Monday, March 31, 2008

dont ask about the smurf head...

Ok, I am so utterly busy and have a mountain of things to accomplish but here goes:

I was sitting alone at the local airport and waiting since my flight was delayed. I hear an announcement for a flight to the same airport I am flying into. I get this idea that I am sitting in the wrong gate so I go to the other gate for the other flight and innocently say, "am I supposed to be down here?" The attendant says, "well no but I can get you on this flight instead" She clicks on the keyboard makes a call and suddenly I am leaving on time. What luck!

We fly over Manhattan and I see the hue buildings all lit up, magnificent! I see the statue of liberty glowing her coppery green from the plane. I am instantly in love with the sprawling mass below me despite myself.

I get Frank Sinatra's "My Way" in my head. The plane lands and my friend is missing. I have a slight bit of panic as I call her and she has not left home yet. She calls a cab and soon is there to guide the novice on the complicated bus and subway system that gets us to her apartment. Now it is late and I crash on her pull-out couch.

I get up way too early for New Yorkers so I lay in bed daydreaming as long as I can stand it. We get ready and head out for the Red Dot Art Fair. We catch a snack for breakfast (the yummy rice crispy treat) and go art for a bit.

The hotel rooms are full of artwork, even in the bathrooms! The people are generally nice and fun as we walk around and chat with gallery directors and other viewers. The work is ok, later I realize I will like it a bit more then the Armory show but I was not paying as close attention as I should have been since I was expectant for the Armory show. Still I did see a few things that I really enjoyed. It was a great bit of diversity of work and some real gems were about.

Then we caught the Armory show shuttle (free a boon to getting to the Piers) and had to wait in a line of people. These people generally wore black and looked good. Dressed to look like they always wear these clothes really but they obviously really don't.

Once in it was a zoo. There were so many people milling about in this hypnotic state staring at the walls in a mix of wonder and well, confusion. The work was all over the place, literally and figuratively but I will go into that later. (stay tuned for this weeks installments)

I saw Chuck Close and he saw that I saw him and smiled at me. I smiled back (I smiled at Chuck Close...I am such a goofy dork, but anyway) and was just secretly thrilled. We were starving so we stopped in the cafe for some soup. Our conversation (she has put up with my insanity for over 17 years so it was a good long talk) was so important and significant in a way one can be with an old friend who you have not had a chance to share with in a long time.

We looked more and eventually gave in hours later after hunger decided to strike and soup just did not sound good so we left. We took another shuttle to a show we did not go to and ate dinner at a small place. It was delicious.

We then decided to subway it to Volta another show that closed at 9PM instead of 8. It was by and far the best of all of them. I loved the work and it picked both of us up from the disappointment of the Armory show. It was just great. The artists were around and they threw confetti and blew smoke all over. It was a good time.

We then went out for a drink at a place near Houston (How-ston to the New Yorker baby) and had another conversation that was just so helpful. Good friends are really so important to have. I sipped a rasberry martini (yum) and we had an extremely handsome waiter, the atmosphere was perfect for revelations.

Then home to crash after a perfect day!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

A whirlwind of a weekend, I am so tired but I will give you some highlights-

So much TAD at the Armory show (Tits Ass Dick/Death) with a bit of "bling"

Flying over the city at night, seeing the statue of liberty from the plane and the landscape of the Manhattan skyline all lit up like I am

getting stuck in the rotating subway exits with my luggage over and over!

the sound of the subway trains as they fly past with the sudden glimpses of other faces as they speed past

Finding great work at the Volta art fair and the Red Dot fair

Developing a plan and having great conversation over a rasberry martini

Having a really good rice krispy treat yum.

