Saturday, October 31, 2009

Last painting--

I finished one more painting this morning before packing up.
All told, I began 15 paintings here, finished 12--and have a large collage well underway.
I walked A LOT--including a nine mile hike three days ago.
I finished Murakami's book on writing and running and am more than half-way through The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle--an extraordinary book.
I met eight other artists and writers--and I'm a bit sad to say goodbye as their joy and generosity and overall delight in making and writing was such a boost to my own studio practice.
I ate some extraordinary meals here--prepared by Rae, the Hambidge chef who makes the most amazing macaroni and cheese I've ever tasted.
I feel calm, but also buoyant.  I've regained an ease toward painting--and a delight in just seeing what happens on the canvas.  I've remembered that it's only painting after all; and so in that lightness, I've been able to call up (through the movement of my own hands) what I believe is painting's necessity--a purely visual, no-words-needed, reminder of what MIGHT be--what I intuit and sense of the world that is never just laid out before me, there for the looking.  These realities must be found, carved out via the manipulation of the most endlessly mutable of mediums.

Friday, October 30, 2009

This little boy

and his daddy (and that black dog actually) are coming to pick me up tomorrow!  I cannot wait!  Hambidge has been INCREDIBLE, but I'm ready to go back to my family.

Speaking of Faith...

I listen to podcasts galore when I am working in the studio--more than music.  (In this phase of my life, whatever that means, podcasts are my audio preoccupation of choice.)  One of my very favorite podcasts of all time is Speaking of Faith.  I've listened to almost every Speaking of Faith show imaginable, and as they don't come out with new shows all that often, I don't get the delight of listening to SOF much anymore (unless I choose to do a "re-listen.")  BUT THIS WEEK, in a brand new show,  Krista Tippet interviewed a woman named Doris Taylor--a scientist who took a dead heart, washed it clean of cells (with shampoo essentially) reinjected the heart with stem cells, and then watched the dead heart come to life!!  Today I listened to the unedited hour and a half interview with Doris Taylor, and then promptly listened to the hour long edited version immediately afterward--which means I basically listened to the show two times back to back--almost 3 hours of Doris Taylor.  I was that moved!

Doris Taylor peppered her words with sayings like..."Wouldn't it be cool if...", "How awesome it would be if...".  As an artist who is supposedley engaged with the creative life, I was incredibly humbled.  My favorite interviews on Speaking of Faith are with scientists as, to be perfectly honest, they ask the strangest, most idiosyncratic questions.  After listening to Doris Taylor, and painting all the while, I left my studio and went into the world, down the leaf littered road; I was so taken with the brilliance of it all--of the order and disorder of life and living, and what might BE--of which we do not know, and yet, this unknowable reality is there
is present

I guess this is why I'm an abstract painter--I'm most excited by what I do not know--but sense, irrevocably.

Ferns on the way to my studio--

I love ferns of all kinds--my childhood home was full of them!  These ferns are small and the best bright green--I am tempted to take a clipping home so I can enjoy them in North Carolina.

Oops, one more painting in the Friday round-up....

The road leading away from my studio is lovely and curving.

Little paintings (the Friday update)

This is so very rare, but it rather feels like paintings are falling out of me.  Thank you Hambidge!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Notes from reading some essays on Richard Tuttle yesterday

