Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tasha Tudor

“Life isn't long enough to do all you could accomplish. And what a privilege even to be alive. In spite of all the pollutions and horrors, how beautiful this world is. Supposing you only saw the stars once every year. Think what you would think. The wonder of it!” ~~ Tasha Tudor

Last week, a patron at the library asked me for Tasha Tudor's works, and as I searched our catalog she began mentioning a particular poem she was searching for: Take Joy or in the book Take Joy.  And as I searched and continued to ask a few questions, she sternly looked at me, leaned in and glaringly said, "don't you know Tasha Tudor!!???"... well, I calmly looked back at her and said, "ma'am I'm sorry but i don't know
everything about everyone."

It was a springboard for her to launch into the many works this author/illustrator has done, and like so many other things in my life (ie. music/songs/lyrics/poetry), I sometimes don't retain names with titles or pieces.  It's a shortcoming of mine, no real recall memory. 

Anyway, of course I knew her illustrations, (when i realized who she was talking about), having loved the secret garden, and child's verse and other stories I'd read growing up, but this shaming jolt from a patron led me to look more into her work as an author and person.

I pulled out and dusted off my old copy of  Secret Garden  by Hodgsen Burnett, (which i just whisper netted to my kindle, free, because it's old enough now for free use in the public domain - should be interesting to see what the drawings come through in a digital format) and found a note inside, not in my writing, maybe my Aunts, about one passage on page196 about creating magic, even the sentence had light pencil brackets.. Hmmm a puzzle since it's been years since i opened the book.. it was purchased from the San Rafael book store, when my Aunt Judy lived in Mill Valley, more than 40 years ago.  I think I was about 9 when she gave me that book one Christmas.  I don't think I read it though until I was about 12.

Regardless, this insatiable curiosity of mine to dig in and find more, led me again to a fine love of her work, and to discover her pioneering spirit with gardening and way of life.  This video, though not in English, shows her in her garden and gives a bit of flavor to her person.  (there are parts where she speaks in English about her life and work; i wish i could find this film - i will continue to search.)

I am drawn to writing and illustrating, though my pull in art school was for big expression and large body movement in my work.  The smaller illustrative work seems tedious and consuming, though this past year, in doing my quick one a day drawings while waiting to travel to Europe, I found it especially rewarding.  I love the scratchy feeling and looseness of my work when i work quickly and i see some of that in her work too.


Tasha Tudor's work

I have a desire to take old classics or even some adult stories that have particularly vivid scenes and illustrating them.. One could imagine a picture book for the adult.  And I'm not speaking of the not so new genre of "graphic novels" on shelves everywhere now, I'm speaking of an illustrated version of some of the adult fiction.  We'll see.  I've always enjoyed being read to and even as an adult reading to my grand babies, it's a special honor, and I love to hear a story read aloud.  Here is the Christmas Cat (though I think I'd read a bit slower, to allow your eyes to travel around the page looking at all the story told in her illustrations):

This re-discovery of Tudor's work has inspired me to continue with my own ideas of what my work will include.  I love painting large panels and canvas as in my spirit of the tree series, but I may scale back and try some smaller intimate work.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Goodbye 2011

It's nearing the close of 2011 and I'm looking forward to it.

It's been a very tulmultuous time this year and I am not clear on what's in the future.  I'm ready for a new chapter.

I sing this weekly in the peekaboo storytime i give at my library day job.  It opens the program and brackets the half hour of joy i experience with unconditional love.  I hold that time very near and dear to my heart. 

[Hi, hello and how are you?
 How are you? How are you?
 Hi, hello and how are you?
 How are you today? :)]

In this world there is not enough of that love it seems, and hurt and anger and hate seems to be all around.  Impatience and distrust and a distinct disrespect is prevalent, it saddens me.

I wish all of my family, friends and loved ones a sweet new year in whatever way you can find it.  Be well and take good care.

[Goodbye, goodbye we'll see you soon,
 See you soon, see you soon,
 Goodbye, goodbye we'll see you soon,
 On another day. :)]

(to the tune of London Bridge, the nursery rhyme)

Taking the end of the year off from social networking.
Keep smiling and shining your love, celebrate good times and small treasures...

Sunday, November 27, 2011


i woke up in my clothes
realizing i had come home and dropped dead tired
the bed open from leaving to see my son this past thanksgiving.

walking yesterday while at lunch
listening to Hearing Voices: Native America
I found myself once again moving into my body

knowing i am who i am
knowing i am split between sea and mountain
a great river flowing

i feel finished with a work i do and did to support my life and my sons.

they are making their own way.

i must make my own.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

my voice - part 2 (Occupy)

I would be negligent without mentioning another area of extreme importance to me and another area making a great impact on my thinking and creativity these days: Occupy the world.

