationship between the viewer and the observed. I guess this started with the Paper People. When I look back at the first couple pieces I can see that I was exploring this relationship. I wanted to turn the secret room perspective on its head. It was more about interchange than imparting.

The other day one of my pieces was featured on a blog I enjoy. I was able to read about the viewer’s reaction to the piece. I’m always curious to hear the stories that the Paper People bring up. More than anything I’ve created before, I’m hesitant to tell people “what they mean”.

At my artist’s talk last summer one of the artists in residence said that she found the collection “generous”. I’ve thought about that a lot since then.  

At this time much of the art we’re exposed to is through the Internet and social media. This introduces yet another element. I’m thinking about that. What are the advantages? What are the disadvantages?

You can see the blog post here.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

photo found

I found this image on the papier-mache magazine blog a while back. They didn't know the source, so neither do I.

I do feel like I've been there though - leaning against that bus in shades of mustard and brown -- cradling a bunny.

This image could have come from one of our family's old shoe boxes full of photographs.

When I was in high school I would go sifting through antique stores and thrift shops looking for discarded photographs. They would give me ideas for paintings and stories. I enjoyed that process of discovery. I liked holding the actual picture in my hand, feeling the texture of the paper, spotting the folds and finger prints. Quite different than a Google image search.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

communication vs. conversation (and a poem)

I just had to take a minute to share this bit of writing Garrison Keillor just read on The Writer’s Almanac (my blog could just consist of sharing the day's Writer's Almanac if I'm not careful) My ears really perked up when I heard this line:

“…where each is eager instead to share in the task of moving the theme along.”

Good conversation feels good. Like a dancing partner, it won’t happen with everyone you bump into, but when it does those exchanges are as satisfying as the hum of bees in their hive.

String Quartet
by Carl Dennis


Art and life, I wouldn't want to confuse them.
But it's hard to hear this quartet
Without comparing it to a conversation
Of the quiet kind, where no one tries to outtalk
The other participants, where each is eager instead
To share in the task of moving the theme along
From the opening statement to the final bar.

A conversation that isn't likely to flourish
When sales technicians come trolling for customers,
Office-holders for votes, preachers for converts.
Many good people among such talkers,
But none engaged like the voices of the quartet
In resisting the plots time hatches to make them unequal,
To set them at odds, to pull them asunder.

I love the movement where the cello is occupied
With repeating a single phrase while the others
Strike out on their own, three separate journeys
That seem to suggest each prefers, after all,
The pain and pleasure of playing solo. But no.
Each near the end swerves back to the path
Their friend has been plodding, and he receives them
As if he never once suspected their loyalty.

Would I be moved if I thought the music
Belonged to a world remote from this one,
If it didn't seem instead to be making the point
That conversation like this is available
At moments sufficiently free and self-forgetful?

And at other moments, maybe there's still a chance
To participate in the silence of listeners
Who are glad for what they manage to bring to the music
And for what they manage to take away.

Lately I'm thinking about communication vs. conversation...visual, verbal, and written. What responsibilities do we have? What's our motive?
What about social media? I believe conversation is possible in social media, but we need to remember, we’re still animals.


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