Feeling like I am plugged into something, supercharged and my heart has grown to match the scope of my dreams

Finding a place to escape in and love

Taking a bite out of that great apple of a city and tasting its sweetness

Thursday, March 27, 2008


Today was a long day and I am just plain tired. Sometimes sorrow has a way of creeping up on you when you least expect it. I am looking forward to my trip to the big city! I think I will retire early to get myself ready for my flight tomorrow evening. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Let me touch you with these words
as they fall over the cords of your neck
down to the bow of shoulder
tickling lightly over your lips
trace their edges with your fingertips
they are a whisper
to such a longing
Ice is falling in Antarctica

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

NY City here I come
whooo hoooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am going arty and flying out Friday night for a short crazy weekend!
Art fair info here
I am going to have a time I tell you, a time!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Heron with an ice necklace

I was struck by the notion the other day that herons know when to come back North, because they know when the water is going to be open.

In other news, I cleaned my studio which means I will soon be working on something new. I can't not work or else I will go crazy with my little round about thoughts. Besides more shows are springing up faster then the flowers are.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Snow bunting (transitional winter plumage)

Snow buntings are extremely difficult to find sometimes. I saw them fly up and then I walked into the half frozen-half mud corn field. You have to step on the high parts where the old vegetation is or else you will sink into this milky brown mud. The buntings are rather unconcerned when you get close to them because they believe you cannot see them. The thing is, you can't really. They blend in so well you could be right on top of them before you are able to see them. Even with my magnified lens on them, they would do their magic act of coming in and out of view.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

me and Themis' Swing

The show was just plain great. I had a wonderful time and I got to see so many people from the past. My friend is here from NY City and I am flying to visit her next weekend. I was so tired last night that I just went to bed when I got home after a late dinner. It went well and I was offered another solo show when it comes down in a bigger venue, so no rest for the wicked. I got some really wonderful gifts and I am optimistic about the future. I think things will all fall together and I will not be sad about these little endings.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Ok, the first day of Spring equals a below 30 wind chill and the ever present white stuff we like to call snow or rather the most common precipitation of late. I like to call it crap that I am just plain sick of.

In other news happy birthday to me sisss booom bah

Tomorrow is the BIG show opening which I hope goes well.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

think spring

I am trying to do some writing and it is like picking off a scab on a rather fresh wound. I find that I have to go there and in going there I am revisiting the pain. So they want my blood, or he at least asked for it. Why, why why did you do those paintings? How can I say? My silly stupid heart hangs on those walls, falling in the throat of birds, feeling the touch of a painted hand, wrapped in cord around the owl plummeting to earth. I wanted him to understand my language-words fall flat,words fall, out of his eyes. What were you saying? I am trying to hear you, not what I want to hear, but what you are really saying. I long to listen to you and hear your stories but the way is blocked. There are doors I cannot open, but sometimes I see the glimmer of light coming from them, from you. Will you also disappear behind them?

Monday, March 17, 2008

Shall I be prisoner till my pulses stop
To hateful Love and drag his noisy chain...
Perfidious Prince, that keep me here confined,
Doubt not I know the letters of my doom...
(Sonnet XVIII)

-Edna St. Vincent Millay
Green finch, and linnet bird,
Nightingale, blackbird,
How is it you sing?
How can you jubilate
sitting in cages
never taking wing?
Outside the sky waits
Just beyond the bars...
How can you remain
staring at the rain
maddened by the stars?
How is it you sing
How is it you sing?
Green finch. and linnet bird,
nightingale, blackbird
How is it you sing?
Whence comes this melody
constantly floating?
Is it rejoicing or merely aloaming?
Are you discussing?
Or fussing?
Or simply dreaming?
Are you crowing?
Are you screaming?
Ringdove and robinet
is it for wages?
Singing to be sold?
Have you decided it's safer in cages
singing when you're told?
My cage has many rooms
damask and dark...
Nothing there sings,
not even my lark.
Larks never will, you know,
when they're captive.
Teach me to be more
Green Finch, and Linnet Bird,
nightingale, blackbird,
teach me how to sing.
If I cannot fly...
Let me sing.

