Friday, February 26, 2010

This is Our Body - the Opening

Wow, I just realized that I never wrote about the opening. A reviewer from interviewed me, as well as "my poet," Tiziana Lohnes - and wrote up a piece for the web. I believe Claudia Rousseau will be writing about the show too - she's a fine writer and a sharp art historian - writes for the Gazette as well - the paper one. I don't even know if she'll like our piece, but the show is worth her time - so much edgy and sophisticated work. Fresh air, if I didn't say that already! The opening included poetry performances, supported by dancers and musicians. Honest to god cultural nourishment, right in my "hometown" as they call it here. I'm putting in a photo of our piece, which is called "Shared and Open," plus me with a detail. Comments welcome.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Collage for the Soul update

I have four students at the moment, the perfect number for my sunny little room. The light is so pervasive - it reminds me of the sun-room that was my bedroom where I grew up. And now: the students who were somewhat blocked have exploded. That's all I can call it. One of them, encouraged by my direction to work "like a child" and explore texture more than image - well, her series of collages are delicate, sensitive, three dimensional, free, lovely beyond words. And the second woman - in between classes she created a drawing on the computer, sliced it, repeated it, created all kinds of gorgeous patterns to use as backgrounds, and completed a masterful collage using only her own raw materials.
I was so excited after the classes where people opened up like that - I could hardly fall asleep!

Now I don't know exactly how to proceed with the classes, as these students won't all continue. One is moving back to Arizona, another will probably start a knitting circle....
I am open to all kinds of new things, new people, new flows of art and money.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Meeting the Takoma Park Artists

This morning, way too early, I took the collaborative art piece done by Tiziana and me over to the Takoma Park Community Center Gallery. Just about everyone was there.
After a bit of scoping out and figuring out what might be available for me, I found a perfect wall for our piece. Four hours later I left, more excited than I've been for a while.


I was blown away by the quality of the pieces. Layered, provocative, edgy, strong, deep. All kinds of media, sophisticated thinking, gutsy. Wow. And !!!! these people live here !!!! In Takoma Park!

One woman, Greta Ehrig, is an amazing find. One of those rare people who has retained exquisite sensitivity, awareness and intelligence, and can focus those on and through art. She helped me with placement, hanging, and was so sharp about the visual aspects of our piece that I was almost embarrassed. She saw everything - the imagery, the evocation, the flow - she saw into the piece, around it, through it, and even imagined a thin veil over the whole thing. And so do I. Just don't think we'll go there.

As it is, I have really pushed some edge here. Even the title (had to come up with one on the spot) - Tiziana and I had thought of "shared vulnerability" but it seemed not poetic sounding enough. So I thought of "shared and open." The guy near me agreed that open was way better. Jeez. Even the title feels vulnerable! I guess it is me feeling that. Or is it the work? hmmmm.

Constant Contact

I love constant contact, even though I don't use it constantly - just every couple of months or so. I was feeling particularly isolated and almost depressed a couple of weeks ago. I knew I needed to tell a bunch of people about my work, especially the show in College Park. Just couldn't "drag" myself to the computer to do it.
Finally, some emotional breakthrough and I just whipped it right out. Five strong images, clear links to my site pages, my blog, a couple of venues.... short, sweet, and to the point.
And of course the BEST PART: responses from art friends, collectors, etc about the images and art news. It's like casting out a bunch of lines at once, not knowing where a spark of connection might occur.
A couple of especially nice ones - the woman who bought "January 1" wants to see the new work in person. She loves it. Jenny Gillespie, a terrific and beautiful singer/songwriter I met at VCCA decided she is ready to buy a painting. Great! She is choosing one of three she likes - all her favorites are from the Rhythm Ground series, inspired by the Noyes School in the Connecticut woods.
A wonderful note from my friend Carol Hamoy reminding me that I am always part of a larger community of artists (especially women artists) whether I remember it or not.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Snow is everywhere. There is a beautiful pattern of white ice blobs on the screen. Behind that are huge hanging icicles. Beyond that, white lined tree limbs. It is possible to move back and forth between concerns about neighbors, food, electricity, email, and general anxiety and fear about this storm's effects - and the artist part of my vision that sees pattern, feels the ethereal quality of so much lacy whiteness, hears the whistle of the wind as a mysterious tone. I don't want to look down at the street. But I do. There is a man walking. And I hear voices of children. I am thankful to be able to see in so many ways.

