Thursday, January 22, 2015

One more piece of Turquoise

For this piece I kept the silver around the stone simple and created a fine silver flourish (cast from an antique button) with a pearl (I brought it back from China in 2007) to top off the bail. Very pleased if I can say so. Satisfaction!

    Here they are all together, for scale:

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Turquoise and Green Turquoise

It has been nice in Kansas this week! What do I do? I say yay for cross-ventilation and fire up the torches!

Today I paid for a private lesson with my cadillac torch. Barb Vogt graciously agreed to come over and teach me how to use it, change tips, check my gauges, etc. I've had the torch for four years now---and been scared of it ever since I filled the tanks. It's different than the torch I learned with so there's a definite learning curve. (I'm already learning by doing/behind the curve, and today alone I charred up one bezel and a thin sheet of silver figuring out how very hot my tiny flame actually is.)

But truly, in the past I have just been more concerned with blowing up my studio. Barb says, "It's easy!" Now I am quite confident it IS easy to operate and it's all going to work out, so that leaves me feeling hopeful. (There are days I think I should just cash in on the jewelry stuff...but that's when I go to painting...and when I think I should hang up my brush, I go to I guess I do need both options.)

Here's what I made today---from old and new silver, for my Aunt Korrene who owns the stones and gave me the silver. Yahoo!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Interactive Dream Art

This little white-out bunny came to me in a dream.

This little white-out bunny-in-the-shadows has so much to say, I'm not sure how to honor Bunny's story! I don't even know how to name it or what to call this art piece. 

I mean, I know what I would call Bunny. I know what Bunny means to me today. (Who can know what Bunny will mean to me tomorrow?)

This little white-out bunny is actually pure gold and quite massive. Whatever it is or becomes, it will be in its own walled off space in the gallery, encountering and healing beyond me.

The rotating top and interchangeable disks are rimmed with gold leaf. (Those who know my work will see the circle and the square all over this, too.) I lined the top and shelves with soft, white felt.

Chloe helped with the overall vision. Cody (and Dad) made my sketch come alive. Even down to the pass-through shelves. 

 The interchangeable disks (lit from one side only) in order:

The deep shadow-play on these things is intentional, mesmerizing and clarifies with each disk. You really must encounter it in movement, experientially.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Final Friday Port-iful Actions

Cody and Chloe have helped me make a sleeping dream I had a few weeks ago come true.
Please come interact with my dream, and let it speak to you, too!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Collaborating with Chloe

Chloe and I have put our heads together to work on a submission for this show which is sure to be another fantastic show curated and sponsored by Kylie and CreativeRush.

While working on other ideas for the show, I had a simple, beautiful dream. I recorded the dream exactly like this: "Moving light source on round paper white pulp raised dots". In the dream I watched what was supposed to be a pure white surface dance with shadows due to a moving light source. I also heard myself saying, "Viewing, Doing and Experiencing"---something I say quite often in my office (3 ways of change).

I shared the dream with Chloe. Through some discussion, we arrived at rotating the round source, not the light. (I really like this idea more symbolically, and yes, I could spend hours meditating on the significance of the light source moving in my subconscious.) We are also going to use multiple round source textures. Chloe suggested using records for surfaces, a record player for rotation and using something like the symbol display racks at Midwest Drum and Percussion (Matt Jansen is searching for one of these---or at least he sent a "thumb's up" to my request.) for artful display. We have 6 more days to do this and get the idea submitted. The one thing that is sure to stick, though, is the stark white and shadows. More to come on this one....

Speaking of collaboration, remember when I received this commission? Since weather affects the marbling, it is going to be months before I can attempt it again. Knowing this, I finally just gathered the test papers and gave them UJ for Christmas. While gathering the papers, I showed Chloe the "face" I saw in the misprint on one of the papers (something I cropped out of the photos). Chloe asked if she could have it. Last night she came out and floored me with what she had added (see above)

I just finished reading another book about Klimt. I have to say, Chloe (unintentionally?) nailed the abstract reality of Klimt's confused multiple planes on one canvas. I don't even know what to say about where this creation might lead me and or Chloe. I have been contemplating drawing lessons---a desire that is only growing. Now it is just a matter of finding a teacher. Wouldn't it be something if Chloe would teach me?