It goes in hand and hand with being a parent of a new marine, his choice, one i support for his happiness, one i find in conflict with my belief in passivity and peace.

So... occupy the streets, use your voice for the many ... I saw so many videos tonight on my art page newsfeed at facebook, i thought, wow, i need an "occupy" page... no... i just need to post them here to feel I've voiced my concerns.

Here are a few compelling ones:

I first listened to this :

and found his Occupy Aloha after...

be not afraid... i know it... i have been too, but i am not anymore...

A musician took a stand at last night's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation gala, which was attended President Obama and a slew of world leaders.

Hawaiian guitarist Makana, who has performed at the White House, wore a shirt that read "Occupy With Aloha" and played a song inspired by the Occupy Wall Street protests.

"We'll occupy the streets, we'll occupy the courts, we'll occupy the offices of you, till you do the bidding of the many, not the few," he sang at the Wakiki event. "The time has come for us to voice our rage."

The tune, "We Are the Many", ran for 45 minutes long.

From L.A., CA:

The Last Straw: Bank Transfer Day at Occupy LA

from Frankfurt:

Rede von Georg Schramm auf der Kundgebung. Vorher hatten ca. 8000 Menschen das Bankenviertel von Frankfurt a.Main umzingelt. Zeitgleich kreisten in Berlin Tausende die Regierungsgebäude ein. Aktionen mit der Occupy-Bewegung. Forderungen an die Regierung den systemischen Fehlern mit konkreten Reformen zu Begegnen: Steuerreform, Finanztransaktionssteuer, New Deal, Geldreform, Sozial-Reform, Demokratie Jetzt!

for my italian friends:

for my french friends

Saturday, November 12, 2011


what is voice?

wow, it's been a long time since i allowed myself time to really hear my creative voice.

long days where my focus has been in places that feel important, but in the long run are very draining.

I listened to DW Wilson several weeks back, and listened to it several times because he resonated so closely to how i feel or what i feel is important in creating.

My new series based on my trip to europe exactly a year ago this week, is the only thing right now I'm focusing on creatively.

I have only one or two drawings i want to do before the end of the year, but the new series is entirely where my focus is.

I have been reading about painters, photographers, and will review my images from the trip, specifically 3 areas. Paris, Honfleur and the streets of Florence. Rome will be available for reflection, but I know for sure there are several images I will focus on from that trip.

Wilson talks about his voice, and how he doesn't begin with knowledge of where his story will take him, likewise, I begin my work only with a few thoughts and inspirations and allow for the work to inform the finished piece.

He talks too about studying the masters. I normally don't do a lot of looking at work before beginning a body of work, but for this one I decided to allow myself some immersion into the painters that inspire me and have painted these places.

Study takes place over a chunk of time, and I constantly am looking at work from many artists, painters, sculptors, photographers and musicians, poets and authors.. dancers too.. all art and artists inform me. At least the ones that I like and tend to review over and over.

Listen to DW Wilson, then listen again, he speaks quickly, but he has a lot of great insight.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Simple Pleasure

maya and i walked down her street
she showed me the weeds in the cracks of the sidewalk
she showed me the letters in the cement
i asked her what she heard, "a lawnmower grandma"

we saw the pumpkin decorations
we saw the ghosts hanging from the trees
we saw the black bird on the sign
she asked me to touch the dried worm on the ground

"let's take this home for daddy", she said as she picked up
a brown leaf
then she squished it and said look grandma
yes, now there's just a stem, it was dry wasn't it?

running ahead, she stopped and said "lets go to the park"
sure i said, and we walked together finding solace in the sun
i want my pony out grandma,
and she ran along with her hair blowing in the wind

we rested on the bench, she ran her fingers along the lines
the metal sculpture, the legs of the insect
she walked on the edge of the walk, just on the grass
we found a shady tree spot and took off our shoes to feel the coolness..

let's swing, and we did
higher grandma
go under me
can we swing again before going home?

the slide, the beam, the bridge
jumping and laughing
eyes and ears open
what do you see maya?

we looked and we saw
the red tail soaring
the wings outstretched
we became birds and butterflies

swings soaring water wet
sweaty faces
smiles and

walking home we loved
hold me grandma
hand in hand
will you stay for quiet time?

