Monday, May 30, 2011

prayers... music is prayer... art is prayer...

This morning I found that my dear Mormor is again in the hospital, second time this week.. she's ok according to folks down there, I should have left and gone on down to see her this past friday.. i don't know how to pray anymore.. seems the prayers don't seem to be heard about much of anything of concern to me these days..

music is prayer.. i lift you up mormor and this music is my prayer for your speedy recovery.. at 98 I know your moments here on earth are clicking... i'm booking a train for an overnight ...

a bit more about Natalia..

One more spin around the sun
The difference of a year
And I’ve been living like I’m on the run
But I keep ending up back here
Keeping it in between the ditches
Having the most fun I can
I’m on the search for the world’s best sandwich
I never said I had lofty plans
My plan was you
Your plan was me
So with all those people listening we said
All those ways you do
We said always
Is that something you undo?
All those times we drove out west
Into the tyranny of the setting sun
I said, “So close your eyes and rest
Even soldiers get to sleep some.”
That’s how you needed me to see you:
Full of bravery
Nothing has more fragility
Than saying
All those was you do
Is that something you undo?
So we go spinning around this star
On some things we rely
Like when things get hard
You’ll throw your hands up in the sky
And then there is no you
There is no me
There’s only stars witnessing
All those ways we do

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

San Francisco

In the Windy City - San Francisco

I think I can best describe my day in San Francisco this past Sunday as full of spirit and wonder and confirmation... I was determined to make some connections with some artists and galleries and had 3 venues picked to visit.

Hang Gallery, Artzone and the SF Fine Art Fair *which encompassed many many galleries from around the world*.. it was a day full of outstanding work from local artists and those scoping the world..spain, germany and I will be there next year... that's my goal...

To say the least, I became again, filled with inspiration and much came to me about where I am, and where I want to be.  And And And!!! I found a clear message!!!!... I am an artist and I will continue to create! and I have 3 steps (concrete steps) right now to follow up on!!! I'm excited as hell!!

So I took my little bitty cameras, shot what caught my eye.. and smiled all day long.. had a coffee in the Fort Mason bookstore.. oh yes, can't ever get away from books!

and leaving the city I wanted to shoot one of my favorite walks.. Market street..

(just 50 of the first i shot, see slide show below)

Documentation - San Francisco 05222011

and what did i also find?? what a terrific spontaneous gift i gave myself!!! it was the icing on the cake after a wonderful FULLLLL day of infusion of creative spirit!!!

There's not a lot out about last night yet.. this (and my own amateur recording still unposted and even not listened to yet)...

the opening musicians...

Tedeschi Trucks Band playing at the Warfield...

but ...
can you feel it?... yes.. bound for glory...

Is this not hot?

(i still have not been able to pick my jaw up from the ground... the whole evening was full of HOT, tight and intense musical magic and power... all musicians were at their peak moments.. it was astounding energy!)

Their new album will be out June 7 in vinyl too!

the backup singers are amazing..

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Creative Transition

I am feeling the most fractured I've ever felt in my life...

My typical roles as a mother, worker and even as an artist have changed drastically within the past year...

My son is graduating and leaving to his new life..
having moved out to live with his father it was an adjustment..
his decision to go into the military was another...

In my day job I've shifted in a role of working for labor, more so than ever.   I'm speaking up with a role in current negotiations and I'm finding because it represents core issues for me in how I feel about how the world looks upon it's labor class,  it's more emotional for me than is probably healthy.

In my creative work, I want to present core issues rather than just paint.. I want a more cohesive voice within my work and it has been difficult for me to focus on any one topic. 

Where I am today is looking at the shifting world of economic inequality, where our government focuses and seems to prioritize for funding and where it takes away funding, I see the crumbling of a middle class.. a larger and larger gap between the wealthy and those in need and that those in need are becoming my neighbors and coworkers and I find that these things together (at least for me) need to be addressed... and I'm feeling very fractured in how to use and what to use to talk about all of this in one cohesive visual way..

That being said, I find myself drawing and not being satisfied, painting and not feeling finished, doodling and wondering why I am making art at all... Today I began a still life just to show up for myself and ended up thinking I didn't want to make art at all anymore.. I don't feel what I do is significant enough to address what I am feeling inside and what I am passionate about .. yet I still don't have a clear path on how to present my concerns...