Sunday, January 4, 2015

An update on Chloe and Mason

What follows could be considered the closest thing I get to writing an obnoxious Christmas letter (at least it's not written in 3rd person). Please keep in mind I mainly write this blog to document my process in time. You are welcome to read and resonate with it, but remember it is not necessarily written for you. It is my hope that some day my children and grand children will read this when they move through similar spaces as a parent and or when they actually care to know how I experienced such things. My own mother recently commented on how each generation moves through similar transitions, just at different intervals (hello, systems theory). It IS a crying shame I can't ask my grandparents about transitioning their kids to college now, isn't it? I would love to know what they were thinking and how they handled it.... 


My kids are growing up right under my nose. So is their love of art, which is just fascinating to me. It would be easy to take the credit lots of people assign to me and Cody regarding their success, but I know the truth. The truth is, both kids continue to come in to their own with the arts, largely the result of their own process, with the support of extended family, friends, and aid of amazing strangers and teachers in the community.

Just yesterday Chloe told me she "made the mistake of" telling some people around her high school that such-and-so handed her the City Arts Council award in October. When this man gave her the plaque he said something about judging her bunny for the regional Scholastics show---and that he wanted her to know he would be watching for her Senior portfolio this year. Of course people might assume and comment on how she is earning awards because of who she knows (and because of who her parents know*)(**), but that would be incorrect. The Scholastics show is blindly judged. She is earning awards because her artwork is really that good.

I haven't mentioned it, but aside from winning a Scholastics national gold medal and being published in the subsequent catalog and journal, her bunny (Nature Burn Nature) ended up being printed in the Scholastics calendar. This means that out of 344,000 pieces of nationally juried and submitted art, Chloe's drawing was 1 of 12.
(Photo taken before she added the smoke. This bunny is still traveling.)
Chloe has moved from a space of making art because it is demanded of her for a grade, to making art because she loves it. Seriously, what more could a parent wish for?!? The navigation of this space has been difficult at times for me and Cody to witness as well as difficult to parent through. One of my greatest fears as a parent is that either of my children would lose their love for the arts because of such demands. (Ask Cody what a fight I put up when he wanted to put both kids in formal music lessons.)

The overall adjustment of transitioning Chloe to college later this year is enough of a whole body rattle! Cody has made funny comments about her being a Royal Tenenbaum. (We all know and love the Tenenbaum kids not in spite of, but rather for the vortex their natural gifts spawned. What the heck is supposed to happen when your street credit supersedes the stability of your personality/leg stability?) Watching Chloe powerfully navigate this last year, tells me my girl is gaining strength, and will be just fine.

The fact that Mason is a drummer has never been surprising or more fitting for him. He does his own thing, sets his own beat, more and more often now. His iPod plays (we both take a curious look when Cody loads new songs onto it) demonstrate this reality. Lots of Radiohead, Four Tet, old jazz, new jazz, etc. He has received formal instruction for years now, and (somewhat to my surprise***) his love of playing music continues to grow. He is actually looking forward to marching band (so far his love for drumming is actually trumping the early rising, uncomfortable shoulder harness and uniform part) next year. He has said he would only do jazz band if it were an option....

He also continues to talk about pottery even when he is not throwing. I think the rhythm and hand involvement must be part of the natural draw for him. He talks about looking forward to high school because he will finally have "free access" to a wheel and kilns. I can see him throwing with his earbuds in...though he will certainly have to cut his mop (surprising point of contention) or be able to tie it back by then.

Given the chance to create anything in his Art II course this year, Mason hand built a plain white toilet with working lid. (Did I forget to mention he has a quick wit and he loves to laugh?) When he told me about the toilet, I immediately thought of DuChamp's Fountain and rushed to show it to him. Were I given the opportunity to build anything, with the chance to use the confetti glaze I saw on multiple pieces in his class, I'd make the busiest, tackiest thing ever. I think the toilet piece it is telling of Mason's strong (it has always been there****), personal aesthetic. He is peaceful and kind and loving, and yet he is also unafraid to be bold, like his dad. Watching him strike a Timpani is most thrilling.

So, due to natural process, both kids are cultivating strong, personal aesthetics that simply cannot have come from me and Cody. They are both already outgrowing their parents in formal instruction and talent---something I have always known would be easy for anyone to do. What I have also always wondered about and sought to foster, then, is their LOVE and appreciation for the arts. Sometimes I fail miserably at this*****, and sometimes I am better at this (again, see ****). I am highly aware of their process and have a great desire to support them through it. It is an honor and a privilege to parent these two. Few things in life bring me such pure joy.
My prized Christmas present from Mase this year. What could be more difficult than a watercolor self-portrait?

He said he wants to drink hot cocoa from it and store the marshmallows in the tank part. He did not appreciate it when I added a squished up tootie roll to the bowl.

(*Anyone who really knows me and Cody will think this assertion is hilarious. Yes, we know some people---but we're both so bad at playing that game, being associated with us might actually hurt our kids' credit. We're both publicly awkward with our art, we both have such little formal training. Well, maybe "stage" Cody is not awkward but he is himself, which isn't always popular. Neither of us has ever been able to disingenuously kiss ass. Trust me, we have both wished at times for this special talent.)

 (**Because of the public attention Chloe has earned for her memorable bunny, and because of her seeking a job at the Wichita Art Museum, she did earn the nomination for the Wichita Art Council award. She is meeting and receiving attention from artists and patrons in Wichita. It is possible some people will now recognize her hand, but even that started with her own merit.)
(***Lessons and public recitals killed my own love of music at times.)
(****You want to see me go all Mama Bear, ask me about this one. It started when his pre-school teachers told me they were "concerned" because he "doesn't like to color"....)
(*****Chloe has paved the way for Mase on this one. Especially when she told us she was "not going to submit a themed portfolio" to Scholastics and all I heard was not going to submit a portfolio. Yikes. She got the hammer on that one...for a while. Don't worry, though, the girl is naturally strong-willed---and she has cut her teeth within the safety of home, something I hope only helps her throughout college and life.)

Thursday, January 1, 2015

January/Janusian Process

Here is where I would like to write something profound about the meaning of January/Janusian Process. Here is where I would like to post a photo of a painting or a sketch that aptly illustrates such meaning. But none of these things are happening right now, so in order to release my mind of such constraints, I will simply post the desired ideas, and allow myself to get on with the business of living out the meaning of such profundities.(*wink)

Janusian Thinking is "bringing two opposites together in your mind, holding them there together at the same time, considering their relationships, similarities, pros and cons, and interplay, then creating something new and useful." The book is Flight from Wonder, by Albert Rothenberg

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Gerhard Richter

I've known Richter's paintings since I watched this. I thought they mostly looked like this.

And now I'm freaking out because TODAY I figured out they also look like this and like this and like this.

holymotherlode. I am about to burst.

I think these are what I was trying to do with my passenger series. These make me want to be a better painter.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Passenger Series

My explanation to the owner of these five paintings: Passenger---how I experience a steady but quickly passing beauty, a rush to take it all in, a hyper reality transfixed in a temporal moment. Or is it a temporal moment transfixed in hyper reality? The way I see, in general---and also about my transition as a mother with my daughter right now...don't blink. But there's a peaceful resolve over all of it. It's just how this lifetime is. I am always grateful for beautiful moments frozen in time.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

St. Vincent Kick

If the truth/ideas experienced/expressed in these songs do not in any way resonate with your experience, they might be activating/disparaging. But I have heard St. Vincent herself say, "They do not have to be disparaging"---and I believe her wholeheartedly.

St. Vincent completely nails the love and anguish found in both experiences. 

Ps)I get to hear her sing these songs live in a few weeks. She opens for the Black Keys in Ok.