Monday, August 31, 2009

My son's first self-portrait

All of sudden, in seeing this photo, I felt the whole heavy history of self-portraiture (as I understand it) veer up, around and over (like a long rug being shaken)--to settle as something new and alive and curious.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Michael Silverblatt said to Rae Armantrout

so that struck me as being
an example of
a poem
that as it moves along

Rae said in return

yeah, i guess it dispossesses, to get back to the word had

Michael again

and it seems as if the poem
is the record
of watching
rather specific
turn into
of language
to address the situation directly
or eventually through deconstruction
at all

(look here...)

Studio, Friday Afternoon

Friday, August 28, 2009

Implications for Modern Life, by Matthea Harvey

The ham flowers have veins and are rimmed in rind, each petal a little

meat sunset. I deny all connection with the ham flowers, the

barge floating by loaded with lard, the white flagstones like platelets

in the blood-red road. I'll put the calves in the coats so the ravens can't

gore them, bandage up the cut gate &; when the wind rustles its

muscles, I'll gather the seeds and burn them. But then I see a horse

lying on the side of the road and think You are sleeping, You are sleeping,

I will make you be sleeping. But if I didn't make the ham flowers, how can

I make him get up? I made the ham flowers. Get up, dear animal.

Here is your pasture flecked with pink, your oily river, your bleeding

barn. Decide what to look at and how. If you lower your lashed,

the blood looks like mud. If you stay, I will find you fresh hay.

This week, in scouring NPR for new and interesting podcasts to listen to while working in the studio, I came across Bookworm--in which the host, Michael Silverblatt (who is sort of wonderfully zany at times, and truly these are worth listening to because of his voice...) interviews writers. I listened to a couple great ones, but this interview with Matthea Harvey has been important to my thinking this week. Silverblatt speaks to her about the above poem and through their conversation we get a fascinating dialogue about the potential unwieldiness (and wildness) of human imagination.

Grey, Black and White

Benny--our sweet dog, ours for only about a month now.

Notable Methods of Order (striking in the apparent informality)

Red and Green

Notable Methods of Order (made that much more interesting due to moments of buried color)

Visual Story, August 25th

In uploading my images this morning, I liked the grouping of these--all taken on the 25th of August (some by me, some be Chris) in the order they are arranged.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Artist Story: Michelle Grabner

"How do you manage between being an artist, mother, and teacher? How do you maintain a balanced perspective?

With absolute conviction I believe and practice Ad Reinhardt's thesis put forth in Extreme Routine. 'One paints when there is nothing else to do' he writes. For Painting to be Painting--elemental visual vocabulary and meter unique to the language--everything else has to be 'taken care of.' It is a responsibility and privilege to work within its conditions. Painting is not painting when it props up the self or attempts to tell stories. That activity is called picturemaking. Painting is larger than pictures but not larger than its limitations which are severe and singular and sweet."

I am thinking about the sentence in bold quite a lot in my studio. The notion of believing painting has limitations is counter to much of my studio's premise--

But I am spending these days merely drawing paint across surfaces--wondering what is inherent in the act of that, trying to understand just that motion.

Movement and mark.

I've avoided picture-taking of late--trying to sort some things out in my new space without the need to record or account for here.

I do believe there are process pitfalls to be found in too many words, too many attempts at preliminary explication--making something of what really NEEDS to be nothing for a time.

Is it possible to be an opaque blogger?

Friday, August 7, 2009

The studio gathers

I am the least handy person imaginable. While I've been around my fair share of artists who need-a-new-staircase-or-floor-so-heck-I'll-just-build-one, I grow highly stressed when faced with the prospect of building a stretcher bar. (This dreaded activity is something I've gotten out of since my second year of grad school--thankfully--and now I just don't need them...) So pulling a pretty rough space into a workable studio this last month has caused all sorts of agony--and all I've really done is clean and paint and organize. Nevertheless, once the floor is power washed over the weekend, I'll finally be able to begin work.

I've got the wall I'll be working on fully lit--will be the space of an installation I envision--a continuation of the EUC project with Bryan.

Color, shape, proximity and texture

My painting colleagues are coming for dinner this evening--I've spent the afternoon mingling with the best from our garden today--a heady and lovely experience.