Friday, November 30, 2007

Reddish Egret

This gorgeous bird is on the 2007 Audubon watch list.
84 things you can do to help the planet, right here

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Angry Chickadee

I am so dissatisfied with my paintings tonight. I feel no magic in them and it is a crushing sort of heartbreaking feeling; like gasping for air. They never can get there, where ever the hypothetical there is. I feel like I am constantly reaching and never grasping. I want lightning to strike so that I can rocket out of this hum drum feeling with my painting. I leave them and look at them and find them wanting. It chokes me up with despair that I cannot achieve what I want. I am crazed with it, pushing and pushing until I am bleary eyed. Damn I feel good about them for a moment and then rip them apart with such a harsh critical gaze. They almost need to run from the abusive thread of my thoughts which dig holes in them and criticize their softness. I want to fall through them to the other side of what they should be. Or is it me that is lacking? Feeling less and less like I belong where I am. Jealously watching those who have so much more time to squander while I squeeze out every second of the day. I am tired, disappointed and sad. It doesn't mean I won't keep going, but it is beginning to feel rather pointless. I will always be the painter that I am, the woman that I am, and etc. For a moment I wanted a bit of magic instead reality sits its dull fat ass on my soul.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Ones to watch

Ok, the 2007 watchlist is out on the birds. The scope of the list is terribly large and has me very concerned. I am glad I have been fortunate enough to see many of the birds on the list.

Ferruginous Pygmy Owl

The Painter

I am in love with you Gauguin
as I look I feel the tender passage of your hands
I sit at your table
and no years separate our gazes
I look with an intimacy at your exposure
in paint left permanent
after the force that moved your brush has long left.
The emptiness unites,
my eye travels over orange, red, cold edges of blue,
It leaves me with a longing to know you
the heat of your gaze and edged callouses of your hands.

-By the Corbyhawk herself

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

November Apple

Like poetry or any other creative enterprise, painting is something that is worked out in the making, and the work and its maker exchange ideas and change one another. The ideal image of the work is blurred and hard to picture, as if it weren't quite there, or as if it were something seen out of the corner of the eye. If the artist tries to turn and look at it directly, it vanishes.

What Painting Is -by James Elkins

Monday, November 26, 2007

Hawk Light

the Earth-pelt
dapples and flows
with slow bees
that spin
the thick, deep jute
of gold time's going,
the pollen's
traceless retreat;
enter their kingdom,
their blue crowns on fire,
and feast on
the still-wealthy world.

A single, cold blossom
tumbles, fledged
from the sky's white branch
And the angels
look on,
observing what falls:
all of it falls.

Their hands hold
no blessings,
no word
for those who walk
in the tall black pines,
who do not
feel themselves falling-
the ones who believe
the loved companion
will hold them forever,
the ones who cross through
alone and ask for no sign.

-From November Angels by Jane Hirshfield

Sunday, November 25, 2007

with one eyeing the other...pine grosbeaks

Wildflower honey

I believe the birds and bees

Gathered round the hemlock trees

They brought their finest offerings

Flowers grown in early spring

To the boy destined to roam

They gave the sweetest honeycomb

And he’s wild flower honey

From the hills of Caroline

Every little kiss from his sugar sweet lips

Taste like wild cherry blossom wine

I close my eyes when he sings

And I can hear the mountains ring

The whippoorwill in his sad song

I smell honeysuckle growing strong

Like an evening summer thunderstorm

From the South sweet and warm

Cause he’s wild flower honey

From the hills of Caroline

Every little kiss from his sugar sweet lips

Taste like wild cherry blossom wine

Then the women swarm around him

Any time he comes to town

I hope and I pray that fate will find a way

To make it my turn next time around

He travels with his gypsy band

Stealing hearts throughout the land

The boys all like his rowdy songs

They tap their feet they sing along

While their women love him young and old

They’ll think of him when the nights get cold

Cause he’s wild flower honey

From the hills of Caroline

Every little kiss from his sugar sweet lips

Taste like wild cherry blossom wine

Then the women swarm around him

Any time he comes to town

I hope and I pray that fate will find a way

To make it my turn next time around

Yeah I hope and I pray, it’s my lucky day

And it will be my turn this time around.