KIKO'S HOUSE: Science Sunday: Your Brain On Music

KIKO'S HOUSE: Science Sunday: Your Brain On Music
An image of Take Your Pick appeared in Shaun Mullen's blog. How flattering!

Good article!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

This is Our Body Invitation

This is Our Body

This is a detail of a collaboration between me and Tiziana Lohnes, a Takoma Park poet whose poetry I'd describe as deep, dark, sensual, and visceral. I'm sure that Anne Becker, the project originator/coordinator, remembered my work from the mid 80's when she paired us. This has been a real challenge, partly because what I'm "into" now is encaustic paintings of land and cows, not blood and guts and viscera. So - lots of photos of body parts - that was easy - and TONS of learning how to adjust images to bring out the qualities you see here. Making it work as a total piece - hard but fun. The word part is still in process, and also collaborative. There is a lot of back and forth, as we navigate disagreements about orientation of the final visual piece and figure out how the poetry part will be displayed. I like my collaborator a lot, really lucked out!
So here is the information - we are one pair of a multi-pair poet/artist project to be exhibited at the Takoma Park Community Center going from Friday February 19 until March 27. Reception February 19 at 6 pm.
I will put the invitation in here as well. Come to the reception if you're in town!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Mike Daisey

Mike Daisey is a genius performer. We saw him at Woolly Mammoth on Friday night, doing a two hour long monologue on money. Money as our religion. Not sure how to describe it. Heartful, brilliant, hilariously funny, dead serious truth telling in every line. Much of the DC audience was not laughing. Offended no doubt, as so many (I can't say "most" though that is my feeling) people in this area base their whole lives, actions, philosophy, everything on the idea that wealth and money determine human value.

On youtube there are a couple of great videos of him - in one he makes fun of (!!) the New York attitude, somehow offends a group of conservative Christian visitors by language or sex talk, and they walk out, right in front of the camera. One pours water on his script, destroying it.
In another video he "outs" "freeze dried theater," as he calls it. You just have to see it!!

If I could see anything CLOSE to this quality once a month or so, here in DC, I wouldn't crave New York so much.

Boston south end galleries

A couple of weekends ago Carl and I went to Boston and then to Cape Cod. He had two days of rehearsal in Boston and then a concert in Wellfleet. While he rehearsed, I took myself to the South End, an off the beaten track part of Boston, home to a bunch of new "good" galleries.

Funny, I can't say that anyone in the galleries was interested in talking with me. Hmm. Could they tell I was "just an artist?" So sad that there are so many of us artists that gallery owners and directors in a big city want to hide when they smell us coming in the door.

No that is being too harsh. And I am jumping to a possibly false conclusion.

What is worth saying here, about my experience, was that to my surprise almost all the work bored me. I WISH that weren't the case, and thank God I finally found a gallery with dynamite work that knocked my socks off. Chase Gallery. The artist is Cynthia Packard, from Provincetown and Boston.
Her work showed her being steeped in the best of tradition - good form, gorgeous light a la Vuillard, and an abundance of "feminine" fabrics and handmade papers. Yum. It made my day as I soaked it up.

Now if I could think of HER as a peer, I'd give her a call next time I'm in Provincetown to see if I can stop by. Why not?

Body, Mind, Spirit

This is the title of a show in the University of Maryland University College's huge gallery. It was curated by Harriet McNamee and Bobby Donovan. I have a piece in the exhibit, which, interestingly enough, I did not announce. Because of the slowness in telling me about the logistics - which piece was in, when it was due, etc, and the lateness of the invitations.... I had decided that the show would be just mediocre. I was the opposite of excited about going to the opening last Sunday, but I went anyway.

Well, wasn't THAT day a surprise!! The show is definitely "Important," comes with a gorgeous catalog, and was celebrated with an elegant catered reception with talks, photos taken of the artists, and a general sense that this was "the place to be" for late afternoon wine, fancy snacks, and special people.

Best for me were heartwarming talks with Harriet Mcnamee who I knew from years ago at the Women's Museum (she headed a department there), Helen Frederick from Pyramid Atlantic, Susan Pearcy.... and seeing the work in the show by Martha Jackson Jarvis, reading the powerful words of Carol Beane... and on and on. What was surprising and confirming was the feeling of peer-ness that I had with both the artists and the curators. Maybe it's part of being in our 60's. Survival, thriving, thinking, creating despite odds?