I love you Maya
I love you too
walking walking hop hop hop
running running
now let's stop...

rtm 2011

Saturday, September 24, 2011

heating up the inward intensity

my spirit is still strong
but the intensity i feel 
about certain injustices 
are taking a toll on my mental and physical well being

once again i set out to reconnect
with my self; grounding again with nature
with music and art, poetry
universal love

i slip into the rut of despair at times
i find myself feeling worthless
while doing the worthwhile
i am willing

i will move forward
i am not giving up
the strength is there

the world feels like the square
 i am the round peg not fitting
this is not a new awareness
it is just more intense

a coworker recently said
"you care too much"
that may be so
i care

energy has been
and moving
outward for some time

it's time for
for inward

like great music
art too
is a retreat

almost a year ago
i thought i was
beginning a
new chapter

i see


sometimes old songs have new meanings... 

and this newer song, when you listen, in a more general way, not one love relationship, but 
when you listen to the song with the "whole" of looking back in your life and 
also looking ahead at where you may be traveling.... where i am traveling...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

be brave...

it always happens: i come home from a day of negotiations, feel stifled, feel like nothing is heard, and end up wanting to shout and make some sort of noise.

sometimes i swim, sometimes i walk, sometimes i rant and sometimes i paint.

lately, i feel very closed about expression.

i start to mull over what action i can take.

i rationalize that small steps are good, and better than none.

i still feel very frustrated and see the obvious shutdowns of free speech around the world, the nation, the state, counties, and cities and workplaces to be a huge ugly disease.

I just watched a video and read a story about a Wall street media brownout, did you hear about this on your tv the other day?  I'm guessing you didn't. Be sure to scroll down and watch the police and the protesters.

The fear is palpable these days.  Those in power do not want to hear our frustration and our concerns or recognize there are very large imbalances ballooning exponentially.  Instead of looking at the root and coming to see and hear people's legitimate anger as valid; crushing the voice, singling out people that stand up, punishing or reprimanding those that risk doing the right thing for the whole, is becoming commonplace in everyday operations.

It's not enough to be quiet anymore.
It's right to continue to voice concerns.
It's time now to be brave.
(thank you to my fellow coworker for her braveness)

I'm not sure where I'm going with this tonight, but I needed to write, maybe i will walk, and then see what comes.

Friday, September 16, 2011

~~ PEACE ~~

I've  posted a discussion topic on my art page at facebook. 

Peace seems to be one of those words that feels unattainable, but it is attainable.

What will you do?  Join the discussion.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

... the journey...

Quite the process... well, I dub myself a process painter, so that fits, but to unbury my studio space and go through 10+ years work has been quite an ordeal for me, and it feels like I'm excavating and investigating: seeing my voice evolve.

I have been sorting out my work from the past 18 years, and seeing the mass quantities of drawings and paintings made in life drawing and painting classes is overwhelming.

Memories of the time the work was made in, memories of the explosion of creativity i have been emmersed in;  it's been an emotional dig.

I am documenting the work (some has never been photographed) so I can then reuse the material or discard it. Though this is not professional documentation as in a portfolio style, it seems tedious too.

I use many layers in my work, and so I am both excited to be able to discover some of the old work again and to see the threads of continuity in my expression. On the other hand, I have difficulty seeing that any of it should be thrown out as it documents my journey. I may for now decide some is ready for reuse, the other is ready (most likely in an unfinished state) to be set aside for another review...

... the problem is space..

My art professor at Mills, Hung Liu, gave me a good foundation for exploration. It is nice to hear her voice and her story again in this video, and to be reminded of her teachings. I recently saw her work in the San Francisoc airport leaving for Europe this past November. On the way to the airport, I said hello to her by chance. She was eating in a restaurant with printmaster David Salgado, they were taking a break ... what a treat to see her again. When I saw her work hanging directly over the boarding gate I was taking that day, I felt it was a definite sign for me, of good fortune.

And so begins my story of the Europe trip, a whole body of work still to be created.

I just have to keep going forward.

Here are a few older pieces found today in reorganizing.

and p.s.
is this
not cool?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

... it is what it is...

well... how appropriate... i'm feeling pretty discouraged tonight after a long day at the negotiation table.. i didn't doodle or draw, instead took notes on specifics that management spoke about. It's apparent they are unwilling to make much concession.

as labor day rolls around, i reflect on my own working history, a myriad of different labor jobs.. including construction for the phone company, climbing poles and in trenches splicing cable, waitressing part time so i could stay home with my babies, dental assisting, managing in pacbell to middle management working on process improvement... my escape from the corporate world came when management was going to institute a 12 hour work day while i had a teenager at home.. nor was i willing to sell my soul. i decided i wanted to work for the schools or the libraries.. I wasn't interested in a big paycheck, just some basic health benefits and a retirement for working "x" amount of years.