-----Wild Flower Honey by Marie Burns recorded by the Burns Sisters Band
(I went to their concert last night! You can take the girl out of Ithaca but you cannot take the music of Ithaca out of the girl)

Friday, November 23, 2007

The Blue Door

I have painted all day to the point of isolation. I do not want to go anywhere see anyone just be melancholy and paint it out on her face. I see this weird continuum in this work, a glimpse of the paintings yet to be in certain passages like hints of some future. This one sits on the edge of promise and she gives it to me here and there. As if she represents both the clumsy past and the near future. She almost has music in her as I grow more confident. Almost a synchronicity of color as her legs edge out to lilac. I feel the past and future so clearly that I have an odd disjointed feeling when I look at her. I almost cannot look at her. Did I do that? Where was I there and there? Almost like bringing intimacy to a stranger; this painting is troubling me. I am so close and will spend lifetimes to get there, wherever there is. The mystery of where I am trying to go in each work or what is it I am really trying to say. How can I even know my own compulsions? Why have to paint one so badly but not others? I am gazing at the long tunnel of my future life, the one you cannot know but seek so badly to know. What is it? What does it hold? Who will be in the spaces of the future? All I feel is endings but as I look at this work I want so much to know that there is time, and the ending is superficial. I have such hope it pains me in so many ways it would be easier to settle on nothing at all. Somehow I cannot, somehow I am driven to keep painting and traveling despite the obvious destination. How strange to find my own inconsistency startling and the clarity of my choices so unhidden by subjective speculation. I am so melancholy with the passing of time and my foolish desire to have what I cannot, still even now. What magic does he have that keeps me so struck by him? It is the same reason that this figure holds the string to what is and what is yet to be. She is one of the fates then but the string is not woven, but cut and piled. A life removed from the warp of all others.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

"and as the huge birds rose from the lake into the air, it seemed as if an aerial regatta were being sailed overhead; the swans, each with a wing-spread of six or seven feet, moving like yachts under full sail in a mirage where water blended with sky and tricked one's vision.

-The Trumpeter Swan is an even larger species than the preceding... but the voice of the well named trumpeter resounds with a power equalled (sic) only by the French horns blown by red-faced Germans at a Wagner opera. "

Birds that Hunt and Are Hunted by Neltje Blanchan published in 1904

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Dinner for gulls

A greater black backed gull has a yummy fish
Ah, love, o history, forgive
the squandered light and flung-down rags of chances,
old choices drifted terribly awry.
And world, self-portrait never right, receive this gift-
shuffling, spattered, stubborn,
something nameless opens in the heart: to touch
with soft-bent sable, ground earth pigment, seed-clear oil,
the rounding, bright-fleshed present, if not the past.

-Jane Hirscfield
So I have a temporary thing put on my cracked tooth and soon it will be all fixed up. Tonight however after all of the drilling and etc it hurts bad. I am trying to eat some toast since I managed to get some lunch today but no dinner. Ouch. I will be looking like a chipmunk tomorrow for Thanksgiving, lovely. Which is a major pain in the rear when you are hosting it. I do not mind cooking, I enjoy it really, but I have art to make. I should do some drawing tonight but I think I may just put on my pj's and curl up with a book and some aspirin.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

thump thump thump my head is pounding. I have a cracked tooth that I will be having fixed tomorrow afternoon, an expensive little problem. So tonight I am going to bed after I take some aspirin. Sweet dreams my dears. May you have glorious visions of other worlds.

Monday, November 19, 2007


words words words

Lots of words tonight.

