March 31, 2011

Drawing - a pattern or a habit?

Damn it feels good to just draw. In Art College I remember being horrified at having to rationalize everything...what's it about, who are your influences,  how does this body of work cohere...etc. etc., Pee Wee Herman, the Dutch masters, Chaos theory, Lucien Freud, Sonic Youth, Hellen Chadwick, all things aquatic? Cohere? Not exactly...not this decade.

Fast forward 20 years...oh lord I'm old. I've had some fairy large wake up lemons fall from the blue blue sky and I think now, (finally) it's just fine to draw space ship pod animal love letters with bubbles and ray guns and scribbles in the morning with my toast. It's just fine if  these graphite notes aren't as "good" as I want them to be. It's ok if I'm not a Dutch master or Sara Sze or the Dogma Film Makers or Nan Goldin or Radiohead or Vermeer or the guy from Mice Parade or Jenny Saville or anyone else that makes me cry and catapults me into another universe. 

Aaaah. Yes. It's ok...hopefully...

March 30, 2011

Drawing - a breakfast sketch

I had a whole bunch I wanted to say about this, but I don't anymore.  It might have been clever and brave, funny and inspiring and there definitely would have been pirates in the tale...but all that will have to wait for another moment.  Talk about  lemons. Yea - I don't want to talk about it with words, but I will in graphite. 

Drawing - while you sleep

This started off as a nostalgia drawing and ended up as a most satisfying scribble. Aaaah. Sometimes its just great to really push graphite into the skin of the paper. I'm thinking about a the sea creatures near Japan...about the leaking plutonium. It was already a hard day without that information. 

March 28, 2011

The glass half...

Wake up. I want you. I need you.

You're not my little wind up toy and I'm not a chart, or a statistic...and don't make fun of me...of my optimistic tendencies.

The words mix together and retire with a yawn to the bottom of the glass.  

(One stands by the tank like a frozen meercat, hands retracted, eyes wide open watching as the prehistoric monsters glide back and forth in the water below. The other looks at the people a round the tank, but not at the creatures brushing against the skin of her own hand again and again, as it dangles in the water.) 

" I can't move!" she cries "I'm not what I thought I was".

"I want to share everything with you", says the vodka soaked shark.

Bound and rusting, child of the sea and a good martini, she suddenly sees herself in those damn annoying silences.


UGH! It's so much easier to blame everyone else for everything. 

"How did you loose that patch of skin on your nose?" He asks. "Playing catch with a pine cone" she says.

"WAKE UP!" He says. 

"Only if you play with me" says she.

March 27, 2011

The Sea Side...again

"Please understand when I need you and reject you. Let me run away and come back. Please understand when I love you in weird ways",  the tide said to the shore.

"Whats the difference between a deal and an appeasement? What's so unappealing about conflict?" she said ripping all the stones off his beach.

(Hold me, hold me in all the basins of your body until the sun bakes me out. I love you I love you I love you)

"I can't tell if it's you or me right now - I have no perspective. That hole might have always been there. Is it summer or winter?"

(Look at me just a little bit longer and tell me you love me too)

NO NO NO! You may not.

YES YES YES! I want to now.

"How did you come to that conclusion? Why did you steal my beach?" said the shore to the tide.

"It's not a conclusion - I'm thinking and I don't know what else to do. This is my thing, what I do, the way I am ... and look at all those cute little sea anemones I've exposed!".

Then they both sleep but they take turns waking up silently throughout the night, wondering what they're going to do.

(You have the most beautiful profile)

It is excruciating...the waiting, the silence, the desire.

(What is freedom?)

"If I had the guts I'd run away. If I had the guts I'd stick it out. But what are guts in the presence of love?" they both thought.

And then the sun came up and they did it all again.

March 25, 2011


This fairly complicated, or maybe gaudy creature is my BANG-bot. He is the keeper of promises.

