mixed media painting

The Narrator

Posing on her stage

In front of the curtain

Profile to audience, she is

Actress? Director?

Narrator, yes,

Of changing times

She waits

Hoping the seas will give up their secrets

Share a rosier picture of planetary change

If she could shapeshift

She might discover things

Why the solitary gull flies against the flock

For now though

She remains

Trapped on a stage

Helpless

Awestruck

Most of the mixed media paints and tools are packed away now, not to be opened until some time after “the move”. (The big truck comes next Tuesday and doesn’t arrive at our new home until the 21st.) But I’ve reserved lots of pieces of old paintings/demos/goofs to be mined for these new Muse works.

Years ago I painted moody ocean scenes in watercolor, then switched to fluid acrylics, throwing out the “rules” I’d learned. This one is a combination of both. I’ve come to rely on the words that come as I work on the “construction” of these works, which come together seemingly randomly. It’s all very personal of course, but at this stage of life, there’s nothing to hide. Wouldn’t you agree? Except for the social security number of course. Haha!

Limbo-land

It’s limbo-land for us a while longer, six more weeks to be exact until the moving truck comes. How does one live in the NOW when there is so much planning to do? How will our furniture fit in the new house? What should we leave behind? What about insurance and medical care and internet provider and so much more that we take for granted when we stay put?

I also do a lot of wondering about things like what birds and insects and other creatures will inhabit my surroundings so that I can feed them or possibly discourage them or just merely come into relationship with them. I’m told there’s lots of rabbits. I’m down for that! but what birds and where will they be building nests? and what kind of butterflies?

Questions like these always lead to the art, as in this one. . .

powdered graphite, powdered pigment, collage on w/c paper

Today I asked

pleaded really

for my winged friends to come with me to the new house

to perch on branches, build their nests in bushes, lay their eggs

to fill the air with buzzing chirping fluttering soaring singing squawking cooing pecking humming munching flapping splashing

I asked them to please find their way to my windows

to reassure me that I still inhabit a nature wonderland.

So that I will look up from my table

to meet the eyes of some new bird

who finds me as exotic and revelatory

as I find her/him/them.

This is how I’ll know

I have found my way home again.

 

Toe tapping with promise

I just watched the new movie Godzilla vs Kong with “the boys”. That might help understand how this art piece came about. Some of that creature action worked its way into my art. The image reads in the dream language of paint and paper to reveal aspects of my current state of affairs!

Fluid acrylics, gesso, collage on w/c paper

 

Toe tapping through the city

After Godzilla and Kong 

Got done toppling

 

Here’s what’s left:

an egg rolling

and it’s got passengers

going somewhere

 

They don’t know where . . . yet

But it’s got promise

and a space needle

and bright gleaming places

And those toes keep tapping . . .

 

No earthquakes or tornadoes (or fires or any of the other dries) here where I am in sunny No. California. Not even a storm or even a drop of rain for a while. All’s quiet and familiar, but it’s getting to be time to move on to house hunting in the south of Seattle area. And along with this, there’s a silent and powerful kind of psychic dismantling and reimagining going on. Great for dream action!

Illustrated Adventure?

People keep asking if I’m excited about moving. And if I shrug they might add, but you’re in for an adventure. But honestly, adventure of this sort often looks more enticing from the outside. And we all have some element of restlessness, especially after a year of pandemic shut downs. So I get it. Sure, I guess I’m excited

For most of us adventure is sweetest when you’ve planned it out first, like an exotic vacation, and maybe a good friend told you about how fabulous it was, and how safe, and you’ve poured over pictures to prepare yourself.

Anticipation of adventure applies only theoretically to a move. Nevertheless I am trying, and this piece today bears witness to that. I want something to look back on once the boxes are packed and unpacked on the other side in the mythical new home. Then there will be stories to tell and hopefully the audience to hear.

For now I steal moments away from the near constant cleaning and clearing to paint and paste the adventure, which I’ve not yet fully embraced!

inks and gesso rorschach with deconstructed book, etc. collage

Suspended in my own frenzy

an echo of springtime

riot of

bird-buzz

bud-burst

bee-bloom

as Easter bunny makes her way through

oxalis and I at the ready

to hop with her 

I Voted

Actually I voted weeks ago. It’s been a slow agonizing wait, or has it been fast? Feels that way now suddenly on the eve of election day.

w/c paper textured with light molding paste and finished with fluid acrylics

I VOTED

Speedy goes the clock

Goes the calendar

Goes the daylight time falling back

Goes the leaves changing falling

Down to the wire

Down to the red and the blue

Down to the finish line

The donkey and the elephant panting

With so much to weigh them down

There’s that down again

Is the up on its way?

