Friday, January 31, 2014

Still Inarticulate

I'm giving up words for a while, words to describe what's happening in the studio. Seems to be a time to feel my way, I will find words later.

drawing space, 2014

with a touch of pink, 2014

bending space, 2014

while waiting…... I love finding shots like this, it's somehow reassuring

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Swept Away

I was swept away last night when a friend [thanks Midge] posted the first work below by Piero della Francesca. So much for working. I needed to find out where they were, book tickets, reserve hotel, find my passport. A perfect dream for a cold winters night.

Legend of the True Cross - Exultation of the Cross, detail (c. 1452-66, Fresco, San Francesco, Arezzo, Italy)

Legend of the True Cross - Finding of the True Cross, detail (c. 1452-66, Fresco, San Francesco, Arezzo, Italy) 

Legend of the True Cross - Vision of Constantine, detail (c. 1452-66, Fresco, San Francesco, Arezzo, Italy) 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Mon Pays

"Mon pays ce n'est pas un pays, c'est l'hiver" is the first line of a wonderful song by Gilles Vigneault: it's really Québec's national anthem and roughly translates as my land is not a land, it's winter. And yesterday as the temperature warmed up to -10C, and the snow fell and crunched underfoot, I was able to open up some of the paths to the woods, stomping my way through the snow on my snowshoes.

To listen to Gilles Vigneault sing Mon pays ce n'est pas un pays, c'est l'hiver click here.
And all the lyrics to the song are here.

looking towards home

snowshoe tracks

beautiful snowy day

Friday, January 24, 2014

Touching the Rock

I've been reading Touching the Rock by John M. Hall [thanks Philip for the recommendation] which is about the experience of blindness, or as Hall calls it Deep Blindness, and in the introduction Oliver Sacks writes "the observation is minute, and is also profound: everything is pondered, explored, to its limit----every experience turned this way and that until it yields its full harvest of meanings." Hull write in his preface "There are bits and pieces all over the place….[and] if there is repetition, it is because the same problems and the same experiences went round and round, interpreted from many aspects." I really appreciate these words as I circle about in the studio, stop, ponder, pace and circle again.

Space 4, 2014

Space 6, 2014

Space, 7, 2014

Space 9, 2014

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Small Joys

A day of small joys and unexpected treasures.

a foggy patch on the bedroom window

fluff ball of snow on a garden stake, out the studio window

vivid red stripe on J. mid-morning orange
the colours of last night

Monday, January 20, 2014

Blue 1,2,3

Having only seen these works of Miró's in books I was stunned to see a photo that put their size into scale. Completed between 1958-61 these paintings "exemplify his distinct style; the artist uses sparse, uniform brushstrokes all across the canvas, giving the enormous expanse of the painting an even more empty feeling, which is emphasized even further by the distinguishable dreamy blue of the background. Bleu II is probably the painting in Miró’s portfolio that most definitively expresses his obsession with dreamscapes and vacant, infinite space. In 1958, during which he was working on the Bleu I, II, III triptych and similar abstract murals in Paris, he was quoted saying:  “The spectacle of the sky overwhelms me. I’m overwhelmed when I see, in an immense sky, the crescent of the moon, or the sun. There, in my pictures, tiny forms in huge, empty spaces. Empty spaces, empty horizons, empty plains—everything which is bare has always greatly impressed me.” [From Wikipedia]

"I try to apply colors like words that shape poems, like notes that shape music. ” 
- Joan Miró

"What I am looking for... is an immobile movement, something which would be the equivalent of what is called the eloquence of silence, or what St. John of the Cross, I think it was, described with the term 'mute music'. ” 
- Joan Miró

I feel the need of attaining the maximum of intensity with the minimum of means. It is this which has led me to give my painting a character of even greater bareness.” 
- Joan Miró

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Prairie Dreaming [Again]

We sit and and drink our coffee every morning watching the sun move further and further across the floor and wall. The shadows are long and the light reaches almost to the middle of the room. I see new shapes and lines. Places that had been in the dark for the last few months are illuminated. I get the camera and now I am back in the prairies; in that enormous space, with it's thin ribbon of land.

panorama 4a, 2014

panorama 2, 2014

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Colors of Snow

Ever since I was a child I have been entranced by the colors of snow and ice, and yesterday as I walked very carefully on top of the latest layer there was a hollow thump to every step, the land had become a drum.  Where we had broken through the previous day held a world of wonder, shards of crust-pebbled snow resembled the river at spring breakup. That electric blue was captured on the underside of the shards, clear pale yellow glowed along the surface; another day when it was very good to have to watch where I was placing my feet.

shards of gold
where Zoe had broken through the snow and ice
shards piled up  wherever we walked
the mysterious blue
rivulets running across the lawn
more gold and blue,  and beautiful shapes
One of Zoe hairs caught on the edge of a shard

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Changing Perspectives

I was reading Deborah Barlow's blog yesterday [Slow Muse, link here] and she had a couple of quotes by the wonderful Jane Hirschfield, found in Psychology Today. Thanks Deborah for these quotes, they really spoke to me.

"What we want from art is whatever is missing from the lives we are already living and making. Something is always missing, and so art-making is endless."

"I suppose I’m saying that good art is a truing of vision, in the way that a saw is trued in the saw shop, to cut more cleanly. And that anything that lessens our astigmatisms of being or makes more magnificent the eye, ear, tongue, and heart cannot help but help a person better meet the larger decisions that we, as individuals and in aggregate, ponder."

boat stage, 2014

stage curtains/bow of another boat, 2014

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Silver Thaw

noun: silver thaw; plural noun: silver thaws
  1. 1.
    a glassy coating of ice formed on the ground or an exposed surface by freezing rain or the refreezing of thawed ice.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Looking Up

The ice has been trying to slide off the front porch for a week now. Every day it inches forward, but like everything else it is holding firm, frozen in place or moving at the speed of a glacier. And everyday I watch it's progress, and I have to admit, admire its edge silhouetted against the various shades of sky. Rumor has it that we are warming up today, that we may gain back the land, also covered by 1.5 inches of ice. 

3 layers of ice and snow,  Jan. 6, 2014

same 3 layers of ice and snow,  Jan. 7, 2014

same 3 layers of ice and snow,  Jan. 8, 2014

and again,  Jan. 9, 2014

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Under My Feet

Walking down a street the other day, keeping my eyes glued on where I was placing my feet, worried about slipping and sliding on the ice I found these seed pods. I almost threw the scans of them in the trash as I had forgotten to clean the scanner first and the scans were full of dust. Blowing them up though I found them beautiful, otherworldly, far galaxies; all this from something I stepped on walking down the street. Maybe I should look down more frequently when I walk.

Monday, January 6, 2014


Started to write this blog and the power went out; well I suppose that isn't to unusual these days and it is freezing rain outside, and we have just been through a deep freeze with another one promised. And I find I have no words for what is happening in the studio so I'll just show you some of the work.

corner 2, 2014

corner with green wall, 2014

floor plan, 2014

side elevation, 2014

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Minus 29 C.

or - 20 F and I'm hibernating. It's so cold that all the tiny birds have puffed up to twice their normal size and when I looked back towards the woods I saw wild turkeys nesting in the trees.