Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Question Mark Butterfly

Hi my darlings, I have re-entered the world after painting all day. It is mostly complete and I am happy with it. I may actually go do something rather fun, like take a nature walk this evening. Learn about animals and plants near your zip code here

Monday, July 30, 2007

As he saw me so I was slowly becoming; he saw me into being.

-Mabel Dodge Luhan

Sunday, July 29, 2007

data, data, data, data...
I have filled up my overused laptop with photo files and data. This is a common problem I am sure and since I do not trust the rather impermanent shelf-life of DVDs, I have purchased an external hard drive. This means I am merrily copying files, and soon will be burning DVD back-ups just because data should have a few homes. Fun-times...

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Yellow Lady's Slipper or Whip-poor-will's Shoe

Regarding its favorite haunts, Mr. Baldwin says: "Its preference is for maples, beeches, and particularly butternuts, and for sloping or hilly ground, and I always look with glad suspicion at a knoll covered with ferns, cohoshes, and trilliums, expecting to see a clump of this plant among them. Its sentinel-like habit of choosing 'sightly places' leads it to venture well up on mountain sides." The long, wavy, brownish petals give the flower and alert, startled look when surprised in its lonely hiding places."

-How to Know the Wild Flowers by Mrs. William Starr Dana
The show was good, though the attendance was a bit low. Some I really would have liked to have seen were busy elsewhere, while some unexpected friends came to visit. The highlight of evening was a friend's gift of many old field guides and nature books. They had gotten the books from someone and were unsure what to do with them. So lucky little me.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Don't kiss the work...

Tundra Swan

I looked in my heart while the wild swans went over.
And what did I see I had not seen before?
Only a question less or a question more;
Nothing to match the flight of wild birds flying.
Tiresome heart, forever living and dying,
House without air, I leave you and lock your door.
Wild swans, come over the town, come over
The town again, trailing your legs and crying!

-Wild Swans by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Thursday, July 26, 2007


After the frivolity of setting up the art show today, I am much less nervous. Everyone had an excited banter and the work looks good together. So I think everything will be just fine and I am still feeling good underneath all the external stress. I just have to trust that things are all going to be ok.

As I drove to setup the show in the city I generally regard with a veiled contempt, I saw the old K building that I used to watch as I fell asleep in my grandmother's apartment. It used to seem menacing with red lights that glowed like eyes. It's tower looked like a tin man hat giving its sinister a slightly whimsical spin. A devil that was blundering and loveable, as if it were not truly bad. I would stare at it, playing with the lights and features in my mind as I drifted off into dreams. I can still see the window frame around it and the glow of the city lights below. I can still hear my grandmother crinkling the pages of the book she was reading or the low hum of voices on the television. As I lay there I would imaging it breaking off of its foundations and walking over to my window. I wondered at what it would say, how it would bend and tip its tin man hat to me. Even all of my coldest hours within that city's sphere cannot erase such good memories, so today and tomorrow I will be called home at last. And I will call it home.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I am so very nervous about an art show I am in this week. The opening is coming up and I am tense about it. In fact the stress of this has gone right to my stomach, which it always does. So I am feeling rather ill. I hate openings, and I think I may always feel that way. It is funny that I crave having shows and feel accomplished when I get in them. I hate the process of the opening itself, where your work is on display and people mill around you. I wonder what it is that I fear? Perhaps it is the audience having a negative reaction to the work, a scoff and a rude comment. Then again is that so terrible, that I could not confront it? I am silly about this, what am I going to do when I am the only artist showing? (this will be happening soon) I will be sick for 2 weeks before then and loose 20lbs at this rate! What do you do, dear bloggers when you have to confront an uncomfortable social event? Any tips? My stomach will be eternally grateful for your advice.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Jimson Weed

In the Datura or Deadly Nightshade family-so pretty poison
And if I could see around the bend
would it change the time I spend
Wanting you?
If I could bring you a perfect rose
from all the pretty buds that grow
How could I choose?

Cause you got me dancing down
these muddy roads
with soft sand between my toes,
Feeling fine
The sunlight playing on my back,
shirt in hand,
Singing out in crazy rhyme

-Kate Wolf -Muddy Roads

Monday, July 23, 2007

Tiger Lily

Dare I say that I am actually painting a somewhat happy painting? Who am I and what have I done with the Corbyhawk? I have worked on the background of it this afternoon and intend on tackling more of it later. I feel rather good, honestly. I can't help it, I feel change coming and I am ready to run right into it despite any costs. I am almost cavalier in my need to throw out old worries and fill myself with new hopes. What a day of painting, I always feel so good when I paint. The work I did last week has really informed me and I am hitting on a new thing in my painting. Life is generally good I say, ha! Ha, gray day, mixed sky and grabbing old life. I am sliding past all these worries and just enjoying the ride today. There are words I want to scream out past the clouds to the hiding sun and laugh as the rain falls around me. I am not afraid, I double dare you.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Younger and Older

That thing you do
with your eyes
the edges crinkle and hold
a smile your mouth attempts
to deny.

