Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Year's End...

This is how I have felt for much of 2014.  I am both the crazed larger creature and the smaller bound figure.  It hasn't been a bad year, just a year that I am ready to say goodbye to.

And that I offer up tidings of potential happinesses and warm wishes.  Here's to a bright and shiny 2015!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Blue Bird (Happiness) Automata

 I have begun working on a little automata with help from my sweet husband.  This has be more of a collaboration than a solo project: my husband providing the mechanical know how and the logics of the thing.

This first foray is a crude little thing that I do not think will hold up to the masses of First Friday Art Walkers.  However, it has offered us valuable learning opportunities.  The materials for an automata MUST be rigid an durable. The wire we had on hand for the gearing was too pliable.  And the cardboard structure for the bird will not durable enough for use outside a small delicate circle.

This little piece will be shelved and held in esteem for helping us gather information on actually how to make these things (both my husband and myself are learners by doing...).  Hopefully, the new piece will be completed by Friday for the Art Walk in Portland Maine.  If you see me, you know you just need to ask politely to see the new automata.  I would love to share it with you!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Icy Consent

On First Friday I head out onto the street in disguise.  I want to be obvious and still remain somewhat anonymous.  I want people to be drawn and repelled by how I look.  

This past First Friday, December 5, it was very cold and dark here in Portland Maine.  So I layered my self in thick clothes and sewed lights on to the outside of my dress and in my white wig.  I lined my black bow with lights on the inside so that when it was opened it shone out brightly on the darkening street.

If folks who approach me and ask my permission to see what is in the box are able to do so. If they don't ask then they may not have my permission. There are treats in the box. If they ask for permission to have a treat the they are welcome to have it. But if they do not ask and try to take a treat I close the box. If they make snide comments I ignore them or glance at them sidelong. If they are rude and disrespectful I will walk away. 

It is interesting to see folks try to figure it out. Often people think that I am trying to deal with feelings but really I just want people to start using consent.  Although my feelings are important, they are mine.  Consent and permission is that intersectionality between people.  It is the way in which we create safety and trust.  It is more important perhaps sometimes than feelings.

Also during the whole thing I do not talk verbally. I make facial gestures, simple sign language and head shakes. So much of interaction between us is non verbal. But sometimes we get lazy with our words. We forget that some people "speak" in ways different than ourselves.  We forget that people are dragging around all those feelings behind them like chains.  We trip over them and see not the person standing before us but what we think we should see.  We forget to look at people as individuals.  We forget to look and see.

But sometimes we have to take a moment and figure it out. Sometimes we have to see that the person before us is entitled to their own space. But when we see the space between us- when we ask permission to share that space, we can begin a type of communication that involves trust and caring- without having to trip over all those feelings that may or may not be there. 

Then if we ask for consent, we might perhaps be rewarded.  Sometimes the asking is its own reward.

Puppetry thinking

I have been rummaging around both my head and my studio for stories and ideas for a mini portable puppet show.  These dolls are stored on a high shelf in my studio: the casts off for a never finished projects.  They have their own stories and lives up there on that shelf.  I think perhaps these need to be pulled out and told. 
Witch Doll and her minion
I'll being the physical labor on the new puppets today with these dolls overseeing the progress.  I hope to have most of the visuals and the story coalesced by the next First Friday Art Walk in Portland, Maine.  And if you are in the area, come find me on the cold street.  Perhaps a story will warm you up.
minion puppet

Friday, December 5, 2014

Beside myself

Beside Myself
Watercolr, ink, acrylic and pencil on paper
22" X 30"

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Light please

This Friday in Portland Maine the First Friday Art Walk folks have arranged to close some of Congress Street to cars traffic.   The street will be for art and folks walking. 
Firewalkers, music makers, drawing sellers, and performance artists.  Heaven. 
I'll be there will my dress sewn up with lights... 
come find with me ...

Friday, October 31, 2014

Sunset and skeletons

Happy halloween.  Rage against the fading light...The brightness will come back again soon.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

I don't want your manners, necessarily. I just want consent.

It's October and it is getting darker earlier.  Last night during the art walk in Portland, the darkened street was very pronounced.  The lights from the cars and buses passing added to the store and street lamps creating a surreal appeal.  I am sure many folks thought I was dressed for Halloween with my spiders, wig and make-up.  I wasn't though.  I was just hiding out for the art walk as a moving painting since I didn't have a gallery.  I was also playing with human interactions.