"and it leaves one nothing but the role of spectator in life watching life go by-having no part in it but that of spectator which of course is diverting but not satisfying to the soul of one who longs for a human place to be." Marsden Hartley

"You see the battle to be recognized as the same has been an endless one and I realized recently that indeed I am not the same. I am of it but always removed on a separate canvas. I watch and record and in that the reflection I am not an active participant." The Corby from writings about my painting (I wrote this a few hours before encountering Hartley's comments, a weird coincidence)
This troubles me greatly, what are we looking at if our future does not include a literate free-thinking public? Read about it here
When I was in high school I would take a sick day when I could and spend the day reading Rilke, or Hugo, or Stendhal. I guess I was an odd teenager.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

You know you love my orange legs

Handsome Drakes and Sultry Hens

So I am trying to not think about something I did that I probably shouldn't have done. Instead I went out and about this AM despite the chill. It was a sunny morning and beautiful along the lake shore light wise. The cool wind, in the 30's; made my face all numb and rosy. I love the smell of the water, the sinking pressure of the sand below my feet and the birds I find there. No redpolls but still a large gathering of handsome mallards, the drake's heads glowing in the light. The swans made a cameo fly over but did not stay. In the other park robins and cedar waxwings were abundant. They were feasting on fat scarlet berries. The light was bad on the tree they were favoring or else I would have had some very lovely photos. An immature red tailed hawk sailed around looking for a meal. As he passed all of the birds would sit very still and wait for him to disappear before resuming their feast. Again no redpolls, only some purple finches. I am hungry to see the elusive evening grosbeaks that are erupting this year and should be around. Still no luck, but if I find them I am hopeful about a dream I had coming true. Silly but hey, read my description today. I am about to resume my painting after this break. I forced a no painting day yesterday to get myself hungry for it again. It worked and I feel quite successful right now. Night falls already but at least I did feel the air and sun today. It sets me right to be out with a small taste of wildness, fills my soul with memory.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Thrasher Eye


Each pebble in this world keeps
its own counsel.

Certain words--these, for instance--
may be keeping a pronoun hidden.
Perhaps the lover's you
or the solipsist's I.
Perhaps the philosopher's willowy it.

The concealment plainly delights.

Even a desk will gather
its clutch of secret, half-crumpled papers,
eased slowly, over years,
behind the backs of drawers.

Olives adrift in the altering brine-bath
etch onto their innermost pits
a few furrowed salts that will never be found by the tongue.

Yet even with so much withheld,
so much unspoken,
potatoes are cooked with butter and parsley,
and buttons affixed to their sweater.
Invited guests arrive, then dutifully leave.

And this poem, afterward, washes its breasts
with soap and trembling hands, disguising nothing.

Jane Hirschfield

Friday, November 16, 2007

Response To Art

When we go to museums we do not just look, we make a definite response to to the work. As we look at it we are happier or more sad, more at peace or more depressed. A work may stimulate yearning, helplessness, belligerence or remorse. The cause of the response is not traceable in the work. An artist cannot and does not prepare for a certain response. He does not consider the response but simply follows his inspiration. Works of art not purposely conceived. The response depends upon the condition of the observer.

-Agnes Martin -Writings

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Impetus for the fall

With this hand
with this brush
I paint you
the highlight of your cheek
the luminosity of your eye
the sensual bow of your lip
moist from a tongue touch
the open akimbo of your legs
inviting me in
the pull of your sweater violet shadows
the line of your arm
to your perfect hands
the color of crimson at the tips
with this brush
I could touch all of you

-The bad little Corby

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

sleeping duck

They all will find their way
They all will go
And I am walking circles in a dark room alone

Hey hey hush now
Hey hey heart don’t break
I want to see your face fall
When you hear my name

Hey hey don’t find your way
Hey hey don’t wait
Hush now there’s your answer
You cannot fight your fate

They all will find their way
They all will change
And I am painting circles
On a silence for my shame

-a little Corby wrote me

Ring around the rosies
pockets full of posies
ashes ashes
we all fall down

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

oiled birds, check this blog here
I wish the idea of time would drain out of my cells and leave me quiet even on this shore.

-Agnes Martin "Writings"

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Well I managed to rein in the face I was painting, although I am about to tackle the eye. One is just sitting wrong and I cannot live with it. I am too picky for my own good.

