Tinkering in the Studio
22 October 2021
I love it when surprising things happen in the studio when I have no plan, no intention, just going with the flow. This painting began with the floating elongated 'S' in the center left. This little branch-like figure shows up quite often in my drawings. I think it's an imprint from looking at all the eucalyptus branches around our house, so many of them are curved into unique shapes.
This playful underwater scene has inspired a book collaboration with my grandniece Maddie, also a writer and artist.
Ready for a fight?
Now you've really pissed us off
Brett Kavanaugh (accused rapist), Amy Coney Barrett (cunning misogynist) and all you haters in Texas... (And Susan Collins & Lisa Murkowski: Shit or get off the pot. Are you pro-abortion or not? No more pussy-footing around ladies!)
You think sexual harassment pisses us off? We're just getting started. Remember these Texans who stood up to misogyny. We're everywhere, we're organized, and we're angry.
Sen. Barbara Jordan
Sen. Wendy Davis
Gov. Ann Richards
Activist Emma Tenayuca
(Photos: AP / Eric Boman / Pam Francis / San Antonio Light)
Drawing on the Ground
Abol Stream Maine
In the studio
21 August 2021
Wondering where this will lead...
17 August 2021
I found this chunk of sedimentary sandstone while on my morning walk up back, looking like the paintings I did in June. Back in the 1970's I remember reading something by Shakti Gawain talking about these numinous moments that indicate all is right with your world.
Paradigm shift in progress.
Stay awake for the revolution.
11 August 2021
Christine Blasey Ford
AP photo compilation
(Photos: Evan Agostini, Matt Rourke, Saul Leob, Miranda Barnes, AP Photo compilation, Tasmanian Times, ABC News)
Monday 9 August 2021
Small delicate everlasting
NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo
One Man's Meat
5 August 2021
The unfortunate title of E.B. White’s collection of essays mentioned in my previous post (One Man’s Meat), took on sordid meaning this morning after I listened to NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo attempting to defend his honor in the face of multiple accusations of sexual harassment, a statement CNN political commentator SE Cupp describes as ‘a masterclass in gaslighting’.
I wondered what E.B. White might have to say about this governor of his home state if he were alive today. I thumbed through his book and found his essay The World Tomorrow, about his experience at the 1939 World’s Fair in Queens, NY, coincidentally the birthplace of Andrew Cuomo. He sums up the Fair’s theme, man’s dream of tomorrow, as “… a contradiction and an enigma, the biologist peeking at bacteria through a microscope, the sailor peeking at the strip queen through binoculars”. He goes on to describe a scene in the honky-tonk section of the Fair, a giant robot with enormous rubber hands groping the breasts of two girls sitting on its lap.
At the end of White’s essay, he laments the strange concoction that makes up the Fair. “… The heroic man, bloodless and perfect and enormous, created in his own image, and in his hand the literal desire, the warm and living breast.”
During Cuomo’s televised statement, he is looking directly into the camera telling us he wants us to fully understand the truth. He waltzes through 15 minutes of self-aggrandizing, culminating in a pseudo-apology saying he was sorry for bringing his personal experience into the workplace. He’s referring to his propensity of touching and kissing everyone… even strangers, he said. “This is something I learned from my mother, and my father”.
To illustrate his point, Cuomo ran a slideshow showing himself kissing, hugging and fondling the faces of the masses, accompanied by his synchronized voiceover. E.B. White described similar behavior back in 1939 as peculiarly lascivious.
Don’t worry about being misunderstood Governor. A man willing to drag his parents from their graves to legitmize his illegal behavior speaks loudly and clearly. Every woman who has ever been man-handled, groped, pinched, slobbered on, patted, leered at and squeezed by men, fully understands who you are.
(Photo: NBC News)
2:20 pm 4 August 2021
Several years ago while visiting my friend Colleen on Vinalhaven in Maine, I was lucky enough to find a discarded copy of E.B. White's book One Man's Meat at the town dump. On the cover is one of my favorite photographs: Jill Krementz' photo of White in his studio in Brooklin ME, sitting at a small wooden desk adjacent to a large open window with a view of Eggemoggin Reach beyond Penobscot Bay. E.B. is sitting on a simple wooden bench with a small wooden-barrel for a trash can nearby, typing on a manual typewriter. He's wearing comfortable clothes, glasses, a watch and white socks.
