Monthly Archives: December 2011

Happy New Year!


For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
~T.S. Eliot, “Little Gidding” ~

I recently came upon an expression called “Oblique Motion.”   “Oblique Motion” occurs when one voice (or more) in written music, remains on the same pitch while the other ascends or descends.   This seemed to me as if it could be applied to art as well.  We have our consistent or usual voice in each piece that we produce, but there is also another voice, one just emerging… new and unknown, or sometimes one that is finished but still resonating… and they each have their own harmony to follow.  This may be far too vague a definition for music majors, but please allow me my simple and poetic viewpoint, and my apologies to written music! 

My 2012 art journal(s) will be called “Imaginary Conversations ~ Oblique Motion”

The new year arrives and my door is open and waiting for whatever the future may bring.  It looks dark inside my open door – but that’s because this is only a cookie house – and I didn’t think to put a tea light inside before I snapped the photo.  

I have lots of plans for art projects in this new year ahead  – I always have lots of plans for the new year, but I don’t make resolutions.    Resolutions seem too rigid, especially for artists – we need to be able to change course in a split second; ever aware of the serendipitous moment, free of spirit, and forever reverent.

Happy New Year to each of you!

I’ve been thinking a lot about horizon lines – the line that divides

the earth and the sky, that magic place only the birds really know…


Happy Birthday, Mama


Today is my mama’s birthday.  This is a photo taken in 1944, she was barely 20.

Born Martha Ellen in 1923 during the great depression in Tulsa Oklahoma, the heart of the dust bowl.   Ten brothers and sisters.  Her mother and father,   my  grandparents, made,  sold, and  transported “boot leg” whisky during prohibition to help make ends meet.

California 1944. Wiping something from my hand and face, probably dirt, I was about nine months.

Thanks, mom, for taking care of me, teaching me, cleaning me, helping me to grow.

1948 with (in my opinion) my unnecessary  younger sister.   I remember when this was taken.  We were downtown, Enid, Oklahoma where we lived after the war had ended.  We went downtown every Saturday, and met my father for lunch where he worked at Gorton’s Furniture.  Mr. Gorton always gave us a long red and white paper bag of popcorn.  They served popcorn every Saturday at the furniture store.  Sometimes we would go and eat a hamburger at my great-uncle’s hamburger stand, where you could buy a burger and fries for a nickel!  no kidding!  They were big burgers and my mom, sister, and me, always split just one!  Daddy ate one by himself.   If I was lucky we would run into my grandpa and he always had change in his pocket.  He would take it out and if I could guess how much each coin was worth and add them all up I could have the change!  it was a big deal to 5-year-old me!

My mom decided on the spur of the moment to have our picture taken.  It might have been near Christmas since we were wearing very scratchy wool sweaters and wool skirts, but I don’t remember wearing a coat this day, so it might have just been fall.  This is pretty much how we looked most of the time – not just for a photo.  Weird compared to today – the fluffy hair (what a job for my mother) and pretty ribbons.  My sister’s hair was naturally curly, but mama had to curl mine with these long strips of sheeting called ‘rag’ curlers.  You wound the hair around the strip then wrapped it up with what was left of the strip and tied it at the top – my arms got tired holding the top of each strip until it was tied, and  it was very uncomfortable to sleep on!  I’m sure she made our skirts – she sewed all our clothes.  I don’t remember what color they were.  I think our sweaters were navy blue.  Mama’s jacket was cream color with charcoal gray stripes.  I’m wearing nail polish and I can see its chipped, so is my mothers!

I haven’t got any artwork to share right now – I’ve been busy going here and there and everywhere getting ready for Christmas, and flying to Denver tomorrow to spend Christmas with a very wonderful 3-year-old!  Let it Snow!!

Air, Fire, Water, Earth – again


“Air”- Oil pastels, gouache, on vintage book page 4×6

I know I’ve already done this concept – but I wasn’t totally happy with the first series so I did them over.  Are re-do’s okay?  I think they are. The other thing that happened (unexpectedly) was that I sold the first set of this series and I had planned on giving it as a Christmas gift.  Selling art is always a good thing, right?  Don’t know if I will gift this set or not.  Doing them over was an interesting process – and I learned something in the process – I wasn’t bored with doing them over at all.  Its odd how the “air”  and “water” look very similar to the first set.  But “Fire” and  “Earth” look very different.

“Water” – Oil pastel, gouache, on vintage book page 4×6 in

“Fire” – Oil pastel, gouache, on vintage book page 4×6 in

“Earth” – oil pastel, gouache, on vintage book page 4×6 in

This one looks a little wonky – but I like it better than the first one,  I like the long braids.  Looks very much like a goddess of the earth to me.

(The shadows in the corners of all four of these are just the weights I used to hold them flat for photography.)