Working as a substitute teacher I finished my art degree, I found part time work in the library.. 10 plus years later I find myself working or shall i say, standing up for labor (myself included) that can barely stay afloat with the encumbrances now of the economic decline and the public perception that public employees, civil servants are just not that valuable. Of course what would it be like a day without the public employee?

Dare you imagine? Sure there's news about the overpaid/double-dipping managers that come back and reap a huge salary at retirement and collect also a big chunk of money as a contract employee? right? same thing in the corporate world..

The majority of your public service employees are a paycheck away from the street. And won't command any high paid retirement either. Most are hard working and care about the public, that's why they are there.

so... why am I writing?... my reflection has to do with the larger picture in how i see the world around me.

there is no value anymore for longevity in a job... in fact, now the norm is no one stays in a position longer than 3 years because they are moving to the next best thing..

there is no value for experience and true customer service either.. instead we've all become accustomed to not getting a real answer to our questions, not getting a tip to where we can find our solutions, having to follow up on our own in the doctors office, not even seeing a doctor at times, not even getting our fast food order correct, let alone having the person taking your money knowing how to count change back properly...why?... complacency.. there is a huge wave or sweep of complacency and an attitude of "i don't care" out there now, more than i've ever seen it...

well.. imagine ... no don't imagine.. in fact, don't even care... there are no solutions right? everyone is too busy to stand up, too scared for their jobs to speak out, too tired and fed up at the end of the day to show up to a meeting, too resigned that nothing will change, that they have no voice and are powerless..

so?... if that is the way it is?... you'll have to settle for what you get.. it's clear that if you don't show up, you better shut up..

it doesn't really take that much, raise a hand and say yes, i'll distribute a flyer, yes, i can write a letter, yes, i'll speak up when there are clearly rights that are violated.. ??? anyone?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

.... the blues makes my heart sing...

if there's one type of music that makes me happy, it's the blues.. no matter how sad and down and out the lyrics can be, there is something so soulful and wonderfully touching about the blues.. it lifts me up...

musicians inspire me, all kinds.. storytellers, ballads.. bluesmen and women...

i wonder at times why i never took up an instrument in high school, always playing around with writing lyrics instead, and trying the guitar, and piano by myself.. too busy trying to take classes to get me into college and "be something".. lol.. always doodled, drawing, and sewing and stitching.. oh artist inside is true..

i will never forget how taking a drawing class lifted me into another orbit while working on my english degree, and music too, has lifted me to a different level in my creative process.

I began drawing musicians specifically on the streets of San Francisco, listening to the street artists.  I was always too chicken to draw in a club, and even now, it is one of the most challenging venues.  Mainly because i want to enjoy the music and move.  The other is lighting and movement of the musicians.  I end up sketching several pieces at a time, flipping back and forth from the different perspectives as the musician jams.

I take photographs too, but catching a particular vibe usually happens in the "LIVE" moment.  Taking sketches back to the studio to try and paint them while listening to their music is always a pleasure, bringing me back to the sound they inspired me with.

So many wonderful talents.. I have found abundance on myspace, reverbnation, facebook, dailymotion... the internet world is a great pot of creativity.. at times i feel i'm sucked in the big black hole of it all, but overall, it's an eye opening, a heart opening, a diversity you really can't get anywhere.. and i feel i'm a world traveler.. so i go...

Seeing these artists in a venue LIVE is most rewarding, and provides a layer of heart that you can't always get online, but the work is beautiful and needs to be expressed, and when I hear something particularly moving, I want to paint and draw and share...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I must need to write...

This past weekend, I spent time in the studio, trying to clean out about 10 years worth of work i
I've collected.. Let me say, I just made a bigger mess than I had, so many things I had forgotten about, so instead, I spent it documenting some of the work so I could reuse it or toss it. 

Work made since 2000, when I left the comfort of art school, and began the journey of an artist trying to make it in the big art world and still survive. 

I laugh:  today, I'm still trying to survive, day job has become more encompassing then intended, and now it feels like I need to restructure to carve time for art to become once again the focus of my work. 