1.    Mel Bochner’s Working Drawings and Other Visible Things on Paper Not Necessarily Meant to Be Viewed as Art, 1966: “Bochner’s ‘conceptualism’ thus emerges as a dynamic model, a thought activity occurring in the gaps between language and things.”
2.    “The gap between language and things is precisely where Tuttle’s exploration of drawing unfolds as well.  What Bochner characterizes as the bracketing of an already devalued medium and practice is the zone of qualification from which Tuttle begins.  Institutionally aligned with sculptural “anti-form,” this notion of the indeterminate, the impermanent, the contingent, and the interrogative is the horizontal plane from which Tuttle challenges the vertical, the permanent, and the non-transitive.” Excerpt from Kinesthetic Drawing by Cornelia H. Butler (in the Richard Tuttle retrospective catalog)
3.    “It was not until drawing had transformed itself through its autographic function and was actually absorbed into a new aesthetic of ‘incompleted’ painting, that drawing could cease to function primarily as a step toward painting and become an independent action, and that drawings could be made consistently as finished works—could function as an alternative major mode of expression…The story of drawing from the mid-fifties onwards is the story of…an emotive cooling of the basic mark, the basic line itself.” Excerpt from Bernice Rose’s Drawing Now catalog essay, 1976
4.    p. 176 and 177 of Tuttle retrospective book, reread description of Tuttle installing Wire Pieces, think about the relationship of the body to any given material
5.    Look up the word kinesthetic, define so as to better grasp
6.    “Action is the objectification of subjectivity and the subjectification of objectivity.  It must be a kind of practice.  Practice always is the union of subject and object.  Therefore, human activities always construct culture.  Human activity sees the world of trans-temporal ideas.  The concept of acting as a variety of seeing arises from this.  It means that the self sees itself through negating itself.  The creative activity of the artist is a paradigm of this.” Excerpt from the Japanese philosopher and poet Kitaro Nishida

Stepping out of Hambidge for a few hours

I've got lots of pictures to post--yesterday was an incredible studio day!!!  But first, I must hunker down and format a bunch of images for a grant I've got to upload this evening.  I'm down at the main house--doing laundry, tied to photoshop.  Today has been a good grant writing day though as Hambidge has really given me a clear trajectory of where I've been and where I must go. 

Back to work this evening.

“To be able to grasp something of value, sometimes you have to perform seemingly inefficient acts.” Haruki Murakami

Monday, October 26, 2009

Unabashed tourist photo at Glen Falls in Highlands, North Carolina

I've got a good walking/hiking partner here--a writer named Carla Porch.  She's got the car and the knowledge of all the areas nearby to hike.  Yesterday, we took a drive across the North Carolina border (not far) to some little trails in Highlands, NC.  We got to these falls at about 6, and it was perfect...the coolness of the water combined with the slighly darkening sky made for a lovely moment of delight.  Plus, the ORANGE of the fall leaves made the place glow--as only air can glow in fall!

Lines and structure

On another hike yesterday I noticed a lot of very elaborate root structures, creeping above ground.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Studio view/saturday


After yesterday's walk, I returned to the studio and ended up working back into the center section of this collage.  Now that I know the basic size and expanse, I feel like I can take some time to strengthen some of the interior parts.  The thought is to build these up with a degree of fastidiousness and then contrast the small moves with larger, broader, clumsier shapes in other areas.
As always color is key to me, but increasingly I see that arriving at a certain structure--an ordering, or almost ordering of chaotic building--is important.
On my walks in the woods I marvel at the order apparent in a world where things are perpetually falling--leaves and trees.

Hiking #3

Hiking #2

Hiking #1

I took a long walk yesterday, on some of the trails behind my studio.  I found two fallen trees covered in lichen (?).  Is that what these beautiful things are?  When I returned to my studio, I found the same striped striations in some of my paintings, and in the big collage.  

Friday, October 23, 2009

Green collage

Here's what I am working on for now--the part giving me trouble is the right side, the part with lots of white, empty space.  Right now I am working on some pieces that are green, but much lighter in value and much less saturated in color.  The structure of the section escapes me.

In progress

I'm spending today on a green collage begun in North Carolina.  In the two days I've worked on it here, my notion of just what this image will be has changed at least three times.  I'm at a particularly tough spot right now, so I decided to take a walk down to the main house to grab some lunch and clear my head.  On the way down, I rather formerly acknowledged to myself that the work I will do this afternoon will most likely be scrapped by tomorrow (parts of it at least).  I know no other way to move through this cantankerous part of the image; I've just got to move forward doing what I think is best until I am shown otherwise.  It's nice to actually just feel calm about the fact that this afternoon's work will very likely be re-worked tomorrow. 

A view into the woods from my back porch--

It's a rainy day in Georgia.  Everything is low lit--and the darks in the wood are especially apparent.  I'm sipping lots of tea inside and working on a collage.  Tonight--the last communal meal until Tuesday night.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009