Monday, November 2, 2009

A few new works

"Seeing in the Dark"

I've been busy lately, spending a lot of time (and very gratefully) in the studio, just playing and exploring to see what emerges, having rare indeed time to dialogue with art process. I've produced a couple of black ground paintings (one is above) that I honestly don't know what to think about, except that I kind of like them. The photos here are more yellow than the actual paintings. Are they "illustration" versus "real art"? Who knows. I suppose, being one who has always been interested in mythic time and the dream time, they are only a further step in that conversation, as well as tentative efforts to find my hand with paint again.........

How do we "see in the dark"? What happens when things are obscured, hidden, not illuminated with predictable means? What other kinds of vision, what "night vision" do we need to cultivate?

Icon #7

More hands with eyes...........

"La Mariposa"

Here's my not quite yet finished "Butterfly Woman". I really like her, she makes me smile. For one thing, I love the Hopi notion of the Butterfly Dancer as a mature woman with the strength of experience necessary to do the work of pollinating the future. This is a job that requires weight, depth, good humor, and "las ovarias" (as Clarissa Estes would say). And I also enjoy stepping on three art world taboos in this painting. (this residency has put me through the wringer, as far as "art world identity" goes).

One, it's an old woman instead of yet another pretty woman (usually naked). And that's not how I see the Goddess either. As a woman of 60 now, I'm feeling completely inspired to paint women and men who are lit up from within by age and experience, the external shell beautiful and withering.

Two, she's smiling. It's almost de rigor, as I remember from those endless art critiques of long ago, not to mention perusing art magazines, to portray serious, if not angst ridden, be-pained faces.

Third, the thing has butterflies. That's because it relates to the Hopi legend, and also I've been thinking of the short story I wrote in 1997, "La Mariposa".


This is an assemblage study for the big "Weaver's Hands" piece I'm going to do. I like the way it turned out. I wish I had a kiln here, so I could do some more clay work.

"There's a crack in everything"

This, of course, was one of those happy accidents that became a visual poem based on a poem by Leonard Cohen.

"Forget your perfect offering.
There's a crack
in everything
that's how the light gets in."

I have some photos of myself that I am thinking of doing some black ground self portraits with. They aren't flattering. I have in my mind the image of opening the heart chakra, opening the chest cavity, to "let the light in". Or not, just the act of opening is good enough.

Or, to let the curling, twining, vegetative green heart out, like roots, the tendrils of vines, the pollen that needs to pollinate. Or, like a tree unfurling, emerging from the inner life, flowering.

1 comment:

old pajamas said...

We see in the dark, not by closing our eyes, but by turning our heads around...