So I inhale a BLT, write a blog, (writing helps me sort my thoughts), and prepare to attend an after work meeting, well,... it used to be I'd be running to the studio before and after work... it's been a transition having my live space be also my work space, it's coming along...

As the coming 10 year mark for the tragedy in New York, and the world rolls around, (I put it out of my mind mostly, it reminds me of too many harsh realities, and brings back a lot of heartache both personally and universally), it is hard to put it away when I began reading "let the world spin" and also hearing tidbits again referring to the "coming 10 year anniversary" on NPR over the past couple of weeks..

Let the world spin

I reflected a bit on what happened and what I remembered.

It' not unlike many markers in life, those that make or leave a big impression; marriage, birth, death, your first grandbaby, your son leaving for the military... any of those things leave a lasting memory..

So for me, thinking of where I was when I heard the news of 9-11, I could easily remember:  helping a friend newly released from jail, having finally finished my art degree, working for the county (a day job), and then more memories flooded..

How my son, newly beginning law school stated, "they won't need a draft, i'll volunteer for this" when speaking of an impending war after the event. 

I remember donating my art for remembering those that died, and that my art then had much text woven within.

I also did a lot of political/anti-war/anti-bush administration drawing... i drove myself mad really.
work i never thought I'd show...

Amazing what 10 years holds.

I wandered around this weekend, looking at the mess of my studio, and began shuffling things around deciding what to get rid of, i'm absolutely without anymore space to live and work here, so i need to give away art, throw it out or find a buyer!

As I moved drawings and paintings around, i began to document many things that were older, and some never seen, even the stuff that i never would have showed anyone really, and again, it became a documentation of the past 10 years. 

From life drawings

and abstractions

and various objects

my work has evolved and i find it difficult to really throw some out just because it does document where i was as an artist at that period..

 and i'm one that reuses my materials and my work in other work, so ... i make a bigger mess trying to clean out the space..

Monday, August 22, 2011

deep concern

Part of my personal commitment is to speak out about environmental issues, primarily those that impact the ocean and nature.

Last year when the BP blowout occurred, it reminded me of where I originally found my deep concern for our oceans. 

1969 in Santa Barbara, I was 11.  We were just moving to Northern CA and the spill there had made a huge impact to my own life because I saw our beaches that I played and grew up on covered in sticky gooey oil and we were told we couldn't be on the beaches.

My father was quite active in speaking out about political issues, and this was no different.. I watched how that community became strong and stood up for changing what happened off the shores of the CA coast.. much was gained by coming together and fighting and writing to our government to find ways to protect our coastal life.

I haven't watched TV in quite a while, but tonight I turned on CSPAN booktv (a type of reader's advisory for me in my day job) and found Antonia Juhasz  speaking on her book "Black Tide: The Devastating Impact of the Gulf Oil Spill" and found myself once again compelled to renew my commitment in my own activism and artwork to bring attention and work at that one important issue.

I was inspired by a photographer some months ago to do a documentation series based on his inspiring images that deal primarily with what he sees as a root cause that are continuing and feeding the tragedies we are seeing as those in the BP oil spill, the mining and other scars that are being made in the name of "consumerism".

His book is in my personal library and is groundbreaking I think in showing, with his talent/art, his extreme commitment and integrity in bringing to the public this tragedy happening in front of our eyes.

Here is another artist, Edward Burtynsky, relates his insights and his commitment towards sustainability.

I have watched his film

Here he speaks about his work:

Both of these artists are making huge steps in my mind to translate their art into a strong "beam" on issues that are occurring now in our immediate world and local communities.

My "black and white and red all over" series is a depository series for me to express those more political/rage invoking issues.  I feel that finally, this series will be unfolding to also encompass those environmental issues i feel so completely helpless with making any significant changes, except for my own actions and using my voice and my way of bringing focus to them.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

... more nostalgia...

I have been in love with the imagery and places of France for over 20 years.

It began when I traveled there in the Spring of 1990, with my then boyfriend, my son's father, and now my ex-husband. 

It was my first time ever in Europe, and Paris and Giverny, Avignon, Marseille and Provence swept me off my feet.

Traveling by the seat of our pants, with only a few nights reserved in the left bank of Paris to begin, we trained to Giverny, Normandy, and down into the South and west for 3 weeks. 

I spoke only a bit of french and spanish, and carried my translation book with my wallet. 

I have never forgotten the cold of April, having to buy a "frenchie" blue beret to compliment the best decision I made for that trip, and that was to bring my winter coat!!  Every picture I have from that trip, I am in my royal blue coat, buttoned up with a hat!

