Tuesday, March 10, 2009

List of significant studio actions and/or notations (or observations) as means toward understanding (in progress)

1. painting as covering
2. painting as description
3. painting as invention
4. painting as a means of my understanding
5. collage as insurance of difference
6. collage as means of meeting
7. collage as affirmation of accumulation
8. collage as invention
9. collage as confusion
10. collage as unexpected discovery
11. painting as wrestling
12. painting as affirmation of clumsiness
13. painting as action
14. collage as action
15. painting as celebration of clumsiness
16. painting as redefinition
17. painting as confluence of space and time (?) (across space and time)
18. painting as marker of physical space
19. painting as measurement of my movement
20. painting as expanse
21. collage as perpetual ruptured expanse
22. collage as incising
23. collage as painting (but taken apart)
24. painting as not enough and so engendering/enacting/creating...
25. painting as thinking

Thursday, March 5, 2009

In my head--

a large yellow mass/form-
yellows of wide range, yellow
tinged w/ green and also with
orange>shot through w/
grey, warm grey, ocher-y grey

massive, as though ALL were sucked into

in relation to the centrally located
colliders, these are amassings/compilings

handmade, very important
a work of the hand, in all its awkwardness

Bridget Riley says to E.H. Gombrich....

"My work has grown out of my own experiences of looking, and also out of the work I have seen in the museums and in galleries, so I have seen other artists seeing, and that has been an enormous help to me and a kind of pattern maker, in that it has shown me how a formal structure of looking is shaped and can shape in turn the way that one proceeds with one's own work."

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Kneading (or thinking by feeling)

Life has been nutty as of late--full of meetings, teaching, many EXTRAS needing done. Moments in the studio have been just that--moments here and there. I do become down when life is so crazy that the slowness of an afternoon deep in thought with piles of paper and paint (or of just 20 minutes) is a hard won challenge. But in the midst of my sort-of-sadness are some lovely encounters.

For one, I DID make six loaves of bread in the last week and a half. (Hmmmm, you are saying, now just what are those extras you speak of...?) A pile of left-over mashed potatoes from a dinner with friends encouraged my barrage of bread making--potato bread making to be exact. (Yes, that potato bread you buy in the store whose crumb is so very soft and whose color is that lovely tinge of egg-yellow--AND from which one can make the most glorious french toast, or any toast for that matter.) The bread is easy and excellent, and just right toasted with butter and jam on cold school mornings. I made all that bread to use up our potatoes, to stave off the sudden voracious appetite our house developed for potato bread in the last week, AND to experience the pure delight of kneading bread dough--so welcome amidst the craze of now.

Just after all the ingredients (mashed potatoes, honey, egg, yeast, salt, milk, flour) come together and are turned out onto the flour-dusted counter, there is a lovely moment of stillness. And I begin to knead. Invariably, like when beginning a standing drawing, I shift my feet about three feet apart so I am firmly planted--so I can control the weight of my body, moving that directed weight into the dough--lightly, but firmly. Kneading is lovely for many reasons. The first--kneading requires one puts aside "head thinking" for a moment and really pay attention to how something feels, how that feeling evolves and changes, and when the feeling is just right. I must feel (not think) my way to the instant when just enough flour has made it's way through the mound of dough. The recipe I followed suggested at least 10 minutes, but I found the dough soft and pliable and FULL after about 5, and I was thrilled to trust feel or touch over an external, more substantiated (in some ways) directive.

Kneading is also lovely because it is repetitive and meditative--but in a way that engages the fullness or length of one's body. I did not learn how to knead in a bakery or my kitchen or from a cook book, but in a ceramics studio--when I was a sophomore in college. In order to insure all the air bubbles were pushed from any given lump of clay, we kneaded the clay--I actually forget the correct clay term for the movement. I loved the action--a perpetual rhythm of pulling the clay back toward my body and then pushing back out with the whole of me. I recall very little of what I made in ceramics save for the fact that it was very heavy and very brown--but I remember kneading my clay in the quiet of an evening--somehow intuiting even then that THIS is important--THIS action I'll carry with me.