Monday, October 22, 2012

Finding Stillness

canvas stitched

With everything I make whether a painting or a ceramic piece, a stitch or weave the intension is stillness.  Meditation influences me greatly - finding stillness within oneself is such a necessary part of being human.  Living in New York city influences me to!  I think I look for stillness everywhere like little posts to hang on to as one goes through the day.  Whether it's the shape of a building against a sky, the way a plastic bag floats in air, a poster scrapped off in the subway or a billboard, a plant fighting it's way through the pavement to the light, yesterday it was the shine of the river- all these things are somehow a stillness in a day.

I have been working away for a while on a few things that combine paint and stitch or at least the thought process starts that way... it's been an ongoing exploration and I have just realized that at present the majority of these pieces are white.....or from the family of light.

not a great picture -but a detail of a piece I have been working on for months and months.  Very time consuming business stitching a large canvas and you have to be in the right frame of mind!

Interesting to see where they lead and its nice to have an openness to process at this moment.

Monday, October 1, 2012

I am feeling that familiar sense of removal from nature.   It's like a dull ache.  I get so tired of the constant vibration of the city, the noise, the claustrophobia and the feeling that we have buried nature under us.  Sure it fights through, or we allow it to here and there, but mainly we are in control and we have smothered it.  Today I miss the smell, and the sounds.  I am very grateful for my studio in Red Hook, but the vague smell of fish or is it oil(?) and the hum of the tunnel are strong as I sit.

I long for the ocean, or huge trees..... but instead of running for the hills or taking a sledge hammer to the concrete in the back yard to try and find earth, I meditate and I paint.  A new 5ft by 6ft canvas is my friend today.  Sometimes it can be the enemy or part of a battle but today, blissfully it was a friend.  Im using oil again after a long break, and it feels so good and so right.  It is actually such a sculptural medium, and one I have missed.  The shapes begin to form and slowly I'll find what is there to bring stillness......

Thursday, September 6, 2012

First day back in the studio.  Looking back at sketches made and photographs taken.  Thinking about the construction of the dunes - their relationship with to the wind.  The way they form around any obstructions.  Always remaining fluid and in flux.

Being in that landscape makes me think of our mindscape, constantly moving and shifting.  Some form and shape standing solidly for a time, forming around an obstruction, trying to shift it or bury it...  Absolute impermanence. 


I made many many sketches, most very quickly while walking and sitting in different parts of the dunes. Was a very good way to get to know the shapes and lines.  More about looking than drawing in some ways, following the line with the eye and almost molding or sculpting it without really looking at the page.

Dusty Miller
Artemisia Stellerian

I really loved this plant & have just discovered it's name - now I love it even more!

The vegetation was so beautiful, different grasses and small hardy shrubs.   The vegetation is essential to the stabilization of a dune. The Cape Cod National Seashore lists the many landscape features in the region as -heartlands, grasslands, dunes, woodlands, forests, vernal pools, kettle ponds, salt marshes, freshwater marshes, intertidal zones and seagrass beds. Each having their own individual kind of plant life.  Past human activities have had a major role in shaping the Seashore's vegetation.  Many of the plant communities are currently being negatively impacted as a result of human pressures on the environment.  It's one of those landscapes that initially seems barren, but the more time you spend in it the more you see really how incredible it is and how much is actually going on.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

a beginning

I have decided to start this - I'm trying to be more media literate and thought it might be a nice  place to share experiments and inspirations......  we'll see if I can keep it up.  Let me know what you think..

Artist Residency

my little shack

I have just spent 7 days on an Artist Residency in a Dune Shack outside Provincetown Cape Cod.  It was such a relief to be back in nature.  Getting aligned with the rhythms, pumping well water up from the earth to wash in, watching the sun rise and sun set.  Walking and sketching in the dunes, walking the length of the beach each day, watching the whales and seals.  The nights were dark, so dark -like a thick cloak around the shack.  There was no difference between my eyes being tightly closed and wide open.  It reminded me of home.  Stars, so many stars, such a reminder of our insignificance on this earth.  I was so grateful for this time.  I made a lot of little paintings (it was too difficult to carry in any large canvas's), some weave with found pieces from the beach and some stitch pieces.....

sun set

installation piece using dried sticks

collection for weave

stitch piece

sketches and paintings

I am really looking forward to getting into the studio and processing my time.  I am feeling a pull towards working with ceramic, and figuring out these stitch pieces....  It was such a wonderful opportunity and I am so thankful to Tom Boland and the crew at Far Land Provisions as well as my family for making this happen.