I will pull out my images that are probably ruined and faded, thrown into a box and never albumed, never put into the story i planned on writing, my journal entries too are faded and yellow... but they are in a box, and I plan on taking a peek soon..

I need to tell the stories, paint the places that have touched me... I have much to paint; stories within..

The images from my visit to Giverny, the reflections of the gardens, the lilies, the tulips in the ponds are forever etched in my memory, and the pictures i took with the old 35mm then were good enough to be made into posters... not being able to tell which was the real garden and which was the reflection..

I missed seeing Giverny this past trip (last fall, the gardens were closed) and I had dreamed of painting as Monet did standing there in the flesh.. I will go again and realize that dream.

Elizabeth Murray, (there's two artists that inspire me) has gone there too for over 25 years and has photographed this place...

Elizabeth Murray and Monet's Gardens from Elizabeth Murray on Vimeo.

I've had her book in my personal library for about 20 years.
check out her great webpage

(i took time this afternoon to look for my images, uhmmm in the other part of the studio i suppose, in a different box, got sidetracked looking at old pics of ian and brandon as babies).

Saturday, August 13, 2011

~~~ nostalgia ~~~

nostalgia is an escape... yes?
nostalgia, what is it, a fantasy? is life a fantasy?

things are so bad, we've retired our bald eagle as our symbol and instead replaced it with a vulture (just heard that on "wait wait don't tell") . ..shit... well, i digress..

basically, yes, with the world crumbling around us, both with wars and financial demise, i find it easier and easier to try and block it all out and instead retreat to denial..

there is no denying any of it when you are in the thick of it...

who would have ever dreamed that so many things would be converging..

financial cuts and layoffs and labor rights being undermined, wars on almost every continent .. poverty and pain.. wow..

people not being able to make it on a full time benefited job, losing homes and well.. it just goes on.. i have friends and family all struggling..

so is it any reason why we don't try to find a way of forgetting it all and dreaming?... nostalgia, there were better days, there will be better days?... dreaming of the feelings we once had and dreams we once dreamed?

i recently saw "midnight in paris".. after seeing the stein collection show/picasso etc.. all nostalgic for me... wanting to move from my gloom and doom, my sadness with the local government politics i'm involved in now, fighting for labor, having wished my youngest son good spirit and luck as he entered the military this past week, it's difficult at times to keep my head up and smiling... so off to the movie i went, in hopes to escape... oddly.. this movie was about nostalgia..

a yearning for the past, often in idealized form, i went to escape from my present, my deep immersion of late in the government structural imbalance and my personal sinking with several losses in my life.. loss has layers and for me, when there are several going on at the same time, the impact is like being in the ocean, being hit by a big wave, only to get up again to be hit by another oncoming wave, to get up to the last one slamming you down into the sand grit....

I had that experience as a young girl body surfing, and it comes to mind describing loss for me today..

key:  i keep getting back up.. last night i reached for nostalgia to help steady me, it allowed me to dream again, seeing artists and authors in the movie of midnight in paris, and reliving how i felt walking the rainy streets of paris only 9 months ago.

I let the tears come finally.. with my son entering the military, i've held a lot in.  I didn't cry the last few days spent with him.  Even when he and I recently spent 4 days alone together, away, I didn't let the tears come.  I did share my love, but I just knew he was bothered by my tears.

So when the screen opened last night with the rainy streets along the Seine, the Eiffel tower, the Montmartre, the Blvd. St.Germaine... I let myself cry finally. 

That is when it hit me, that just 9 short months ago, like a pregnancy, i was excited with life and felt hope again, and just as when a baby is born, there are some postpartum blues.. mine feel longer than postpartum, the changes in just 9 months have been significant.

My art has almost completely come to a halt in the past few months other than my sketches, a few photographs, a few paints.. but all the projects I have in the studio are just sitting there..

What is that warrior that just continues to raise his sword over and over fending off the next monster?... yes, I'm sure we all have stories like that going on in our lives... the fastrack of life and the societal pressures, and the technological streaming of every negative happening we can absorb, makes for a long hard slog... hence, retreating to nostalgia isn't something that is that abnormal..

Remembering my father nostalgically reminiscing and telling stories, my mormor too.. I sometimes feel nostalgia comes with age, and I still feel so.  But lately I feel it is almost a necessary place in my brain to retreat to. 

