When I had given up oil painting at the age of 30, I had already had about 20 years experience at how well it would serve my creativity, as my mother had taught me to paint with oils when I was ten. I know, what was she thinking? The turpentine fumes made me dizzy and nauseated, but she advised me to keep at it, and I would get over it. I did keep at it, and when I finally gave it up, the freedom to also re-define my style was equally dizzying.... but in a good way! It's as though finding new media also unleashed new ideas and alternate styles, as you've seen in past postings from the early-to-late 1980s. My mother didn't seem to be too excited about my paper and ink explorations, or even the clay and sculpture adventures. Maybe that was a good thing for me. I was "on my own". Uncharted territory! I didn't know anyone who was doing monochromatic nature studies at that time, so I innocently thought I was blazing a new trail, and it got me out of the studio and into the field. The wet, sloppy, field. Lots of strange, little mushrooms made their home in wet cow pastures, and some of them did taste pretty good, though they seemed to "enhance" the scenery when I ate them. Hmmmm..... maybe that explains the tree series! Just kidding.
Monday, July 23, 2012
This is one of the earlier drawings, maybe 1983, of my ongoing treehouse-cradled-by-tree series. If I had been a better sculptor then, I'm sure that I would've translated the images to free-standing ceramic versions. The idea of the tree being a conscious participant in this partnership seemed at the time to have no end of possibilities. And, my left hand was so willing a model. It's funny, I only noticed nearly thirty years later that there doesn't seem to be a door to this structure!
Thursday, July 19, 2012
This graphite sketch is an imaginary portrait done in the mid-1980s. One of those instances in which I just let the pencil flow. When I was finished, I thought, "Holy smoke! She's on fire." Later that week the emanations from her head looked more to me like the energy of thought. It occurs to me that if thoughts seep outward in this way, how far afield do they roam?
Monday, July 16, 2012
It's amazing how the scent of a flower or the sound of a certain song will bring a flood of memories. Equally so for me are drawings I have done in years past when they are pulled out of an old box or file. This is another sepia ink drawing I had done in the early 1980s on parchment. At the time I was drawing these tree-related pieces (around age 30), I was connecting deeply with my childhood spent primarily in the limbs of trees. As I count down the months before my sixtieth birthday, childhood seems to me more of an abstract concept, other than what I vicariously sift from my grandchildren. However, finding these drawings almost begins for me a relay connection with the essence of that little girl I was, through the pen strokes of the thirty-year-old. We link hands across the decades and flash that sweetness of being, unbroken by time. Perhaps I can do the same for the woman I will be thirty years in the future.
A note added later: Someone pointed out to me since I posted this that the tree depicted here seemed a little scary, and the abandoned rag doll completed the image that was rather Stephen King-ish. I was astonished! I guess it all depends on what sort of Disney-esque (or King-esque) upbringing the viewer had. Craggy trees (like craggy people) spell "evil" for many in our U.S. culture brought up with Hollywood entertainment. It probably explains why we treat our elderly so badly, and mow down our ancient trees. As a child, I was very close to nature, and to me a twisted, ancient tree indicated a comforting knowledge. A being who had come through countless environmental ravages and seasons and endured with it's spirit intact and... much the wiser for it. Hopefully the same for Human Beings as they weather life's seasons. This gnarled tree is using it's entire strength to cradle and support the child's self-built refuge, as it has learned to guard and cherish what is sacred in this world. I also loved the contrasting images!
Friday, July 13, 2012
This painting was mostly an exercise, playing with combinations of my Inktense pencils in colored swatches (oops, you can tell I once knitted, long ago). Once on the watercolor paper, I thought it would be fun to make the squares a multi-colored lens through which one could view the scenes I love so much on the Olympic Peninsula.
Yesterday Jim and I took the ferry over to Whidbey Island to meet a friend who has a foundry, and who'd met us there to return a couple of my bronze sculpture molds to us. While on the island, I treated Jim to a wonderful rooftop lunch in Langley, as I'd made a couple of bronze sales recently. The ferry we took over from Port Townsend had slowed midway across the water, and sounded it's fog horn numerous times.... we were caught in a patch of fog which cleared by the time we docked on Whidbey. We learned later that fog had eliminated three of the ferry runs that day, and the reservation we had to go back home at 6 PM stretched to 7:30 PM, as they needed to play catch-up with all the backed up traffic before nightfall. Oh, well, it was certainly magical countryside in which to pass the time as we waited. And after all, once on Whidbey Island, you're on island time, so anything can happen!
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Friday, July 6, 2012
Monday, July 2, 2012
This was a drawing from a studio session a local artist holds weekly. It was done perhaps a couple years ago, and very rewarding. The model was exquisite, with a very classical shape and angelic face. I don't know why I don't participate more in those sorts of exercises, as I so love the drawn and painted human form and figurative sculpture. Perhaps I will more in the future.