the thought-stream of an artist and writer

I am in a perpetual state of bemusement.
I am always searching but don't always know what I have found.
Putting things together physically, visually or mentally in the language of symbols, or letters, or of clues of some sort is a life long obsession.
This blog is a narrative, a daybook of sorts.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Celestial Navigation

I am thinking about the space/time continuum, about patterns, about imaginary travel; 
the layered paths of airplanes over time,
 the singular blip of a cellphone on a GPS tracker.

Alternate Routes, detail

Over and over I trace the worn footpath that leads to the watering hole, the ferry landing, the bridge. 
Exciting things happen at the edges. 
Travel, migration, movement of forces, 
waves of cultures, ever widening, 
circling around home, the hunting ground, the place where there is food.
The map is an abstract concept or a plan 
or a pattern of information, 
or depiction of a concrete physical place in two dimensions, 
or as a point on a globe.

Alternate Routes

 I think about the word confluence; 
A flowing together of 2 or more streams; the point of juncture of such streams; 
The continued stream formed by that juncture; 
A gathering or meeting together at one point. 
It is a word posed to me as a foundation idea for a show.

Celestial navigation

I think of atmospheric forces, pulling, pushing, merging, 
energizing and changing themselves.
Ancient geology. 
The fugitive and amorphous marks of time.  
I hardly dare to look up. 
But I must, 
at the dark cup of space arching over head, the place of mythology and the elements, 
where light hurdles itself as the sigh of a dead pinprick star no more substantial than 
the moonbeam under my eyelid.

Migration, detail

In some other dimension this world has moved off it's foundation a fraction of a shift. 
As I wave my arm there are other arms fanning, beckoning a wing beat away,
With something heavy tipped from my fingers, hauling ass away to make it's mark.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Hunting The Muse

Vertigo, 1982

I've been thinking about writing a blog for a while now. I used to write daily but fell out of the habit when life got so busy and time so elusive.... after I entered the world decisively, as a wife, step-mother, woman with a steady, emotionally and physically demanding, worldly job. When I lived alone and often went on retreat, my writing seemed a lifeline both to the physical world I did not inhabit comfortably, and a delicate tether to the otherworldly. Finding painting was a turning inward for me, finally with a purpose, though one I could not articulate. Prompted once in critique with a very famous painter to explain what it was I was after I could only say, hopelessly, "to make a better painting". I couldn't blame him for giving up and turning to someone more interesting.

Hedge, 1985

I dropped out of grad school in tears of frustration. I am sorry now that I saw it as a defeat, a retreat from something too difficult for me, a lack of fitness. I was wordless for so long, my journals taking to describing the weather, simple activities of my day, random fleeting thoughts, simply to record something, anything, of the amorphous, shape-shifting inner life I seemed destined to live. Ten years, twenty, now thirty since I started mixing paint, scraping palettes, wrestling with canvas, frustration and hope in equal measures. I felt lost when I could not record, just as I felt lost when I couldn't mess around with paint.
What was I doing? It felt as if I was building something completely from scratch in those days. Yes there were guideposts, other artists, writers that I could look to. But my own voice was as distant and faint to me as a radio signal in the jungle.
So I begin again, without really any idea of where I'm going with this. But I have a lexicon now, of sorts... words and symbols and wide swaths of colour that I hoist up like sails to see what breeze catches on them.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Once tidied and put away, beneath
The long flat wait of winter,
Is jumbled up now
All together-
Hope and penance, mud and memories,
Prayers, snowdrops, robin birds.

Domains are being readied
For the season of propagation and increase,
Under the comet's ghostly maneuvers.
Planted in the swing and bang of
The beginning,
Harrowed and divided by the stretch of stars,
Propelled with insistence into Holy Week,
We are yoked with a thousand years of senarios.

So Easter day comes
Hanging heavy and unredeemed.
The Christ is risen
But the shiver is still there-
Heavy breathing war horses groaning across England,
And A10 warthogs shreiking over desert in Nevada and Iraq.

The same night
Choirboys fling joy at the rafters,
Trembling the clerestory with angelic vibration,
We stand in corn stubble and cow field,
Watching the bad star.
Collecting, from rooftop and balcony,
In angled mirror and wide lens,
The dust and spangle of
Our collective imagining, that,
Borne in the comet's fag end,
Is our history and our almanac.

© 1999