Monday, March 29, 2010

Did you hear me howling????

Why didn't someone tell me just how good The Book of Eli is!  It has to be that once rare blue moon that I take a hankering to go to the movies but on a spur of the moment Peter and I decided to go Saturday night...the intention was to see Avatar but it only showed once and we had missed it.  I sat there for most of the movie asking myself "where is this going?"...the story line is not new (hero set out to save the world) but OH WHAT HAPPENED IN THE LAST 10-15 minutes of the movie had me howling!!!! (okay, i didn't really howl but surpressed it...although i had great difficulty understanding why the audience was so sedate because it definitely should have been a communal howling experience!)   In my surpressed howl, it was one of those howls when 10,000 ancestors show up and raise their glasses to toast!  Timeless wisdom came through and the story found its soul!!!!!  The story has stayed with me...issues of commitment, faith, education, sight, power,...I awoke Sunday morning with the movie on my mind after dreaming about interviewing Denzel on why he took the role.  In the dream he said something about his own career being a walk of faith and he wanted to remind young people including his own children about what it means to be committed.  (My nephew Eric may not know how to choose a college basketball team but his recommendations for movies has improved greatly!)


Mindful Meandering Exercises1


In The Basement last week I kicked in a few hours...practiced fmq and fme as part of The Learning Curve curriculum and on Friday, just before leaving, I painted this cauldron.  It was a photo printed on fabric that didn't print well due to ink heads needing to be cleaned.  Its been in the scrap pile for weeks.  I picked it up and taped it to the table and selected paints and started playing...not too much forethought (less damage that way)...but looking at it this morning I'm thinking my Crow piece might morph into Crows and Cauldrons.

Anaya remains in NICU.  If her respirations stay down for the next couple of days she will come home. She is filling out and looking good.  She only weighed 6lbs and 2ozes when she was born...I'm so use to 8 pounders that 6 sounded small to me.   Deep down, I know that everything has its place and is in order.  Hugs to  those who have sent blessings and prayers. 

Friday, March 19, 2010

Counting Crows

I haven't had much time to be at either place, The Workshop or the Studio.  For a second (a short second) I held the thought to sale my spot in the Benn/Morgan workshop next month at the Crow Barn. I will follow my own advice and not let single moments define my whole reality and future.  I've heard Nikki Giovanni speak several times and she tells a story of a visit somewhere in Central Africa and going to a village and a group of men identify themselves as "warriors" for the village...she asks "what wars have you fought?" and the reply was there hasn't been a war in over 100 years.  Giovanni's point was how can you call yourself warriors if you haven't fought in any wars.  I haven't been feeling like much of an artist of late and began to question the "what" as in what do I call myself doing?  These supplies are just wasted on me, yak, yak, yak...  The upcoming week with Leslie and Claire at the Crow Barn will be an opportunity for my mind to settle back into the processes of making art, (God willing and if the Creek don't rise)

I have a new granddaughter who was born last weekend.  Her name is Anaya which means God Answered.  She has been in ICU since Tuesday morning but the meaning of her name is not lost on her...everything has corrected itself and the last miracle we are waiting on is for her respirations to slow down and the water to clear off her lungs. 

Also, my father had a hospital stay and has transitioned into a nursing home for rehabilitation.  My mother and I have been trading off days to care for my 18 month on grandson, Carter, (named after Carter G. Woodson) big brother to Anaya. 

I'm settling into the head space where I can allow Grace to enter.  Patience is following and I have forgiven myself for not burying myself in art making and accepting this is the season to be and do for my family and accept this as the blessing it is.


With Carter in and out of my lap, I painted this Crow on a 6"x8" scrap of fabric.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Scraps of Splendor...

sunshine, and warmer temps (it hit the low 60's today!!!!) makes keeping the faith a whole lot easier!


These dyed silk scraps came from wearable artist Laverne Zielbelski from Lexington, Kentucky.  Laverne had a booth set up this weekend at the Kentucky Crafted Market which I attended for a few hours on Saturday.  I met Laverne over 20 years ago when she lead writing circles and reconnected after discovering last year that she is also doing textile work for creating her poetic line of clothing.  Laverne is also doing Nuno felting and using the FeltLOOM created by the owner of Lan Mark Farms near Lexington.  It is a machine that takes the rolling out of Nuno felting.  The University of Kentucky Art dept. is looking into purchasing one of the machines...I wonder if UofL's Fiber Art dept. would get one????  Slim chance I think due to budget cuts in the last few years but one never knows, right?!

I worked about 2 hours today at The Basement.  I spent about 30 minutes cutting shapes as an exercise from Finding Your Own Visual Language and will work some tonight with mark making on paper using a variety of inks and pens and brushes.  I spent about an hour working on the quilt in honor of Crows and thinking about James Audubon.  Many times an idea will hit me and I can see it and I think "how brilliant that will be if I can pull it off!" and then weeks later I think the design has morphed into something "too simple" to reflect my ideas and I'm heading for the path of least resistance.  The conflict comes in when I create a focal point...when I create an image, in this case Crows, I loose the emotion for a piece.  I really like my backgrounds so much better which I describe as emotional abstractions.  The questions I posed today are:  Should I go for narrative?  Should I make the Crows larger? Should I make the background smaller?  Should I make the Crows out of felt and sculptural?  What if I wanted to return to a total abstraction about Crows...what would it look like?  What are Crows attracted to?  Should I make the background reflect an urban setting?  A practice I took from the Benn and Morgan Workshop back in '08 is to write the answsers to the questions down when I'm stuck...this is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon. 


Friday, March 5, 2010

On Children...

Mo helped me pull the last bit of straightening up The Basement today.  (Thank you so much!)  I have an 18 month old grandson who isn't showing any understanding that Grandmama's art supplies are sacred territory...unlike my great-neice who very well understood that Aunt Karen's supplies were not to be messed with unless she was there to give permission and guidance. 

Yesterday I was at The Studio and started another scarf on the needle felt machine.  I felted together dreadlocks of wool together and plan to lay it over a silk scarf or shawl.  Adrian, my oldest son, hung out with me yesterday while there...he likes the feel of the place.  I spent the time bouncing ideas off of him about what he sees for his own future.  One of the ideas I threw at him was up-cycling furniture into art furniture...he turned it over but I don't think he quite caught the vision.  Its my prayer that he settles himself down and focus.

Ade helped Mr. Williams, an award winning retired photo-journalist, photograph a wedding last weekend.  Ade is a laid back and cool, calm, and collected young man when not around immediate family, but he was hyped and excited and nervous in a good way before and after working with Mr. Williams.  We love to see him excited...of my 3 children, he carries the artist spirit.

I don't know why I've interjected tidbits about my family other than creating a partial recollection of the past week I've shared with them...or possibly sharing the creative connections we've had this week.  I don't know if Khalil Gibran had children of his own...but some years ago, a sistah friend introduced me to his poem, On Children and when I'm contemplating healthy boundaries with my children who are young adults, I reflect on Gibran's poem.