I have been working sporadically in a thin sketch book – hoping it wouldn’t be so daunting to fill up the pages. I seem to have lost momentum this year, and have very little to show for myself for 2013. I can’t say specifically what the problem is, because I honestly don’t know. Whatever it is, I hope is works itself out soon and I will emerge with a more clear idea of what I want to say in my art. For now I jump all around and and envy everyone else for their ability to concentrate, to produce, and to know what they want! Watercolor, charcoal, graphite.
The summer Crow Wars seemed to have calmed down a little with the beginning of autumn. They fought like crazy all summer, often leaving small caches of feathers beneath my deck. The sparrows fought with them, the jays fought with them, and the crows fought with vocal curses at one another all through the sky- blue days of summer. Watercolor and graphite.
I don’t know what this is about – just some sadness that came over me one evening and stayed around until I sketched this out. Charcoal and watercolor.
The Fawn’s Child. Pastel, oil pastel, graphite. Sometime I try to imagine what it would be like to live outside all the time. To know the darkness as well as I know the circles of cast light in my house. To know time through the seasons of the earth. It seems so magical, so impossible with all our contrived conveniences and measured time. But still, I can imagine a great unknown forest with creatures defined by that space.
“Pearl” 24 x 30 inches. Acrylic on canvas.
“Pearl” began life with the ocean in the background and a house beneath her feet, holding hands with her mother and the painting was to have been called “Pearl’s Mother.” One afternoon I was staring at the unfinished canvas knowing it was all wrong, but couldn’t figure out what to do about it. The parts worked separately, but all together they didn’t say anything. So I took a palette knife and began painting over most of the painting with white paint. The palette knife was a new experience, and I really liked how you could build layers of colors one on top of another! I painted “Pearl” fairly quickly with the palette knife then went back and added details and painted over with the palette knife again until I liked what was happening. The Great Blue Heron in the right upper corner I had already painted in and I left it, and the redwood trees beneath it.
She is holding a eucalyptus branch. I was thinking of the central coast of California, with the redwoods, the eucalyptus trees and the great blue herons, that are glimpsed only occasionally, these days. I used to see them flying very high like great long-legged angels moving across the blue skies.
I preferred Pearl without any hair. I did paint some in, but it took away from the intensity of her gaze and I covered it up. It summarizes her essence more this way. Her very human longing for some unspoken thing hidden behind her eyes. I’m not sure if Pearl is yet a child, or if she rests carefully on that cusp between woman and child.
I haven’t been working on any art projects lately, but I had a dream some nights ago that stayed with me. It was about a baby horse and my desire to take care of it; to protect it and keep it safe during the night. I sketched out a very quick illustration and used a transfer technique with packing tape to place the words of the dream over my sketch. The type should have come out a little darker, but I did it several times and that’s what I got, a gray typeset, almost like a watermark, which would be very nice in some situations, but I wanted the words to be foremost for this, since my sketch was so crude. It’s a journal page, right? Doesn’t have to be perfect.
Here’s what it says:
I dreamed of a baby horse that needed my care. In my dream, someone told me that I should find a safe hiding place for it during the night – maybe make a nest in “the bushes.” as its mother would do. Cait was walking beside me, and I said to her, “I would never leave a little horse all alone in the bushes all night. Anything could happen. “If I had a motherless baby horse to take care of I would take it right into the house with me at night.” Suddenly we were walking together toward an old farmhouse and I was carrying a foal in my arms. I seemed quite strong and very able to carry the horse and walk the long distance to the house without any trouble at all.