#strawtechnique

Attempt at a Conversation with Birds

This blog was titled Conversations With the Muse many years ago, and mainly that’s been happening. I make art, and then I think and write about it. Otherwise it feels so unfinished. With the mixed media expressive art there is often a verbal interaction attempted with the content of the piece, which usually contains a great many unanswered questions. . .like this one.

For my underpainting I used an unfinished experiment with dripping inks and blowing them across the page with a straw. Then I found pieces of deconstructed paintings I’ve been keeping for the collage. The result was something that totally short circuited all the rules of color, design, technique etc that i have been learning and relying on in my art for many years. Thank goodness. My favorite thing is to create something bizarre, unexpected, and fascinating to contemplate. Hopefully it will get me wondering outside the box of my usual thinking.

acrylic inks and fluid paints on w/c paper

You crows, all black and squawky on one side and cooing doves on the other.

You’ve laddered up from the lower realms and found a roost for your pulpit.

Now speak!         

(silence)

How can you be so silent now, as I sit expectant with pen in hand to take dictation?

What do you see and hear and feel in your vast communications network?

Am I too dense to plug into it and understand?

How long would I have to sit and watch and listen to receive even a micron of the information which sails unseen, unheard by us humans, between you  and your avian family each moment of the day.

Surely this painting entitles me to just a bit of all that? . . .a feather dropped that I might keep for a dream catcher? A song that I could learn and sing to myself?

Perhaps when the cawing meets the cooing I may at last get a feel, by audio transmission, for the freedom of flight?

a look at the process of construction from beginnings to placing collage pieces and drawing in the focal bird

Have you had any conversations with your art lately?

Splitter, Splatter, Splatt!

Are you familiar with this wild man Ralph Steadman, king of the ink splatters? I just got his book Critical Critters for Christmas and I’ve gone quite literally gonzo about it. We’ve been splattering and doing all kinds of unorthodox things with inks in Muse Groups for years now, but Ralph takes it to a whole new level of fabulous, raunchy absurdity in this book.

So with a new Playful Muse Workshop starting up on January 21 I’ve been trying some things out for a Gonzo Splatter lesson! One sometimes gets a little weary of being a “good girl”, all neat and careful and inside the lines, after all.

splattersplatt

I’m shooting for a day when it’s not raining so we can do the splatter part outside my studio, for obvious reasons. And I’ve been practicing with the mouth atomizer, another of Ralph’s tools, which requires a certain amount of lung power to operate (along with a lot of luck). I’m seeing a kind of rare endangered octopus in this one, but the swan sitting on his head is a bit distracting.

8daysraw

You guessed it. This one took advantage of a straw technique you might be familiar with from nursery school. I understand that straws are themselves becoming endangered creatures, at least in some California restaurants. . .but I have an old box if you want one.

8days

8 days into the new year

explosions of mind detritus!

resolutions leaking from every pore and orifice

teaming up, multiplying, branching out. . .

GOOD RIDDANCE! (but pray they don’t find you. . .)

My weekend was spent in a meditation retreat where I made some small headway into clearing my mind, but OMG what came out in the process! Not for the faint of heart. But if some of my errant resolutions or worse come your way, remember to duck.

hornraw2

This one was pure ink dropper play. You might take just a moment to halucinate on it before the next. . .

horn

This guy’s inner musician is celebrating the new year.

Now back to the octopus and swan. . .If this sounds like insanity it is, but no need to miss out on the fun on that account. Turn on the music and splatter! I think Ralph would approve.