At my workplace in Tasmania, my wooden desk faces a wall with a large (6'x6') window above it. During quiet times, I can stop and look up and see snow on kunanyi, storms approaching from the northwest, white cockatoos flocking and a grove of casurinas swaying.
Looking with fresh eyes
8 am 28 July 2021
I started this piece several years ago and recently pulled it off the 'in process' shelf. Its history began in my studio in Maine. One night during a full moon, I placed the bare cloth under a patch of yew bushes beside the Kenduskeag Stream that runs alongside the studio.
So it began imbued with moonlight, then moving to Tasmania it became imbued with charcoal from the clearfelled burned rainforest. The two small square pieces were added a few years later...one is a particular boulder I used to see every time I went up the Golden Road outside Millinocket in northern Maine. The other one is a canary in a cage referencing a canary in a coal mine.
Everything I need seems to pop up in my work (and life) just at the right time. I had a birthday this month. I've been thinking and meditating on adapting to change and looking with fresh eyes. The older I get, the more of a necessity this becomes.
Seeing with fresh eyes. Over and over again. I'm more in love with this piece than I was the first time the images popped out from the wax and charcoal back in 2001. I have more confidence in my ideas these days, and I'm more willing to adapt to change.
Lingering in the studio
6:30 pm 20 June 2021
Today was a glorious winter day in southeastern Tasmania...bright sunshine with a nip in the air wafting with the smells of moist dirt, eucalyptus and toadstools. I caught sight of a flock of spotted pardalotes whooshing through gum tree branches.
In the studio moving from one project to another, I was in the flow... Painting with ink & crayon... sketching leaves and branches... making notebook covers. Sipping hot lemonade from my little Hepburn cup with 'dollop handles'... Yo-Yo Ma and murder mystery podcasts in the background.
And, I finally settled on a simple design for the outdoor shower enclosure: 1965 mod-print fabric hung from a string of fairy lights.
2:18 pm 21 May 2021
It's Fall here in Tasmania in the southern hemisphere. It's 70˚F sitting here in the sun and feels just like a Spring day in Maine, US, minus the blackflies. If I was there I'd be up the Stud Mill Road, probably walking barefoot in the middle of Hunter Brook, wearing a wide-brimmed hat covered with netting tucked into a long-sleeved high-collared shirt. At the moment, I'm barefoot wearing a muumuu and a wide-brimmed hat blocking the sun's glare while I write.
We've had lots of rain lately filling our two 24k litre water tanks and greening up the paddock nicely. Fall here really is like a Maine Spring making it impossible for my brain to flip hemispheric seasons... as if it matters.
The clouds are fantastic this time of year. On my way home from work around 3:30 in the afternoon, I usually stop at our local IGA situated on Ralph's Bay with a 180˚ view of uninterrupted sky. You can't help stop and stare... a slow time-lapse movie right before your eyes. Try it for yourself.
8 May 2021
Setting up outside is one of my favorite ways of loosening up my drawing and painting. There's something about being outdoors, facing the outside wall of the studio that focuses my attention but keeps it loose at the same time. I don't aim for exact rendering of a specimen... I just go with the flow and see what happens. I have hundreds of what I call specimens... sticks, shells, rocks, bits and pieces of bark, bone, metal...whatever catches my eye. I love that feeling of being amazed by what I've just drawn... how my hand and my brain and my heart work together and come up with something mysterious but familiar
In the studio
2 pm 12 April 2021
It seems like no matter how large the work table or desk, I always end up using a space not much larger than the piece I'm working on. I like close boundaries and having lots of materials close at hand.
4:48 pm 6 April 2021
Sometimes while I'm doing dishes looking out the kitchen window, if I squint just right, the sunlit grasses look like snowfields. I've been living in Tasmania since 2004 and I still miss a good northern hemisphere winter. In June, I can see snow atop kunyani, the 5000' mountain overlooking Hobart, but nothing compares with an evening walk on a country road in Maine, snowflakes falling through streetlight glow
5:35 pm 5 April 2021
I start my day sitting on the back porch looking out into a thicket of wattle trees, gums, blonde grasses and bird baths. The L - shaped deck connects the house with the studio. There are two comfortable chairs, a daybed and two low tables usually stacked with books and a scattering of seashells, rocks and sticks.
Sometimes I sit in a favorite chair I found on the side of the road in Flagstaff Gully. She's a 1960's era red naugahyde easy chair with delicate legs. It's just me and the birds at first light, half an hour before the sun comes up. This quiet time helps set the pace for the day and reminds me that today is the day...