Sitting here, I just told myself, "ok, snap out of it".... what's in front of you?...

After tackling the waist high dry weeds today, I will search the projects and find something to create today, ok, well, at least I've made a goal for my day.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

for ian

you will always be ...

i am grateful

moving into
and up
and finding

universe true
be with you

thoughts and wonder
and challenges. . .

i love you


The Mountain from TSO Photography on Vimeo.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

War is NOT the Answer

your life is a flash

life is past you and moving before you even know what is important

there is no worth anymore
in the banalities of mediocrity

who said what
who did what

my trust in humanity is diminished
my heart and soul feel division and emptiness

the world is harsh
wars are not the answer

our young men enter this illusion
of a job worth doing
we have not educated our young to see;
we have failed our children.

RtM 2011

I've been reading this book:

and I need to express my own war...

part of the "black and white and red all over" series...

I googled "banality and mediocrity" and got this:


Play from your FUCKING heart!!

I met my love by the gas works wall
Dreamed a dream by the old canal
I Kissed my girl by the factory wall
Dirty old town
Dirty old town

Clouds are drifting across the moon
Cats are prowling on their beat
Spring's a girl from the streets at night
Dirty old town
Dirty old town

( Solo vers ) ( C )

I Heard a siren from the docks
Saw a train set the night on fire
I Smelled the spring on the smoky wind
Dirty old town
Dirty old town

I'm gonna make me a big sharp axe
Shining steel tempered in the fire
I'll chop you down like an old dead tree
Dirty old town
Dirty old town

I met my love by the gas works wall
Dreamed a dream by the old canal
I kissed my girl by the factory wall
Dirty old town
Dirty old town
Dirty old town
Dirty old town

Monday, July 18, 2011

more shall be revealed...

And so she woke up
Woke up from where she was
Lying still
Said I gotta do something
About where we're going

Step on a steam train
Step out of the driving rain, maybe
Run from the darkness in the night
Singing ha, ah la la la de day
Ah la la la de day
Ah la la de day

Sweet the sin
Bitter taste in my mouth
I see seven towers
But I only see one way out

You got to cry without weeping
Talk without speaking
Scream without raising your voice

You know I took the poison
From the poison stream
Then I floated out of here
Singing...ha la la la de day
Ha la la la de day
Ha la la de day

She runs through the streets
With her eyes painted red
Under black belly of cloud in the rain
In through a doorway she brings me
White gold and pearls stolen from the sea
She is raging
She is raging
And the storm blows up in her eyes
She will...

Suffer the needle chill
She's running to stand...


One Tree Hill

We turn away to face the cold, enduring chill
As the day begs the night for mercy love
The sun so bright it leaves no shadows
Only scars carved into stone
On the face of earth
The moon is up and over One Tree Hill
We see the sun go down in your eyes

You run like river, on like a sea
You run like a river runs to the sea

And in the world a heart of darkness
A fire zone
Where poets speak their heart
Then bleed for it
Jara sang, his song a weapon
In the hands of love
You know his blood still cries
From the ground

It runs like a river runs to the sea
It runs like a river to the sea

I don't believe in painted roses

Or bleeding hearts
While bullets rape the night of the merciful
I'll see you again
When the stars fall from the sky
And the moon has turned red
Over One Tree Hill

We run like a river
Run to the sea
We run like a river to the sea
And when it's raining
Raining hard
That's when the rain will
Break my heart

Raining...raining in the heart
Raining in your heart
Raining...raining to your heart
Raining, raining...raining
Raining to your heart
Raining...raining in your heart
Raining in your heart..
To the sea

Oh great ocean
Oh great sea
Run to the ocean
Run to the sea

Midnight, our sons and daughters
Were cut down and taken from us
Hear their heartbeats
We hear their heartbeats
In the wind we hear their laughters
In the rain we see their tears
Hear their heartbeats
We hear their heartbeats
Night hangs like a prisoner
Stretched over black and blue
Hear their heartbeats
We hear their heartbeats

In the trees our sons stand naked
Through the walls our daughters cry
See their tears in the rainfall

From the jacket of the cd, The Joshua Tree, U2, '"Running to Stand Still" is inspired by an epidemic of heroin use in Dublin. The story in the song is of a couple who decide to risk everything on a big drug deal. They pretty much know going in that they don't have a chance of coming out. . . .What makes these songs stand up twenty years later is that you don't need to know any of that history. "Running to Stand Still" is for anyone who feels trapped in an impossible circumstance by overwhelming responsibility'. With today's wars and tragedy the other lyrics are poignant to me.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

R.I.P. Cy Twombly


I remember when Rauschenberg passed, and I felt so sad because of how I revered his work, and because I never met him, though my letter to him when I'd finished college was written to ask about mentorship. I was a dreamer then, and I still am.