He is camouflaged in stripes and polka dots, and hides behind a small styrofoam cluster of clouds usually, so you don't know he's there. You see, the reasons promises are so hard to keep is because he has to catch them, as soon as they come out, and lock them in the safe he keeps next to his heart on his chest.  Promises are small and fast little buggers, and typically like to run free and wild. They also have sharp teeth, and very very small eyes.

But, if caught, he pops them in the safe and they can live forever next to his heart, feeding off his love and the scraps of hot glue left sloppily around the outside of connection points on his body. MMmmmm - hot glue.

If he finds promises that are insincere, and only put forth to suit someone's immediate needs,  or promises that have the potential lasting power of a 3 year old subjected to a 2 hour lecture on the Global Economy, he just slices them up with those pretty but lethal blades on the outside of his safe and they're gone, although not usually before a modicum of damage is done to someone. 

That's the sound it makes when they pop.

March 22, 2011


Meet Verita-Bot, aka the truth faerie. Aaah... the truth...what EXACTLY is it? I've found myself exploring that question more than I'd like recently. We've had some "incidents" of late .... some fat whoppers, some "I don't remembers" and some serious long winded fictional we called in our expert friend here. She may look sweet, but she's been known to...well, we won't go there.

She is made from everything I could find in the recycling this morning. Chocolate milk bottles, spice lids, old straws, Baskin Robbins wrapping and chip wrappers. She has two sets of wings for fast flying...she can catch a lie right out of the gate, her great big observant eyes help allot.

There - now you can see them. She is good. She is loving...and like magic, she'll turn your miscreant tendencies into great learning experiences for the whole family before you even know what's going on!! 

March 20, 2011



This is my Ai-bot. Ai means "love" in Japanese. She was going to be the Kabuki-bot - but the magic meatball said it was not to be.  


Today I just woke up sad. It felt pretty good to get out my work tins and start working before the sun came up. I wanted to make boats because it's raining so hard, but this Ai-bot came out instead.

I sifted through the recycling - and I really recommend doing this with your kids. Its magical and like treasure hunting and then the get to transform the rubbish into art! Alchemy. 

This sad creature is what came out. She is crying for Japan and war and for all the people left behind by people who they loved and who are dying.

She dresses a bit like me...

and tears pour down her milk carton body, from her screw top eyes, down her greek yogurt face, through her chocolate wrapper arms...just like me, ok not exactly - although I did help to eat and drink all that stuff. 

She, and I, are not thinking about numbers, or money or policy, or necessary sacrifice, or collateral damage or human shields - in general. 

We are thinking of relationships, of families, of lovers, of friends. We are thinking about the permanence of death, and individuals, of faces and quirks and mannerisms... of all the things that makes each person unique. We are thinking about that. Of great great love and loss.

When I was pregnant with my daughter I had this epiphany walking down State St. with my belly sticking way out. I suddenly was gripped with the fear that I would fall and hurt her in my belly. That I could accidentally kill her by eating the wrong food or doing something, anything. And then it soon as a life is conceived the only sure thing is that it will die. But the world is full of people! We were all born and many of us have made the decision to give birth, and by doing so - introducing a being to this earth with a finite amount of time. Finite. There is always death.

That moment changed me forever. That and a few other things. Life is  too short to not embrace it, not to let yourself love, really love, or not to do things that are different but that you believe in.  I want my daughter to have the richest life possible. I want her to know that she is loved more than anything. That she will always be taken care of by not only family but by a community of people who love her too. Community is so important. Friends are so important. i think about all this when I think about war, about disasters and people not helping each-other, or individuals being referred to as numbers. I will refocus on the individual, on their love. I will focus...while my robot cries.

My love song for today...

The Beetles - two of us

I really like Amy Mann's version but couldn't figure out how to get the sound without a bunch of  "I am Sam" imagery. 

"Focus on the good things little robot, on the love" - she says with tears in her eyes. "Each individual has the potential to change the world!" 

March 19, 2011

Flower Power

These are some of the recycled rain forrest flowers we've been making with my daughters class. I'm getting them ready for the kids to color tomorrow - I'm so excited! 

I've really enjoyed this process. It's taking quite a long time to prime each gorgeous creation but as I do, I've ben thinking about each child - their enthusiasm, their remarkable work,  individual style and all the great energy they put into this project. 

I've been thinking allot about energy recently. Excess energy, not enough energy, nuclear energy...and the ways we loose it and use it, direct it or don't. Some of the children who typically have a very hard time focusing their energy in ways that aren't disruptive for the rest of the class have made the absolute greatest flowers, and they are so proud of them.  I was shy, but I was the little dyslexic girl who had to be tutored all the way through school and who learnt better by doing things with her hands. I've always loved making things.  I totally understand the children who learn better by different means. I also understand the resources it takes to accommodate those needs from an institutional perspective.     

Local photographer Richard Ross gave a lecture once about a series of "shelter" photographs (bomb/fall out) that he was working on. His theory (as I remember it) was that all the energy that went into building a shelter was tantamount to violence and was indeed energy that should have been spent on things that promoted peace and love instead of objects of combat or defense. 

I'm thinking about individuals, about children and the power of love - and loving what you do, of how very important that is. I'm thinking, on the brink of another war, in the aftermath of a devastating natural and nuclear disaster - that we might all benefit from channeling just a little more energy into the things and people we love. Imagine if everyone on the whole planet just stopped and did that. Imagine that.

I'm going to start including my favorite love songs with each post I've decided. Check it out.

and in the words of Spektor in "on the radio"...

No, this is how it works
You peer inside yourself
You take the things you like
And try to love the things you took
And then you take that love you made
And stick it into some
Someone else's heart
Pumping someone else's blood
And walking arm in arm
You hope it don't get harmed
But even if it does
You'll just do it all again

For instructions and tools needed for this project go to The Garden Shed

March 18, 2011

Spectacles and sumptuous moments

It's important to indulge in things that just make you feel good wether it be looking at something beautiful, wearing something sexy or driving your car really fast in circles...all day long. There is a windmill farm just beyond Willowsprings, this track - it's sort of the anthesis to it.

The windmills are collecting energy and the drivers spending it wildly. I fell in love with the sound of the cars, the sound of the intemperance.

 By the middle of the day I didn't have to even look up to know when my boyfriends car was going by.

It was too windy to stay stapled to the chain link fence with my bag of Jalapeno potato chips watching the cars zoom by for long, but the sound ... the sound and the shelter from the wind was enough.

Ian's car has a sound when its going about 120, of a silky flutter gurgle...maybe in the key of F? It's quiet and loud all at the same time.

This guy George Bataille had a thing about energy, and I have a little thing about Bataille. I think part of his thing was that we all have excess energy, and it will ooze, seep or explode out one way or another, but if we're conscious of that, we can choose to a degree how that happens. War would be an example of energy that has not been channeled well, art or luxury goods being on the other side of that. Maybe I've got it all wrong, but it seems like the idea is that excess is inevitable, and one should not ignore it, or deny it. Gosh I've confused myself...let me find a quote to clarify...from Wikipedia if that's ok...
...according to Bataille's theory of consumption, the accursed share is that excessive and non-recuperable part of any economy which is destined to one of two modes of economic and social expenditure. This must either be spent luxuriously and knowingly without gain in the arts, in non-procreative sexuality, in spectacles and sumptuous monuments, or it is obliviously destined to an outrageous and catastrophic outpouring, in the contemporary age most often in war, or in former ages as destructive and ruinous acts of giving or sacrifice, but always in a manner that threatens the prevailing system.

March 15, 2011

My Very Clever Boyfriend

This is my very clever boyfriend Ian. He likes driving his car fast in circles on tracks. He's a guy guy. 

So -  I was in the middle of prepping the 21 bags for my daughters class project and realized I needed to get food for my bunnies. I dashed out leaving Ian with piles of bag parts strewn all over the place.

I left him with 4o something bag handles...and when I returned there he was... 

sitting quietly at the table weaving them together.

You sure are a cool clever boyfriend Ian.