I am able to speak.  I have full use of my vocal cords and my voice.  I just don't choose to use my voice, to use verbal communication during this piece.  Our daily communication is largely one through non-verbal interactions. I think we often forget this and rely on the short and quick of verbals.  This hobbles our empathy.

When I am approached or glanced at by someone during the art walk, I nod or bow, depending on the gaze.  If that person approaches me and asks politely to see what is in my black box, then they have my permission (through a nod or positive gesture) to open the box.  People often think scary things will pop out of the box and that I am going to abuse them in some fashion.  I think this is because I look strange and am painted like a ghost or ghoul.  I am just for the moment something other- I will catch attention simply because I look different and strange.  How people approach that other- either through kind curiosity or through malice- is their choice.  I hope they choice the kindness.  If not the kindness, then I will leave.

Children are either terrified or transfixed.  Except for one child who had his sights set on a large cherry-picker crane that I was standing near: I was non-existent to this child.  His world was a cool machine.

The things in my black box are not mean.  When folks ask politely to take something from my box, then of course they may.  I don't want stories or ideas of how my emotions come into play.  I merely want to be able to give my consent for someone to take a gift from the box.  I merely want the person to ask please.  That's all.  I will ask you to say please using sign. 

And yes, I can speak.  Someone last evening said that I was unable to talk, unable to speak, unable to communicate.  And that person was so very wrong.  We talk the loudest when we quietly listen to each other and give space for consent.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

the greenhouse

On January 1, 2014 my greenhouse- which was really a temporary carport with clear plastic- fell because of all the snow and cold.  While I was sad, I saw it as a chance to rebuild using recycled windows.  Finally on the last day of summer, my husband and I finished the vast majority of the work on the new greenhouse.  With only small bits left to do, my greenhouse is ready for the winter planting.

We were able to incorporate a window painting that I made for the late Richmond, Maine artist Richard Lee's show using the old windows in his transformed mill studio.
sharpie on window

before the roof was up

chives covered to avoid paint

from outside

buttresses on the western wall...

Gin and whiskey bottles fill in weird gaps...

 We purchased, found and were given lots of windows.  We also used the left over plastic from the orignal greenhouse to cover the roof and door ways.  We hope next summer to recover the roof with corrugated plastic and find more windows to fit into the doorways.
my volunteer tomato plant...

mullein and a gnome

that is a couch in the corner there...

 We really have no idea how well this will hold up to the snow expected this winter.  Hopefully it will be okay.

As soon the roof went up, I began moving plants into the dirt inside the greenhouse.  Kale seeds are in the ground so that they can begin ground before it gets too cold.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Identity (Alchemy)

Identity (Alchemy)
watercolor, acrylic, ink and graphite on paper
32" x 44"

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Make-shift cages

Calibration (currently in progress)
watercolor and pencil
44" x 44"

Friday, August 8, 2014

Gathering and other works at Frank Brockman Gallery

I have a handful of paintings up at Frank Brockman Gallery (68 Maine Street, Second and Third Floor, Brunswick Maine (USA)).  A few of them are from the Dr. Goodweather's Dreaming Attic show.  They just stuck around and another is been waiting for the right time to make it's way  into the gallery.  This evening (August 8, 2014) is the Second Friday Art Walk here in Brunswick Maine.  There will be roving musicians and little pop-up galleries and I think a play in the mall by the big Gazebo...

I will be there with my white wig and red kimono and black box.  Say hello to me if you see me.  The spiders in my hair only look scary.

media water media on paper

Thoth's Sister
mixed water media and pastel on paper

Pink Deer
mixed water media and pastel on paper

Bird Boys
mixed water media, pastel and collage on paper
The following two pieces are usually at Frank's as he likes them.  They move around from place to place in the gallery.  

Harvey and his Lollipop
watercolor and ink on paper

The things that bind us are immaterial
mixed water media and pastel on paper

Stop by and see Frank at 68 Maine Street, Second and Third Floor, Brunswick Maine (USA).  You'll be glad you did.  He will be glad as well.  He's a nice guy.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

The power of "please"...

 I have treats in that black box.  
Standing silently, I will bow if smiled at or someone says hello.  
By asking "what is in the box?" the questioner can then open the box.  

Inside are treats: I won't tell you because you'll have to ask me to see when you see me ;)

Some of the items in the box are for sale. 
Some are for you to just take. 

And SOME require a simple word to receive them: please.  

This is the sign for it:

I will ask you to say please in sign. The obligation is for you to say please back.  However it is that please is asked in your mother tongue.