Now Cy Twombly another great abstract painter has passed.. moved by his work, again in reverence, I sigh...

Passing is natural, I know.. and as I grow older, I appreciate the history more.

R.I.P. Cy Twombly..

Twombly Remembered

Information on Cy Twombly

Saturday, July 2, 2011

John Lennon

the beatles were my solace as a little girl.. their music was always there, always something i could count on.. i still find them comforting...


i take note of today
and it makes me reflect on the past week
the past months
and back beyond...

now it is 13 years when i made a life change
leaving, finishing school, fighting the battle, finding the day job, and now finding a fight for labor..

another life change is brewing.
never thought about age 53 in the way i'm experiencing it.

never thought about it at all really.

now the center of the wheel is loose and wobbly, and feels very fragile, but as i learned from my mother, stand tall and straight.

creative energy is almost non-existent these days but i am holding on with a tightened grip, maybe it's too tight..

i sit and listen to music and feel frozen a lot.

music still moves me, art does too.. but i'm feeling so balled up inside i can hardly move when i'm not having to show up at the designated commitment.

the "reasoned, rational" part of me knows it will pass, and i will find my way, the "emotional" part of me is scared to death and sees no movement to change what is... at least it's not fast enough.. and truthfully, it all depends on me.. to make the moves.

i write into the abyss.. to the ether of the vacant endless spiral of social networking.. yes, i do have people that care about me.. but truthfully again, i'm alone.

i take a long weekend to just be. not be anywhere or talk to anyone in particular, and hope by the time i have to show up again somewhere i will have the energy.  i will call upon the sea at some point.

my soul is full of art and voice, music and poems.. i just can't sort it out right now..

two people told me not to "let them burn you out"... well... i am an emotional being, and business/politics is certainly a drain. I've been asked several times if i want to step out.. i'm stubborn i guess.. life is what it is, and for some reason, i'm here, doing this task, at this moment to learn something about me and my journey.

ok, that said, i still feel inspired and have many projects ahead, it's just hard to sort out my priorities, and it's hard to stay task focused. writing helps me to center.

the only thing keeping me at the day job anymore is the children, and the principled fight for labor rights. Libraries should not be run as a corporation.

taking the truth sharing path is a lonesome walk.

"... i know further down the line, everything is gonna be alright..."

Monday, June 27, 2011

Night Lights

After a Friday of art, seeing the Steins Collect at the SFMOMA, the Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musee National Picasso, Paris, and the Balenciaga and Spain (the picasso of fashion).. i'm still digesting.. more on that as i absorb it...

I took some pics on the drive home...

Night Lights

second thought, and important to me.. transitioning to a new way of life..
more to come as i render the details...

How to become Invisible ~ Kate Bush

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A New Medium Option ~ Cyanotype

Nothing like mixing it up, but truly, it is right in line with my process!!

I love photography, though I'm very amateur, and I know I'm very impatient!!!

I have been trying out some new mediums to introduce into my work, some of course I've done all along, like collage and drawing with painting, text and writing etc.. but transfers have always intrigued me, and cyanotype is playing with light and monochromatic substrate, what a wonder for me to use in layering!!!

I found myself today during my first time experimenting again and very curious, wow, what a shot in the arm!!

Anyway, it is just the beginning of another way of incorporating the "whole" me in my expression.  Yes I'm a painter, yes, i'm a sculptor, Yes I draw and write, yes, I take photographs.. I love this new explosion of opportunity!!!

Cyanotype, or blueprint is the oldest photographic printing process.  It was invented by Sir John Herschel in 1840.  Engineers and architects commonly used it to reproduce technical drawings.

The cyanotype has the honor of being the first photographic medium used to illustrate a book.  A botanist by the name of Anna Atkins used cyanotypes to copy her botanical specimens and used these prints to illustrate her book on British Algae in 1848.

This is a fascinating history for me.. I know I will be digging in to this with fervor to extrapolate my own voice using an old process.. it's so exciting for me!

I used multiple substrates, starting with a premiere presentation print paper, raw canvas, gesso'd cardboard, silk... i look forward to using these as a work on their own, also using them in the paintings, drawing and painting over them, there's tons of possibilities... this is only my first try... More of what I did today at Kala Art Institute in Berkeley CA, on my facebook page Art of Robbin Milne - Visual Artist


Thursday, June 16, 2011