I feel the warmth of you
and bask sunning
my own soul.

-By the Corbyhawk herself

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Broad-billed Hummingbird

Young Gray Hawks

Last night
I dreamed I became myself
I dreamed I became a bird
I dreamed I became a dream

From Lam Thi My Da -Dedicated to a Dream (translated by Martha Collins and Linh To)

Friday, July 20, 2007


by: Willa Cather (1873-1947)

CROSS the shimmering meadows--
Ah, when he came to me!
In the spring-time,
In the night-time,
In the starlight,
Beneath the hawthorn tree.
Up from the misty marsh-land--
Ah, when he climbed to me!
To my white bower,
To my sweet rest,
To my warm breast,
Beneath the hawthorn tree.
Ask of me what the birds sang,
High in the hawthorn tree;
What the breeze tells,
What the rose smells,
What the stars shine--
Not what he said to me!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007



it flowered again
despite the recent death
of the old violet blossoms
they hang curled up edges
of black debris
laying waste on cushioned velvet
out of no where a burst of color
a brief interlude of hope
in each chunky blossom
burnished a purple blue
I care for it as if it were the last
such ordinary flower
as if leaf edged in gilded carat gold
because of who picked its perfect color

Monday, July 16, 2007

I recognized for the first time in my life there is a mystery in the transmission of feeling across wide space; the fact that individual essence may be poured out of one and carried on a sheet a paper faithfully to its goal, may run through the living fingers, a stream of vital energy, possibly ponderable, anyway effectual, speaking to one of what it will, and that one receives messages with some receptive organ besides the elementary ones of eye and ear. Every written word is embued with a portion of the writer's total being; the properties of the blood, bones and nerves have flowed into the electrical stream that charges the page.

-Mabel Dodge Luhan - Edge of Taos Desert

Sunday, July 15, 2007

There is always a little let-down after a show. It was a good mix and the work looked nice. It is still up, hanging, waiting for the right viewer to find it. That is hope right? That a certain person will find it and your communication will vibrate in them, sending them some impression of why the work was created. Maybe it will stay with them like a melody that repeats over and over, causing them to look differently at the world, maybe for a moment. Then are you less alone as the creator, your vision is picked up and lives on. Ah, hope when I am feeling rather low tonight.

Chihuahuan Raven

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Me and My Canoe


Come with me, there. The River winds itself around the islands placed randomly along its path. They glow pink granite among the steely blue water. The water always moves, running with hidden currents that ripple the surface. Grip your paddle as we go in my red canoe. Be careful it tips easily, so try to stay in the middle. It is calm out now, and everything glows from the rain droplets. The thunderstorm was short but intense and now the air is crisper, almost like fall. It reminds me of you. Four minks swim up to us. Their dark molten brown fur shows on their little heads as they come closer. A mom and her three babies. They don't see us until they are right up to us. Mom startles and quickly turns around. She raises her tail in alarm and it sticks out of the water like a wet whip. The crow family is in the trees above us. The youngsters are constantly cawing for food. The parents silently keep about the hunt as the young follow with demanding cries. One of them has white-tipped feathers. You can see their pink mouths as they yell.
The sun is setting as we go, following the line of the islands. The cottages mostly stand empty but a few people watch us as we pass. My hair is blowing out around me and my arms are strong as I pull the paddle in a rhythm. Don't worry I will steer us. We can weave in and out of rocky shores watching the spotted sandpiper dance on the edges of the rocks. The trees and brush reach into the water. They are hiding huge water snakes and a small yellow warbler who looks rather ragged.
We turn around the longest island to meet the sunset head on. A loon stretches its wings in the sunlight and calls its lonely cry. It echoes through us as we go. I turn and spot a heron, who is waiting in perfect stillness for his next meal. Suddenly as we reach home the sun dips below the tall white pines across the river, casting its orange and pink light to the waiting clouds above.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

D.H. Tree

" A bird is not finished until it can fly" -William Morris Hunt

I will be away for a few days. I have a painting in a show that opens tomorrow night and I will be traveling to get there.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Cassin's Kingbirds (immature)

I really should be working. I am taking a brief damn it's hot and the humidity is killing me break. I generally do not like making frames but it is a necessary evil. I have to get to my painting and have a great idea for my new blank canvas that is patiently waiting for me in my boiling studio. I found out I am in another show (yes I know I should not be complaining it is a GOOD problem) which has sent me into a panic mode that I am responding to with an odd melancholy lethargy. Perhaps I am about to change my work dramatically in response to what I was seeing out west. This is a good thing?? One never knows. Only I must go now and really pull myself up out of the funk I am in and get something done. I make my own self crazy, off I go after I put a picture on here...