It's a larger issue for me.. a transition.. a melding of my heart with my mind and I am finding it extremely complex..

I know I should keep it simple and when I decide on simple is best, I just show up and draw daily or scribble or jot down ideas.. feeling that I am still showing up in some way but I also am finding it extremely frustrating being fractured for time between trying to resolve this creative drive and energy that seems to rise up daily.. I feel anger and discouragement when I can't realize something from what is percolating inside.. the demise of the artist I suppose..

I continue to see all of this as one movement;  the work outside of actually creating a work of art, the meshing of my ideas surrounding climate change, destruction of our natural resources in the name of capital gains and indulgences that some refuse to acknowledge, the distance  I am feeling from my immediate family, the loss of role as mother and the new role as grandmother, the confusion of forging a new life and future for myself in a world of unknown both financially, physically and creatively...

It feels like a big mess really.  And truthfully I don't feel I am handling all the different pieces very effectively.  I end up wanting to run, disappear and not be found.. couple that with wanting to be strong, taking a stand and voicing long established rights, fight for what is right, nurture grand babies, create significant work that says how I feel and expresses my deepest concerns for our environment and our social well being... well.. yes, it's a mess and my heart feels troubled frequently.

So I take a deep, deep breath.  I look to others for support and reassurance.  I look to those that have gone before me in the world of art.  Those making statements now and forging new paths to express like minded issues.

Andy Goldsworthy is one of those artists.  I have been inspired by his work for over 10 years.  Here is a link to a blog about his work and a short clip of his "rivers and tides" which when it came out I gave a copy to all the intimate family members in my world because he describes his process as an artist and it resonates so very deeply to my own that I wanted everyone I loved to know about it.

here is a couple of videos from "Rivers and Tides"

New to me, at least my recent discovery, is J. Henry Fair, an amazing photographer working with his art to open dialogue and eyes to a topic near and dear to my being.  That is the impact of our capitalistic indulgences on our land.. I recently found his book, "The Day After Tomorrow: Images of Our Earth in Crisis       "  and have begun my own series of paintings inspired by his work and my own photography talking about environmental concerns...

Documentation: environmental series

Documentation: photo series

But for me, my voice is not fully realized.. YET... though I've been creating work for a good 18 years seriously, and before that dabbling in writing, I still feel there is a spurt of growth ready to surge... to describe it would be to liken it to a volcano nearing eruption... I feel like a time bomb walking around... and it's like I'm collecting more and more information and it is all weaving itself together and for now what I'm creating seems to be venting.. letting off release steam and not the real work... again more frustration.. I guess too, there was a certain expectation of myself that I would have my VOICE...

I consider myself (at times) patient and (at others) very impatient and I'm finding balance right now hard to achieve in my creative work... it all feels pushed down inside and no real space to explode.. and all the while showing up for the other roles in my life is deeply contributing to my need to creatively EXPLODE!... it's quite a strange feeling...

I've never quite felt this pressure.  And pressure it is.  Nothing feels quite right for now.  So I gather, I show up in the best way I can for myself creatively and I try to get out of my own way.. it's not easy for me right now, and recently i was ready to give it all up... Not creating is not an option (at least not today).

Friday, May 13, 2011


one of the most influential artists for me in my own thought and aesthetic about creating art is Robert Rauschenberg...

He embodies for me the ultimate in bringing together many different mediums and presenting a coherent body of work...

His exploration and risk to push the limits is what intrigues me and why I am still drawn to his work over and over for inspiration...

The layers of paint, mixed media and use of 3 dimensional and conceptual forms are the most bold for his time.. and the work is classic.

Friday, May 6, 2011

distraction doodles

Tonight when I was drawing quick sketches, I realized my need to do these doodles and quick work was twofold...

One: To keep my hand moving..
Two: To distract myself from the reality of what's going on in my personal world.

We all have our life to live and our hardships... tonight after a long two weeks of union negotiations, i realized that my primary need for distraction is the reality that we are at war, and I have a son entering the military.

I am still adjusting to that fact.

I decided to do "doodles" for a lunchtime project but have not been able to do it as a daily practice which is disappointing. So I do what I can.

Tonight I wanted to try drawing from inspiration I found in a children's book about dance and see if my drawings could tell a story... here are my doodles.

Distraction Doodles on Flickr