Tuesday, May 29, 2012
A week or so ago I was digging through the photo box again, and found a picture my daughter had taken of me a couple months after my husband's suicide. I hadn't seen this photo since it was taken, and forgot there was one representative of that period of my life. We were in the midst of re-sorting Neil's office, reorganizing stuff, and trying feebly to do the same on an interior level, as well. I had lost a great deal of weight (for me) and I saw for the first time, in that photo, how lost and shattered that little 92 lb. widow was.
It was a comforting gesture of closure for me to sketch her, lovingly, from nine and a half years later. Where I would not only be 20 lbs. heavier, but light years happier. I followed artistic impulse, and thought it interesting I'd left the hands off of Neil's Regulator clock, the clothes in the closet were Neil's, a jumble of unorganized bills in a box (maybe representing the debts he left behind?), and I had drawn both the clock's pendulum and the wedding ring in metallic gold ink.
Thursday, May 24, 2012
This week Jim and I interrupted our "stay-cation" or stay-at-home vacation to stop at Jefferson Hospital in Port Townsend so Jim could get his allergy shots. I waited in the car and drew the parking lot's view of Manresa Castle across the street. I wonder which window is the haunted room?
Toned, acid-free recycled paper with Conte crayon sticks and Staedtler pigment liner (01), as well as white Pentel Sunburst medium gel pen.
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
And just in case I begin to lose my reputation as a sculptor, I thought I might post a photo of a 30 inch sculpture I created in 1998, that was exhibited at Gallery Mack in Seattle, then Gaskill-Olson Gallery on Whidbey Island, only to sell to a collector who hunted this piece down on the internet, purchasing it in 2003 through Trios Gallery in San Diego. Ascension Dream is hand-sculpted from white stoneware clay, and painted with oils after final firing. Inside the tower is a little girl, rising upward, hair trailing. I have a photo somewhere of that feature, maybe I'll post it when it turns up.
For those looking at my blog outside the U.S., Australia or the U.K., there is a translation gadget you might have noticed now on the top right of my blog page. Those more comfortable reading in their own language can use that to translate my blog text!
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
In the early- to mid-'90s, my husband, Neil, worked in San Diego, building huge ships. Often I would spend a week or weekend with him then, spending time relaxing on the beach or visiting my favorite gallery, Trios (since closed), which also sold my sculptures. One day I was hanging out at the park above the beach in La Jolla, sketching with pastels the sculpted rock cliffs. As so often happens, there were occasional curious bystanders and tourists. Most were respectful, just watched my drawing and maybe mumbled, "Very nice!" before they walked on. At one point it started raining big drops, but the sun was bright. I looked up and there were two boys, maybe 12 or 13, leaning over me from behind. They'd been scuba diving and didn't realize they were dripping on my drawing. It was easily blotted, and we had a very pleasant conversation about art.
Monday, May 14, 2012
Once upon a time in the early 1980s, I was a lot more in tune with nature. Trees, especially. I spent a great deal of time outdoors, listening to trees, sitting in them, drawing them. There certainly were elements about them (or maybe Elementals?) that felt as though they returned my gaze, or at the very least were sentient consciousnesses unto themselves. Spring seemed like a symphonic orchestra tuning up for the Summer's performance. This sketch is the quickening and rising of the tree's consciousness toward the warming sky.
Thursday, May 10, 2012
This version of Cat Repose was done a few months ago. The Moleskine page was painted loosely with Burnt Sienna acrylic paint, then on another day Inktense Pencils finished the job. The cat, however, was white Conte crayon, with a spray fixative. Even Inktense pencils have a difficult time on an acrylic surface. Pastels and Conte crayons work really pretty well on it though.
Monday, May 7, 2012
Sunday, May 6, 2012
In the late '80s I lost my mind for a few months and applied to a greeting card company that was calling for artists to submit their ideas. It made me a little nervous to send in my drawings without any assurance they would not steal the ideas, but it sounded like a fun gig. Turns out they didn't like my work. At the time I was having great fun entertaining my teenage daughters with cat drawings that had human facial expressions. Oh, well, that company's loss, I guess. I stuffed these into the ammo crate where they've spent the last 24 years. They still make me smile.
It's interesting looking at all the different names I used through the years, signing my work. Tays was my maiden name, that I took again after my divorce. Poulk was the married name I took in my first marriage. McLeod was my second marriage's name. I use it to this day as it has become the identity I've carried through my professional career as a sculptor since 1992.
Saturday, May 5, 2012
In the early '80s I had a little Siamese cat named Maggie. Through her short life she often would spend endless hours tumbling around on the floor as though there were a companion she was wrestling that we couldn't see. I've had many cats through my life, most have at some point enjoyed pretending they were chasing something that's not there, but Maggie's preoccupation with this obsessive, one-sided game often raised the hairs on my neck with it's eerie exercise in engaging the unknown. Sometimes she would roll over and over, her paws wrapped around an empty space, her teeth gently nipping at the air within it.