Wednesday, October 23, 2013

sketchbook: siren

She sings her siren
and the current
riffles though her tail
like a gentle breeze
through a leafy tree.

K. van Schoonhoven

I have long been enamored of mermaids. I remember swimming as a little girl with my legs together as if I had a single tail with a fin on it. I read Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Mermaid" before I was 10.

In college, I read Homer's The Odyssey and was thrilled by the description of the sirens. Their song, so captivating, they lured many entranced sailors to their deaths on the rocky shore. Odysseus, determined to hear their song and survive, instructed his sailors to lash him to the mast and to stop their own ears with wax. They sailed past the sirens and Odysseus heard the song, but because he was immobilized, and his crew deaf to his cries, he could not order them to follow the song to their destruction.

Also in college, I "discovered" the Pre-Raphaelites and saw the beautiful painting, "The Siren,"  by John William Waterhouse.

"The Siren" by J.W. Waterhouse, 1900
Now, with a regular habit of swimming and many hours spent on the water in a boat, I continue to entertain an attraction for these mythical creatures. 

Heraclitus: "Knowing many things
does not teach insight."

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

finding my way

 When life becomes hectic, frantic, upsetting, confusing, demanding, it's hard for me to figure out a way to find my way back into my creative space.

Oh, I can go into the studio and squeeze out some paint and move color around, but I don't feel a zip of energy. I feel empty. Blah. Beige. Believe me. Beige is not a good feeling.

When I was actively playing piano, I had a similar experience. But, I found a remedy. If I played through the Bach Preludes and Fugues (the Well-Tempered Clavier), I found my way back. You can listen to these familiar, gorgeous pieces played by Glenn Gould here.

Even today, listening to the Preludes and Fugues brings order to the chaos and calms me while at the same time directing me back to my own creative journey.

With art making, Bach works a little bit, but when I add to it a simple practice of Suminagashi, I feel myself resting and awakening. I fill a tray with water and slowly touch the surface with Sumi ink. The oil in the ink allows it to float on the water surface. I manipulate the ink and disturb the surface and watch how the water creates eddies and space. Finally, I create a print of the ink on rice paper.

Like any good meditation, Suminagashi leaves me open and ready for the next thing.

Ink, Water, Breath.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

theater of life

Sometimes it seems the stage is crowded and the dialogue overlaps in ways incomprehensible. Then one character leaves and the rest adjust themselves to the hole left by the one. And then, another joins us. So it seems. With death and birth and marriage. So it has been in my life this year.

"All the World's a Stage" by William Shakespeare in "As You Like It"  (Act II:vii) read by Morgan Freeman.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

First Friday, October

"It's All about Me ... It's All About We!"
First Friday
October 4, 2013

In Bocca al Lupo Fine Art
2025 SE Jefferson Street
Milwaukie, OR

Hope to see you there!