Jayne Wisener -Sweeney Todd Lyrics

Sunday, March 16, 2008


Hope is with you when you believe
The earth is not a dream but living flesh,
that sight, touch, and hearing do not lie,
That all thing you have ever seen here
Are like a garden looked at from a gate.

You cannot enter. But you're sure it's there.
Could we but look more clearly and wisely
We might discover somewhere in the garden
A strange new flower and an unnamed star.

Some people say that we should not trust our eyes,
That there is nothing, just a seeming,
There are the ones who have no hope.
They think the moment we turn away,
The world, behind our backs, ceases to exist,
As if snatched up by the hand of thieves.

- Czeslaw Milosz

Saturday, March 15, 2008

If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger: I should not seem a part of it.

-Emily Bronte Wuthering Heights

Do you mind, we are taking our bath

So there it is, all up and ready. The gallery woman kept looking at my face asking "Don't you just love it?" I couldn't help being blank and sort of empty feeling. I felt bad that I was not ecstatic at the end of it as I should be. I feel sad at it, all those thoughts and hours hanging up in the open. They are no longer my own or should I rather say ours. They hang up there for everyone to have now. It is a funny thing to feel a loss of them. Here they are all dressed up and formal. Their conversation is silent to me now and I find I miss hearing it. For so long they pulled me, told me what to do, mixed with his voice as I worked in a beautiful intimacy. I must start my new work soon, get into some new thing so I do not have this listlessness for very long. Things are coming up this summer and I will jump into them soon. I do have much to do, somethings I must edit and write but I am so listless today. I even took a nap which I never do.

Friday, March 14, 2008

A new bird discovered here


More and more I have come to admire resilience.
Not the simple resistance of a pillow, whose foam
returns over and over to the same shape, but the sinuous
tenacity of a tree: finding the light newly blocked on one side,
it turns in another. A blind intelligence, true.
But out of such persistence arose turtles, rivers,
mitochondria, figs--all this resinous, unretractable earth.

-Jane Hirshfield

Thursday, March 13, 2008

I am zen, I am the gentle breeze, I am the calm sea, I am the steady tree, I am not nervous about hanging my show. I do not look with a mixture of fear and dread at the empty gallery space I must fill. I do not have doubts about my competence.

I know I am silly but I would not be human if I was not pinched with a bit of nervousness about a show that is the culmination of three years worth of work. I mean if you are not nervous then you run the risk of not being prepared. Plus think of the wave of relief I will be feeling when it is done. So yes, my palms did sweat a bit as I looked into the gallery. I get that way sometimes.

I just want to be his Georgia.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I am a basket case today. I am already incredibly nervous about hanging this show and the whole process I have to undertake in the next week or so. It makes my stomach twist up and my face is flushed with stress. I just want it to be perfect, the work to look so good and show how much effort I have put into it. I want to make sure it is an excellent show and I care so damn much about it. I want the ending to reflect all of the emotion I have placed into it. This show is really me hanging my heart out there for all to see. What I really fear is the end of it. The knowledge that when it is done, it is done. I know I have to carry all of the learning and love I have placed so carefully there into the future, but I tell you I have lived these past years. I have been so happy under that steady gaze and grew towards the warmth of it. I hate to ever see it pass out of my life, please say that this will not be the end. I cannot endure the idea of returning to who I was before, not after all this. Not after painting birds, picturing flowers and all this falling....

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

My co-workers know I have this big show coming up that I am setting up Friday. It is hard for people around me not to know since I have given everyone a show card. So I am trying to get through all my daily responsibilities which have increased lately and manage to get everything all ready for the big show.

All in all I am a complete nerve ball. I want so much for it to be really great.

They know that I was seeking the perfect outfit at my favorite expensive European import store. (Danish women are tall I have heard and so am I). So they chipped in and gave me a card full of money to help get the outfit. I was at lunch with my mouth full of pretzel and I tell you it was so lovely and thoughtful that I teared right up. How wonderful to be surrounded by people like that, I am lucky. So many good people are helping me out. I am lucky and grateful,so very grateful.