I am spotted today, literally all over. I am allergic to some medicine I was taking and now I look like a bizarre human dot to dot. It is really wonderful considering that I had drop in house guests and I do have to be in public tomorrow. Just call me spotty, or rather I should change my name to Dottie. Ah well at least I can still laugh at the silliness that is my life. Let's all hope that tomorrow it fades away and I am back to my normal less animal print self. Ahh... the Glamorous life I lead.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Do you want to know how "romantic" art making is? Well guess what? Today it is not. I am trying to be zen, happy, enjoy myself and it is just not happening. I want to take this crappy piece of ass painting and throw it and all of its trickery out the god damn window. UGH. When I need to get things accomplished I dither and dither forever on a face that well looks like a pumpkin with drugged out eyes. Perhaps tomorrow I will remember I can paint, because today I am beginning to wonder. My effortless passages are only achieved after hours of steady revisions, looking for that one bit of perfect color. Some people can just do that I am sure and I am wondering why I work so damn hard anyway. Perhaps I should think about abstractions and not pumpkin heads. Perhaps I should quit for the night but I generally have a policy to not stop until I have a good resolution. Perhaps slightly upturned noses are generally problematic and should not be allowed. Perhaps I should shut up and continue painting.
Tah tah my lovelies.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

I do not love you as if you were the salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

From Pablo Neruda' s Sonnet XVII, Between the Shadow and the Soul

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

I am loving this silly little blog, it makes me laugh.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


So I am leaving the conditions-and the final results to something beyond myself. I drew a strong lesson from one of your letters where you said-"don't trouble over the future or the past-but work"...

-Mardsen Hartley in a letter to Alfred Stieglitz from "My Dear Stieglitz"

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Well behaved women seldom make history.

-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Have I mentioned in the last 5 seconds how much I love painting. Nothing this week can even compare to the quiet thrill I am getting as I work today. I tell you though bloggers, that I am so glad this week is over and a new one begins. Perhaps we can all start over anew. Death cannot help but change you, no matter how unwilling you are to let it claw its way in. So here I sit painting and trying to make sense of what cannot be understood. I have lost faith in my dreams, they are only painted wishes a heart makes with no prophecy in them. Little lies, but sweet lies indeed, so beautifully marked on the canvas.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Which one lays golden eggs?

A man and his wife had the good fortune to possess a goose which laid a golden egg every day. Lucky though they were, they soon began to think they were not getting rich fast enough, and, imagining the bird must be made of gold inside, they decided to kill it in order to secure the whole store of precious metal at once. But when they cut it open they found it was just like any other goose. Thus, they neither got rich all at once, as they had hoped, nor enjoyed any longer the daily addition to their wealth.

Much wants more and loses all.

The Goose That Laid the Golden Eggs- by Aesop

Friday, November 02, 2007


I want to be brave, I want to be brave
But the night goes up in flames
The courage we need
A fury to tame
This madness, madness, madness

No more,
will I count the dead
Bending gathering words
I should have said

When the night falls
It scrapes its knees
We watch the houses on fire
And she says to me
I want to be brave, I want to be brave
But I don’t think I’ll love again
The dark is so deep
I’ve lost my way

Sarah Slean -Madeline

Thursday, November 01, 2007

turning away

ASSING stranger! you do not know how longingly I look upon you,
You must be he I was seeking, or she I was seeking, (it comes to me as of a dream,)
I have somewhere surely lived a life of joy with you,
All is recall'd as we flit by each other, fluid, affectionate, chaste, matured,
You grew up with me, were a boy with me or a girl with me,
I ate with you and slept with you, your body has become not yours only nor left my body mine only,
You give me the pleasure of your eyes, face, flesh, as we pass, you take of my beard, breast, hands, in return,
I am not to speak to you, I am to think of you when I sit alone or wake at night alone,
I am to wait, I do not doubt I am to meet you again,
I am to see to it that I do not lose you.
Walt Whitman-To A Stranger