Greg Boardman asked me to make a poster for an upcoming concert. With less than a week to complete it, I chose to focus on the way that the music is uplifting, to gladden the angels. The ethereal nature of music has the power to transverse new dimensions, and enter the deep dwelling of the soul. Thank you for the music...
In this season of dying light, my thoughts have been held by Creation, both big C and small. My own hands feel so small beside the wonders of the world, and yet these are the tools at my (sometimes) command. Paper sculpture is a slow process, and as I work my thoughts go to the genesis of worlds, the divine and evolutionary improvisation. For my part, I am thankful for the angelic bells, heard and unheard. May they never cease to ring!
A glimpse of continued work on shape building on my desk today...
A further exploring of form. I find myself moving these days between figurative, story telling pieces and these more abstract, centering works. They both explore and add to my understanding of the endless paths of paper sculpture.
A friend has invited us to attend Janmashtami at a local Hindu Temple. This is a celebration of the birth of Krishna, and it was suggested that I bring fruit and an image of the baby Krishna. In this paper sculpture Krishna is holding a stick of butter that is dripping, because he was full of mischief and he loved butter. He is also associated with the peacock, among other animals. So many wonderful stories surround the life of Krishna, and I am excited to attend this celebration.
Update: September 5th, 2015
Janmashtami at the Hindu Temple was a complete delight. People of all ages sat cross legged on the floor, singing and clapping before beautiful images, draped in flowers and surrounded by flame. Children dressed like Krishna ran and giggled, and no one seemed to mind. We bathed in light and rocked a cradle with a tiny image of Krishna, then we ate food fragrant with spice. A clear outsider, I felt completely welcomed and guided by all.
shapes are formed
and start to gather...and suggest new shapes...
We are mermaids, who love the sea. Created to swim in the subterranean depths of the world, we know that we are invisible to many and still, we belong.
The mermaid paper sculpture is ready to be put together, in layers, with toothpicks and glue.
I love this part, when all the pieces come together, and a microcosm appears. Big noisy world is not the only reality. We all have inner dwellings, and sometimes art makes these visible, we can share our dark, or shiny places with each other. With our hands we can share hope, and we can dream onward.
I have had some difficult conversations this week, with people that I love.
When I woke up this morning, I had a structure in my mind, but no image. I folded the paper in three, and just started to cut, drawing with a scalpel.
What does love require of us?
Paper sculpture, 11x14
A new paper sculpture, mirroring the heat of summer. The spark of creativity, and the fire inside. How do we draw on the fire, and not have it consume us? As I reflect on the biblical and mythological tales, I envision the cauldron of collective wisdom and experience on which we draw when we live and create. Wrestling with the tension between solitude and connection, I feel the great heartbreak of the world, living and breathing as one, yet still so separate. At times I feel so utterly helpless to right the wrongs, or even lessen the pain and burdens of those I love and care for. My best understanding is that I have to love with all my heart and strength and the work of my hands, and then entrust it to the healing force so much greater than mine.
“We work in the dark - we do what we can - we give what we have. Our doubt is our passion, and our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art.” Henry James
The artwork for which I built multi layered shipping containers has arrived safely, several hundred miles from here. I am relieved...but even more I feel so much gratitude, to the people who commissioned the work. They were lovely to work for, and it was a complete joy to be involved in this project. I feel so fortunate and grateful for the shining river of love that serves to connect us all to each other, through dreams and visions, into art and life.
I decided to play with a simple book shape today. When you open the card the word JOY pops up.
This was a fun beginning to an exploration that I hope to continue!
When I went to send this artwork, and its companion pieces to the people who commissioned it, the shippers deemed the work too delicate to ship, and insure. After much exploration, and discussions with helpful local framers and builders, at the art materials store, and the lumber yard, this is the solution that I arrived at. I built up the inner shell from 7 layers of foam core, cut and glued as a nest for the artwork, which is pretty sturdy in itself, on a base of illustration board. I will lay a piece of foam core over the top, and then a final piece of plywood will be screwed on top. The sides are pine furring, with L brackets. I think that this will be very sturdy. I have learned a lot about how roughly packages are treated, and how much thought and care must go into shipping. May there be blessings in our handiwork, and traveling mercies as well!
This is my first piece completed since setting up my studio in my new home. It celebrates the river nearby, as well as reflections on events in the national news during the past week. The power of love, and the nature of forgiveness have been in the collective awareness, evoking the mighty river, as well as the unending journey, toward justice.
Still shining world, moving a few spins onward.
Harlequin! a new doll, with a painted muslin face, cotton cloth, stuffing,bells, beads buttons and ribbons.
Harlequin makes me think of the poet ee cummings who wrote "Damn everything but the circus!" and...
"here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)"
I made these nesting dolls to be a reminder that it's OK to be afraid.
This is where we have the chance to whisper to each other "keep going..."
|Nesting Dolls: Each one opens and contains the next|
|Fear Stands Guard|
|At the Threshold of Mystery|
|May All Beings Be Happy|
|May All Beings Be Free...|
|keep going...my friend|
I finished this doll today and named her after the type of music I was hearing when I made her.
She is all felt, all hand sewn. I sewed her arms and hands during a staff meeting!
I have had Shakespeare's Sonnet 15 on my mind lately, particularly the final two lines:
And all in war with Time for love of you, As he takes from you, I engraft you new.
It expresses for me the small possibilities we have to redeem and make new. It is my antidote to the cultural message of the futility of effort. We are so small, and our lives so brief, and yet we can spin magic,
and love and heal and create.
This newest doll has a paisley beaded heart. Her face and arms are of felt and paint, and her hands and feet are doll clay. Her hair is of all sorts of yarns, a shiny-beaded fiery balance to the winter weather.
I had a challenging week.The light is slowly returning.
Here is something else that I want to share. It is wonderful to be a part of the creative life, where seams show, hearts are worn outside, and feelings are a core component of what makes us human.
Thank you to artists and poets and music makers and creators of all stripes and polka dots.
Thank you to all who resist the pressure to conform to the narrows.
I am honored to walk in your company...
I have been using a simple form to play with colors, stitches, embroidery, beads and bells.
Making these makes my fingers sing. I hope that everyone finds the work that renews them, that brings them home again.
Where do I know you from?
You are from the country of my soul. We have been here all along. Where else could we ever go?
I find myself at peace again. Renewed...
Wishing you joy and light in these dark times, and the endurance to create and share healing with all those who surround you.