Monday, March 10, 2008

I almost drowned twice in my life. The first time was between two small plastic row boats, one orange and one blue. I was trying to cross between them and fell into the river because I hesitated out of fear, since at the time I did not know how to swim. My brother reached in for me screaming as I sunk downward. The silty river water filled my eyes and a million bubbles danced around me to the light of day above. Someone jumped into the river and grabbed me out of the water. I coughed and sputtered on the dock, embraced by my mother.

The second time I fell between a large boat and a dock. The boat swung out on its ropes as a wave hit and listed back towards the dock. I went into the small gap of water plunging almost below the boat. Again I watched the daylight disappear and the bubbles rise around me. A hand, my uncles lifted me out of the water just before I was crushed by the hull of the boat against the dock. There was barely an inch of space left, enough to get my slight child body through.

Another memory from today, was of my grandfather. He was a large man full of raunchy jokes and he would often curse in regular conversation. He was a tough man to convince that I had as much gumption as a boy my age. I set about this task with great passion. I was rowing around in the plastic rowboat. A large group of my grandfather's cronies and my uncles were sitting out at the picnic table drinking, and generally being their rowdy selves. My grandfather thought it would be funny to throw a live river eel in the boat. It was huge and slimy with large eyes and gaping mouth full of tiny sharp teeth. They all stood laughing and taunting on the rocks above me. I stared at my grandfather, reached down around the giant eel and hauled it over the edge of the boat. They gasped and started to yell. My grandfather smiled at me as the taunts turned to him. Blondie as I was called then, had earned his respect, even though I was a girl.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Traveling this way of obliqueness, at times even the poet does not recognize his prey, mistaking camouflage and quarry: the self's deepest ponderings must often be taken by ambush.

-Jane Hirshfield Nine Gates

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Male Redpoll

Made from crushed petals of flowers,
the pollen is dropped on the sand to reveal
the vision of the man opening his hands
to let the powders fall.
The grains land in a random pattern,.....

Colors fall and he sees the design will never fade.
It holds the boundaries of sand
like a flower growing from his fingers,
the spot where the cells of the mountains
bring their soily light.
When he runs out of colors,
he follows those who taught him
to open his hands and drop the grains,
older pollen spreading over
the breathing canvas of ground.

From Pollen Paintings by Ray Gonzalez

Friday, March 07, 2008

I remembered the day I discovered the word odd this morning. It was the first time I remembered constructing meaning out of the shapes of letters. A powerful moment in a young life, realizing the connection between pictorial symbol of language and profound meaning. I loved the odd page with its somewhat sedate scenery filled with abrupt juxtapositions of objects that "clearly" did not fit. A yellow wrench in the green tree, a boat in the lawn, all of these little surreal pictures we were supposed to pick out and determine as odd. I loved the odd page, because I realized that I rather enjoyed it, much more then the sedate pictures of ordinary children. I was the odd page and have been ever since.

On another note, when it snowing out and the roads are bad, do not stop quickly. That is recipe for disaster, one which I barely managed to avoid by sliding off of the road. My leg is killing me from pounding on the break to stop. I was lucky since I have driven a car that absolutely sucked in snow and slid often. You learn from feel how to turn into a skid and regain control of the car. So I turned into the skid and barely missed the other car. Anyway I am not going anywhere tonight or tomorrow, not with all this snow-5 inches already and they are saying at least a foot is expected.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

I love the way you're breaking my heart
It's terribly, terribly, terribly, terribly thrilling
I love the way you're breaking my heart
Although you're gonna ruin it
It's heaven while you're doin' it
I love the way I feel when we kiss
You're terribly, terribly, terribly irresistible
Sigh to me, and lie to me, you really know how
It's gonna hurt tomorrow, but it feels so good now
So darling, just keep playing your part
Take your time and really finish the things that you start
'Cause I love the way you're breaking my heart!

