A being from the garden of the night…
“If you knew yourself for even one moment, if you could just glimpse your most beautiful face, maybe you wouldn’t slumber so deeply in that house of clay. Why not move into your house of joy and shine into every crevice! For you are the secret treasure-bearer, and always have been. Didn’t you know?”
- Jalal al-Din Rumi, The Essential Rumi
"There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium, and (it) will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how it compares with other expression. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly-- to keep the channel open."
~ Martha Graham
Kind Visitors, I’m honored and slightly alarmed to be appearing as a live sculpting guest on the Shiflett Brothers’ Sculpting Forum on FaceBook tomorrow night, 9 Central time USA. We’re aiming for a two hour session, and hoping for many questions via comment! It’ll be available ongoing as video on the Forum. Jarrod and Brandon Shiflett, amazing sculptors and deeply generous humans, are beginning a series of Wednesday night live sculpting events. I look forward to being a viewer, assuming I survive my own appearance! Here’s a button to transport you to the forum, which is always fascinating and populated by an incredible collection of sculptors. It’s a great resource for every level of experience! Don’t miss the forum!
A little gallery for Octopoid Descending, 43” tall, in Kato Polyclay. She lives with the founders of Illuxcon, in excellent company with many wonders.
A tall being in Japanese air-dry clay, with tengucho mulberry paper.
Back here, I mean! Thanks so much to those who visit, despite my having been so scarce here… Things are shifting in my world, and one thing I feel a strong urge to do is make this a better more active Home again. At last. So I will be catching up! There’s so much work and so many thoughts that want to be added. For the moment, here’s a wee bat-person putting her head in my hands.
Friends, here’s my take on Beowulf, as a fragment. The internal, still quality helpful in heroic undertakings (or so I suppose) was on my mind. He stands about 15.75” tall, in Japanese air-dry clay, with mulberry papers, over an armature of aluminum and stainless steel wire, with brass rods, and Aves Fixit Sculpt epoxy clay reinforcing. Tinted with acrylics and acrylic inks.
Here is my interpretation (one of them — I love this subject) of the Japanese being, Yuki Onna. She stands a little over 13” and is sculpted in Kato Polyclay, with silk and ramie fibers, silk gauze and mulberry paper. She has been living with a dear friend of mine, who’s letting me send her into the world now. I’ve added to her garments and completed her evolution.
This piece was created especially for the Beautiful Bizarre curated show, "Heart's Blood," at the Haven Gallery in Northport, NY, in fall of 2017. The theme of the show was Oscar Wilde's poignant and lyrical tale, "The Nightingale and the Rose," a story I'd love since childhood, as it happened.
A centerpiece for the show was a short film version of the story, featuring the work of Australian artist Del Kathryn Barton. Inspiring and entrancing! Made me think on things I would love to do, though when and how I know not. I found the videos about the film and its creation fascinating. Here's one of them:
(So sorry to have been absent from my own site so much, my friends! I've been over on -- yes -- social media, and going through a measure of chaos in life, but I am back! I will catch up to my absent self here...)
Friends, an Insect Fragment in air-dry mixed media, with mulberry paper. Family Scarabaeidae of course!
Here's a Moth, hatched from the Northern Renaissance... in Premier air-dry clay, mulberry paper with stainless steel and aluminum wire armature. Painted in acrylics, with metallic gold.
Good Friends, every once in a while, making the art, my mind says to me, 'This work is love.' Then I think, 'What? What’s that supposed to mean? Is that a mere pink dust-bunny in my head?' For this Valentines Day, let me count the ways I actually think there’s something in that recurring thought — some common threads of love & art:
We take a risk in creating art and putting it out there, we make ourselves vulnerable. We can — we do — get hurt. But we throw ourselves into it again and again because it somehow matters, because we somehow have to. To do it well and freely, we need to be willing to look foolish, to reach out and risk being slapped back. We set out our beating heart on a plate and say, 'Dig in!'
Art going into the world is a dance for two, the maker and receiver united for a moment in the language of that particular thought. It’s a “you’re not alone, for there’s an echo in me.” Art can reach across outer barriers and speak directly to the Other, whoever that may be. It can unite on a level deep enough to bypass division (even of centuries) and remind us of our shared life.
For me, doing the art is a setting aside of the confined self for something more: I aim to make myself transparent, a lens for the Idea. This is particularly true for subjects based in myth or legend, which have an arc before and after my individual take. Yet as I let them 'talk back,' they become more my own. There’s a paradox in this relationship: the more you are true to your unique vision, the more likely it is to possess eloquence for others, or so I believe.
'Love looks not with the eyes but with the mind,' writes Shakespeare, and so it is with the making and perceiving of art, I think, at least the kind I indulge in. Art entwines with our memories, our pain, our history personal and universal, as well as with our hopes, purposes and perhaps earliest, yet-unblemished visions — like Ms. Barrett Browning says:
'I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.'
I thank you all for being here! And, what do you think?
For an Allen Williams inspired show at the Krab Jab Studio in Seattle. My Friends, I realize I've been neglecting my site while cavorting about on social media! I will be aiming to rectify, and keep this much more up to date. For now:
More on this shortly: