Tuesday, November 17, 2009


oil on paper
24" x 36"

I have been having a really tough time getting photos that I am happy with - that actually look like the work - since the season changed. This image has more "white" in it in this photo than in real life, but it gives an idea of what I have going on today. This painting began as a body landscape and is still really reading that way to me. Thinking while I was working today, the phrase "she lost her head and followed her heart" kept repeating in my mind. Turn this image 90 degrees clockwise and you really see that...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Helen O'Toole
"First Cut"
oil on canvas
78" x 58"

Last night I went to an incredible panel discussion at Kitteredge Hall.
The artist speakers were Helen O'Toole, Danila Rumold, Mary Ann Peters, and Eric Elliot.
I had seen work by all of these artists except Mary Ann in Seattle prior to this discussion, but was inspired anew by this exhibit. Their radical honesty, insight into their practices, and the evidence of their hard work, left me full. Some of their comments that truly resonated with me and that I continue to reflect on, are at the end of this post.
Here is a piece of Helen's from the exhibit. This photograph, of course, does not honor it as I would hope, but it gives you an idea. Helen's work takes you to an internal landscape - a place of emotion and mystery. It is a personal and beautiful place. An honest place.

Everything can change in an instant...Ideas as a hum in the mind...the idea comes in the middle of the process...what habits limit...defying the idea of a "body of work"...work that is shown is only one reflection of an artist's life long changing practice...Everything can change in an instant... the Lotus Sutra...Dual notions...beauty as a seductive tool to introduce other topics...art that causes discomfort...Everything can change in an instant.


Form Study - Wing
oil and cold wax on paper
18" x 24"

I am in a place right now where satisfaction is hiding from me. I am stretching and wandering - bumping into things and then reaching again. This piece is just one example of the many things I am exploring right now. I think this place of being unhinged began as I shifted my thinking into ideas of form as "body" and body as history/landscape. Some very exciting, yet fleeting, things have been happening - only to be lost again as I become uncomfortable with the literal images that begin to emerge. What seems to be tricky for me is holding an idea of an "object", the body, but still trying to remain abstract with it. What I am learning is that because my attachment to form is so definite, if I want to work in the abstract, it is better to simply focus on general ideas or moods, rather than specific forms. I am not ready to truly bring the figure back in. I am going to redirect my thinking away from it and back to ideas of color, space, mood and form without attachment. When I do bring the figure back, I can tell a great deal will happen. Just not yet.

I just had a trick or treater come to my door. It is November 13th. He was pretty cute, but I still told him to come back in 334 days...