Hope you get some sleep tonight!!

 

Escape?

Whenever I get out my acrylic Pouring Medium (Liquitex) I know I’m in for a wild ride where I have no control over the results. You mix fluid acrylic pigment with the pouring medium and suddenly you’ve got a river of color with a mind of its own. It’s like the first time you’re on skates and you’re moving before you’re quite used to the idea. It’s fun like that, especially when you start adding different colors and tipping the paper different ways.

The trick is to figure out what to do with it once you’re done and it’s dry (takes at least 24 hours).

My “pours” often end up looking like somebody, some creature, and I just have to live with it. I always try to make the best of it and see if the creature has something to tell me. . . and it/he/she always does.

Suggestions for these times:

Find a way to stay afloat or aloft

Keep those valuables close

Tied in, tied down

You never know when you’ll need em

A white sheet works swell

Throw stuff in, cinch it up and toss out the window

Make your escape in the dead of night

To where no disaster can touch you

No fires or floods, hurricanes or earthquakes

No politics or plagues or even political plagues

(Good try, you fool. There’s no such place!)

If you want to try some pours, you might check out some other posts I’ve done here, which have more instructions.

RBG

As I contemplated how I would memorialize the most inspiring woman of my lifetime, I read the words of eulogy spoken and written by so many other voices of our times. I watched the videos about her life and experienced the same heartbreaking loss as others who revered her. And I wondered if democracy may have died with Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

black gesso, w/c portrait, fabric collage and gel pen on w/c paper

And then I opted for a bit of everything I like: painting a watercolor portrait, adding lace fabric collars (since the prompt I’d given my Muse friends this week was fabric collage!) and those words of praise she so richly deserved.

And now, what will life after RBG bring?  

There’s No Place Like Home

When evacuation was lifted and we were able to come back to our home, we unloaded the car and collapsed. A week later I was able to sit myself down at the art table to put the feelings down on paper. Here’s what came, along with the Ashes, Ashes pieces I posted yesterday.

acrylic inks on gesso textured w/c paper

There’s no place like home

Click your heels together and repeat 3X

Theres no place like home

It’s the gift a fire bestows

When home becomes so daily and

You take too much for granted

And you have to wait some days

Knowing you could lose it all

And then you don’t

And now you know how Dorothy felt

There’s no place like home

Ashes, ashes

The Walbridge fire near us, the one that evacuated us, still burns. Many have lost their homes, and we will mourn with them, even while experiencing relief that most evacuations orders are lifted and the fire perimeter is holding.

I’ve heard from many of my friends that we are all weary of virus and fires and of smoky air that keeps us inside. We are unable to breathe deep and have feel that “it’s over now”.  And we probably have three more months of “fire season” ahead.

The last two days I’ve turned back to my mixed media, expressive, intuitive Muse art to help me deal with those feelings that the mind has not been able to keep up with. 

I grabbed a new bottle of black ink and as I dropped, splattered, smeared and scraped. . .

the words “ashes, ashes, we all fall down!” kept popping up. Hmmm. . .a nursery rhyme. Remember?

Ring around the rosies

A pocket full of posies

Ashes, ashes

We all fall down!

So I decided to research the rhyme and here’s what I found! Ring-a-round the rosie (probably in the Great Plague of London in 1665) referred to a red circular rash common in some forms of plague. The posies would have represented the different flowers and herbs people carried to ward off disease. The ashes or a-tishoo and falling down was supposed to mimic sneezing and eventually dying from the disease.

It seems that fire and plague have joined hands again!

monoprint and collage

And so I did another on the same theme, with the rosies/posies and ashes and that red orange we’ve seen on the horizon of late, either at sunset or sunrise, tinting the sun and the moon. 

Rosies and posies, fire and plague. No wonder I can’t get the mind around it. But art can.

Wall of Moms

Doubtless you’ve read about the Wall of Moms that made a stand in the Black Lives Matter demonstrations in Portland. Moms flooded into the city from all over, night after night, incensed by the invasion of Federal troups, with their military bearing and disregard for civil rights.  Linking arms the moms created a wall, walking into the tear gas with all the others. My mom-ness linked up and felt the sting. wallofmoms

According to my friend Janet who lives there, since the Feds have left, peaceful demonstrations and police restraint have prevailed, along with some wonderful new protest art installations. But of course the camouflagers have been ordered now to occupy other democratically inclined cities (without invitation from local jurisdictions of course).