Song performed by Peggy Lee
I generally dislike golf and I really dislike this person for his idiocy.

Swan Abstraction

My soul do not seek eternal life, but exhaust the realm of the possible.


Wednesday, March 05, 2008

I know I know I know and I know... I think after all this time I get it. What a splendid thing to get and enough in and of itself without possession. Oh sure it longs for that still, when will I not crave it? I cannot say, but the craving has molded me into something new and lead me through all of this dying to feeling and life. I would not trade a moment of it, irregardless of what it could destroy in my life. Tonight I cannot so much feel my work, as I am starting to look ahead already into another future. It is so hard to describe them, they are odd to me now. I will have to go sit before them this weekend and write a way in for some. They are so complicated and difficult with a million little impulses that I have to make a map of so that the viewer can follow the path in. I know, today it was so clear to me and I was proud of it, it was so obvious for a moment. A relief to see that I am not so crazy after all.
But originality also asks presence-the willingness to inhabit ourselves amid the uncertain transports and sufferings that are our fate. To feel, and to question feeling; to know, and to agree to wander utterly lost in the dark, where every journey of the soul starts over.

-Jane Hirshfield- Nine Gates

Monday, March 03, 2008

Death is the mother of Beauty

-Wallace Stevens

Sunday, March 02, 2008


Everywhere we look, the theme appears: wisdom, at least in the West, is obtained through transgression and paid for in suffering. The journey into maturity, whether seen in Odysseus or Aeneas or the joined figures of Persephone and Demeter, must pass through the underworld realms of uncertainty, fear, and death, before the green and peaceful life the hero longs for can be restored-and both world and self are irrevocably changed by that immersion. Deception, too, has its role in each of these stories. Craftiness and trickery are a part of the test-we are tricked into falling, and tricked into wisdom. It is worth pausing to note the word, craftiness: the beauty of art-its craft-is a conjury, a sleight of hand enacted against dullness, inattention, ignorance, and the inner and outer faces of death.

-The Nine Gates- Jane Hirshfield

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Path to the clouds

From that fear and nothing a painting comes... it breathes out its life on the canvas and my mind is lulled by the concentration of shaping it. The snow comes again and I am so sick of snow. I want sun and flowers because winter and fall have taken such a toll on me this year. I will be ok, I am strong and I will not lose hope. Even though it is snowing and dark and endlessly cold, I will remember the sun. I at least have those snapshots of wonder and possibility and beauty in my mind. Those sweet days are not lost, I will never forget them and I would not trade a moment even knowing that everything must change. It was worth it and maybe spring will bring flowers and hope again. So I wait as I always do and paint falling butterflies. This painting will surprise them all and I love to do that. I love to step up to the bar and throw it down, going way beyond expectations. I will not wilt at this, I am far too feisty and full of life. I laugh at sorrow because I believe in this and I thumb my nose at the sky. I know this and I will not give up.
I tell you everyone is saying, oh won't you be so glad when your show is all over and I look at them and just think what? Then the reality hits and I want to stall time but even now it is flying past me. I did not say anything, I couldn't even then I followed the rules. So today honestly I am wreck and I do not even know if I have the guts to start this work.. I have to let go and I am so sick of that kind of pain lately, letting go. Even hope feels bitter sweet and hurts right now. What could I do? I want to go sit next to that work and just be with it and hold it near me one last day one last time before I do something new. I need the old brush strokes and the old room where my dreams were and I just cannot seem to pick myself up and get there. Damn this feeling is always the one I get before bad news slams me. I am desperate as if something is happening that I cannot see. Maybe I am just getting paranoid since there is so much bad news lately.

It is the funniest thing, I cannot paint this painting because I am afraid it will lead to bad news. I am actually afraid to paint it. That is a new one for me.