Monday, July 09, 2007

With him, life flooded back into the room, into every corner of it, into the chairs and tables, into the bowl of wild roses, and into me, too.

Mabel Dodge Luhan -Edge of Taos Desert

Sunday, July 08, 2007

From the sunrise

I snapped this on my way to some great birding in Madera Canyon. (great minds think alike :-)
1. All right, here are the rules.

2. We have to post these rules before we give you the facts.

3. Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves.

4. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight
things and post these rules.

5. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged
and list their names. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re
tagged, and to read your blog.

1. Fact: I hate being tall, it implies so much in and of itself and I would rather be less visible. It is also difficult to find clothes to fit since the "ideal" female is a size 1 and has a much smaller body frame. (I am 6ft and a size 11) Men also tend to prefer smaller women.
2. Fact: I can have a sharp tongue and a wicked humor (I generally do not do this in public, but I can be really sarcastic)
3. Habit: I have the habit of spotting and taking notice of all of the living creatures around me wherever I am. (I also can note their present state of being, i.e. observe limps, etc.) (this even applies on a highway)
4. Fact: I hate housekeeping
5. Habit: I tend to repeat a point in conversation 3 times in three different ways
6. Fact: I wanted to be a biologist when I was young, but decided to be an artist so I would have something to write about when I was old.
7. Habit: I frown when I am thinking about something (I am trying to break this bad habit in order to prevent getting wrinkles which really want to show up)
8. Habit: I sometimes daydream and they can become very elaborate stories built upon over time. (A wonderful meeting diversion)

I am not going to send this out to other bloggers, sorry I am breaking the chain meme (bad, bad girl) I am pathetic enough to not really know 8 other bloggers (pitiful I know). So if you read it and you feel inclined, go with it.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Near Abiquiu

They danced effortlessly, borne by the shared rhythm. And my companions and I looked poor and outside life as we squatted on the ground, able only to watch them. The doom of our race, I thought, is to watch things. We travel around or we stay at home, but wherever we are, we are only looking at life, not living it. Looking at it and telling about it, not being it. We have even learned to make a virtue of this substitution of modes...

-Mabel Dodge Luhan -Edge of Taos Desert

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Mission of St. Francis

Skull at D.H. Lawrence's ranch

I am sitting on a bed at Mabel Dodge's house. I should be conversing with the spirits of Willa Cather, D.H. Lawrence, Alfred Stieglitz, Carl Jung, and of course Georgia O'Keeffe. In this small adobe room I can see the giant wood rafters, and slide my feet over polished wood floors covered in native rugs. The walls have a funny way of holding the light and casting shadows. It is as if the light doesn't bounce off of the walls but gets sucked into them. These floors have seen so many ghosts and inspired so many artists and intellectuals. I love it here, despite myself (the one that refuses to like what so many others have liked). It is not the overdone glitz for the tourists that I admire, but the subtle creep of the light over flat surfaces, the giant brightness of the flowers against the big blue sky, and other visual feasts I can try to photograph but must save in my mind. You can see everything around you as you drive. The plains of sagebrush green on blue green marching like an abstract painting towards a blue gray sky. Photos cannot hold it, they do not see it in my eyes. So I hope those spirits rub some of their magic into me as I sleep here. What dreams will I have? I know I am waxing romantic, but it is hard to not do so in this place. So tonight I send this out to all of you, fellow creatives. So that the conversations once begun in such places does not die out in isolation. Maybe we can all carry it, sit for a late drink face to face by the adobe fireplace under the star filled sky. I can hear the wind whipping as it does through the cottonwoods, rustling them for tomorrow.
-The Corby

Sunday, July 01, 2007

I am in the desert, a stone's throw from Mexico. It was in the low 100 degree range today. It is so dry that you don't sweat, it just evaporates right off of your skin. The sun blazes with a sharp intensity that burns out the colors around you. Everything seems bleached. The plants are agave, prickly pear, mesquite trees, cholla catus, and octaillo. The hummingbirds are plentiful and all different kinds appear to glow in the bright sun. Broad-billed, Anna's, Lucifer, Black-Chinned, Magnificent, Blue-throated, and Broad-tailed. They buzz as they fly past you. Their wings making distinct sounds for each species. It is an area suffering from a long drought. The rivers are threatening to dry up and leave the booming population thirsty. So they import more people and pave the desert floor. Hope you are all well, I may not be back for a bit. (no access to the internet for a few days)